The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas once again for yet another fight night card, this time headlined by female featherweight Norma Dumont and short-notice replacement Aspen Ladd.
Ladd was pulled from UFC Vegas 38 just two weeks ago after missing the bantamweight limit by one pound, scrapping her fight with Macy Chiasson. But after Holly Holm pulled out of this card with an injury, the UFC called her in up a weight class to fill in for this main event.
Elsewhere on the card the legendary Jim Miller makes a return while two Contender Series alum in Jordan Wright and Julian Marquez meet in a fun middleweight scrap.
Last week at UFC Vegas 39, we went 6/9 with three perfect picks on a rather forgettable card to move us up to 434/679 (63.92%) with 187 perfect picks (43.09%) since June 2020.
We’ll look to improve on that record here and after starting with the early prelim bouts here, we move on to the prelims now.
Lupita Godinez (6-1) vs Luana Carolina (7-2) – (Flyweight/125lbs)
A super short notice bout in the women’s flyweight division as Lupita Godinez makes it two fights in two weeks. Godinez defeated Silvana Gomez Juarez via first-round armbar at UFC Vegas 39 last weekend and steps up in place of Sijara Eubanks up a weight class in this one. Carolina earned a split decision win over Poliana Botelho at UFC Vegas 25 in her last outing.
Godinez is a pressure fighter with some decent boxing and a decent bit of grappling in her back pocket, using her gas tank as a weapon throughout her career. Carolina is a striker herself, but uses her range and length well which is where she will have an advantage here. She’ll also have a size and power advantage, being the natural flyweight in the fight.
Despite that though, Godinez has a great chance. She is riding a wave of momentum, has the better ground game and also has the bigger gas tank. If she can use her pressure to get on the inside, force Carolina backwards and mix in her wrestling I think she can claim a close decision win.
PICK – Lupita Godinez via Decision
Danny Roberts (17-5) vs Ramazan Emeev (20-4) – (Welterweight/170lbs)
A banger at welterweight as Britain’s Danny Roberts makes a return after two years out to take on Ramazan Emeev. Roberts hasn’t fought since a brilliant KO win back in 2019 over Zelim Imadaev, while Emeev is on a two-fight win streak with a decision over David Zawada most recently at UFC Fight Island 7.
Roberts is a highlight reel of a fighter, who looks to take your head off with every strike and possesses good power and wrestling too. Emeev on the other hand is the opposite. A talented grappler who looks to take fights to the ground and controls position as a priority in his bouts. Roberts is usually at his best when fighting at range which will help him avoid takedowns, but if Emeev gets in on him then the fight is going down.
That’s a problem for Roberts. However, with Emeev prioritising position of submission it means Roberts will likely get the chance to land bombs on the feet again and in the third round, Emeev tends to tire. That’s a window of opportunity for him to land a knockout win, but it’s too small for me and Emeev should claim another decision.
PICK – Ramazan Emeev via Decision
Andrew Sanchez (13-6) vs Bruno Silva (20-6) – (Middleweight/185lbs)
Another banger but this time in the middleweight division as former TUF champion Andrew Sanchez takes on Brazil’s Bruno Silva. Sanchez is 1-2 in the UFC so far, with a win over Wellington Turman sandwiched in between defeats to Marvin Vettori and Makhmud Muradov most recently at UFC 257. Silva on the other hand is on a five-fight win streak but claimed a brilliant KO win over Turman in his UFC debut at UFC Vegas 29.
Sanchez is a top wrestler who is also a karate champion and a sound striker on the feet. Silva on the other hand is a powerful striker with 17 knockout wins in 20 career victories. He storms forward with reckless abandon and insane power, looking to force a war with his opponent to take their head off.
Silva has got the ability and strength to put anyone in the division’s lights out and while Sanchez could choose to not strike and just wrestle, he seems to favour his point striking recently which means Silva is putting him to sleep.
PICK – Bruno Silva via Knockout, Round 2