The UFC returns to the APEX centre in Las Vegas this week for a banger of a featherweight main event between Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez.
Holloway is considered the people’s champion of the division and wants to show the world why he is rightfully considered as the number one contender for the title, while Rodriguez is desperate to finally fulfil his potential after being considered a future champion for years.
It’s a very fun card also including the likes of Ben Rothwell, Cynthia Calvillo, Marc Diakiese, Thiago Moises and Khaos Williams.
Last week at UFC 268 we had a brilliant night, securing 13/14 correct picks with three perfect picks to move to 471/730 (64.52%) with 197 perfect picks (41.83%).
We’ll look to improve on that this week and after starting with the early prelims here, lets finish off the rest of the prelims now.
Sean Woodson (8-1) vs Collin Anglin (8-2) – (Featherweight/145lbs)
A very fun featherweight bout here between two highly-rated prospects in the division. Woodson bounced back from the first defeat of his career against Julian Erosa at UFC Vegas 4 with a decision win over Youssef Zalal at UFC Vegas 28. Anglin suffered defeat last time out when he was KO’d by Melsik Baghdasaryan at UFC Vegas 33 in his debut.
Woodson is a rangy fighter for the division with great boxing skills and much improved wrestling and scrambling abilities in recent bouts. Anglin on the other hand is a fighter with a wrestling background who likes to try and see fights out on the feet. That preference could cost him here, because he has a big advantage when it comes to the grappling and a big disadvantage in the striking.
Anglin is likely to try and wrestle Woodson a lot, but ‘The Sniper’ showed in his last fights that he is good at getting back to his feet and his volume is excellent. Woodson isn’t the most powerful, but he’s quick and I think he’ll be able to counter when Anglin moves in and land enough to earn the victory.
PICK – Sean Woodson via Decision
Cynthia Calvillo (9-3-1) vs Andrea Lee (12-5) – (Flyweight/125lbs)
A fun flyweight fight once again on this card buried on the prelims. Calvillo has lost her last two-in-a-row after dropping a decision to Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 255 before getting KO’d by Jessica Andrade at UFC 266, while Lee snapped a three-fight losing streak to defeat Antonina Shevchenko at UFC 262 via submission.
Calvillo is a solid wrestler who is still finding her feet in the division, following defeats to two of the top contenders in the weight class. Lee is a striker with good finishing instinct, having stopped seven opponents in the past inside the distance. While Calvillo has started falling in love with her striking in recent fights, the results in those bouts likely means she’s going to go back to what she does best which is bad news for Lee.
Every fighter that has attempted to take Lee down has done so at least once and Calvillo is more than good enough to only need one takedown to keep the fight on the mat. Ultimately, Calvillo secures top control and rides out 15 minutes with ground and pound to get back in the win column.
PICK – Cynthia Calvillo via Decision
Thiago Moises (15-5) vs Joel Alvarez (18-2) – (Lightweight/155lbs)
A banger at lightweight in this one in a super exciting match-up. Moises was on a three-fight win streak before suffering a submission defeat against Islam Makhachev at UFC Vegas 31 last time out. Alvarez on the other hand is on a three-fight win streak, but hasn’t fought since a submission win over Alexander Yakovlev at UFC 254 last year.
Moises is an excellent grappler on the mat with good wrestling and solid kicks in his arsenal to rack up wins over opposition. Alvarez in the other corner is a grappling wizard, with 16 career submission wins including each of his last two. On the feet Moises absolutely has the advantage, because Alvarez tends to try and close the distance and pull guard to work his jiu-jitsu but Moises is a great grappler in his own right.
Alvarez absolutely has the skills and ability to submit Moises on the ground, but he’d need a mistake from Moises in my opinion. Moises is the better wrestler and solid enough on the ground to know all about the traps Alvarez will look to set. Hard strikes and mixing in wrestling should see Moises collect a pretty comfortable win.
PICK – Thiago Moises via Decision