The UFC returns to the Apex centre in Las Vegas once again for a women’s strawweight main event between Amanda Lemos and Jessica Andrade.
In a sneaky card that lacks real star power, the top of the division at 115-pounds could either find a brand new contender making waves or the return of a former champion into contention.
There are some pretty decent scraps on this card too, and we’ll break them all down.
Last week at UFC Vegas 51 in a largely disappointing card we managed to go 8/14 with three perfect picks on the night to move us to 601/929 (64.69%) with 255 perfect picks (42.43%).
We’ll look to improve on that percentage here, starting with the early prelims.
Dean Barry (4-1) vs Mike Jackson (0-1) – (Welterweight/170lbs)
A long awaited debut in the welterweight division is among us for this opening fight. Barry makes his UFC bow having won his last three fights via first-round knockout, while Jackson makes his return to the company following a win over CM Punk that was then overturned to a no contest.
Barry is a very powerful striker with great speed, but he has got a hugely under-developed ground game and has a fair bit of hype despite that. Jackson hasn’t fought in four years and is a full-time photographer these days, so God knows why this fight has been made. He has got a bit of decent stand-up but nothing to the level of Barry, and he doesn’t have the skills to exploit the lack of ability that he has on the ground.
This fight should end one way and one way only, and that’s with Barry absolutely torching him on the feet and earning a quick stoppage win.
PICK – Dean Barry via Knockout, Round 1
Marcin Prachnio (15-5) vs Philipe Lins (14-5) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)
A fun light heavyweight bout comes next on the card. Prachnio snapped a three-fight skid and is now coming off consecutive wins after a decision win against Khalil Rountree Jr at UFC 257 and then a KO against Ike Villanueva most recently at UFC Vegas 30. Lins on the other hand has lost his last two, dropping a decision to Andrei Arlovski before getting KO’d by Tanner Boser at UFC Vegas 4.
Prachnio is a powerful striker that has seen him finish 11 opponents via knockout. His takedown defence is decent enough and he uses kicks well too. Lins is making his first cut down to 205-pounds for this one as he looks to change his fortunes, with good power in his hands although he tends to favour a looping hook.
This is a fight that has fireworks all over it, because neither man has got a particularly good chin. Prachnio has been rocked even in his recent wins, while Lins’ defeats have come against much higher levels of competition. But after such a time out and a big cut down, I think Prachnio should be able to land clean enough to end this one early.
PICK – Marcin Prachnio via Knockout, Round 2
Preston Parsons (9-3) vs Evan Elder (7-0) – (Welterweight/170lbs)
Very interesting welterweight bout up next between two exciting prospects. Parsons was defeated in his short-notice debut to Daniel Rodriguez back at UFC Vegas 31 in his last fight, while Elder is undefeated and has garnered a solid reputation coming into this one on short notice.
Parsons is a huge submission threat, with each one of his victories coming via tap out so far in his professional career. Elder on the other hand is a wrestle-boxer who despite his fancy looking record, has never fought anyone with any real quality. The one time he did was as an amateur, losing to Luis Pena.
This is a true grappler vs striker bout and while Elder has got some decent takedown skills too, he’s nowhere near Parsons’ level on the mat. Elder is also naturally a lightweight who is moving up for this bout on short notice, while obviously suits Parsons. Expect the more experienced fighter to get it to the mat and secure yet another submission win midway through the bout.
PICK – Preston Parsons via Submission, Round 2