The UFC heads to Singapore for only the fifth time ever for UFC 275 this weekend as we’re treated to two huge title fights in the main events.
Glover Teixeira will defend the light heavyweight title for the first time when he takes on Jiri Prochazka in the headline fight, while Valentina Shevchenko will defend her flyweight title for the seventh time against first-time challenger Taila Santos.
We’ll also see the hotly anticipated rematch between Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk as well as the likes of Manel Kape, Brendan Allen and Andre Fialho competing too.
We come into this card after a small break from picks. We sit at 634/987 (64.24%) with 272 perfect picks (42.9%) and you can see our total picks list here.
We’ll try to improve on that here, starting with the early prelims.
Ramona Pascual (6-3) vs Joselyne Edwards (10-4) – (Featherweight/145lbs)
Women’s featherweights open up the card in this one. Pascual made her short-notice debut against Josiane Nunes and was defeated relatively comfortably via unanimous decision, while Edwards has lost her last two in a row against Karol Rosa and Jessica-Rose Clark.
Pascual is a talented striker who uses her clinch game really well and likes to come forward, but her grappling and cardio are relatively poor. Edwards is a nasty striker with good power and solid elbows, who uses relentless pressure to wear her opponents down and land shots.
Pascual will look to clinch and land big shots, but her lack of volume is not going to be enough. Edwards should be able to move relatively freely throughout, land her volume shots and do enough damage to earn a decision win.
PICK – Joselyne Edwards via Decision
Liang Na (19-5) vs Silvana Gomez Juarez (10-4) – (Strawweight/115lbs)
From the big girls to the small girls, strawweights up next. Liang Na saw a five-fight win streak snapped in her UFC debut last time out at UFC 261 when she got KO’d by Ariane Carnelossi, while Juarez has lost her last two in a row via first-round armbars against Lupita Godinez and Vanessa Demopolous at UFC 270.
Na is a speedy submission specialist, with ten submission wins in her career. She’s strong and has great takedown abilities and she’s big for the weight class at 5ft 9′ tall. Juarez however is a talented striker who has good hooks and power that was enough to drop Demopolous in their bout last time out.
But when you’ve got an armbar specialist against someone who has lost via armbar in each of her last two, it’s a problem. Juarez can win this fight by keeping it standing and using her better striking throughout, but Na showed her wrestling is better than many thought and if she gets top position she’ll work for the submission quickly and likely get it.
PICK – Liang Na via Submission, Round 1
Kyung Ho Kang (17-9) vs Batgerel Danaa (12-3) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)
A fun bantamweight scrap up next closes out the early prelims section of the card. Kang went on a three-fight win streak before suffering defeat in his last bout to Rani Yahya. Danaa also had a great three-fight win streak prior to his last fight, where he got knocked out cold by Chris Gutierrez.
Kang is a brilliant grappler with great physical attributes, as well as power in his hands that drops plenty of opponents. Danaa is a powerful striker himself, earning three first-round KO’s during that previously mentioned win streak, but he showed in his last fight that after that initial blitz he lacks variety and his power depletes.
If Kang opts to use his wrestling skills then this is absolutely his fight to lose, but he tends to prefer a firefight for some odd reason. That makes this a very dangerous fight for him because of Danaa’s power. Despite that though, I expect Kang to be able to hang in there past the first five minutes and then start to take over to claim a close win.
PICK – Kyung Ho Kang via Decision