The UFC heads to Long Island for a fight night event with a live crowd, as two featherweight contenders go head-to-head in the main event when Brian Ortega takes on Yair Rodriguez.
A very solid card will see plenty of excellent fights, with the 145-pound eliminator bout right at the top of the card. We’ll also see the likes of Li Jingliang, Michelle Waterson, Jack Shore, Shane Burgos and Miesha Tate.
Last time out at UFC Vegas 58 we went 7/11 with two perfect picks, moving us to 656/1020 (64.31%) with 281 perfect picks (42.84%). You can check out our full picks history here.
We’ll look to improve on that here, starting with the early prelims.
Jessica Penne (14-6) vs Emily Ducote (11-6) – (Strawweight/115lbs)
A fu women’s strawweight fight opens up the card between a UFC vet and a debutant. Penne is on a two-fight win streak, earning a split decision over Lupita Godinez before an armbar submission win over Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 265, while Ducote comes into the UFC on a three-fight win streak from Invicta.
Penne is a solid grappler who looks to tie her opponents out and drag them down to the mat to work her submission game, something she’s won fights with on eight different occasions. Ducote is the opposite, a brilliant counter striker with good power with four of her last five victories coming inside the distance. Both fighters like to close the distance, and it comes down to who can implement their game more effectively.
Ducote will look to avoid the clinches and land her excellent right to make up for the reach and height disadvantage in this bout, but Penne is pretty durable and if she can get hold of Ducote she has a good advantage with the grappling. With that said though, Ducote is a decent grappler herself and she is the more mobile and active fighter. So long as she doesn’t end up on her back for the majority of the round, she should be able to claim a win on the scorecards here.
PICK – Emily Ducote via Decision
Dwight Grant (11-5) vs Dustin Stoltzfus (13-4) – (Middleweight/185lbs)
Middleweight scrap up next between two guys on losing streaks. Grant has been beaten in each of his last two, dropping a split decision to Francisco Trinaldo and getting KO’d by Sergey Khandozhko, while Stoltzfus got beaten by Kyle Daukaus at UFC 255 and then got submitted by Rodolfo Vieira and most recently Gerald Meerschaert.
Grant is a striker with great power, but a real lack or urgency and volume has cost him massively in his UFC career to date. He is moving up to middleweight for the first time in a decade for this bout. Stoltzfus is a strong wrestler and his top control is good, usually using leg kicks and a jab before changing levels.
If Stoltzfus just sticks to what he knows, he should win this fight. He’s by far the better wrestler of the two, with Grant giving up at least one takedown in six of his last seven fights. He’s now up against bigger guys which means his power is less likely to help him out of bad situations and being taken down is more likely, so it doesn’t look good for him here.
PICK – Dustin Stoltzfus via Decision
Dustin Jacoby (17-5-1) vs Da Un Jung (15-2-1) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)
An intriguing light heavyweight clash up next between two guys who haven’t tasted defeat since 2015. Jacoby has won seven of his last eight fights, with one draw in the middle. His last three fights ended in victory, with a KO against Darren Stewart before decision wins over John Allan (UFC 268) and Michal Oleksiejczuk. Jung is undefeated in his last 15 fights, with a draw against Sam Alvey (UFC 254) stopping him being on a big win streak. He beat William Knight and then KO’d Kennedy Nzechukwu in his most recent fights.
Jacoby is a terrific kickboxer with great mobility and speed in his strikes. His low kicks are lethal and he’s able to manage distance brilliantly, while his takedown defence is pretty solid too. Jung is a powerful striker, but he’s a grinder who looks to close distance and use his power to rag doll opponents. Jacoby is really difficult to hold down though, and in the striking realm Jacoby has a big advantage.
Jung tends to be very flat-footed and predictable with his strikes, something Jacoby will undoubtedly take advantage of. He’ll whip those low kicks in and jab Jung’s face off all night if he has to, until the opportunity presents itself to land power strikes. Jung doesn’t have much more going for him in this one, so I expect Jacoby to piece up the legs and eventually land a hammer blow in the latter rounds to claim a win.
PICK – Dustin Jacoby via Decision