Tag Archives: Chad Anheliger

UFC 279: Diaz vs Ferguson – Early prelims predictions

The weirdest UFC pay-per-view event got even weirder on the day of weigh-ins, as the top three fights of the card all got switched.

Initially supposed to be Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz in the main event, “Borz” missed weight by over 7lbs which sparked mega changes.

It will now be Nate Diaz fighting Tony Ferguson in the main event, a five-round welterweight bout, while Chimaev will now fight Kevin Holland at a 180lbs catchweight.

Ferguson’s original opponent Li Jingliang will now fight Daniel Rodriguez at a catchweight, who was originally supposed to fight Kevin Holland. Crazy.

Last time out at UFC Paris we went 10/12 with four perfect picks for the night to move to 715/1106 (64.65%) with 302 perfect picks (42.24%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here, starting with the early prelims.


Darian Weeks (5-2) vs Yohan Lainesse (8-1) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

Two guys yet to taste victory in the UFC open up the card. Darian Weeks has lost his last two, dropping decisions to Bryan Barbarena (UFC Vegas 44) and Ian Garry (UFC 273) while Lainesse was KO’d by Gabriel Green back in April in his debut.

Weeks is an all-rounder but doesn’t have any standout attributes really with decent wrestling and okay striking, but no real submission threat and little KO power. Lainesse is of a similar ilk in style, but he has got far more power in his hands as his six career KO wins show. Weeks’ wrestling wasn’t enough to contain Barbarena and on the feet against Garry he struggled. Lainesse should dominate the first round, but his cardio may then drop off a cliff.

If it does then Weeks will be confident of being able to take over down the stretch and earn a win. If he’s fixed that, Lainesse should cruise to a victory landing the more eye-catching shots and mixing in takedowns too. Ultimately if the cardio does fade, I expect it will be late enough that he’s already done enough to win on the scorecards.
PICK – Yohan Lainesse via Decision

Melissa Martinez (7-0) vs Elise Reed (5-2) – (Strawweight/115lbs)

A fun strawweight scrap up next. Martinez makes her UFC debut as an undefeated fighter with five knockouts from seven career wins, while Reed is 1-2 in the UFC with a win over Cory McKenna sandwiched between losses against Sijara Eubanks and most recently Sam Hughes. This will be Martinez’ first MMA fight since December 2019.

Martinez is a pure striker and has been training that skill over recent years as she went full-time kickboxer, but her grappling was already pretty weak before that break. Reed is a striker with poor wrestling, who also sees herself as a bit of a kickboxer. If she tries to make it a striking battle though, she could be in trouble.

Reed isn’t a good enough wrestler to be able to take it to the ground at will and throw Martinez off her game, and the power difference is in the Mexican’s favour. If her cardio holds up and her grappling hasn’t got any worse, then she should be able to claim the victory.
PICK – Melissa Martinez via Decision



Chad Anheliger (12-5) vs Alatengheili (15-8-2) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Bantamweight banger up next. Anheliger was 2-5 at one point in his career but comes into this on a seven-fight win streak with a KO win over Jesse Strader in his UFC debut last time out. Heili is 1-1-1 in his last three, losing to Casey Kenny, drawing with Gustavo Lopez and then finally earning a KO win over Kevin Croom in just 47 seconds.

Anhelinger is a powerful striker whose defensive wrestling has been a disaster since arriving in the UFC, while Heili is a strong wrestler who also has great knockout power and this fight seems like one that is heavily in his favour.

He’s powerful and fast, plus his wrestling is more than good enough to dictate where this fight ends up. He should dominate the position and absolutely control this fight for the full 15 minutes, and could even earn finish from top position in the latter rounds.
PICK – Alatengheili via Decision

Norma Dumont (7-2) vs Danyelle Wolf (1-0) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

An interesting featherweight scrap here. Dumont is arguably the only natural 145-pounder in the UFC right now, but she was beaten by Macy Chiasson last time out at UFC 274 to see a three-fight win streak snapped. Wolf is 1-0 professionally after being an excellent amateur boxer, earning her spot on the roster with a controversial win on the Contender Series.

Dumont is a very powerful striker with good boxing combinations, but she also has decent Brazilian jiu-jitsu and good wrestling skill too. Wolf is a top boxer with a very good jab and a nice right cross, but her grappling game was non-existent in her only pro fight and her improvements are likely to be limited by the fact she’s 38-years-old.

It would be a real surprise if Dumont doesn’t completely dominate Wolfe in this fight. She’s capable of holding her own in the striking realm but if it starts to get a bit sticky she can switch to a grappling game plan and will have her way with Wolf. It’s a baptism of fire for her, and Dumont should get back in the win column with relative ease.
PICK – Norma Dumont via Submission, Round 1

UFC Vegas 48: Walker vs Hill – Early prelims predictions

The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas this week for a card that has been littered with changes on short notice.

Originally scheduled to be headlined by Rafael Dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev, that fight was forced to be moved to UFC 272 due to visa issues and will now be headlined by Johnny Walker and Jamahal Hill.

It’s not the greatest of cards, with the only ranked fighters scheduled to compete in the main event but there are some decent fights expected to take place.

Last week at UFC 271 we had a great night, correctly predicting 11/14 fights with seven perfect picks which takes our picks totals to 539/840 (64.17%) with 231 perfect picks (42.86%).

Lets see if we can improve that here, starting with the early prelims.


Mario Bautista (8-2) vs Jay Perrin (10-4) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A short notice bout put together this week in the bantamweight division. Bautista saw a two-fight win streak snapped last time out when Tevin Jones KO’d him in the second round at UFC 259, while Perrin makes his UFC debut on a run of seven wins in eight fights.

Bautista is a pressure fighter who uses kicks to close distance and likes to chop at the legs. He’s also a good counter puncher with decent power and is well rounded. Perrin on the other hand is also a solid striker, with good leg kicks and always looking to extend his combinations to catch an opponent off guard.

Both fighters will be willing to shoot for takedowns as well as stand and bang, so the short-notice nature of the bout makes me lean towards Bautista. He’s never had an issue with his cardio and I’d argue he’s probably got the edge over Perrin in most, if not all, areas so he should be able to implement his game and score the win.
PICK – Mario Bautista via Decision

Jonathan Pearce (11-4) vs Christian Rodriguez (7-0) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

A banger at featherweight between two very interesting fighters in yet another short-notice bout. Pearce is on a two-fight win streak having beaten Kai Kamaka III and Omar Morales most recently via submission at UFC 266. Rodriguez is undefeated and has split his wins 3-3-1 by knockout, submission and decision.

Pearce is a solid wrestler who uses a suffocating pace to wear on his opponents with some really decent striking too. He’ll be coming up against a really talented striker in Rodriguez, who has crisp boxing, a lovely one-two and lovely knees too. He’s a good grappler himself, but there is a big gap between himself and Pearce in that department and that’s a big problem.

Rodriguez is undoubtedly a superstar in the making, with lots of talent and potential, but this looks to be too big a step too soon – especially on short notice. Pearce will suffocate him with pressure, look for takedowns against the cage and throw big combinations to get the fight down and eventually get a finish via ground and pound.
PICK – Jonathan Pearce via Knockout, Round 3



Chad Anheliger (11-5) vs Jesse Strader (5-2) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A potential fight of the night at 135-pounds between two very talented fighters. Anheliger makes his UFC debut on a nine-fight win streak following his win on Dana White’s Contender Series back in September, while Strader got slept in his only UFC bout to date by Montel Jackson at UFC Vegas 22.

Anheliger is a tidy fighter, with great technical striking and counter punching, a deep gas tank and a granite chin. Strader on the other hand is an explosive fighter who looks to take his opponent out early with a blitz, before his cardio inevitably lets him down later in the fights. Strader is a great wrestler too, but almost never uses it. If he did use it then we’d see a very different fight, because all of Angeliger’s defeats have come via submission.

With that said though, Strader isn’t the best submission artist and I don’t see him wrestling for prolonged periods of time. With that, Anheliger will trade with him on the feet and look to use his counter strikes to pay dividends on the fading chin of Strader as we approach the end of the second round. It’ll be a fun fight while it lasts, but I don’t expect it to go the full 15 minutes.
PICK – Chad Anheliger via Knockout, Round 2