Tag Archives: Hannah Goldy

UFC Vegas 37: Smith vs Spann – Early prelims predictions

The UFC returns to our screens this weekend after a two week break with a huge 15-fight card, headlined by light heavyweights Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith and Ryan Spann.

The 205lbs division is top heavy right now, with lots of guys vying for title contention and that includes former challenger Smith. A win for Spann however in his first ever main event would be a huge deal for him and mean he has no easy fights in his future.

Elsewhere on the card there is a hotly anticipated match-up between Ariane Lipski and debutant Mandy Bohm in the women’s flyweight division, while the likes of Joaquin Buckley, Nate Maness, Raquel Pennington, Impa Kasanganay and Arman Tsarukyan all fight too.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 36, we had a decent run going 6/9 with three perfect picks. That moved us to 402/633 (63.51%) with 177 perfect picks (44.03%) since we began.

A huge card, we’ve split our picks up into three this week so we’ll start with the opening four early prelim bouts.


Emily Whitmire (4-4) vs Hannah Goldy (5-2) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A start to the card with two women who have each lost their last two fights in the UFC. Whitmire was submitted by Amanda Ribas and then Polyana Viana in her two bouts, most recently at UFC Vegas 8, while Goldy dropped decisions to Miranda Granger in 2019 and then Diana Belbita in July.

Whitmire is a pressure fighter with decent striking in her arsenal, and her ground game isn’t as bad as the two defeats against elite competition made it look. Goldy is a striker who looks to overwhelm her opponent from distance with lots of volume, but defensively she is poor and she has a horrible tendency of backing herself up against the cage.

Neither of these women are the greatest and the loser will likely get cut from the company. Whitmire has the advantage in the sense that her style almost perfectly suits a fighter who hates pressure like Goldy does. Whitmire’s grappling and pressure should be enough to see her sail through to a comfortable decision win.
PICK – Emily Whitmire via Decision

Gustavo Lopez (12-6) vs Alateng Heili (14-8-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

The super exciting Lopez makes his return to the octagon to take on ‘Mongolian Knight’ Heili in the bantamweight division. Lopez submitted Anthony Birchak at UFC Vegas 13 before a fight of the night defeat to Adrian Yanez in March at UFC Vegas 22. Heili was on a four-fight win streak before stepping into the octagon against Casey Kenney in August 2020 last time out.

Lopez is a brilliant all-round fighter with really good jiu-jitsu skills on the mat but some electric striking too. Heili is a very solid wrestler with a powerful right hand to fall back on if needed and that could be big in this fight. Lopez has fallen in love with his hands recently despite his great ground game but it could help him against Heili who is a really low output fighter with poor cardio.

Heili will have the wrestling edge, meaning he could rack up top control in the early rounds and he’s powerful enough to keep Lopez worried about his striking. But my gut tells me Lopez is able to scramble back to his feet if he gets taken down and do plenty of damage on the feet with his hands to secure a late stoppage.
PICK – Gustavo Lopez via Knockout, Round 3

Impa Kasanganay (9-1) vs Carlston Harris (16-4) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

A very interesting bout at 170lbs sees two relative newcomers to the UFC go head-to-head. Kasanganay has fought three times in the UFC, winning his debut before being on the wrong end of one of the greatest KO’s ever against Joaquin Buckley. He returned at welterweight and secured a submission win over Sacha Palatnikov at UFC Vegas 23. Harris made his UFC debut in May at UFC Vegas 26 and defeated Christian Aguilera via submission in the first-round.

Kasanganay is physically bigger and likes to try and lean on his wrestling for wins, but his punching power for his size isn’t impressive at all and his striking is relatively stiff. On the other side of the cage will be Harris, who is a lethal submission artist with great punching power and good wrestling to glue it all together.

Ultimately, this is a tough match up for Kasanganay. His strongest attributes aren’t as good as Harris’ abilities in those fields and his weaknesses play into Harris’ strengths too. Unless there has been lots of improvement, I expect Harris to just be a step too far and to be able to control the fight and potentially secure a submission on the ground.
PICK – Carlston Harris via Decision

Erin Blanchfield (6-1) vs Sarah Alpar (9-5) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A UFC debut for a very highly-rated fighter in Blanchfield as she takes on Alpar, who is yet to win in the UFC. Blanchfield has won her last three in a row but hasn’t fought for over a year, while Alpar lost her UFC debut against Jessica-Rose Clark at UFC Vegas 11 last time out.

Blanchfield is a brilliant grappler with true submission skills to go with some great kickboxing and solid wrestling too. Alpar is a bantamweight who is moving down to flyweight for this fight so she will be the bigger fighter, but her wrestling being her biggest strength puts her in a world of danger against a top prospect.

It’s a lose-lose for Blanchfield to be honest. There’s plenty of expectation on her shoulders and if she wins then it’s what she’s supposed to do, but if she loses then it’s a worry because Alpar isn’t the greatest fighter. With that said, I expect a good performance and a big win for Blanchfield.
PICK – Erin Blanchfield via Submission, Round 2

UFC Vegas 32: Sandhagen vs Dillashaw – Early prelims predictions

Arguably the best fight of the year not on a pay-per-view card headlines UFC Vegas 32 this weekend as Cory Sandhagen puts his number one contender status on the line against the returning former champion TJ Dillashaw.

The two were supposed to fight back in May, only for Dillashaw to sustain a cut in training forcing the bout to be postponed. In what should be an incredibly close fight, the winner is likely to get the next title shot against the winner of Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan’s rematch.

Elsewhere on the card, two young female prospects go head-to-head when Miranda Maverick and Maycee Barber square off on the main card in the flyweight division. Knockout sensation Adrian Yanez also returns to the octagon to take on Randy Costa too.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 31, we went 7/10 with one perfect pick on the night to move up to 370/576 (64.24%) with 164 perfect picks (44.32%).

We’ll look to improve on that here with this 13-fight card, starting with the early prelims here.


Diana Belbita (13-6) vs Hannah Goldy (5-1) – (Strawweight/115lbs)

An interesting fight in the 115lbs division to open the card as Belbita looks to return from a two-fight skid against Goldy who hasn’t fought since a defeat in 2019. Belbita’s last two fights were defeats, getting beaten by Molly McCann and then submitted by Liana Jojua at UFC Vegas 1.

Belbita got outgrappled by a fighter who isn’t that great of a grappler last time out and that is worrying. She’s a good striker on her best day and her best attribute is her aggression, something Goldy can struggle against. If the Goldy from the Contender Series shows up with her counter-striking abilities and nimble footwork then she should outwork Belbita.

It’s not a UFC calibre fight in honesty so thankfully it’s on first, but Goldy should take a decision win.
PICK – Hannah Goldy via Decision

Sijara Eubanks (7-6) vs Elise Reed (4-0) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A fun flyweight fight up next as the experienced Eubanks takes on former Cage Fury champions Elise Reed in her UFC debut. ‘Sarj’ went 2-2 in 2020, with wins over Sarah Moras and Julia Avila at UFC Vegas 10 before back-to-back defeats against Ketlen Vieira at UFC 253 and Pannie Kianzad at UFC Vegas 17. Reed is undefeated in her four fights with two KO’s.

Eubanks is a decent boxer with good power but not the best technique and genuinely world-class grappling but poor takedown offence to set it up. Reed is a striker who throws everything she can into her punches and kicks and often leaves herself to just go to war with her opponent. Reed is a big kicker which could open her up to getting taken down, but Eubanks is just levels ahead of anything Reed has fought before.

I don’t think she has the power to get a stoppage, but she should get a pretty comfortable win here.
PICK – Sijara Eubanks via Decision

Julio Arce (16-4) vs Andre Ewell (17-7) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A banger at bantamweight on the early prelims as Arce and Ewell go head-to-head. Arce is making his first appearance since 2019 and his first at 135lbs since 2016, while Ewell looks to bounce back from defeat to Chris Gutierrez last time out at UFC 258.

Arce is a very talented kickboxer with great fluidity in his strikes, but he’s also a very skilled grappler on the mat too. That will cause problems for Ewell, who is a rangy power striker who struggles to maintain attacks and has had trouble stopping people’s takedowns in the past. On his best day, Ewell has got great skills and can beat a lot of people but the fight last time out showed just how beatable he is.

Arce has got all the skills to earn a victory here, landing better and cleaner strikes and mixing in takedowns for a comfortable win.
PICK – Julio Arce via Decision