Tag Archives: Julija Stoliarenko

UFC Vegas 61: Dern vs Xiaonan – Early prelims predictions

The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 61 this weekend with a strawweight contender main event headlining.

Brazilian bombshell Mackenzie Dern looks to bounce back from defeat when she takes on Yan Xiaonan in a five-round bout at the top of the card, with some decent support acts too.

The likes of Randy Brown, Randy Costa, Sodiq Yusuff and Raoni Barcelos are all on the card too, so it should be a sneakily good card.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 60 we went 8/13 with three perfect picks to move to 731/1132 (64.58%) with 308 perfect picks (42.13%). You can see our full picks history here.

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


Guido Cannetti (9-7) vs Randy Costa (6-3) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An interesting 135-pound scrap to open the card with a top prospect involved. Cannetti earned a KO win last time out when he finished Kris Moutinho to snap a three-fight losing streak in the cage, while Costa has lost each of his last two against Adrian Yanez and Tony Kelley (UFC 269) via knockout.

Cannetti is a well-rounded striker with decent takedown defence in his pocket, while Costa on the other hand is a fantastic power puncher and boxer who has had trouble with his cardio in the past. After going toe-to-toe with Yanez and struggling to maintain the pace, he went the compete other way against Kelley and suffered. If he finds the balance here, he should win.

He’s more powerful, quicker, strong, more durable, bigger and has a big point to prove at just 28-years-old. If he loses this fight he probably gets cut, so with all those advantages and the added kick that he must win, expect him to claim a knockout win early on.
PICK – Randy Costa via Knockout, Round 1

Julija Stoliarenko (10-7-2) vs Chelsea Chandler (4-1) – (Catchweight/140lbs)

A fun catchweight bout between two women at different stages of their career. Stoliarenko snapped a three-fight losing streak last time out when she submitted Jessica-Rose Clarke inside 42 seconds with an armbar at UFC 276. Chandler makes her UFC debut on a four-fight win streak including one knockout and one submission.

Stoliarenko is a very good submission artist with a nasty armbar that has earned her all of her nine submission wins in her career, with pretty poor defensive striking and wrestling defence. Chandler on the other hand is an exciting prospect out of the Nick Diaz Army with genuine knockout power and some solid wrestling as well as her decent jiu-jitsu skills from Cesar Gracie.

There is no doubt that Stoliarenko will go for the armbar again, and it’s whether or not Chandler is able to avoid it. On the feet she is by far the more skilled fighter and has the power to get a finish, and with her better wrestling she should feel comfortable in top position too. If she can stay calm and composed, the win is there for her to claim and I think she’ll be able to do it.
PICK – Chelsea Chandler via Knockout, Round 2



Maxim Grishin (32-9-2) vs Philipe Lins (15-5) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

Interesting fight up next in this one. Grishin claimed a win last time out with a decision over William Knight at UFC 271, while Lins returned from a two-year layoff to beat Marcin Prachnio back in April.

Both of these fighters are strikers with decent power, output and good footwork too but cardio has been a big problem for Lins in the past. Lins dropped down from heavyweight and it’s hard to see if this is his best division, but he has got a speed advantage in this match-up, although his shaky chin certainly leaves Grishin a big window to climb through and claim a win.

Lins is more of a killer when it comes to finding a finish, but Grishin is more technical and durable having only ever been finished by Magomed Ankalaev since 2016. Grishin’s leg kicks will be a good way of keeping the distance and I think he lands the more eye-catching shot in a rather dull affair to claim the win.
PICK – Maxim Grishin via Decision

UFC 276: Adesanya vs Cannonier – Early prelims predictions

The UFC returns to the T-Mobile Arena for UFC 276 for a double-header title fight event in what looks like one of the best cards of the year.

In the main event middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defends his title against ‘Tha Killa Gorilla’ Jared Cannonier, while Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway go head-to-head for a third time for the featherweight title in the co-main event.

We’ll also see the likes of Sean Strickland and Alex Pereira face off, while all of Robbie Lawler, Sean O’Malley, Maycee Barber, Brad Riddell, Jalin Turner and Dricus Du Plessis will all fight too.

We’ve had a few weeks off for picks due to a holiday, but our last time out at UFC 275 saw us go 7/11 with five perfect picks, moving us to 635/987 (64.33%) with 273 perfect picks (42.99%). You can view our full picks record here.

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


Jessica-Rose Clark (11-7) vs Julija Stoliarenko (9-7-2) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An interesting women’s bantamweight fight to open the card in this one. Clark was on a two-fight win streak before her last fight against Stephanie Egger, who tapped her in the first-round via armbar. Stoliarenko has lost each of her last three fights in the UFC, dropping a decision to Yana Kunitskaya before getting submitted by Julia Avila and then dropping another decision most recently to Alexis Davis.

Clark is a serious grinder with her wrestling, using her striking to simply set up takedowns and then control from top position with nice ground and pound. Stoliarenko on the other hand is a competent striker on the feet and is a nasty submission artist, with all eight of her professional finishes coming via armbar. But once opponents are clued up on that armbar, she tends to run out of options on the ground.

Stoliarenko will want to keep distance as the bigger fighter and use her striking to edge Clark out, but Clark will know that so long as she keeps focus on the ground and avoids the arm attacks she will win this fight. Expect “Jessy Jess” to be aggressive and push forward with takedowns, then dominate on top while staying safe to claim a decision win.
PICK – Jessica-Rose Clark via Decision

Jessica Eye (15-10) vs Maycee Barber (10-2) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A banger at flyweight between two women at different moments in their careers right now. Eye has lost four of her last five and each of her last three in a row, dropping unanimous decisions to Cynthia Calvillo (UFC Vegas 2), Joanne Wood (UFC 257) and Jennifer Maia (UFC 264). Barber returned from a serious knee injury and has won her last two fights, claiming a split decision against Miranda Maverick before a dominant win over Montana De La Rosa most recently.

Eye likes to try and box her opponents from range, using foot work to get in and out of distance, while Barber is a solid wrestler with excellent top control and some good power in her hands too. Eye is on a run that doesn’t lend well to that, because her last three opponents have been able to drag her to the mat and dominate her there. That seems like the perfect route to victory for Barber here too.

Barber won’t be afraid to exchange strikes too, but she will likely come forward to force Eye against the cage and then use her physicality and strength to get the bout down. From there it’s just pure control and damage to be inflicted, and while I don’t expect a finish it’s not something that would surprise me.
PICK – Maycee Barber via Decision



Uriah Hall (18-10) vs Andre Muniz (22-4) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

Middleweight fireworks ready for this one. Hall was on a four-fight win streak heading into his bout with Sean Strickland back in July 2021, where he got dominated and suffered defeat. Muniz on the other hand is on an eight-fight win streak, including first-round armbar finishes in each of his last three against Bartosz Fabinski, Jacare Souza (UFC 262) and Eryk Anders (UFC 269).

Hall is a kung-fu fighter with incredibly powerful striking skills with punches and kicks, with brilliant counter striking. Muniz on the other hand is a submission master, who has shown an ability to force an opponent to tap or get their bone snapped in recent bouts. His Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills are unmatched in the division, but he is also a talented striker too.

Despite being a super hot prospect at one point in time, Hall still has very similar weaknesses today that he did then. He doesn’t like pressure and he’s susceptible to wrestling, while he’s not comfortable on his back. Thats not good when he’s across the cage from Muniz. The Brazilian will storm forward and try to get this on the ground ASAP and once it’s there, it’s a matter of time before he secures another quick tap.
PICK – Andre Muniz via Submission, Round 1

UFC Vegas 47: Hermansson vs Strickland – Prelims predictions

After a short two week break following on from the return of fights in 2022, the UFC is back with a middleweight main event at UFC Vegas 47 this weekend.

In the headline fight Jack Hermansson looks to make it back-to-back wins when he takes on Sean Strickland at 185-pounds, where we could either see a new contender in the division or find out that neither are championship calibre.

Last time out at UFC 270 we had a bad night, going 5/11 with one perfect pick to move to 519/813 (63.84%) with 218 perfect picks (42%).

We’ll look to improve that record here and after starting with the early prelims of this 13-fight card, we move on to the rest of the prelims here.


Alexis Davis (20-11) vs Julija Stoliarenko (9-6-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An interesting women’s bantamweight fight to open up the prelims. Davis is 1-4 in her last five, with all her defeats coming against top level competition. Her most recent win came two fights ago when she beat Sabina Mazo at UFC Vegas 20, before she lost last time out to Pannie Kianzad at UFC 263. Stoliarenko has lost each of her last two fights to Yana Kunitskaya at UFC Vegas 6 and then got stopped by Julia Avila at UFC Vegas 30.

Davis is a strong striker with good boxing and excellent Muay-Thai, while her grappling game isn’t horrendous either. Stoliarenko on the other hand is a recently graduated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, who has eight of her nine wins via armbar. She tends to get the fight down and try to explode into submissions, but on the feet she is very poor and tends to leave her chin high and loads everything up.

This isn’t the best fight on the card at all and realistically it’s Davis’ fight to lose. She has the edge on the feet and while Stoliarenko is the better grappler, I think Davis has enough about her to hold her own down there and do enough damage on the feet to earn a decision win.
PICK – Alexis Davis via Decision

Chidi Njokuani (20-7) vs Marc-Andre Barriault (13-4) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A middleweight fight that could see the crowning of a new fan favourite here. Njokuani earned a win on the Contender Series last time out to earn a UFC contract and move to a two-fight win streak, while Barriault recovered from defeat in each of his first three UFC bouts to be on a two-fight win streak now and have momentum on his side.

Njokuani is a very technical striker, with solid front kicks and really nice counter punching on his side while Barriault is a good fighter who tends to rely on his one-punch power and then clinches his way to victories. He has nine knockout wins in his career. This fight goes one of two ways; Njokuani gets a highlight reel KO against the one-paced Barriault, or Barriault wears on him enough to slow the pace right down and get a unanimous decision win.

Looking at the tape and the styles, I think the former is the more likely. Njokuani’s kicks and counters should be enough to stop Barriault’s forward pressure right in it’s tracks and eventually land a big combination to secure a knockout win.
PICK – Chidi Njokuani via Knockout, Round 2



Hakeem Dawodu (12-2-1) vs Mike Trizano (10-1) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

One of the best fights on the card here as two featherweights go head-to-head. Dawodu has had an impressive run in the UFC to date with five wins in between losses in his first and most recent fights in the organisation. Movsar Evloev earned a decision win at UFC 263 in his last fight. Trizano on the other hand returned from two years out of the cage to earn a decision win over Ludovit Klein in his most recent fight at UFC Vegas 26 last time out.

Dawodu is a very talented Muay-Thai fighter who uses his knees brilliantly and his excellent striking technique to the best of his abilities at all time. He’s also got solid power, enough to earn seven KO wins in his career. Trizano on the other hand is a pressure fighter who looks to walk his opponents down and use his speed to land first, while mixing in decent wrestling too. He will need that wrestling to earn a win here, because he’s totally outgunned on the feet.

Unfortunately for Trizano, I don’t think his wrestling is at the level needed to control Dawodu for long enough to take rounds and the fight. On the feet Dawodu should have the edge and if he can keep the fight standing for the majority, he should claim the wide decision win with his combinations and power.
PICK – Hakeem Dawodu via Decision

Miles Johns (12-1) vs John Castaneda (18-5) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A banger at 135-pounds is the featured prelim bout on this card. Johns has won each of his last two fights via knockout, defeating Kevin Natividad at UFC Vegas 12 and then Anderson Dos Santos at UFC 265. Castaneda on the other hand bounced back from being well beaten by Nathaniel Wood at UFC Fight Island 3 with a knockout victory over Eddie Wineland at UFC Vegas 19.

Johns has got an excellent jab and some good boxing, while his wrestling is of a strong enough level that he can fall back on it whenever he needs to. Castaneda is a pressure fighter who has good knockout power but his wrestling skills aren’t the best, although he does have great speed in his striking. Johns has a habit of self-sabotaging and just sitting on a lead in a fight, but he can’t do that here because Castaneda won’t stop.

Johns has a good enough jab to control the fight and is the better wrestler of the two to get takedowns. Castaneda throws a lot of leg kicks which could make a big difference but if Johns catches one and sees the round out on top he’ll take the win. It’ll go the distance and it’s not a lock of a pick, but I think Johns takes the win.
PICK – Miles Johns via Decision

UFC Vegas 30: Gane vs Volkov – Early prelims predictions

The UFC returns to the Apex this weekend with some giant European heavyweights headlining the card as Ciryl Gane takes on Alexander Volkov with a potential title shot looming for the winner.

A make-believe European title will be on the line as the two top five heavyweights clash, coming into the fight off the back of win streaks over top contenders too.

Elsewhere on the card in the co-main event, Ovince Saint-Preux moves up to heavyweight to take on short-notice opponent Tanner Boser while Raoni Barcelos gets back in the octagon to take on Timur Valiev in an absolute banger at bantamweight.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 29, we went 8/12 on the night with four perfect picks to go up to 346/542 (63.84%) with 155 perfect picks (44.8%).

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


Yancy Medeiros (15-7) vs Damir Hadzovic (13-6) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

Likely a ‘loser leaves UFC’ bout at 155lbs here as former fan favourite Yancy Medeiros takes on Damir Hadzovic with both men on losing streaks. Medeiros has lost his last three in a row to Donald Cerrone, Gregor Gillespie and Lando Vannata, while Hadzovic has lost two in a row to Christos Giagos and Renato Moicano.

Medeiros’ record recently doesn’t look great, but he’s lost to only very capable fighters. He’s a great, technical striker with power in his hands and feet and has good wrestling to back himself too unless he’s coming up against someone as elite as Gillespie. Hadzovic isn’t elite at anything, and will look to step in and have a straight up fire-fight in the octagon.

If that’s the case, Medeiros should fancy his chances. Hadzovic has been finished twice in his last two and while he has decent power himself, I think Medeiros still has the tools to use his big reach advantage for a decision.
PICK – Yancy Medeiros via Decision

Charles Rosa (13-5) vs Justin Jaynes 16-7) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

An interesting featherweight bout in this one as ‘Boston Strong’ takes on ‘The Guitar Hero’ Justin Jaynes. Rosa has alternated losses and wins since his UFC debut in 2014, including a defeat to Darrick Minner at UFC Vegas 19 while Jaynes has lost three-in-a-row – getting submitted by Gavin Tucker at UFC Vegas 6, before stoppage defeats to Gabriel Benitez at UFC Vegas 16 and Devonte Smith at UFC Vegas 18.

Rosa is a great grappler with an active guard off his guard, while Jaynes is a good wrestler who has fallen in love with his hands in recent fights after his knockout win over Frank Camacho back at UFC Vegas 2. Rosa is far too happy to accept his guard position and especially against someone who overpowers him, but Jaynes seems unlikely to use his wrestling any more now that he’s moving down to 145lbs.

Rosa has the technique edge and a great chin and the longer the fight goes, he will have the advantage so I think stylistically he’ll claim another yo-yo win for his record.
PICK – Charles Rosa via Decision

Julia Avila (8-2) vs Julija Stoliarenko (9-5-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Two women looking to get back into the win column in the women’s bantamweight division as ‘Raging Panda’ Julia Avila takes on former Invicta fighter Julija Stoliarenko. Avila started her UFC career with two wins against Pannie Kianzad and Gina Mazany in just 22 seconds, before losing to Sijara Eubanks at UFC Vegas 10. Stoliarenko was on a five fight win streak coming into her debut against Yana Kunitskaya at UFC Vegas 5, but lost a decision.

Avila is a wonderful stand-up fighter, who has good power in her hands and good takedown defence. With that said, Stoliarenko has a fantastic ground game which includes eight armbar submission wins in her career. If Stoliarenko is able to get the fight down to the ground then it’s highly unlikely the fight sees an end, despite Avila’s skills. While the fight is standing, Avila has the advantage and I think he’s overall skillset will help her to avoid the takedowns and outland Stoliarenko on the feet – but she will be a threat for the entire three rounds.
PICK – Julia Avila via Decision

UFC Vegas 22: Brunson vs Holland – Prelims predictions

The middleweight division picks up this weekend as Derek Brunson takes on Kevin Holland in the main event of UFC Vegas 22.

In a big month in the division, with six of the top contenders facing off against each other, ‘Trailblazer’ looks to make it six wins in a row after going 5-0 in 2020 by going up against the middleweight gatekeeper.

Elsewhere on the card, Gregor Gillespie makes his return to the cage for the first time since the vicious head-kick knockout against Kevin Lee back in 2019 at UFC 244, to take on the kickboxing mastermind in Brad Riddell in the co-main event.

Last week at UFC Vegas 21, it was a strange card that saw two no decisions meaning our picks got cut down to just 11. We went 6/11 on the night with four perfect picks, to take our total to 256/406 (63.05%) with 115 perfect picks (44.92%).

On a 12 fight card this week, lets see if we can improve that starting with the prelims here.


Julia Avila (8-2) vs Julija Stoliarenko (9-5-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Two women looking to get back into the win column in the women’s bantamweight division as ‘Raging Panda’ Julia Avila takes on former Invicta fighter Julija Stoliarenko. Avila started her UFC career with two wins against Pannie Kianzad and Gina Mazany in just 22 seconds, before losing to Sijara Eubanks at UFC Vegas 10. Stoliarenko was on a five fight win streak coming into her debut against Yana Kunitskaya at UFC Vegas 5, but lost a decision.

Avila is a wonderful stand-up fighter, who has good power in her hands and good takedown defence. With that said, Stoliarenko has a fantastic ground game which includes eight armbar submission wins in her career. If Stoliarenko is able to get the fight down to the ground then it’s highly unlikely the fight sees an end, despite Avila’s skills. While the fight is standing, Avila has the advantage and I think he’s overall skillset will help her to avoid the takedowns and outland Stoliarenko on the feet – but she will be a threat for the entire three rounds.
PICK – Julia Avila via Decision

Bruno Silva (10-5-2) vs JP Buys (9-2) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

An exciting UFC debut for South African prospect JP Buys as he takes on Bruno Silva, who looks to earn his first win in the organisation at the fourth attempt. Silva lost his first fight to Khalid Taha, but it was overturned to a no contest after a positive drug test, before losing to David Dvorak and Tagir Ulanbekov on Fight Island most recently. Buys is on a five-fight win streak coming into the UFC, including a submission win on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Both these guys are very solid wrestlers, with Buys arguably having the advantage there. With that said, Buys has struggled in the past with adversity and Silva loves to throw a calf kick. With his own strengths in wrestling Silva could provide good resistance to his takedowns and start to drain the cardio of the ‘Young Savage’. Despite that though, Buys does have the wrestling advantage and those kicks that Silva throws will open the takedown up for him and I expect he’ll be able to get the takedown and control for long stretches on top for a win.
PICK – JP Buys via Decision

Montel Jackson (9-2) vs Jesse Strader (5-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A banger at bantamweight as Jesse Strader makes his UFC debut against Montel Jackson. Strader comes into the company on a two-fight win streak having won four of his five fights by knockout and his only defeat coming to Marcelo Rojo who debuted last week. Jackson has five UFC bouts under his belt and a positive 3-2 record but lost his last scrap to Brett Johns on Fight Island back in July.

Strader is sure to be a fan-favourite, because he loves to walk forward and force opponents to stand and trade with him. He rips the body so well, is always in your face and just wears his opponents down with firrepower. Jackson on the other hand is a powerful striker too but has great wrestling and that is arguably his best path to victory. Jackson will look to put you on the ground and wear you out but he’s more than comfortable landing strikes too and considering Strader hasn’t fought since 2019 he should get a comfortable win.
PICK – Montel Jackson via Decision

Trevin Giles (13-2) vs Roman Dolidze (8-0) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A very fun fight in the middleweight division as two prospects clash on the undercard. Giles has won two in a row, defeating James Krause and then knocking out Bevon Lewis at UFC Vegas 13, while Dolidze has defeated Khadis Ibragimov and John Allan in his two UFC bouts.

Dolidze is moving down to middleweight for this fight on short notice, which makes this all the more intriguing. He is a tremendous grappler, with super submission skills and really good control while also having some power in his hands with wild striking technique. Giles on the other hand is a bit of an all-rounder, but he doesn’t really stand out in any department. He’s struggled with good grapplers in the past and if Dolidze decides to go with a judo-heavy attack he will win this comfortably. If he doesn’t, Giles should have a striking advantage and a speed advantage but with such a hole in his grappling, the path to victory is right there for Dolidze.
PICK – Roman Dolidze via Decision

Leonardo Santos (18-4-1) vs Grant Dawson (16-1) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

A very intriguing lightweight fight between the veteran Leonardo Santos as the hot prospect Grant Dawson. Santos hasn’t lost a fight since 2009 and is 7-0-1 in the UFC including a KO win over Kevin Lee back in 2015 and a decision win over Roman Bogatov at UFC 251. Dawson is Khabib-esque in his gameplan with grinding ground and pound and phenomenal wrestling. Dawson has won seven in a row, including four in the UFC with a decision win over Nad Narimani on Fight Island last year.

Santos is a power puncher with stunning submission skills, winning half of his fights by tap-out. Dawson is a violent wrestler who looks to pound you out after he gets the takedown, but he does sometimes get a little carried away with shooting straight in for takedowns. Santos has a huge right hand that can put Dawson’s lights out but at 41-years-old, his cardio isn’t what it used to be and if Dawson survives the early KO threat then it should be a walk in the park for ‘KGD’.
PICK – Grant Dawson via Knockout, Round 3

Marion Reneau (9-6-1) vs Macy Chiasson (7-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Two women at the complete opposite ends of their career meet in the bantamweight division a couple of weeks later than originally scheduled. Reneau has lost her last three fights in a row, being well beaten by all of Cat Zingano, Yana Kunitskaya and Raquel Pennington at UFC Vegas 3. Chiasson is 4-1 in the UFC after winning the Ultimate Fighter then beating Gina Mazany, Sarah Moras and Shanna Young, with a loss to Lina Lansberg in the middle too.

Reneau is a jiu-jitsu murderer, but her wrestling is absolutely pants. She’s not the best striker in the world by any stretch but she can hold her own and will look to get the fight down quickly to work her submission game. Chiasson is a striker with very good clinch work and good wrestling and should be comfortable enough on the feet to out-land Reneau. With that said, she could go for the takedown to work from top position and so long as she doesn’t go wild and get caught, I expect her to win pretty easily.
PICK – Macy Chiasson via Decision