Tag Archives: Liudvik Sholinian

UFC Vegas 64: Rodriguez vs Lemos – Early prelims predictions

The UFC returns to the Apex once again this weekend for a big women’s flyweight main event between Marina Rodriguez and Amanda Lemos.

The two ranked contenders will be looking to earn victory in the five-round headliner with an eye on a future title shot in 2023.

There are other big names on the card including Neil Magny, Daniel Rodriguez and Miranda Maverick.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 63 it wasn’t the best card, but we went 7/11 with two perfect picks to move to 760/1177 (64.57%) with 319 perfect picks (41.97%). You can see our full pick history here.

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


Tamires Vidal (6-1) vs Ramona Pascual (6-4) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An interesting women’s bantamweight scrap opens up the card. Vidal is making her UFC debut on a five-fight win streak, with her only defeat coming in her second professional fight against current UFC fighter Karol Rosa. Pascual has lost her two octagon appearances, dropping decisions to Josiane Nunes and most recently Joselyne Edwads at UFC 275.

Vidal is a jiu-jitsu practitioner who has moved across to MMA, and her submission skills are solid. But outside of that, she is very limited and really struggles if she’s not on the mat. Pascual on the other hand is a decent striker with good clinch work, but her defence is non-existent. This is a weird fight, between two very limited fighters.

But Vidal has shown that she knows about two takedowns and has a big overhand right. Outside of that, she’s completely lost on the feet. Considering Pascual has UFC experience and some good boxing combinations plus a strong clinch, she should be able to land flush and keep the fight standing to secure a finish at some point midway through.
PICK – Ramona Pascual via Knockout, Round 2

Carlos Candelario (8-2) vs Jake Hadley (8-1) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

Fun flyweight bout next up as the men enter the cage for the first time on this card. Candelario lost a split decision on Dana White’s Contender Series but his next bout was still in the UFC, but ended in a defeat to Tatsuro Taira back in May. Hadley on the other hand earned a submission win on the Contender Series, but his UFC debut went the same way when he lost to Allan Nascimento on the same card in May.

Candelario is a technical striker with some okay submission skills, but his issue is a lack of pure dynamism and athleticism. Hadley on the other hand is a physical specimen with a fantastic gas tank and great speed, and his grappling is where he excels. With that said, his technique on the feet isn’t bad either and he can hold his own. This is tough to call, because Candelario has the skillset to nullify Hadley like Nascimento did.

But with a lack of snap on his strikes and Hadley having a big advantage in the grappling too, it allows him to be a bit more free with his own strikes. If Hadley took anything from his first professional loss last time out, he should be able to bounce back now and earn a solid win here.
PICK – Jake Hadley via Decision



Liudvik Sholinian (9-3-1) vs Johnny Munoz (11-2) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Bantamweight scrap up next between two guys with losing records in the UFC. Sholinian came into the UFC on a four-fight win streak, but saw that snapped by Jack Shore in a dominant showing. This is his first fight in over a year. Munoz on the other hand is 1-2 in the UFC, losing to Nate Maness and Tony Graveley most recently with a win over Jamey Simmons sandwiched in between them.

Sholinian is a pressure fighter who likes to walk forward and touch his opponent with combinations, but his speed and power are hardly fearsome. That allows people to survive for the most part. Munoz is an excellent submission artist on the mat with decent striking on the feet, and an ability to grapple for days with his excellent cardio. This seems like one way traffic for the most part in Munoz’s favour.

If he is able to overcome the pretty standard pressure coming his way, he should be able to shoot for takedowns at will and be able to snatch up his neck. Sholinian’s best bet is to stall as much as possible and do some damage while avoiding extended grappling sequences, but that seems highly unlikely so Munoz should claim the win.
PICK – Johnny Munoz via Submission, Round 1

Polyana Viana (12-5) vs Jinh Yu Frey (11-7) – (Strawweight/115lbs)

Two UFC veterans go head-to-head in this one. Viana has lost four of her last six fights, but saw her two-fight win streak of first-round armbars over Emily Whitmire and Mallory Martin (UFC 258) come to an end when Tabatha Ricci earned a decision win last time out. Frey on the other hand beat Gloria De Paula (UFC Vegas 21) and Ashley Yoder via decision, before losing to Vanessa Demopolous last time out back in June.

Viana is a grappling specialist, with all eight of her finishes coming via submission and the rest of her game lagging way behind that. Frey alternatively is a pressure fighter who has a well rounded skillset, but she has struggled in the past to really use them to the best of her abilities. Both of these women have good qualities, but they seem to lean on their bad habits when things don’t go their way.

That to me is a worse thing for Viana, who tends to go for hail Mary submissions if that’s happening and often allows her opponent to control how the fight goes while she waits for an opportunity. Waiting here will do her no good, so I expect Frey to be able to do enough damage on the feet and in top control to stay safe and earn the judges’ nod.
PICK – Jinh Yu Frey via Decision

UFC Vegas 36: Brunson vs Till – Prelims predictions

The UFC middleweight division is back in the spotlight in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night, on a card that was supposed to take place in London initially.

The main event will see Derek Brunson take on the UK’s own Darren Till with the winner making a case to become the next fighter to challenge for a title shot after Robert Whittaker’s upcoming rematch with Israel Adesanya.

In the co-main event is the UK’s best chance at heavyweight gold as Tom Aspinall takes on short-notice opponent Sergei Spivac, while Paddy Pimblett makes his UFC debut in the main card opener when he takes on Luigi Vendramini.

Last week at UFC Vegas 35, we went 7/12 with three perfect picks on the night to move up to 396/624 (63.46%) with 174 perfect picks (43.94%). We’ll try to improve on that here, starting with the prelims.


Jonathan Martinez (13-4) vs Marcelo Rojo (16-8) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An absolute banger to start the night in the bantamweight division. Martinez’s record in the UFC currently stands at 4-3, with a KO defeat to Davey Grant last time out at UFC Vegas 21 while Rojo lost an incredibly exciting debut against Charles Jourdain in his last fight on the same card.

Martinez is a very technical boxer with genuine knockout power and some crisp striking combinations and he’s also nice and comfortable on the ground. Rojo is aggressive too and has some great strikes of his own but he’s not quite as tidy technically. Martinez for me is the more powerful and we’ve seen him take the action to strong fighters in the past and if he’s likely to continue that way then he’s got the edge here.

Rojo is more than capable of stepping forward with pressure and landing heavy blows of his own, but with the more comfortable striking and good footwork I think Martinez will be able to get a stoppage in a brilliant fight.
PICK – Jonathan Martinez via Knockout, Round 2

Dalcha Lungiambula (11-2) vs Marc-Andre Barriault (12-4) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A very exciting middleweight fight up next. Lungiambula earned a decision win last time out against Markus Perez at UFC Fight Island 8 in January, while Barriault earned his first UFC win against Abu Azaitar at UFC 260.

Lungiambula is a grappler who uses big bursts of energy to land some strikes and then go in for the takedown, while Barriault is a considerably better striker than him with constantly improving scrambles off his back. Lungiambula is shorter with a longer reach, but his cardio issues make him struggle as the fight goes on. His striking is pretty poor and while Barriault isn’t stunning in any department, his cardio keeps him going later and gives him a chance here.

On the feet Barriault has a clear edge and while Lungiambula will likely score a takedown or two, Barriault is able to get back to his feet and with the cardio issues visible for all to see he could secure a sneaky decision win.
PICK – Marc-Andre Barriault via Decision

Julian Erosa (23-10) vs Charles Jourdain (11-3-1) – (Catchweight/150lbs)

Yet another banger of a fight at the halfway point of the prelims in a short-notice catchweight bout. Erosa had won three in a row before his most recent fight, which saw him knocked out by Seung Woo Choi at UFC Vegas 29. Charles Jourdain is 1-1-1 in his last three, with a win over Marcelo Rojo last time out at UFC Vegas 21.

Erosa is a slick striker who is always looking for an exciting war with his opponent, marching forward to slug it out with whoever is standing across the cage from him. Jourdain is a fantastic boxer himself with a great jab and plenty of punching power in his bank and good durability. Erosa has a wrestling edge over Jourdain, but ‘Air’ has a fantastic gas tank and great scrambles so even that is a tough run to victory.

Overall, Erosa will land powerful strikes but leave himself open to eating some of his own from the more powerful fighter and Jourdain should be able to score the victory in a fun fight.
PICK – Charles Jourdain via Knockout, Round 2

Jack Shore (14-0) vs Liudvik Sholinian (9-2-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

The undefeated against the unknown in this one. Jack Shore is 14-0 including 3-0 in the UFC, with a split decision win over Hunter Azure last time out at UFC Vegas 23, while Sholinian makes his promotional debut on a four-fight win streak.

Shore is a slick submission grappler with eight wins via tap-out in his career, but he’s also shown improved striking in recent performances too. Sholinian was part of the most recent TUF season on Team Ortega and takes the fight on short notice. He is a brilliant wrestler with some decent submission skills of his own but some brilliant top control to round off his skills.

The Welshman is the overwhelming favourite but this fight is a bit closer than that. Shore has the edge on the feet, has more experience on the big stage and is a good wrestler in his own right. If Sholinian gets top position, Shore is good enough to submit him from his back but the likelihood is he controls the fight and earns a finish as the fight goes on either late in the second or in the third.
PICK – Jack Shore via Submission, Round 2

Molly McCann (10-4) vs Ji Yeon Kim (9-3-2) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

Featured prelim bout is a women’s flyweight clash coming off defeats. McCann has lost her last two, getting dominated by Taila Santos and most recently Lara Procopio at UFC Vegas 18 while Kim was beaten by Alexa Grasso at UFC Vegas 8 last year in her last fight.

McCann is a straight up brawler who walks forward with pressure and looks to outland her opponent as much as possible using her kicks and cardio as a weapon. Kim is a technical striker with a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, using her counter-attacking skills as much as she can. It’s almost to her detriment in that sense, because she never kicks due to how good her boxing is and she is often left waiting for a long time.

McCann is well out-matched in terms of height and reach but she’s a much improved wrestler and has the edge there over Kim. Kim doesn’t really use her reach as much as she should and her defence isn’t the best which means she will leave herself open and that tells me McCann has a path to victory, which I think she’ll take – just.
PICK – Molly McCann via Decision