Tag Archives: Martin Buday

UFC San Diego: Vera vs Cruz – Prelims predictions

The UFC heads to San Diego, California for a bantamweight banger in the main event between Marlon Vera and former champion Dominick Cruz.

A 13-fight card that has got plenty of fire match ups on it is headlined by the two contenders in the 135-pound division, where a win could put them firmly in title contention for early 2023.

Last week a UFC Vegas 59 we went 7/10 with one perfect pick, moving to 690/1069 (64.55%) with 292 perfect picks (42.32%). You can see our full picks history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims, we move on to the rest of the prelims picks.


Gabriel Benitez (22-11) vs Charlie Ontiveros (11-8) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

A very interesting lightweight scrap up next. Benitez has lost four of his last five, with a KO win over Justin Jaynes sandwiched between losses to Sodiq Yusuff, Omar Morales, Billy Qurantillo and most recently David Onama. Ontiveros on the other hand lost a short notice debut to Kevin Holland at UFC Vegas 12, before being KO’d to Steve Garcia most recently.

Benitez is a very tidy striker on the feet with excellent boxing combinations, and he’s also a decent grappler too on his back. Ontiveros is an absolutely huge man standing at 6ft 2 and previously fighting at middleweight, but his striking is decent and he’s the more powerful guy. This is a really weird scrap in reality, but Benitez is clearly the more skilled of the two.

The intangibles in Ontiveros’ game are in his favour for sure, with his size and unorthodox style causing problems for a lot people. But against someone who is a better striker and comfortable on the mat, he can dictate wherever this fight goes and his body work could pay dividends later in the fight to a diminished Ontiveros to claim a stoppage win.
PICK – Gabriel Benitez via Knockout, Round 3

Cynthia Calvillo (9-4-1) vs Nina Nunes (10-7) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A fun flyweight bout up next in the final women’s bout of the night. Calvillo started her flyweight career with a win over Jessica Eye (UFC Vegas 2), but has since lost three in a row to Katlyn Chookagian (UFC 255) via decision and then getting KO’d by Jessica Andrade (UFC 266) and a corner stoppage at the end of the second round against Andrea Lee most recently. Nunes on the other hand has lost her last two, with an armbar defeat to Mackenzie Dern most recently in her first bout since becoming a mother.

Calvillo tends to use her striking to set up her wrestling, using her top game to stay heavy on the opponent and land ground and pound strikes. Nunes is an all-rounder who is capable of striking and using her grappling to win fights, but she lacks power and isn’t a natural grappler either.

With that said, Calvillo has really struggled in this weight class. Nunes’ footwork and speed is something that has caused Calvillo problems in previous bouts but Nunes was outwrestled most recently and Calvillo is a strong wrestler. Despite that though, I expect a Nunes win. Her strengths outweigh her weaknesses in relation to her opponent and she should be able to bounce around the cage enough to nullify the wrestling and land some solid strikes to earn the win.
PICK – Nina Nunes via Decision



Martin Buday (10-1) vs Lukasz Brzeski (8-1-1) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

An absolute banger at heavyweight up next. Buday has won nine in a row including a TKO win over Chris Barnett back in April, while Brzeski has won six of his last seven although the most recent was overturned to a no contest on appeal.

Buday is a powerful striker with good combinations on the inside, as well as some good takedown defence to go with his own good wrestling skills. Brzeski on the other hand is someone who likes to push forward and use volume to close distance, before getting a clinch and trying to get top control to work his ground and pound. The big problem for Brzeski is that he’s going to be outweighed by about 30-pounds on fight night.

“Badys” is far bigger, and technically is the more superior striker. Add to that the issues that Brzeski has had with his cardio in the past and the huge size discrepancy I expect Buday will be able to do enough damage to earn a stoppage later in the fight.
PICK – Martin Buday via Knockout, Round 2

Angela Hill (13-12) vs Lupita Godinez (8-2) – (Catchweight/120lbs)

A fun catchweight scrap at 120-pounds in this one for a short-notice scrap. Hill has lost five of her last six, including getting out-grapple by Virna Jandiroba last time out to make it three in a row. Godinez on the other hand has won her last two in a row, earning decisions over Loma Lookboonmee and Ariane Carnelossi most recently at UFC 274.

Hill is a Muay-Thai fighter with great kicks and volume, who is best known for her relentless pressure and the amount she fights every year. Godinez is a grappler who has good wrestling and judo skills and tends to try and smother her opponents on the mat, something Hill has notoriously struggled with in the past.

That makes it a long night for Hill. Godinez will trade on the feet, knowing that Hill doesn’t really have the power to hurt her and will eventually change levels for the takedown then control the fight on the mat from that point. Expect no more than five takedowns over the course of the fight, but plenty of top control for “Loopy” for a comfortable decision win.
PICK – Lupita Godinez via Decision

UFC Vegas 51: Luque v Muhammad – Early prelims predictions

A huge welterweight main event is the main attraction at UFC Vegas 51 this weekend as Vicente Luque takes on Belal Muhammad in a rematch from 2016.

The two top six 170-pounders will go head-to-head looking to extend their winning streaks here, knowing that title contention won’t be far behind.

Last week at UFC 273 we saw a great card that was lacking a little bit on finishes, but we still managed to go 8/12 with four perfect picks to go to 593/915 (64.81%) with 252 perfect picks (42.5%).

You can view our complete pick history here.

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


Alateng Heili (14-8-2) vs Kevin Croom (21-14) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A fun bantamweight bout kicks off this card. Heili is winless in his last two, losing to Casey Kenney before a draw last time out against Gustavo Lopez, while Croom has lost his last two dropping decisions to Alex Caceres at UFC Vegas 20 and then Brian Kelleher most recently at UFC Vegas 46.

Heili has got a solid right hand but it’s his grappling skills that see him have the edge here, against the dogged Croom who uses his cardio as a weapon to pressurise his opponents as much as possible. Heili though does have a big issue when it comes to urgency and output, and against Croom’s pressure that could see him fold.

He does have the skills to earn a win in this one though, because Croom was outwrestled by Kelleher quite comfortably in January. Croom does have decent submission skills and we know he can push for 15 minutes, but I’d expect Heili to earn a pretty close decision win.
PICK – Alanteng Heili via Decision

Istela Nunes (7-2) vs Sam Hughes (5-4) – (Strawweight/115lbs)

Women’s strawweights stand up, as two women at very different ends of their UFC careers go head-to-head. Nunes was stopped in her UFC debut by Ariane Carnelossi back in October, but Hughes has gone 0-3 in the organisation so far. She was stopped by Tecia Torres at UFC 256, before dropping decisions to Loma Lookboonmee at UFC Vegas 25 and Luana Pinheiro most recently.

Nunes is a solid striker on the feet, with some decent takedown defence which she showed early on in her last fight before running out of gas following three years without a fight. Hughes is a wrestler, whose striking has been pretty abysmal and she’s shown that without the takedown available she’s pretty easy to beat.

Hughes will take some joy from the fact Nunes got taken down six times in her debut, but Hughes isn’t as aggressive as Carnelossi and Nunes has been in the cage more recently so should have been able to work on her cardio and crisp striking. Ultimately, this goes in a similar way to Hughes’ other UFC bouts and Nunes earns the decision win.
PICK – Istela Nunes via Decision



Jordan Leavitt (9-1) vs Trey Ogden (15-4) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

An intriguing lightweight fight up next. Leavitt won his UFC debut with a 22-second slam at UFC Vegas 16 but then was beaten for the first time when Claudio Puelles got the better of him on the judge’s scorecards. He bounced back with a submission win over Matt Sayles at UFC Vegas 45 last time out. Ogden makes his UFC debut on a three-fight win streak, with all three coming via submission.

Leavitt is an excellent wrestler with some amazing submission skills, including an inverted triangle win in his last bout. His striking is unorthodox and is usually to set up his takedowns more than to do any actual damage, while Ogden is also a stud wrestler but his striking has shown vast improvements in his recent bouts. His wrestling looks better than Leavitt’s, which means he should be able to dictate where this fight takes place.

Ogden has some solid leg kicks and so long as he isn’t careless when scoring takedowns to allow Leavitt to bring his submission game into play, he should claim a debut win here. He has the power, the speed and the wrestling advantages so he should edge out a decision.
PICK – Trey Ogden via Decision

Chris Barnett (22-7) vs Martin Buday (9-1) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

The UFC needed heavyweights, so there’s a debut on the card for ‘Badys’. Barnett was beaten in his UFC debut by Ben Rothwell, but bounced back with an incredible spinning wheel kick KO of Gian Villante at UFC 268 last time out. Buday on the other hand has won his last eight fights, with his only career defeat coming against current UFC star Juan Espino.

Barnett is a wild striker, who throws incredible spinning attacks and has great power in his hands, while his athleticism is surprising considering his size and physique. Buday is a grinder with good clinch work and solid power in his hands, while his aggressive approach and pressure looks to be the perfect counter for Barnett’s style.

Buday will walk forward to smother Barnett’s explosive power and unless he gets clipped on his way in, he should be able to put Barnett against the cage and work his grinding style to claim yet another win by knockout.
PICK – Martin Buday via Knockout, Round 2