Tag Archives: Ryan Benoit

UFC Vegas 26: Rodriguez vs Waterson – Prelims predictions

A rather short-notice card finally comes together this weekend when Marina Rodriguez takes on Michelle Waterson in the main event.

After the original main event between Cory Sandhagen and TJ Dillashaw fell through due to an injury to the former champion, the UFC were left scrambling and managed to throw together two strawweights competing at flyweight to headline the card.

In the co-main event, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone will now also face off against a short-notice opponent when Alex Morono replaces Diego Sanchez in the welterweight division. There’s also a big welterweight bout on the card between Geoff Neal and Neil Magny, with both men looking to get back on the winning trail and among the contenders of the division.

Last week at UFC Vegas 25, we went 8/11 with four perfect picks to improve to 302/473 (63.85%) with 133 perfect picks (44.04%).

With a fun 12 fight card ahead of us this weekend, lets look to improve that record starting with the prelims here.


Christian Aguilera (14-7) vs Carlston Harris (15-4) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

A fun welterweight bout to open up the card as Christian Aguilera looks to get back on the winning trail against UFC debutant Carlston Harris. Aguilera beat Anthony Ivy on his debut at UFC Vegas 2 via knockout, before being submitted by Sean Brady at UFC Vegas 8 in August, while Harris won his last three including most recently in January via submission.

Aguilera is a striker with a very heavy right hand and good pressure, but his gas tank has given him problems in the past. Against a solid grappler and cardio machine in Harris, that is a bad recipe. Aguilera has got the power to turn a fight around with just one punch but the way Harris shoots in at the hips and holds his opponents down, the opportunities to land that big punch will be few and far between.

Harris should be able to get a takedown and work his top game and search for submissions, but I think he grinds out a comfortable decision win.
PICK – Carlston Harris via Decision

Jun Yong Park (12-4) vs Tafon Nchukwi (5-0) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A middleweight bout between two relative newcomers to the UFC is next. Park is on a two-fight win streak, with a win over John Phillips on Fight Island 6 most recently while Nchukwi is an undefeated prospect who went the distance for the first time in his UFC debut win over Jamie Pickett at UFC Vegas 17.

Park is a very adept boxer but has shown great wrestling chops in his most recent wins, making him able to dictate where this fight takes place. Nchukwi on the other hand is still very green, with activity on the feet not the best although he does possess great power. Nchukwi has won his last five fights before he’s entered the cage, with his frame just intimidating guys into respecting him way too much.

The skillsets aren’t too indifferent but with Park’s experience and ability to switch it up, I think he’ll come in confident and stick to his game plan of working behind the jab and mixing in takedowns to get the decision.
PICK – Jun Yong Park via Decision


Ryan Benoit (10-7) vs Zarrukh Adashev (3-3) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

An interesting flyweight bout between two guys who have lost their last two in a row. Benoit has fought a bunch of top level competition in the UFC, but his most recent defeats came against Heili Alateng and Tim Elliott at Fight Island 1 last summer. Adashev on the other hand is a weird one, currently 0-2 in the UFC, losing to Tyson Nam in 32 seconds at UFC Vegas 2 and Su Madaerji at Fight Island 8 in January.

Benoit is an okay striker with decent best takedowns, but he has great cardio and absolutely never gives in. Adashev is a brilliant kickboxer who hasn’t had the rub of the green with opponents, who have had him outgunned in size. Adashev has good power of his own too and has won two of his three victories via knockout. Benoit has good power in his hands and has a much better ability of mixing the fight up to make it happen in different places.

It should be a high energy fight between the two but I think Benoit is able to mix it up enough to take a close decision.
PICK – Ryan Benoit via Decision

Ludovit Klein (17-2) vs Mike Trizano (8-1) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

A hugely fun fight coming up at 145lbs here as kickboxing demon Ludovit Klein takes on former Ultimate Fighter winner Mike Trizano. Klein won his UFC debut at UFC 253 with a beautiful knockout against Shane Young, while Trizano returns after almost exactly two years out following a loss to Grant Dawson.

Klein has brilliant striking and has won each of his last three fights via head kick, but also has good submissions on the mat too. Trizano is a good kickboxer on his own accord, but also has really good takedowns and is a bit more of a physical fighter. If the fight is a clean, technical bout then Klein will eat him alive but if Trizano can make it ugly and mix it up he has a path for victory.

Overall though, I think Klein’s stopping power just seems to be the biggest difference between the two. He has good takedown defence, nasty knees and elbows and is a powerful puncher so I think he could get the finish.
PICK – Ludovit Klein via Knockout, Round 2

Ben Rothwell (38-13) vs Phillipe Lins (14-5) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

A heavyweight banger in the featured prelim slot as the veteran Ben Rothwell takes on Phillipe Lins. Rothwell has lost four of his last six including his most recent bout against Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Island 5, while Lins has lost his last two to Andrei Arlovski and Tanner Boser at UFC Vegas 4.

This is not going to be a great fight in all honesty. Rothwell has great power and a good chin but other than the big right hand there’s nothing special going on for him. Lins is a wrestling heavyweight who doesn’t really go for takedowns much and just tends to throw strikes that are there for the sake of being active.

This fight won’t be the most memorable, but Lins got knocked out by Boser who doesn’t hit nearly as hard as Rothwell so I think this one goes a similar way.
PICK – Ben Rothwell via Knockout, Round 1


UFC Fight Island: Kattar vs Ige – Results (Highlights)


Jack Shore def Aaron Phillips via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) (Round 2, 2:29)

A very, very typical opening round in a Jack Shore fight. The Welshman used his jab well to close the distance then locked his hands and secured takedown after takedown. Big head strikes against the cage and an attempt to get a rear-naked choke were close but Phillips defended well. 10-9 Shore.

Second round starts and Phillips goes for a superman punch, which is well read by Shore and he drops the level to secure an immediate takedown. Ground and pound strikes are causing Phillips big problems and he turns over, Shore takes the back. He applies pressure and sinks in a rear-naked choke to secure the submission win. Hugely impressive win from Shore.

Liana Jojua def Diana Belbita via Submission (Armbar) (Round 1, 2:43)

Fight starts and Belbita immediately goes for the takedown. She secures it but immediately Jojua secures full guard and goes for the armbar. She gets it in tight but Belbita refuses to tap, Jojua then readjusts and tightens it again and eventually gets the tap as she goes belly down. Impressive first round win.

Jared Gordon def Chris Fishgold via Unanimous Decision (30-26 x3)

Fishgold starting this fight very aggressively with a lot of spectacular attacks. He eventually gets a single leg and pushes through but Gordon threatens with an arm-in guillotine. He uses it to try and get back to his feet but Fishgold pushes through again and lands some nice strikes before they return to the feet. Fishgold lands a big uppercut that puts Gordon on his knees and then goes for a big guillotine, but eventually pops his head out and gains side control. He moves into full guard and lands some nice hammerfists before the round ends. 10-9 Fishgold.

Second round starts with an immediate takedown by Gordon. Once again Fishgold threatens with a guillotine but Gordon avoids it immediately and threatens with a kimura of his own from side control. Plenty of ground and pound from full guard for Gordon and Fishgold isn’t showing any signs of trying to get to his feet. 19-19 but that could have arguably been a 10-8 round for ‘Flash’.

Final round and Gordon goes for the takedown immediately again. Fishgold defends it well though and keeps the fight standing and is now pressing forward with one-twos. Fishgold now shoots for a single leg but Gordon sprawls and ends up in side control landing big strikes to the head. Gordon is in his element here and dominating again landing strikes. Referee is threatening to stop the fight but Gordon switches positions. More strikes but Fishgold won’t quit, but he’s out of gas and can barely move away. Fight comes to an end. Big win for ‘Flash’ Gordon. 29-27 Gordon for me.

Modestas Bukauskas def Andreas Michailidis via Knockout (Round 1, 5:00)

A fantastic striking contest in the first round between these two big boys. Bukauskas circling well and throwing leg kicks, while Michailidis is throwing nice right hands. Big overhand right from Michailidis lands but Bukauskas eats it. He lands a big left hand of his own but Michailidis eats that too. More striking exchanges with Michailidis edging them and he shoots for the takedown against the cage with 5 seconds to go. Bukauskas stuffs it and lands some big elbows to the head as the buzzer goes. Micahilidis doesn’t get back to his feet and as the referee asks him if he’s good, he falls backwards out of cage still wobbly. Immediately the referee waves the fight off. Big win for Bukauskas.

Lerone Murphy def Ricardo Ramos via Knockout (Round 1,4:18)

Fight starts with some nice leg kicks by Ramos, with Murphy showing his speed on the feet with his hands. Ramos attacks with a spinning elbow and misses but ends up in a clinch against the fence. He get Murphy down and tries to take his back, but ‘The Miracle’ defends well and scrambles back to the feet. Ramos goes for a capoeira kick but Murphy ducks and gets his own takedown. He lands four huge elbows and Ramos is hurt. Murphy being very patient and lands more big shots. Ramos is badly hurt now and Murphy pours on the damage and the referee waves it off. What a win for Murphy! Superb performance.

Khamzat Chimaev def John Phillips via Submission (D’Arce Choke) (Round 2, 1:12)

Well….. Chimaev fakes a head kick and shoots in for a takedown inside the first 5 seconds. Phillips ends up on his back and that’s where he stays for the remainder of the round. Severe ground and pound busts the Welsh fighter wide open but Chimaev is relentless and keeps landing strikes will keeping his opponent grounded. The round ends with a strike count of 72-1 in favour of the Swede. 10-8 minimum.

Second round starts and Chimaev once again immediately gets the takedown. Phillips rushes to the cage to attempt to get to his feet but Chimaev is in complete control landing more blows to the face. A quick transition and Chimaev has applied a D’Arce choke out of nowhere and forces Phillips to tap. One of the best debuts I’ve ever seen in the UFC. Wow.


Mounir Lazzez def Abdul Razak Alhassan via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)

What a first round! Alhassan comes out super aggressive and lands some big shots to the head. Lazzez covers up and eats some big shots but then starts to move away and lands some nice leg kicks. He’s throwing some beautiful knees to the body and checking all of Alhassan’s kicks. Alhassan may have gassed himself out and Lazzez is coming forward now. Lazzez lands a big takedown to end the round but that’s an Alhassan round, just. 10-9.

Second round starts and it’s more of the same. Alhassan landing a lot of leg kicks and working behind a jab. Nice right hand from Lazzez forces Alhassan to back pedal towards the cage and he starts ripping off shots to the head looking for a finish. Alhassan maybe playing possum though and starts swinging for the fences himself! Lazzez lands a beautiful takedown and some nice strikes before Alhassan gets back to his feet but he’s visibly tired. Another takedown against the cage from Lazzez and the round ends as they get back to the feet. 19-19, Lazzez will win this if he doesn’t get KO’d.

Third round is a bit more timid to begin with, probably with both men for fatigued. A lovely takedown attempt from Alhassan gets the fight down to the ground but Lazzez remains against the cage and gets himself back up to the feet quickly. Lazzez reverses the position and gets a takedown of his own now, with Alhassan threatening with a guillotine but Lazzez not really in any danger. Lazzez moves into side control and lands three huge elbows as Alhassan tries to explode back to his feet. Lazzez controls the position very well though and ends the fight exchanging in the pocket. 29-28 Lezzaz for me.

Taila Santos def Molly McCann via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)

McCann sprints across the Octagon to start the fight and lands a few nice right hooks but Santos is throwing powerful, crisp shots. ‘Meatball’ continues to push the pace and lands more shots but they’re not really causing Santos too many problems. Santos gets herself a few takedowns to take the round. 10-9 Santos.

A dominant round for Santos again now. She secures another few takedowns and progresses into mount with big elbows and punches. Santos is just much stronger than McCann physically and it’s causing her a lot of issues. Santos comes close with a d’arce choke attempt but Molly escapes well and ends the ground underneath Santos being punched. 20-18 Santos.

Third round is just more of the same. Santos too big, too strong and too good for Molly McCann tonight. A dominant third and final round will see Taila Santos get a comfortable decision win here. 30-26 Santos for me.

Jimmie Rivera def Cody Stamann via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)

A competitive first round sees both men exchanging punches and takedowns as they feel each other out. Stamann unbalances Rivera when he catches a kick and lands a nice right hand before Rivera responds with the exact same sequence of events. Stamann goes for a takedown and manages to control the back of Rivera for the remainder of the round, although no real damage is inflicted. 10-9 Stamann.

Stamann goes for a takedown immediately at the start of the second and goes to take the back again. Rivera immediately pops up and eventually reverses the position before breaking away looking to engage in more of a striking battle. He lands a nice left hand followed by a big inside-leg kick that echoes through the arena. They end the round exchanging in the pocket with Rivera getting the better of it. 19-19.

Final round and Rivera comes out with two big head kick attempts but misses both. Stamann goes for the takedown but it’s defended brilliantly by Rivera who gets it against the cage and reverses the position. Rivera again engages in striking and gets the better of Stamann who pushes for a takedown but once again is denied by Rivera’s balance. Rivera threatens with a guillotine but nothing comes of it. Final minute is mainly Rivera throwing combos and the round ends with a beautiful left hook. 29-28 Rivera for me.

Tim Elliott def Ryan Benoit via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

A strong opening round from Benoit as he coped really well with Elliott’s unorthodox movements. Elliott throwing lots of feints and Benoit trying to make lots of reads and then lands a huge jab followed with a big kick. Benoit’s jab has been really effective throughout and he has stuffed all of Elliott’s takedown attempts. 10-9 Benoit.

Second round and Benoit seems to have made all his reads. He’s picking Elliott apart on the feet and landing excellent jabs, kicks and uppercuts. Benoit shoots for a takedown and Elliott goes for the guillotine but it’s scrambled out of and Elliott ends up in mount. A transition of submissions sees Benoit with a kneebar locked in tiiiight but Elliott just refuses to tap and eventually gets out. They get back to the feet and Benoit continues to piece Elliott up. 20-18 Benoit.

Third round and Elliott comes out super aggressive with some big heavy hands. He’s fiddling with his hand, it seems he may have dislocated a finger but he fights on without throwing his right hand again. Benoit is visibly tiring and Elliott is pouring it on. Lots of jabs and body kicks as Elliott takes over the round. He wins this round but I have the fight going to Benoit. 29-28.

Calvin Kattar def Dan Ige via Unanimous Decision (49-46 x2, 48-47)

Fight starts with both fighters looking to feel each other out by throwing feints and nothing significant power-wise. Lots of jabs and one-twos by Ige as Kattar just waiting for his moment. Kattar throws a beautiful right hand to the body with a left uppercut to follow it up. Lots of body shots now by Kattar and Ige didn’t like the power so shoots for a takedown. Kattar avoids and lands more body shots and uppercuts to end the round. 10-9 Kattar.

Kattar’s boxing is a thing of beauty. Second round is a boxing masterclass with Kattar landing accurately and avoiding any big shots so far himself. Ige rushes forward and lands a lovely left hook right to the nose that draws blood. Kattar’s nose is bothering him and allows Ige to step in with a beautiful body shot. Much better round for Ige as he pushes forward with more shots but then Kattar lands a beautiful right hand that rocks Ige! He follows up with a flying knee but misses and it allows Ige to recover as the round ends. 19-19.

Third round begins with Kattar being slightly more aggressive. Big leg kicks and nasty uppercuts are his weapon of choice but Ige isn’t backing up at all. Beautiful body shot from Kattar lands but Ige fires back with a one-two of his own. Ige is managing the distance really well so far in this fight. Kattar rushes forward and lands some big punches to throw Ige off and follows it with a head kick but Ige deals with it well. Big exchange of punches where both men land, which opens up a cut over the eye of Kattar. 29-28 Kattar.

Fourth round starts relatively slowly but Kattar starts to back Ige back up against the cage. A big right straight lands and makes Ige shoot for a takedown, but Kattar sprawls and ends up on top and lands some big elbows. Ige gets back to his feet quickly though and we’re back to the regular fight pattern. Ige looks to be tiring a bit but lands a nice right hook, and follows it up with a big right elbow. Ige rushes forward with a body shot and Kattar throws a knee up the middle and Ige is clearly tiring now. Ige shoots for the takedown at the end of the round but misses it and Kattar just misses with a big knee in response. 39-37 Kattar.

Dan Ige being more aggressive in the final round, knowing he likely needs a finish to win this fight. Goes for a kick but Kattar side-steps it and lands a big right cross. Ige lands a nice body shot at the same time Kattar throws a nice leg kick too. Kattar goes for another kick and Ige catches it and rushes forward for the takedown, but Kattar adjusts in mid-air and escapes brilliantly. Ige’s eye starting to swell shut as we enter the final 90 seconds, as he continues to land jabs while Ige presses forward. Ige goes for a very late takedown but misses it again. Kattar lands a nice shot that drops Ige at the end of the round and lands some heavy ground and pound strikes looking for a finish as the buzzer goes! Great fight, 49-46 Kattar for me.