Tag Archives: UFC Vegas 15

UFC Vegas 15 Fallout: Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith Not Done Yet

The light heavyweight division can’t get rid of one of their top contenders just yet, after Anthony Smith got a quick and impressive win over Devin Clark in the UFC Vegas 15 main event.

Smith and Clark stepped into the main event slot on a day’s notice, changing their fight to a five-rounder in the process, after Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19 forcing his bout with Derrick Lewis to be scrapped.

The extra two rounds never came into play however, after Smith got rocked early on and decided to implement his wrestling and jiu-jitsu game to lock up a triangle choke from his back for a first round submission.

It was Smith’s first win of the year following back-to-back defeats against Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic, with the former title challenger admitting that he wasn’t sure what he’d do with his future going forward.

The fight against Clark was a way for Smith to measure himself, to see if he still had it and just had bad performances or if he was really done. He said in the post-fight press conference that he was happy with his performance, but it wasn’t more than he expected.

I did to Devin Clark what I’m supposed to do to Devin Clark. I’m not saying that I’m not happy with that win but if anything other than that happened, then we have a problem. I’m not going to be the guy who says ‘I’m next in line’. If I have to stay around the bottom of the rankings for a while and fight my way back up to fight those top five guys then that’s what I’ll do.

When asked what was next, Smith picked out someone who came off an impressive win themselves just last week – Scotsman Paul Craig.

“I think I saw that Paul Craig dropped my name or something, thats a fun match-up. That would be a fun, grappling match up with Paul Craig. I love his style, I could listen to his interviews forever, he seems like a good dude.

As far as a timeline, as long as I have enough time to get ready then I’m good.”

It seems like a sensible route that Smith is taking, just trying to get back into a flow and a rhythm of fighting regularly and winning again. The Teixiera fight he was winning for the first two rounds, so he knows he has the ability but it’s about getting the momentum now.

He is currently ranked sixth, so fighting the No.14 in Paul Craig next is a risk for him but more wins are all he cares about and that’s a positive.

It was a card of not much else in terms of storyline with the main event being cancelled at the last minute but Smith showed he can still deliver at the top of the card with his seventh consecutive main event appearance.

UFC Vegas 15: Blaydes vs Lewis – Main Card Predictions

The heavyweight scene steps to the front of the queue for attention as Curtis Blaydes gets the fight he called for against Derrick Lewis.

The main event is a chance for both men to push towards the front of the queue for a title shot, with both fighters on impressive win streaks.

In the co-main, Anthony Smith looks to get back to winning ways when he takes on Devin Clark in the light-heavyweight division on a relatively below par card.

Last weekend we had an okay showing, with 7/12 correct picks but only two correct picks for the night. This moved our overall picks up to 175/264 (66.29%) with 80 perfect picks (45.71%) since starting our picks in June.

With eleven fights on the card scheduled, lets see what we can rustle up starting with the prelims here.

MAIN CARD

Bill Algeo (13-5) vs Spike Carlyle (9-2) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

A four fight win streak culminated in Spike Carlyle making it into Dana White’s Contender Series, where he scored an 85 second knockout win as an underdog to get into the UFC. His debut wasn’t as successful though, as he was beaten by Billy Quarantillo back in May. Algeo lost his Contender Series fight before going away and winning again on the regional scene to get into the UFC. He also lost his debut on just 16 days’ notice, in a decision loss to Ricardo Lamas back in August. Carlyle is a great wrestler with excellent top control while Algeo is a striker who gives up takedowns like his life depends on it. While the fight is on the feet, Algeo will have the advantage but he doesn’t have the power to stop Carlyle or the ability to keep the takedowns away and this could get nasty on the ground.
PICK – Spike Carlyle via Knockout, Round 2

Miguel Baeza (9-0) vs Takashi Sato (16-3) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

After a victorious appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series, Miguel Baeza has seen his hype levels rise with two stoppage wins against Hector Aldana and then Matt Brown back in May. Takashi Sato KO’d Ben Saunders in his debut back in 2019 but was stopped by Belal Muhammad in September of the same year. He bounced back from that with a 48-second KO win over Jason Witt in June. Both men are heavy hitters with powerful striking, and Baeza loves a chopping leg kick. I can’t imagine this one lasts very long and for me Baeza has the power advantage. That said, he got hit a lot against Matt Brown and if Sato hits him with those shots it could be lights out. With more experience at the top level, Sato gets it done as the underdog.
PICK – Takashi Sato via Knockout, Round 1

Josh Parisian (13-3) vs Parker Porter (10-6) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

A UFC debut for Josh Parisian as the Conteder Series graduate looks to add to his impressive tally of 12 finishes from 13 wins. Parker Porter lost his UFC debut to Chris Daukaus back in August when he was knocked out in the first round, ending a 4-1 run of fights. Parisian is a super strong striker, with good spinning techniques and great power while Porter is your bog standard heavyweight who plants his feet and swings for the fences. Porter is fairly slow and Parisian should be able to walk him down and drop him early for a big knockout win on his debut.
PICK – Josh Parisian via Knockout, Round 1

Anthony Smith (33-16) vs Devin Clark (12-4) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

After losing in his UFC title shot to Jon Jones, Anthony Smith has since gone 1-2 after an impressive submission win against Alexander Gustafsson before being dominated by Glover Teixeira and Alexander Rakic. Devin Clark on the other hand has won three of his last four fights, all by decision including a dominant performance against Alonzo Menifield. Smith struggled with the grappling of Rakic, who is known for his striking more than anything. The size difference troubled Smith greatly and Clark will have a similar advantage. He loves a good clinch battle and should have physical strength advantage. Smith is by far the better striker and has power, but after recent performances it’s hard to think Smith will do well against this style of fight.
PICK – Devin Clark via Decision

Curtis Blaydes (14-2) vs Derrick Lewis (24-7) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)*

The ultimate takedown vs stand up battle. Blaydes has the record for most takedowns in heavyweight history, while Lewis has the record for the most knockout wins in heavyweight history. Blaydes is currently on a four-fight win streak, including his most recent dominant decision against Alexander Volkov. Lewis is on a three-fight win streak, including his knockout of Aleksei Oleinik. That Oleinik fight doesn’t bode well for Lewis though. He was taken down and dominated on the ground by the much smaller man and only got back to his feet when the bell went to end the first round. Blaydes will take this to the ground and look to blast him out of there from top position. If Lewis somehow survives the first round, he will need a knockout just like against Oleinik but Blaydes is elite and will take it back to the ground for a dominant win.
PICK – Curtis Blaydes via Knockout, Round 1

*The UFC Vegas 15 main event has been cancelled after Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19.*

Curtis Blaydes vs Derrick Lewis Cancelled Following Positive COVID-19 Test

UFC Vegas 15 has lost it’s main event just hours before the weigh-ins after Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19.

The No.2 ranked heavyweight in the world was due to fight Derrick Lewis on Saturday night, with big implications in the title picture expected for whoever the winner was.

It was revealed by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani however that the fight has been cancelled, with the hope to reschedule the bout at some point before the turn of the year.

Curtis Blaydes is on a four-fight win streak having beaten Alexander Volkov most recently, after wins against Justin Willis, Shamil Abdurakhimov and Junior Dos Santos. He called out Derrick Lewis following ‘The Black Beast’s knockout win over Aleksei Oleinik earlier this year.

It is currently unknown what the UFC plan on doing with the card for Saturday night going forward.

UPDATE:

Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith will now main-event UFC Vegas 15 with Devin Clark. The fight will be five rounds, after both fighters asked for it despite having only trained for three rounds. We have a main event!

UFC Vegas 15: Blaydes vs Lewis – Prelims Predictions

The heavyweight scene steps to the front of the queue for attention as Curtis Blaydes gets the fight he called for against Derrick Lewis.

The main event is a chance for both men to push towards the front of the queue for a title shot, with both fighters on impressive win streaks.

In the co-main, Anthony Smith looks to get back to winning ways when he takes on Devin Clark in the light-heavyweight division on a relatively below par card.

Last weekend we had an okay showing, with 7/12 correct picks but only two correct picks for the night. This moved our overall picks up to 175/264 (66.29%) with 80 perfect picks (45.71%) since starting our picks in June.

With eleven fights on the card scheduled, lets see what we can rustle up starting with the prelims here.

PRELIMS

Luke Sanders (13-3) vs Nate Maness (12-1) – (Catchweight/140lbs)

Two bangers meet up in the opening fight of the night as Luke Sanders and Nate Maness look to make it back-to-back wins in the UFC for the first time. Sanders is currently 3-3 in the organisation and won his last fight by KO’ing former champion Renan Barao in February 2019. Maness made his debut last time out, scraping past late notice opponent Johnny Munhoz Jr in August via decision. Sanders is a hard-hitting striker who has glaring deficiencies on the ground. Unfortunately Maness doesn’t have the skills on the mat to harm him in that way and in a stand up battle he is out-gunned. Sanders either hurts him in the pocket with some big shots, or picks him off for a judges decision.
PICK – Luke Sanders via Knockout, Round 2

Su Mudaerji (12-4) vs Malcolm Gordon (12-4) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A striker’s paradise in this one as Su Mudaerji looks to make it back-to-back wins in the UFC as Malcolm Gordon looks for a maiden victory in the organisation. Gordon was tapped out on Fight Island by his short-notice opponent Amir Albazi which came as a shock since half of his wins in his career have come via submission. While Mudaerji did well to dominate against Andre Soukhamthath, Soukhamthath has a habit of imploding in fights. Mudaerji is a decent striker but has a level of wrestling far inferior to Gordon’s. If the fight goes to the ground then Gordon should be able to get a finish but if it’s on the feet, Mudaerji should be able to outstrike him. It’s a 50/50 fight but I think don’t Mudaerji has shown he can defend takedowns too greatly, so Gordon will take a win.
PICK – Malcolm Gordon via Submisison, Round 2

Kai Kamaka III (8-2) vs Jonathan Pearce (9-4) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

A six-fight win streak is what Kamaka is defending in this fight following a successful UFC debut against Tony Kelley back in August. Pearce was successful on Dana White’s Contender Series before a debut defeat to Joe Lauzon in August 2019 and this is his first fight since that loss. When Pearce fought Lauzon, he was absolutely battered to a first round knockout. He has a pressure game that is hard to implement against someone who is a better striker, which is what Kamaka is. Kamaka is also a better wrestler so he will control where this fight goes. He has had cardio issues in the past though but he should be good enough to secure the first two rounds at least to take a decision win.
PICK – Kai Kamaka III via Decision

Gina Mazany (6-4) vs Rachel Ostovich (4-5) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A fight between two women who are likely fighting for their future in the organisation. Gina Mazany is a well-rounded fighter with good takedown defence and good striking, while Ostovich is a slick grappler and not much else going for her. Both of these women aren’t really UFC calibre as their records show, with three of Mazany’s four losses in the company coming in under two minutes. This one will likely go the distance either way, but I take Mazany because she’s got more to her game. This won’t be a great fight though.

Martin Day (8-4) vs Anderson Dos Santos (20-8) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Two fighters coming off back-to-back defeats will be keen to get back to winning ways in this bantamweight clash. Day lost to Pingyuan Liu in November 2018 before returning on Fight Island and losing to Davey Grant via knockout, while Dos Santos lost two decisions to Nad Nirimani and Andre Ewell, the last of those coming in July 2019. Day has a big striking advantage in this bout to go with his height and reach edge. He has some weak takedown defence, but Dos Santos showed against Ewell that despite having a wrestling edge he couldn’t get it going and that could be a big issue in this fight too. Day should be able to pick Dos Santos apart at range and so long as he doesn’t give up sloppy takedowns, should be comfortable keeping it on the feet too.
PICK – Martin Day via Decision

Ashlee Evans-Smith (6-4) vs Norma Dumont (4-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

The prelims headliner in the women’s bantamweight division comes between two women who each lost their last bout. Evans-Smith was beaten by Andrea Lee almost two years ago in her last fight, where she took a step back and switched gyms to James Krause’s Glory MMA. Dumont made her debut in February this year against Megan Anderson and was knocked out with relative ease in the first round. Much like the earlier women’s fight we spoke of, Evans-Smith probably shouldn’t be in the UFC anymore and Dumont hasn’t shown anything in her one octagon bout to show she does either. The difference there is that she went up a weight-class to fight one of the best in that division. Aside from that, there’s next to no footage of Dumont in the cage so it’s hard to pick her against someone who we’ve seen plenty of. Even though she’s not very good, she has shown enough and fought better quality opponents with success and therefore I have to pick her.
PICK – Ashlee Evans-Smith via Decision