On Saturday night, at UFC Fight Night: Holly Holm vs Valentina Schevchenko, two of the best bantamweight fighters in the world look to get back to their winning ways. Holm and Shevchenko will face off in an attempt to rebound from losses and climb back into the title picture. There are four bouts on the main card, and the following predictions are CDA’s choices for who will prevail.
Herrig vs Curran
Felice Herrig, in her first fight since a decision loss to Paige VanZant will look to turn things around when she faces Kailin Curran. They share VanZant as a common opponent, although both women lost against her. Curran won her last fight which came from a rear-naked choke submission of Emily Kagan. The reason VanZant is a good opponent to compare these two strawweight fighters is because of VanZant’s style of fighting. She uses a high output of strikes and this was crucial to her stoppage of Curran and her decision over Herrig. This should be an entertaining fight and will come down to Herrig withstanding the barrage from Curran. We believe Curran will score an upset and get the nod in a split decision victory. Prediction: Curran via split decision victory.
Ngannou vs Mihajlovic
Both Francis Ngannou and Bojan Mihajlovic are relative newcomers to the UFC. Ngannou is in his third outing with the promotion and Mihajlovic is making his debut in the octagon in this UFC Fight Night. Both fighters have impressive skill sets, but we believe Ngannou has the better striking and the power advantage. Look for “The Predator” to end Mihajlovic’s night early with a TKO victory in the first round. Prediction: Ngannou via first round TKO.
Barboza vs Melendez
Gilbert Melendez has had a couple of rough losses. He was submitted by Anthony Pettis and then lost a close fight by split decision to Eddie Alvarez. However, after the Alvarez fight Melendez was found to be in violation of the UFC’s Fighter Conduct Policy and was given a one year suspension. This will be his first fight since serving the suspension and he will certainly have his hands full when he takes on Edson Barboza, who is coming off a unanimous decision win against Pettis. Melendez will make a huge statement if he can pull off the victory against Barboza. Although Barboza is considered to have the advantage in explosive striking, power, and speed, he is also known to gas as the fight goes on. Melendez, meanwhile, is known for having a strong chin and a nearly unbreakable will to win. If he can weather Barboza’s early onslaught his chances greatly improve for victory. This should be a great fight with a lot of action. We expect Barboza to come out with explosive kicks and to build an early lead on a rusty Melendez. Prediction: Barboza via unanimous decision.
The main event of this Fight Night features Holly Holm in her first bout since being submitted by Miesha Tate and losing the bantamweight title in the process. Shevchenko is also coming off a loss to Amanda Nunes, who went on to dethrone Miesha Tate. Holm is the second ranked fighter in the division and Shevchenko is ranked seventh. Both of these women need a win to get themselves in position for a shot at the title. While Shevchenko is certainly no slouch in the striking department, she has been criticized for being a slow starter. Having a slow start verses someone who can strike as well as Holly Holm could be a fatal mistake. Holm has had her share of criticism for not going in for the kill. While Holm would seem to have the advantage in striking on paper, Shevchenko would have the advantage if the fight goes to the ground. The question is can Holm rebound strong and keep Shevchenko from taking her to the ground. We believe that Holm’s impressive take down defense and phenomenal striking will be enough to get her the victory here. Watch for Holm to keep Shevchenko at bay with her superior boxing and kickboxing abilities to get the victory. Prediction: Holm via unanimous decision.
Are you excited to tune in Saturday night for UFC Fight Night? Do you agree with our predictions? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! For more CDA News, follow our tweets on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Commentary by Joshua Vance
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