Elias Theodorou vs. Thiago Santos Middleweight Sage Northcutt vs. Cody Pfister Lightweight Jim Miller vs. Michael Chiesa Lightweight Rose Namajunas vs. The Brazilian is a dynamic and underrated striker who is capable of explosive finishes.
His last two first-round wins over Andy Enz and Steve Bosse are proof. Theodorou likes to put pressure on opponents by constantly coming forward.
While he displays excellent cardio, his striking is inconsistent. At times, he throws beautiful high kicks. Other times, he looks heavier on his feet and less graceful.
Santos is the type of athlete who can make him pay for his lack of sharpness. If you haven't seen Santos fight, picture a larger Edson Barboza. If this fight goes the distance, chances are Theodorou will have worn Santos down and spent a hunk of time in top control.
However, that's not the way this one will go down. In what will likely amount to one of the more shocking results of the night, Santos is the pick by second-round TKO.
His speed and power will catch Theodorou and derail his rise up the middleweight ladder. Expect another dominant performance from the impressive teenager.
Pfister is terribly slow on his feet, and his striking will be leagues behind Northcutt's when it comes to speed. By the midway point of the first round, Northcutt will have had his way with Pfister en route to a first-round stoppage.
Chiesa lost the fight via submission, but that moment when his striking upstaged his celebrated grappling game was a turning point in his career.
As you can see, Namajunas isn't the only one on the card who has taken a trip to the barber: The stats support Chiesa's claim.
Per FightMetric. In the interview above, Chiesa says his fight with Miller "will come down to stand-up.
Both men are excellent on the ground and probably won't find much of an advantage there. On the feet, Chiesa's five-inch height and four-inch reach advantage will be key.
The southpaw 6'1", 75" reach should be able to establish his jab and find a home for some left hands. That's the combination that put Masvidal down.
Chiesa won't stop Miller, but he will win by unanimous decision.
Both women are battlers who have shown the ability to gut out tough victories. That said, Namajunas is primarily a grappler who doesn't figure to get the best of VanZant during stand-up exchanges. The former has also been the more accurate striker with a connect rate of 60 percent compared to 39 for Namajunas.
Also, Namajunas' defense has been spotty. She has absorbed 51 percent of the strikes thrown at her, while VanZant has only eaten 39 percent. One might perceive Namajunas to have an advantage on the ground, but the numbers don't back that up entirely.
Obviously, the opponents in these fights play a role in the stats, but there's enough of an advantage in the numbers to assume VanZant has a definitive edge in striking and that she's at least comparable on the ground.
Based on that, VanZant should win a clear decision. However, don't rule out a stoppage win by TKO or submission in the third or fourth round.
Statistics for entire fight card can be found at FightMetric. Follow Brian Mazique on Twitter. Facebook Logo.