Predictions! UFC On ESPN 2 ‘Prelims’ Preview – Pt. 1

A Light-weight match up with the potential to be probably the most violent in division historical past goes down inside Wells Fargo Middle in Philadelphia, Pa., this Saturday (March 30, 2019) when Edson Barboza squares off with Justin Gaethje in UFC on ESPN 2’s essential occasion. Battle followers will even get to take pleasure in a Middleweight bout between David Department and Jack Hermansson, in addition to a Featherweight slugfest between Josh Emmett and Michael Johnson.

UFC on ESPN 2 options seven “Prelims” undercard bouts this time round, three on ESPN+ and 4 becoming a member of the primary card on ESPN correct. Let’s start!

135 lbs.: Ray Borg vs. Kyler Phillips

Although he misplaced an entertaining break up choice to Dustin Ortiz in his Octagon debut, Ray Borg (11-Three) established himself as a high younger Flyweight by successful 5 of his subsequent six bouts. This arrange a title shot towards Demetrius Johnson, who caught Borg in one of many wildest flying armbars in blended martial arts (MMA) historical past (watch highlights).

This might be his first battle since Oct. 2017 due to a number of points, one in every of which was Conor McGregor-induced (particulars).

In the meantime, a sub-minute end on “Contender Collection” carried Kyler Phillips to The Final Fighter (TUF) 27, the place he turned Crew Miocic’s first choose however misplaced to Brad Katona within the opening spherical. He proceeded to lose a break up choice to well-traveled veteran Victor Henry, then returned to the win column with a head kick end of Emeka Ifekandu final month.

He steps in for the injured Pingyuan Liu on quick discover.

The chances are at present extraordinarily lopsided, leaving Borg the biggest favourite on the cardboard. I’m unsure that’s warranted — “The Tazmexican Satan” does his greatest work at 125 kilos, whereas Phillips can maintain his personal at Featherweight. The latter additionally has a four-inch top benefit and a 7.5-inch attain benefit, and we’ve seen Borg wrestle when he can’t get inside to arrange his takedowns.

All that mentioned, Phillips isn’t a very fearsome putting technician, preferring to wing energy hooks that ought to permit Borg to shut the hole. There, the latter’s wrestling, expertise edge, and phenomenal again management ought to permit him to dominate till he locks up the rear-naked choke.

Prediction: Borg by way of second-round submission

125 lbs.: Maryna Moroz vs. Sabina Mazo

Maryna Moroz (Eight-Three) erupted out of the Octagon gate with a 90-second armbar end of Joanne Calderwood, solely to fall to Valerie Letourneau her subsequent trip. Victories over Cristina Stanciu and Danielle Taylor put her again in competition, however she enters the cage on the heels of consecutive losses to Carla Esparza and Angela Hill.

This might be her first battle in 13 months due to a damaged foot.

Sabina Mazo (6-Zero) returned from 1.5 years away to attain savage head kick knockouts in her first two LFA appearances, incomes herself a shot on the promotion’s vacant Flyweight title. She dominated veteran Shannon Sinn for the belt, then defended it towards Carol Yariwaki in a headlining look.

“The Colombian Queen” is six years youthful than Moroz at 21.

Mazo is clearly an exceptional expertise, however there’s nonetheless work to be achieved. The largest situation proper now appears to be that she’s not practically as potent off the again foot as she is on the assault. When she’s shifting ahead, she’s a deadly mix of fast punching combos and sneaky kicks. When she’s retreating, she’s worryingly passive.

If Legacy would simply put extra of its fights on-line, I might be capable to see if her latest sturdy performances had been because of that or simply getting stronger because the battle goes on.

Moroz has but to dwell as much as the potential her boxing pedigree and opportunistic submissions provide, and I’d wager that Mazo will get on the entrance foot early. Moroz takes the primary couple of minutes, just for Mazo to search out her groove and piece her up behind her jab for the remaining.

Prediction: Mazo by way of unanimous choice

135 lbs.: Alex Perez vs. Mark De La Rosa

Alex Perez (21-5) emerged as an elite prospect with a submission win on “Contender Collection” and three consecutive UFC victories, amongst them a first-round knockout of red-hot Jose “Shorty” Torres. His subsequent battle with Joe Benavidez didn’t go practically as properly, as “Joe B” pounded him out regardless of the ref botching an preliminary try at a stoppage.

He had gained eight straight earlier than operating into Benavidez.

Mark De La Rosa (11-1) went proper into the deep finish for his short-notice UFC debut, which noticed him faucet to a Tim Elliott anaconda choke halfway by means of the second spherical. “The Bumblebee” has achieved fairly a bit higher when given time to organize, choking out Elias Garcia and narrowly edging Joby Sanchez in Nov. 2018.

5 of his six submission wins have come by rear-naked choke.

Perez continues to be a particularly good fighter — it’s simply that Joseph Benavidez has been thrashing high quality grapplers since earlier than the previous turned skilled. After seeing him utterly outclass Eric Shelton within the wrestling and switch a particularly succesful fighter in Torres inside-out, I’ve full confidence he can deal with one other well-rounded grappler in De La Rosa.

Perez seems to have the wrestling edge, can maintain his personal on the ft, and has extra confirmed cardio. De La Rosa retains up with the scrambles early, however finally falls sufferer to a late choke.

Prediction: Perez by way of third-round submission

4 extra UFC on ESPN 2 “Prelims” undercard bouts to preview and predict tomorrow, that includes an undefeated Strawweight prospect and what seems to be a assured slobberknocker between Enrique Barzola and Kevin Aguilar. Similar time as all the time, Maniacs.

Keep in mind that will ship LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow protection of your entire UFC on ESPN 2 battle card on battle evening, beginning with the ESPN+ (7-day free trial right here) “Prelims” matches on-line, that are scheduled to start at Three:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard steadiness on ESPN at 5 p.m. ET, earlier than the ESPN essential card begin time at 7 p.m. ET.

To take a look at the newest and best UFC on ESPN 2: “Barboza vs. Gaethje” information and notes remember to hit up our complete occasion archive proper right here.

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