This card is absolutely STACKED! The biggest since International fight week and possibly the biggest we’ll see all year. We’ve got three title fights, former champs, and former title contenders, my hopes and expectations are very high for this one. We’ve got betting odds, predictions, background and start times for you guys, so lets get into it!
Start time: 11pm GMT
Where to watch: Bt Sports (Prelims & main card), Fight Pass (early prelims)
Meal: Currently torn between a Dominoes & a Chinese
Snacks: New spicy BBQ pringles, Dairy Milk white chocolate oreo bar and fruit pastilles
Beverage: Mulitple cans of monster to get me through the night.
There’s nothing of major note to get too excited about but for those hardcore fans out there it starts at 11pm GMT and is exclusively available on UFC Fight Pass. If you fancy doing a huge acca we’ve got the betting odds right here for you too.
Odds & last 3 results
Now that the early prelims are out of the way lets get into the good stuff, these main prelims are stacked! They start at 1am GMT and you can find them on BT. The first fight features two flyweights who are somehow tied at rank 8, a win here on this big PPV could propel either man into the top 5 of a division that seems back on the rise.
We’ve also got a Bantamweight bout with Kyler Phillips looking to crack the top 15 of what I think is the sports most stacked division as he squares off against #14 Song Yadong. The Pre lims also features another flyweight fight with Kai Kara France (21-9) taking on Rogerio Bontorin (16-2).
Joseph Benavidez vs Askar Askarov
My boy Joey B back in action, he lost his last two bouts to the champ so unfortunately he’s back to gatekeeping. While Figi has the belt there’s basically no chance he gets another shot no matter how many fights he wins, so I’m sure he’ll be waiting and watching Figi vs Moreno 2 in June with a keen eye.
He shouldn’t overlook Askarov though whose only blemish on his record is a draw to Brandon Moreno who many think beat the champ back in December. This should be a very interesting fight for the future of the division, you’d imagine an Askarov win would put him next in line but a Joey B win might give Dana a headache as he’ll have to line another contender up against him, fun fact about Joey B, he’s the last man to beat former champ Henry Cejudo!
Benavidez is my boy so I’m backing him but if I was betting on this fight I’d find it hard to go against Askarov whose favourite, it feels like now is his time and what better way to show that than with a statement win against the #2 rank.
Dominick Cruz vs Casey Kenney
This fight could easily be on the main card. For me, this is win or retire for Dominick Cruz, he doesn’t strike me as someone who would stick around and be a gatekeeper, so if it doesn’t go his way I reckon its his last fight. While his opponent may not be familiar to many, he’s a very dangerous fighter, he’s 5-1 in the UFC and has become somewhat of a submission specialist. His most notable wins are against Louis Smolka (the last man to main event and compete in a UFC event in Dublin, I won’t remind everyone how that ended) and Ray Borg, a win here would undoubtedly be the biggest of his career and would put his name out there in casual audience.
I actually thought Cruz was doing very well in the Cejudo fight until he got stopped(questionable call). He actually requested not to have the same ref this time around so we’ll see how that goes. Part of me is scared this could be Cruz’s last fight but I think it’s a step too far for Casey Kenny at this stage of this career, Cruz is #11 which is fair given his long spells out, but I for one don’t think it’s a true accurate reflection of his ability, I fancy him to get this one done by decision in a competitive fight. After this if I was Dana I’d match him up with TJ who’s just back from suspension, that would be an interesting rematch given how close the first fight was.
Odds and recent records
Now for the main card that everyone’s been waiting for. Starting at 3am we’ve got 3 title fights (5 rounds) so it could be a long one, although most PPPV’s (Pandemic PPV’s) seem to move from fight to fight quicker than usual, I’m gonna be optimistic and say we’re in our beds before 6am!
On paper this might be the best card of the year, you’ve 2 giants at LHW starting it off, a young fighter touted as the next big thing in the second fight, a Bantamweight title fight with the undefeated Champ against the guy who in my opinion should already be the Champ. The female GOAT is in action and then in the main event you’ve its champ vs champ, the real UNDISPUTED P4P #1 is going up in a weight to make history against the only man not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier to hold the 205 belt in the past 10 years. This card is STACKED, the usual pain of staying up so late is sometimes the undercard just doesn’t interest you enough but boy should this keep your attention, I’m pumped!
Santos vs Rakic
- Odds: Santos – 5/4, Rakic – 8/13
- Recent Record: Santos – L,L,W Rakic- W,L,W
Really excited for this one, #2 and #4 going at it, two KO artists so this one might not go the distance. Santos is looking to rebound after a tough loss to Glover Teixeira, previous to that he lost a split decision to Jon Jones on one leg I might add. Rakic comes into this fresh of an impressive win against Anthony Smith.
The 205 division is in a weird state right now, the Jones and DC days are done and 205 is trying to find its own identity, this got a bit scuppered though with Izzy moving up. In other circumstances Glover would be fighting for the belt but unfortunately for him there’s history at stake and he has to make due as an alternate. Glover is most likely next in line and in my opinion should wait for the title fight but if he wants to stay active then fighting Rakic, should he be victorious is probably what’s next for both. Santos just lost to Glover so them fighting again wouldn’t make sense, if Santos is victorious he should be eyeing Dominick Reyes to setup a fight between the 2 men who arguably beat Jon Jones.
I’m a fan of Santos so will be picking him but this one could go either way, personally I wouldn’t go including this in any acca but Rakic is the bookies favourite however.
Islam Makhachev vs Drew Dober
- Odds: Islam – 1/4, Dober – 11/4
- Recent Record: Sterling – W,W,W Yan – W,W,W
The heir to Khabib, DC recently revealed that Khabib spoke with him and said its Islam’s time now, he’s the next wrestler from Dagestan that trains with Khabib (who will be in his corner on Saturday) and DC in AKA gym in California. He’s looked very impressive in his career and is on a 6 fight win streak although he doesn’t have any major names on his CV as of yet. He was scheduled to fight RDA last year, which could have been the fight to put him on the map. It will definitely be interesting to see how his career progresses, if he can have the same dominance as Khabib perhaps a potential fight with McGregor can happen down the line?
He’s up against Dober whose on a 3 fight win streak although is susceptible to a submission, that’s not good for him given he’s up against a sniff the jockstrap fighter in Makhachev who’s known for his wrestling and submissions.
I reckon Islam runs right through him and gets a submission victory in round 2.
Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling
- Odds: Sterling – evens, Yan – 4/5
- Recent Record: Sterling – W,W,W Yan – W,W,W
My boy Aljo is back to take the belt that should be his already!! Him vs Sandhagen was the title fight and everyone knows that, he’s the uncrowned king of the division and this is his first defence and man is it a dangerous defence.
Petre Yan is no joke and is on a 10 fight win streak coming into this title fight. However there’s something to be said about his CV, his biggest wins are against, with all due respect, a washed Uriah Faber and a past his prime Jose Aldo. Yan had one of the handiest paths to a title shot you’ll ever see, I’m not discrediting his abilities but those are just facts. He’s not your typical Russian wrestler, he’s gonna come to box and KO Aljo. This should make a perfect clash of styles with the submission specialist Sterling, this should Fight Of The Night on paper and I can’t wait for it.
Absolutely no way I’m going against my boy, Aljo is gonna tap him out in Round 1, there’s levels to this game and we’re gonna see that on Saturday night. Put your money on Aljo by submission and thank me later! This will set him up for a rematch with Sandhagen whose bounce back since their first fight has been incredible.
*disclaimer: this is not real gambling advice, this prediction is wildly bias, proceed with caution
Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson
- Odds: Amanda – 1/10, Anderson – 6/1
- Recent Record: Amanda – W,W,W , Anderson – W,W,L
The Lioness, the GOAT, the baddest woman on the planet is back in action again. Looking to win her 9th straight title fight. Nunes is facing a unique challenge against the 6ft tall Megan Anderson, in the press conference the height difference was nuts, this poses a new threat for Amanda and perhaps something we should all be wary of. While height doesn’t equal ability it definitely proposes new difficulties for the champ. Anderson has won 3 of her 5 UFC fights which shows that the 145 pound womens division isn’t exactly stacked with challengers, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if it was canned after this fight, providing Amanda wins, unless you wanna wheel Holly Holm back out there again.
Anderson is gonna look to strike with the champ and I can see Amanda engaging out of complacency and suffering a shock KO loss, every dog has it’s day and I feel this might be Amanda’s, Anderson is also 6/1 so why not make a separate bet and stick her on it.
The Main Event
The Last Stylebender vs The New King at 205
- Odds : Izzy – 4/9, Jan – 7/4
- Recent record: Izzy – W,W,W , Jan – W,W,W
This is the big one, the real p4p #1 is back in action, we don’t do one fight a year here, we’re always active, always ready to go and always looking to make history. I almost feel bad for Jan, he just got the belt, became a Polish hero and before he knows it it’s all gonna be gone. History awaits Adesanya on Saturday. He will become the first undefeated Two Weight Champ. In doing this Nigeria will hold 3 of the 8 belts in the mens divisions, the most of any nation.
Jan is not to be underestimated though as he is a true 205er with big KO power but many may not know that Izzy had stepped up in weight before in Kickboxing and boxing and has fared very well, I expect the same to happen this Saturday when he dispatches of Jan inside 8 minutes. Once this is done I think he’ll defend the belt once before Jon Jones comes running back to 205 after Francis sends him into another dimension and then the two can have the eagerly awaited clash we’ve all been waiting for.
It’s all been said above, Izzy by KO inside 2 rounds! New World Champ baby!
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this special preview for the fights this weekend, we’ll be back on Monday for more footy but MMA fans keep an eye out for UFC 260 at the end of the month where we’ll be back with another preview of the fights!