We'd like to welcome you to our event pick em'. I know this has been a tradition in the Talking MMA community, and one we look to continue here at Fightful.
We'll be doing these for main card UFC fights, and maybe for pro wrestling events as well. If there are any changes I need to make to better accommodate the Talking MMA group, don't hesitate to let me know.
The video above is our Fightful MMA Podcast, and it includes a preview of this very event. You can subscribe to our MMA & Boxing Channel at this link. We'll be be going live right after the show for a post-fight review also! You can make predictions all the way up until the main card is starting!
Here is the main card for UFC Fight Night Rochester:
#3 Rafael Dos Anjos (28-11) vs. Kevin Lee (17-4)
In his first fight at 170lbs, Kevin Lee is immediately opposite one of the division’s elite, taking on top contender Rafael dos Anjos. Lee most recently dropped a disappointing decision against Al Iaquinta but he'll be thankful to be taking on a Welterweight that like him, once competed at Lightweight. With that being said, dos Anjos’ quality is undeniable and though he’s currently riding a two fight losing streak, his place as a very slim favorite seems suitable.
However, Lee’s style does feel likely to present the former Lightweight champion some problems and this is a 50/50 main event as a result. In conclusion though, Lee’s Welterweight ceiling remains a mystery and as a result, I find it difficult to pick against dos Anjos in this particular matchup.
#15 Vicente Luque (15-6-1) vs. Derrick Krantz (22-10)
Previously booked to fight Neil Magny, Vicente Luque now takes on UFC newcomer Derrick Krantz. ‘The Silent Assassin’ is ranked for a reason, currently riding a four fight win-streak that most recently included a stoppage victory over Bryan Barberena. Krantz enters on solid form himself, less than two months removed from a 1st round knockout win over Bellator veteran Justin Patterson. Nonetheless, this is his UFC debut and while he already boasts a decent body of work, there’s very little that suggests he can stop Luque’s recent ascension.
Megan Anderson (9-3) vs. Felicia Spencer (6-0)
In a pivotal clash for the developing women’s 145 lbs division, Megan Anderson looks to make it two straight wins inside the octagon. Her opponent, Felicia Spencer, recently relinquished the Invicta FC Featherweight Title for this opportunity and is undefeated through six professional bouts. However, she could prove to be outmatched physically and Anderson is certainly the more known quantity in this matchup too. With that being said, Spencer’s grappling stands out to me in this matchup and provided she can get things to the mat, this should be her fight to lose.
#12 Antonio Carlos Junior (11-2-0, 1NC) vs. Ian Heinisch (12-1)
After winning The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 as a Heavyweight, Antonio Carlos Junior struggled slightly upon arriving in the UFC. As of late though, he’s righted the ship, stringing together five straight wins since his last loss in March 2016. On the other hand, Heinisch is relatively new to the octagon, entering the promotion via Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Since then, he’s made the walk only once, scoring a decision win over Cezar Ferreira. Carlos Jr is the much more known quantity here but with that comes some caution. As a result, this fight is unlikely to be any gambler’s first choice.
#15 Charles Oliveira (25-8-0, 1NC) vs. Nik Lentz (30-9-2, 1NC)
The experience of these two veterans is best captured by the date of their first fight: June 26th 2011. That was the same night which most memorably featured Cheick Kongo’s comeback knockout win over Pat Barry. Regardless, that bout ended in a No Contest after Oliveira had initially been ruled the submission winner. An illegal knee cost him the victory though and four years later, they ran it back. Oliveira legally submitted Lentz that night and another four years later, these two will meet for a 3rd and likely final time.
Lentz enters on a two fight win-streak of his own but in truth, Oliveira is the favorite for a reason here. With four straight submission wins, his form couldn’t be better.
Davi Ramos (9-2) vs. Austin Hubbard (10-2)
Our main card opener features an octagon newcomer taking on supreme grappler Davi Ramos. Hubbard looks to have his work cut out for him here but he was unbeaten in 2018 and certainly enters with a respectable body of work. With that being said, Ramos’ submission prowess is proven inside the octagon and he looks very likely to make it four straight wins this Saturday night in Rochester.