It’s the night before the NFL Super Bowl and the UFC is back with another loaded card from the site of the big football game, Houston, Texas. The event will be headlined by a key featherweight division fight as Dennis Bermudez takes on the returning Chan Sung Jung. Also, Alexa Grasso faces Felice Herrig and Jessica Andrade looks to stay undefeated at strawweight.
UFC Featherweight Division Fight
Dennis Bermudez (16-5-0) vs. Chan Sung Jung (13-4-0)
Bermudez will be headlining his first ever UFC event here and he will also be entering the fight on the strength of a two fight winning streak. Jung will be competing for the first time in well over three years, he has previously challenged for the UFC Featherweight Title. Bermudez is actually undefeated on “Fight Night” cards, defeating Steven Siler, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Rony Jason on past “Fight Night” cards. Jung has won three of four fights in the UFC, with those victories coming over Mark Hominick, Leonard Garcia and Dustin Poirier.
Prediction: The question in this fight is how much cage rust will Jung show after being inactive for so long, Bermudez uses his wrestling game to get a decision win.
UFC Women’s Strawweight Division Fight
Alexa Grasso (9-0-0) vs. Felice Herrig (11-6-0)
Grasso made her UFC debut back at UFC Fight Night 98, where she defeated Heather Clark by unanimous decision. Herrig has won two of four fights under the UFC banner, defeating Lisa Ellis and Kailin Curran, while suffering defeats to Paige VanZant and Tecia Torres. Grasso fought a total of four times in the Invicta Fighting Championships, with notable wins coming over Mizuki Inoue and Jodie Esquibel. Herrig fought three times in Bellator MMA, with two wins coming over fellow UFC veterans in Jessica Rakoczy and Heather Clark.
Prediction: Herrig will want to drag this fight to the ground and use her submission game, but Grasso will apply a similar strategy to what Paige VanZant did to Herrig, which is overwhelm her with strikes and takedowns on route to a decision win.
UFC Lightweight Division Fight
Abel Trujillo (15-6-0-1NC) vs. James Vick (9-1-0)
Trujillo will enter the fight riding a three fight winning streak, defeating Gleison Tibau, Tony Sims and Jordan Rinaldi. Vick will be coming into this fight as a late replacement for Evan Dunham, but he has won five of six under the UFC banner. Trujillo has only suffered two defeats under the UFC banner, those came to Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Vick will actually be looking to rebound from his first professional MMA defeat, which came to Beneil Dariush at UFC 199.
Prediction: Trujillo is a power punches with some solid wrestling to boot, but Vick has a huge reach advantage and he knows how to use it, Vick gets a third round TKO win here.
UFC Light Heavyweight Division Fight
Volkan Oezdemir (12-1-0) vs. Ovince St. Preux (19-9-0)
Oezdemir will be making his UFC debut in this fight and he is a late replacement for the injured Jan Blachowicz. St. Preux will be entering the fight on a two fight losing streak, having dropped fights to Jon Jones and Jimi Manuwa. Oezdemir spent a little time in Bellator MMA, defeating Josh Lanier and suffering a defeat to Kelly Anundson. St. Preux has headlined a total of four UFC events during his tenure with the promotion, going 2-2-0 in those main event fights.
Prediction: Oezdemir’s strength in this fight will be his kicking game, but St. Preux has a more varied striking game and he gets the first round TKO finish here.
UFC Heavyweight Division Fight
Marcel Fortuna (8-1-0) vs. Anthony Hamilton (15-6-0)
Fortuna will be making his UFC debut in this fight and he will be doing so on the strength of a five fight winning streak. Hamilton has rotated wins and losses throughout his UFC tenure, with his last fight being a loss to Francis Ngannou at UFC Fight Night 102. Fortuna has a record of 1-1-0 against UFC veterans, defeating David Mitchell and suffering a defeat to Jesse Taylor. Hamilton is a former Maximum Fighting Championships Heavyweight Champion, he gave up the belt after signing with the UFC in 2014.
Prediction: Hamilton has an excellent striking game and Fortuna has a great submission game, Fortuna grounds and submits Hamilton in the first round.
UFC Women’s Strawweight Division Fight
Jessica Andrade (15-5-0) vs. Angela Hill (6-2-0)
Andrade has been undefeated since dropping to the strawweight division, with those wins coming over Joanne Calderwood and Jessica Penne. Hill will be starting her second run with the UFC in this fight and she is the former Invicta FC Strawweight Champion. Andrade earned four victories as a bantamweight in the UFC, with notable wins coming over Rosi Sexton and Raquel Pennington. Hill only won just one of three fights in her first UFC run, with that lone victory coming over Emily Kagan at the UFC Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale.
Prediction: This fight is going to be a slugfest for as long as it lasts, Andrade has the better power strikes and she finishes Hill in the second round.
Preliminary Card Quick Picks
Curtis Blaydes over Adam Milstead
Chris Gruetzenmacher over Chas Skelly
Michinori Tanaka over Ricardo Lucas Ramos
Tecia Torres over Bec Rawlings
Niko Price over Alex Morono
Daniel Jolly over Khalil Rountree