UFC 246: McGregor vs Cowboy | ESPN+ Prelim Predictions

UFC 246: McGregor vs Cowboy | ESPN+ Prelim Predictions
205lbs- Aleksa Camur vs Justin Ledet

Despite a strong start at Heavyweight, Justin “El Blanco” Ledet (9-2-0) has struggled in his new home at Light Heavyweight. His most recent foray into the cage ended with a 15-second knockout against Corey Anderson knockout victim Johnny Walker.

Ledet’s apparent speed and cardio advantage that he had Heavyweight have not traveled with him to his new weight class.

The UFC newcomer, Aleksa Camur (5-0-0) will need to overcome some sizeable physical disparities as he will stand 3-inches shorter than Ledet and give up 6-inches of reach.

Camur booked his UFC ticket with a round 2 flying knee knockout on the Contenders Series. All 5 of his pro wins have come by knockout.

Despite a 100% finishing rate and never having fought beyond the middle frame, Camur didn’t push a crazy opening pace. He moved forward against his opponent, picking his spots but never really unloading.

The finish came with a well-timed jumping knee and following GNP.

Ledet is looking to rally from his first career knockout loss. He has been almost entirely shutout in his last 2 UFC outings. Aleksandar Rakic grounded him for the majority of the fight, nullifying Ledet’s striking skills, and solid submission game.

Camur is a former Golden Gloves champion and Ledet comes from a boxing background which should equate to a striking based fight. Even in his last Heavyweight bout, Ledet struggled against an aggressive opponent and narrowly squeaked out a victory. Look for the quicker Camur to out work Ledet over the duration of the bout, eventually landing catching him during an exchange- my prediction is Aleksa Camur to defeat Justin Ledet by knockout.

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135lbs- Brian Kelleher vs Ode Osbourne

Unable to build on a victory over former divisional champion Renan Barao, Brian “Boom” Kelleher (19-10-0), has been finished in back to back fights. His last fight, a submission loss to Montel Jackson, took place roughly 13-months ago.

The American’s win over Barao was his only UFC bout to go the distance. He has been submitted 6-times.

A round 1 submission win on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender series extended Ode Osbourne’s (8-2-0 1NC) winning streak to 4-straight fights. He has finished all of his 8 wins but 1- ending 6 in the opening round.

Prior to his Contenders victory, Osbourne’s last 3 wins came over a 2-2 opponent and backed to back victories over a fighter with a dismal 2-9 record.

He is just 2-2 against opponents with above .500 records.

Osbourne will have a 7″ reach advantage.

Kelleher will push a good pace and can overwhelm his foe, but his offensive pressure opens him up to vulnerable positions as his numerous losses by finish would suggest.

Ode impressively caught an armbar off his back in his last fight for he win.

There are some clear red flags with Osbourne, but Kelleher is in a rough spot here. Back to back finishes followed by an injury and prolonged layoff could result in diminished performance. Osbourne hits hard and had his last foe in trouble prior to getting taken down. His submission skills and punching power will trouble the defensively vulnerable “Boom”- my prediction is Ode Osbourne to defeat Brian Kelleher by submission.

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125lbs- J.J. Aldrich vs Sabina Mazo

Despite a UFC 227 upset victory on the main card, J.J. Aldrich (8-3-0) will compete in the first bout of UFC 246 while in search of her fifth win over her last six fights.

J.J. is coming off of her second-best UFC striking performance, landing 74-significant strikes, improving to 6-1 in decisions.

Opposing Aldrich, Sabina “Colombia Queen” Mazo (7-1-0) will be more than willing to oblige her foe in a striking oriented fight. A former kickboxing champion, she found similar success in her sophomore appearance. Mazo landed an impressive 108 significant strikes, hurting her opponent to the body early.

The Colombian integrated an unexpected takedown element to her attack, landing 4 takedowns and prolonged top control. Aldrich has struggled against opponents that can put her on her back.

That being said, her TDD has improved significantly.

J.J. will need to utilize her boxing volume to get past the kick-heavy attack of her foe.

Mazo has been characterized as a bit of a slow starter and J.J. will press a pretty steady pace from the start. Her TDD is solid and that will help her to prevent Sabina from implementing her secondary takedown attack. Look for Aldrich to consistently move into boxing range and outwork her foe over the duration of the bout- my prediction is J.J. Aldrich to defeat Sabin Mazo by decision.

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