UFC 249: Ferguson vs Gaethje | ESPN+ Prelims

UFC 249: Ferguson vs Gaethje | ESPN+ Prelims
170lbs- Vicente Luque vs Niko Price

The final fight on the ESPN+ Prelims is also the first of 2 rematches on the undercard. Vicente Luque (17-7-0) has won 6 in a row and 10 of 11 prior to running into Stephen Thompson.

In 2017, he faced and defeated Niko Price after his loss to Leon Edwards (14-3-0 1NC) which snapped a 4-fight winning streak.

Luque is a lethal fighter with heavy punching power, solid kicks, and a nasty submission game. Against Thompson, he ran into a superior long range striker that prevent him from getting into a range where he could deploy his own offense.

In their first encounter, Price was more than willing to engage Luque on the feet, but struggled to deal with the combination of the Brazilians power and pressure.

In cohesion with his willingness to trade with Vicente, Price has yet to go the distance in his UFC career. “The Hybrid” has finished a 4-pack of opponents by knockout to go along with a pair of submissions.

He has also been finished twice by knockout. Price’s durability is a major concern, Luque hurt him before subbing him and Tim Means had Niko is significant trouble before Price floored him.

Luque has been on an absolute tear, smashing the majority of his opponents and demonstrating an insane ability to absorb damage. Price has made considerable strides since their first encounter, but his ability to deal with Luque’s onslaught is still in question. The Brazilian isn’t fighting at home and is instead entering the home turf of Niko, but without fan support. Nonetheless, Luque batters Price and finishes him again- my prediction is Vicente Luque to defeat Niko Price by TKO.

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145lbs- Bryce Mitchell vs Charles Rosa

Representing the moniker of Ultimate Fighter Season, Bryce Mitchell (12-0-0) has maintained his undefeated record through a trio of UFC bouts. Most recently, he submitted Matt Sayles via twister- winning “Thug Nasty” a Submission of the Year award.

Mitchell’s UFC wins have been odd statistical performances. He landed just 17 strikes against Bobby Moffett, gave up 5 takedowns, but worked his way to a decision win. In his debut, he won another decision despite ending the bout on the wrong end of the striking totals.

A bit of a slow starter, Bryce has proven himself able to work out of some bad spots- especially on the mat.

After a nearly 30-month layoff, Charles Rosa (12-3-0) returned to action to secure a shocking upset submission win over submission ace Manny Bermudez. Rosa didn’t offer much in the way of offense right up until he locked in the finishing sub.

Similar to his opponent, “Boston Strong” has a submission heavy record, including a pair in the UFC. He put up some solid takedown numbers his first 3 UFC fights but has not done so recently.

An area he might be able to find success against Mitchell is on the feet. Rosa has a work-rate on the feet far outstrips anything that Mitchell has shown, but he will be hardpressed to prevent the grappling exchanges.

This fight will most likely be contested on the mat and that should favour the larger Mitchell. Rosa can hold his own on the floor, he will struggle to routinely work his way to a superior position. As previously mentioned, “Boston Strong” rely on his striking and try to keep Bryce at a distance. Instead, look for Mitchell to routinely push forward, back Rosa into the cage, and win the majority of the clinch battles and scrambles- my prediction is Bryce Mitchell to defeat Charles Rosa by decision.

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205lbs-Sam Alvey vs Ryan Spann

A trio of wins to start his UFC run and a 7-fight winning streak has Ryan Spann (17-5-0) making some noise in the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division. Offering a recorded that includes 11 wins by submission, “Superman” turned some heads early with his knockout win over Pride legend Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

He is coming off a submission victory over Devin Clark.

Spann isn’t known for his prolonged fights, with a high percentage of his contest ending early. His UFC debut snapped a string of 6 straight 1-round bouts.

For “Smil’n” Sam Alvey (33-13-0 1NC), his move to Light Heavyweight has been far from productive. With a trio of defeats leading up to this contest, Alvey’s strong 2-0 start to his time at 205 is far behind him.

Alvey, a former Middleweight, will be at a physical disadvantage. He will need to overcome a 3″ height advantage and 4″ reach edge favouring Spann.

Despite his big knockout numbers, Alvey has struggled to find the mark. He tends to rely too much on his counter striking and even when he comes out aggressively the finishes have simply not been there. He has just a single win by knockout over his last 10 bouts.

Spann is the larger more well-rounded fighter and at a much better place in his career. Alvey has the power to score a finish, but his openings to do so will be limited. Spann utilized a methodical approach against Clark before opening up in round 2, a similar style will benefit him here to avoid Sam’s counters. Alvey’s durability has taken a hit of late, that continues here, my prediction is Ryann Spann to defeat Sam Alvey by TKO.

Scott Johnson

scott

Starting in 2010, Scott began posting UFC and NFL predictions videos on youtube under the name Kamikaze Overdrive MMA Predictions. Eventually, MMA became his main focus and as the channel's popularity grew Kamikaze Overdrive eventually expanded to include a website. Scott has worked for various MMA and Sports betting information sites and now posts UFC Predictions, Betting Breakdowns, and Content along with other sports-related betting information.

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