UFC Fight Night 153 | Preliminary Predictions

UFC Fight Night 153 | Preliminary Predictions

170lbs- Rostem Akman (5-0-0) vs Sergey Khandozhko (25-5-1)

The final fight of the undercard features two debuting Welterweights as Sweden’s Rostem Akman meets Russian-born Sergey Khandozhko. Akman is coming off a May 11th victory to maintain his undefeated record. Khandozhko started his pro career with a strong run, but has since gone just 5-4 including back to back wins in his most recent outings.

Akman is replacing Bartosz Fabinski with roughly a week to prepare. He will be making a quick 3-week turn around from his last fight. The Russian is 3 inches taller and will have a 2″ reach advantage.

The Swede has finished all of his opponents, 4 by knockout, but just 1 in the opening round. Three in round 3. Only 1 of his last 3 adversaries had an above .500 record. He is at a massive experience advantage, but the quick turnaround could remove the potential for debut related stress.

The Russian packs a decent kicking arsenal and has recorded 10 wins by knockout. Khandozhko has also shown himself to be a capable ground fighter with 7 wins via submission. Conversely, he has struggled at times including a submission loss to UFC castoff Benny Alloway.

This is a difficult fight to accurately predict. Khandozhko has struggled with consistency and Akman is still in the early stages of his MMA career. While the Swede is fighting at home the short notice could be a big factor in this fight especially considering he is facing superior competition when compared to his recent opponents. Khandozhko is far from a guarantee, but he is in a better spot here- my prediction is Sergey Khandozhko to defeat Rostem Akman by decision.

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135lbs- #12 Tonya Evinger (19-7-0 1NC) vs #13 Lina Lansberg (8-3-0)

A pair of former Featherweight title challengers and Cyborg victims meet up in the Bantamweight division as Tonya Evinger battles Lina Lansberg. The former Invicta Bantamweight champion, Evinger is winless in 2 UFC bouts after an 11-fight undefeated streak dating back to 2011. Lansberg is 2-3 in the UFC and has alternated wins and losses over her last 6 fights.

Both girls are 5’7″, but Evinger will have a 5″ reach advantage. Lansberg is a year younger.

Lansberg’s tenure in the UFC has been characterized by narrow victories and wide defeats. She does decent work in the clinch, but at times has struggled with the activity rate and ground attack of her opponents.

Evinger hasn’t fared much better, getting smashed by both Cyborg and Aspen Ladd in a similar fashion to what Lansberg experienced. Her earlier success came as a result of her grinding wrestling ability to outwork her opponents.

Lansberg has struggled with opponents that can take her down and hold her there. Evinger fits that profile. The Swede will wear down if she spends too much time on her back and she has been broken. Evinger should try to avoid getting dragged into a brawl, but if she does, she should be able to hold her own on he feet- my prediction is Tonya Evinger to defeat Lina Lansberg by decision.

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155lbs- Stevie Ray (22-7-0) vs Leonardo Santos (16-4-1)

Scotland’s own “Braveheart” Stevie Ray will take on the returning Brazilian Leonardo Santos in the Lightweight division. Ray is coming off of a narrow decision win over Jessin Ayari to end a 2-fight losing skid- he is 6-3 in the promotion. Santos is an impressive 5-0-1 in the Octagon with wins over Kevin Lee and Tony Martin.

Due to various injuries, Santos has not competed in 31-months. The Brazilian is 2 inches taller and will have a 5″ reach advantage. Ray is the younger fighter by 10-years.

The key to this pairing is going to be the TDD of the Scot. Ray has struggled in fights when he was unable to stay vertical.

Santos is a 4th degree BJJ Black belt with 9 career wins by submission. Conversely, he has completed more than a single takedown in a fight just once.

Leonardo has shown he can hold his own on the feet if forced to compete there. If he puts Ray on the floor, Stevie will not find the same success in that area. Santos needs to shake off the rust early and find his comfort zone. Ray’s struggles with grappling heavy fighters is too much to overlook- my prediction is Leonardo Santos to defeat Stevie Ray by submission.

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155lbs- Nick Hein (14-4-0 1NC) vs Frank Camacho (21-7-0)

In the Lightweight division, Germany Nick Hein attempts to end a 2-fight losing skid as he takes on Frank “The Crank” Camacho. Hein won 4 of his first 5 UFC bouts before dropping contest to Damir Hadzovic and Davi Ramos. Camacho has put together an entertaining but largely unsuccessful UFC career- he is 1-3 inside the Octagon.

Camacho took this fight on less than 3 weeks notice and has spent some times at Welterweight. He is the taller man by 4 inches and will have a sizeable 7″ reach advantage. Hein is the younger man by 5-years.

An all-action fighter, Camacho has finished 15 opponents by knockout but is coming off his 4 career knockout defeat. He has yet to score a finish in the UFC.

Hein’s performances have been frustrating. Despite coming from a Judo background, he rarely looks for takedowns opting instead to stand and trade with mixed results. His output tends to trend the 30 to 50 significant strike range.

Camacho’s willingness to take a shot to land one is concerning. He will have a sizeable reach and height advantage which will help him to land on Hein first. Nick’s lack of volume is a major concern here. He often struggles to find his range and Camacho constant pressure and aggressive will put him behind on the cards. Unless Hein takes him down, look for Frank “The Crank” to be the more active and impactful fighter- my prediction is Frank Camacho to defeat Nick Hein by decision.

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135lbs- Bea Malecki (2-0-0) vs Duda Santanna (3-0-0)

In a battle of debuting Bantamweights, Sweden’s Bea Malecki takes on Brazilian-based Duda Santanna. With just 2 pro fights, Malecki has finished both of her opponents inside the opening round- she turned pro in 2017. Duda has a pair of decision wins with a TKO stoppage in the middle.

Malecki is the taller girl by 2 inches and will have a 1-inch reach advantage. Santana is the younger fighter by 5-years.

Malecki competed on the most recent season of The Ultimate fighter, bowing out in the first-round to Leah Letson. She comes from a kickboxing background so her combat experience outstrips what her MMA record would suggest.

Similarly, Santanna builds on a striking background. She throws hard and will string decent combinations together. Previous Visas issues prevented her from competing on the Contenders Series.

The 18-month break could impact Duda and home-field advantage will favour Malecki. Both girls still have a lot of room for development. Malecki might be the more accomplished striker, but Santanna’s aggression and volume will counter that. The Brazilian might also consider threatening with a takedown to both score points and throw Malecki off her rhythm. Santanna will simply offer more frequent and impactful offense- my prediction is {Body_1]Duda Santanna to defeat Bea Malecki by decision.[/Body_1]

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205lbs- Darko Stosic (13-1-0) vs Devin Clark (9-3-0)

The first of 4 Light Heavyweight scraps on the card features Devin Clark taking on Serbia Darko Stosic. Clark is coming off a knockout loss to Alexsandar Rakic to drop his UFC mark to 3-3. Stosic extended his winning streak to 9 straight with an opening round TKO win over Jeremy Kimball.

Both men are 6’0″, but Stosic will have a slight 1″ reach advantage. He is also the younger man by 2-years.

Clark has done his best work with his striking on the outside before closing the gap to clinch and wrestle his opponent. That will be a key factor against Stosic.

The Serbian comes from a striking background, finishing 8 of his 13 wins by some form of knockout. He has finished 8 opponents in the opening round and his heavily muscled frame raises a lot of questions about his cardio.

If Clark can utilize his grinding wrestling/clinch based attack to force Stosic beyond round 1, this fight turns in his favours. The concern for the American lies with his striking defense and shaky chin. Clark leaves himself open both offensively and defensively and the crafty striking skills of Darko should be able to find the mark- my prediction is Darko Stosic to defeat Devin Clark by TKO.

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155lbs- Joel Alvarez (15-2-0) vs Danilo Belluardo (12-3-0)

A battle of representatives from lesser-known MMA nations features the debut of Italy’s Danilo Belluardo as he takes on UFC sophomore Joel Alvarez of Spain. Alvarez lost a decision in his debut against Damir Ismagulov- he had won 10 in a row. Belluardo has won 6 straight fights after a 1-3 skid that included a one and done run in Bellator versus A.J. McKee.

At 6’3″, Alvarez is a full 3 inches taller than his foe to go along with the same length reach advantage.

The Spaniard offers a submission heavy resume, recording 14 of his 15 wins by sub- stopping 10 opponents in round 1. Despite Alvarez’s ground-centric attack, he failed to complete or attempt a takedown in his debut.

With slightly more variety on his record, Belluardo has recorded 6 wins by knockout and 3 each by submission and decision. On the regional scene, his last 3 wins came over fighters with a combined record of 25-19.

Alvarez didn’t show much in his debut, but stylistically Belluardo is a better matchup for him. Look for Alvarez to be more aggressive moving forward and force Danilo to utilize his takedowns as a push back. Joel has an aggressive guard and will capitalize on his foe’s willingness to leave his neck exposed on the mat- my prediction is Joel Alvarez to defeat Danilo Belluardo by submission.

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