UFC Fight Night 154: Preliminary Predictions

UFC Fight Night 154: Preliminary Predictions

145lbs- Dan Ige (11-2-0) vs Kevin Aguilar (16-1-0)

In the final fight of the undercard, Dan Ige makes a quick turnaround from his 3rd straight UFC win when he takes on “The Angel of Death” Kevin Aguilar. Aguilar is 2-0 in the UFC with wins over Rick Glenn and Enrique Barzola- he has won 9 in a row. Ige debuted with a loss to Julio Arce, but he has since won 3 in a row.

Both fighters are 5’7″, but Aguilar will have a 2″ reach advantage. Ige is the younger fighter by 3-years.

Ige has put together a pair of quick victories, submitting one opponent and knocking out another inside the first 90-seconds of the bout. He comes from a BJJ background and has submitted his foe in 5 of his 8 stoppage wins.

Ige has completed 5 takedowns over his 3 wins, but he went just 1 for 13 in his debut defeat.

While Aguilar entered the promotion with 10 knockout victories, he has yet to showcase the finishing touch in the UFC. He went the distance in both his wins, but batter his opponents in both fights.

“The Angel of Death” had some issues with his TDD on the regional scene but he has stopped all 12 combined attempts from his 2 opponents- including 8 from Barzola.

Ige is a capable striker, but he needs to find success with his grappling in this bout. If he can take Kevin to the mat, he will negate his biggest strength. If Aguilar can stay vertical, his jab and power advantage will give him the edge on the feet. Ige struggled against Julio Arce in his debut and is facing a similarly capable fighter in Aguilar. Look for Aguilar to defend a few early TDAs while the impact of his striking starts to wear on Ige- my prediction is Kevin Aguilar to defeat Dan Ige by decision.

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155lbs- Matt Wiman (16-7-0) vs Luis Pena (6-1-0)

The unexpected return of Matt Wiman sees him paired with recent TUF graduate Luis “Violent Bob Ross” Pena in Lightweight division. Wiman hasn’t fought since 2014 and while he has 16 UFC fights on his record, only 1 of them came against an opponent still on the current roster- a 2008 loss versus Jim Miller. Pena is 2-1 inside the Octagon, most recently besting Steven Peterson by decision.

Pena is returning to Lightweight after struggling to make weight in his last contest. He is 5 inches taller than Wiman and will have an 8-inch reach advantage. Wiman is the older man by 10-years.

Wiman’s return comes almost 5-years after his last UFC fight. He has not fought since. By comparison, Pena made his pro debut almost 2-years after Wiman last fought.

During his time in the UFC, Wiman utilized a pressure-based attack- constantly engaging and pushing his foe with a combination of striking and wrestling.

Pena has been taken down in fights, but his defensive work is improving. His sizeable reach advantage should give him the edge on the feet and create submission attempts if he can scramble his way to a superior position once on the ground.

It is hard to back Wiman after such a long layoff. Pena is a developing fighter and will most likely benefit from not cutting to Featherweight. If Wiman can find a quick return to form, he has the skills to make this contest interesting. Unfortunately, he is in a tough spot against a dangerous opponent. Pena’s length and the more diversified offense will get the better of Wiman- my prediction is Luiz Pena to defeat Chris Wiman by TKO.

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265lbs- Allen Crowder (10-3-0 1NC) vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (7-0-0)

Looking to climb the ranks at Heavyweight, Allen “Pretty Boy” Crowder takes on Suriname native Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Rozenstruik is coming off of a successful UFC debut, knocking out Junior Albini early in round 2 to maintain his perfect record. Crowder faltered in his own debut against Justin Willis, but put up an admirable fight against the heavily favoured Greg Hardy in an eventual DQ victory.

Crowder, the younger man by a year, is the taller by an inch, but Rozenstruik will have a 2″ reach advantage.

Against Hardy, Crowder attempted to diffuse the striking of the former NFLer with his wrestling and will most likely utilize a similar approach here.

Rozenstruik defended 4 of 6 TDAs against Albini.

Building on a successful kickboxing career, Rozenstruik has knocked out 6 of his 7 opponents. Conversely, Crowder has been finished via strikes on 3 occasions including being on the wrong end of the only Justin Willis UFC stoppage win.

Rozenstruik struggled early in his debut, but survived and scored the finish. He needs to stay vertical here and prevent Crowder from establishing his takedown game. Even if Allen gets on top, unless he puts his foe away- he tends to fade in longer fights making later takedowns less likely. Look for Jairzinho to keep Crowder at the end of his strikes and eventually land the knockout blow- my prediction is Jairzinho Rozenstruik to defeat Allen Crowder by knockout.

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125lbs- Ariane Lipski (11-4-0) vs Molly McCann (8-2-0)

Fresh off her first Octagon win, “Meatball” Molly McCann meets the “Violence Queen” Ariane Lipski in the Women’s Flyweight division. Lipski dropped a decision to Joanne Calderwood in her debut, ending an impressive 9-fight winning streak. McCann fell via submission in her debut but rebounded with a decision victory over Priscila Cachoeira in her next outing.

Lipski is 2-inches taller and 4-years younger.

McCann is primarily a striker and showed decent finishing skills on the regional scene. Where she struggled in her debut was with her defensive grappling. She was taken down on multiple occasions and eventually submitted.

The Brit showcased an improved grappling attack against Cachoeira, coming close to finishing the fight on the floor.

In a similar fashion, Lipski struggled when Calderwood looked to take her down. Prior to her debut, she relied on a strong kickboxing attack while mixing in some well-timed takedowns.

Lipski has secured 6 wins by knockout.

Both girls will thrive against an opponent who focuses on a striking based attack. That being said, the winner of this fight could be the one that more successful integrates a grappling element to their offense. Lipski showed on the regional scene that she can operate on the mat and does have a couple of sub wins. Molly had issues with Cachoeira’s power and Lipski should have the edge there- Ariane will offer a more active and impactful vertical offense and potentially work in a takedown to score key points- my prediction is Ariane Lipski to defeat Molly McCann by decision.

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185lbs- Deron Winn (7-1-0) vs Eric Spicely (12-4-0)

In a fight modified by injury on multiple occasions, Deron Winn makes his UFC debut against the returning Eric Spicely. Winn is coming off a late 2018 victory over UFC vet Tom Lawlor. Spicely went 2-4 in the UFC before 2-0 run on the regional scene got him the call back to the big show.

Despite standing just 5’7″, White has previously fought at 205. He is 3-years younger than Spicely who is fighting on less than a week’s notice.

Spicely does his best work on the mat, dragging his foe into a grappling contest and setting up his submissions skills. He has 6 wins by submission.

He was also stopped in all 4 of his UFC defeats; split evenly by subs and knockouts.

Prior to going the distance with Lawlor, Winn had secure 4 consecutive first-round knockouts. His longest fight lasted to the 2:23 mark.

Winn comes from a strong wrestling background and trains alongside Daniel Cormier. He hits hard and did some damage against Lawlor despite a slowdown later in the contest.

Spicely has struggled when he can’t get his opponent to the floor and he will struggle to do so here. The combination of Winn’s low stature and strong wrestling pedigree will allow him to dictate where the fight goes. He should have the edge on the feet with Spicely questionable durability and minimal prep time catching up to him- my prediction is Derron Winn to defeat Eric Spicely by TKO.

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135lbs- Andre Ewell (13-5-0) vs Anderson Dos Santos (20-7-0)

The opening fight of the night features Andre “Mr. Highlight” Ewell taking on the UFC sophomore Anderson Dos Santos in the Bantamweight division. After a split decision win over former Champion Renan Barao, Ewell lost via submission to Nathaniel Wood in his last outing. Dos Santos was unsuccessful in his debut with a decision loss to Nad Narimani last November.

At 5’11”, Ewell is 4 inches taller than ADS to go along with a sizeable 7″ reach advantage. Ewell is the younger fighter by 3-years. Dos Santos debuted at 145-pounds

Ewell struggled with the ground attack of Wood and had some issue with Barao on the floor. Dos Santos attempted just a single takedown in his debut, but on the regional scene he was much more active on the floor.

The Brazilian has recorded 11 wins by sub while Ewell has been subbed on 3 occasions.

Ewell will need to keep this fight standing. His above average length and striking skills give him a noteworthy advantage over a fighter known for his poor striking defense.

Dos Santos has been stopped 3-times by knockout.

Ewell’s defensive wrestling is a major concern, but only if Dos Santos can get inside of his massive reach/length advantage. Look for Ewell to utilize his length to keep his foe on the outside, peppering him with offense as he tries to move forward. Once, Ewell starts to land with regularity look for the Brazilian to wilt- my prediction is Andre Ewell to defeat Anderson Dos Santos by TKO.