UFC FIGHT NIGHT 157: Andrade vs Zhang | Prelim Predictions

UFC FIGHT NIGHT 157: Andrade vs Zhang | Prelim Predictions

170lbs- Kenan Song (14-4-0) vs Derrick Krantz (23-11-0)

In the main event of the undercard, China’s Kenan Song attempts to rebound from his first UFC loss when he tangles with promotional sophomore Derrick Krantz. Krantz lost via TKO to Vicente Luque to end a 3-fight winning streak. Song defeated Bobby Nash and Hector Aldana before losing to Alex Morono.

Song is the taller fighter by 2-inches, but he will give up an inch of reach. Krantz is 2-years older.

Krantz threw caution to the wind against Luque, finding early success with his hands and working towards a back mount. Eventually, the fight turned against him and he suffered the 3rd knockout loss of his career. After back to back knockout finishes, Kenan struggled with the activity of Morono and lost on the cards.

He is 1-3 in decisions compared to 12 finishes split evenly between knockouts and submissions. Similarly, Krantz is 2-3 on the scorecards.

Krantz is a veteran fighter with a wealth of experience and he is finally getting a legit opportunity at the top level of MMA. Traveling to China and facing a local is a difficult scenario, especially when you consider a high percentage of undercard main events go to a decision. Song appears to be the more durable fighter and Krantz’s last 2 decisions have been splits, suggesting he could need a finish here. Look for Song to offer more volume while defending Krantz’s attempts to take him down- my prediction is Kenan Song to defeat Derrick Krantz by decision.

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185lbs- Anthony Hernandez (7-1-0) vs Jun Yong Park (9-3-0)

In the Middleweight division, Anthony Hernandez makes his sophomore appearance against promotional newcomer Jun Yong Park. Park has won 6 consecutive fights including a submission win over PFL standout Ray Coopper III. Hernandez made his debut against Markus Perez, falling via 2nd round submission- the first defeat of his career.

Hernandez is the taller fighter by 2-inches and will have a 2″ reach advantage. He is also the younger fighter by…2-years.

One of the concerns with Hernandez heading into his debut was his lack of long fight experience. He has finished all of his wins in round 1 with the exception of a 5-round decision win. Park has fought beyond the first frame in 8 of 12 pro bouts.

Hernandez is aggressive, but it opened him up to some big shots against Perez and it will against Park as well. Park has excellent boxing, especially in close proximity, and he can counter strike effectively. Hernandez may want to try and take Jun to the mat, but the Korean has shown himself capable of getting up once taken down. The lack of long fight experience and the travel factor for Hernandez works against him as he will fade in a slugfest that goes beyond frame 1- my prediction is Jun Yong Park to defeat Anthony Hernandez by TKO.

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135lbs- Andre Soukhamthath (13-7-0) vs Sumudaerji (9-3-0)

Looking to rebound from a difficult debut, Sumudaerji makes his second UFC appearance when he battles 6-fight UFC veteran Andre Soukhamthath in the Bantamweight division. Sumudaerji debuted against Louis Smolka back in late 2018 and succumbed to a middle-round submission loss- his second straight defeat. Soukhamthath is 2-4 in the promotion, most recently falling to Montel Jackson.

Soukhamthath is an inch taller, but he will be giving up 2 -inches of reach. Sumudaerji is the younger fighter by 8-years.

Sumudaerji is a capable striker, but struggled tremendously with the grappling attack of Smolka. He has been submitted in all 3 of his defeats. Soukhamthath submission game has only produced 2 wins, but he has showcased a willingness to secure takedowns and utilize a clinch heavy attack.

Soukhamthath has completed 8 takedowns over his last 3 fights and would be wise to continue to increase those numbers here. Sumudaerji offers a pretty solid striking attack, but Soukhamthath is more than capable of holding his own on the feet and has fight stopping power himself. Look for the veteran to utilize a strength advantage to ground Sumudaerji, eventually leading to a superior position from where he can go to work- my prediction is Andre Soukhamthath to defeat Sumudaerji by TKO.

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205lbs- Khadis Ibragimov (8-0-0) vs Da Un Jung (10-2-0)

A pair of debuting Light Heavyweights meet as South Korea’s Da Un Jung battles Russian-born Khadis Ibragimov. Jung got the call to the UFC on the strength of a 9 fight winning streak, helping him to rebound from a 1-2 start to his pro career. Still undefeated, Ibragimov went 4-0 under the M-1 banner leading up to his first Octagon walk.

At 6’4″, Jung is the taller man by 2-inches. The Russian is 2-years younger.

By comparison, Jung’s last 3 opponents currently carry a combined record of 14-12 while Ibragimov’s most recent 3 wins came against foes’ with a combined record of 27-11.

Jung has recorded 8 wins by knockout and 9 finishes overall- just 4 in the first frame. Ibragimov offers a more diversified record with no one dominant win total.

Ibragimov has a sizable advantage in experience and he comes from a strong Sambo background. His throws from the clinch and top control will be a lot for Jung to overcome. While Jung has demonstrated serviceable takedown defense, he has yet to face anyone of this caliber. Even if Jung can stay vertical, his striking volume leaves a lot to be desired. The Russian will find success closing the gap to set up his clinch offense and eventually take control on the mat- my prediction is Khadis Ibragimov to defeat Da Un Jung by TKO.

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155lbs- Damir Ismagulov (18-2-0) vs Thiago Moises (12-3-0)

One of the few prelims featuring 2 multi-fight UFC competitors, Damir Ismagulov takes on Brazilian Thiago Moises in the Lightweight division. Ismagulov is 2-0 in the promotion with wins over Alex Gorgees and Joel Alvarez. Moises dropped a decision debut to formerly ranked Lightweight Beneil Darisuh, but rebounded with a decision win over Kurt Holobaugh.

Both men stand 5’9″ and share a 70″ reach. The Brazilian is the younger man by 4-years.

Moises got nullified in his debut by a grappling heavy offense from Dariush but was far more offensive both standing and on the mat in his next appearance. In a similar fashion, Ismagulov has shown 2 different looks in the Octagon- relying heavily on his takedowns in his debut, before switching to a more striking based offense in his next fight.

The Russian is the more consistent fighter; offering a grinding top position attack and/or a steady flow of striking centric offense. Moises is capable of scoring with high impact offense, but he has consistently struggled when faced with pressure. Ismagulov should find success backing his foe up and controlling the majority of the action wherever it goes- my prediction is Damir Ismagulov to defeat Thiago Moises by decision.

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135lbs- Karolline Rosa Cavedo (11-3-0) vs Lara Fritzen Procopio (6-0-0)

Far from home, 2 Brazilian Bantamweights meet as Karolline Rosa Cavedo and Lara Fritzen Procopio make their respective UFC debuts. Procopio is undefeated, turning pro back in 2015- she enters this bout almost a year removed from her last fight. Cavedo has won back to back bouts and is 6-2 over her last 8 fights including a loss to former UFC fighter Larissa Pacheco.

Karolline is the older fighter by a year and will stand 2-inch taller than his foe.

As is always the case with debut fighters, it is important to evaluate their previous level of competition. Procopio’s last 3 opponents are a combined 27-18 while Cavedo’s last trio of wins have come over foes currently post a combined 11-6 record.

Procopio’s offense seems heavily reliant on her grappling skills. Conversely, Cavedo has shown she can find success both on her feet and on the mat. Cavedo’s most recent defeat came against future UFC debutant Melissa Gatto, with Gatto catching her with a Kimura- she will need to be careful on the mat against Lara. If Rosa can keep this fight standing, she could work her way to a decision, but instead, look for Procopio to find repeated success taking her down until she finds the finish- my prediction is Lara Fritzen Procopio to defeat Karolline Rosa Cavedo by submission.

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135lbs- Danaa Batgerel (6-1-0) vs Heili Alateng (12-7-1)

In the first fight of the night, Mongolia’s Danaa Batgerel battles Chinese-born Heili Alateng in the Bantamweight division. Batgerel has won back to back bouts since his first career defeat- he also holds a 2013 victory over main carder Kai Kara-France. Alateng has won a pair of bouts since an 0-1-1 skid that ended his 6-fight winning streak.

It is interesting to note that Alateng is listed as a Flyweight weight while Batgerel has fought as high as 145-pounds. Batgerel is the taller man by 2-inches to go along with a 4″ reach advantage. Alateng is the younger man by 2-years.

Neither man has seen action in over year and their recent quality of opposition leaves a lot to be desired. While Batgerel has the edge in total fighter experience, he has also been finished in 4 of his 7 defeats- 3 times by knockout.

This fight should be contested primarily on the feet. Alateng appears to have a slight technical edge, but he relies too much on his counter striking skills. By contrast, Batgerel is far more aggressive walking forward with heavy-handed barrages and should be the more active striker. Of the two, the Mongolian is the more likely to find an edge on the mat. The prolong layoffs, low level of opposition, and debut factors make this fight difficult to call, but my prediction is Danaa Batgerel to defeat Heili Alateng by TKO.

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