135lbs- Ray Borg (11-3-0) vs Casey Kenney (11-1-1)
Former Flyweight title challenger Ray “The Tazmexican Devil” Borg welcomes incredibly short notice Octagon debutant Casey Kenney to the UFC’s Bantamweight division. Borg is coming off his 2017 title fight loss to Demetrious Johnson, he had previously won 5 of 6 to earn his shot at the Flyweight crown. Kenney has won 4 in a row prior to a 1-1 stint on the Tuesday Night Contenders Series back in 2017.
Borg is moving up to Bantamweight again an opponent that has competed at both at 125 and 135 pounds. Kenney with be dealing with less than a week to prep as he is the third man slated to fight Borg. Kenney is 3 inches taller and will have a 5″ reach advantage.
“The Tazmexican Devil” is coming off his title fight loss and prolonged layoff which creates concern over the potential for a letdown in overall performance.
Coming off of back to back title wins under the LFA banner. He won the Interim-Flyweight title November and grabbed the Bantamweight strap on March 22 via brutal knockout.
The majority of Borg’s success has come on the mat; authoring either a takedown-heavy attack or submission finish. Maybe a combination of the 2. He will most likely look to take Kenney down and test his lack of preparation time by putting him in some bad spots early.
Kenney is more than willing to hit the floor, landing a number of takedowns in his LFA title win. He has recorded 4 wins by submission- all early in his pro career.
Kenney is coming in on short notice, but he will have fought just a week earlier so he is in fight mode. Borg is coming off a long layoff and returning after a title fight loss. To further complicate matters, he is moving up a division. Ray needs to get this fight to the floor with regularity. Kenney is a decent striker and can hold his own on the mat. He is also the bigger man. Borg will struggle to settle in while Kenney forces him to stand and outworks him on the feet- my prediction is Casey Kenney to defeat Ray Borg by decision.
125lbs- Maryna Moroz (8-3-0) vs Sabina Mazo (6-0-0)
Former Strawweight contender Maryna “Iron Woman” Moroz makes the move the Flyweight division to meet the debuting LFA champion Sabina “The Colombian Queen” Mazo. Mazo is coming off of back to back 5-round decision wins under the LFA banner to capture and defend the Flyweight strap. Moroz has lost back to back bouts to Angela Hill and Carla Esparza to see her UFC record fall to 3-3.
Both girls are 5’7″, but Mazo will have a 3″ reach advantage. She is 6-years younger than Maryna.
Mazo comes from a Muay Thai background and showcased those skills with a couple of brutal high kick KO wins. She does tend to be a slow starter but works her way into a kick-heavy rhythm dotted by a snappy jab.
The Ukrainian Moroz is willing to trade on the feet and is coming off of her UFC-best output of 84 significant strikes. At times she has struggled to land with consistency.
In more recent action, “The Colombian Queen” has improved her boxing, working an accurate and active overall attack that simply has been too much for her opponent’s to deal with.
Against a striker, Moroz should make an attempt to drag this fight to the floor. While her wrestling has been far from overwhelming, her opportunistic armbar game could grab her a victory.
If Moroz can’t get this fight to the floor or lure Mazo into her guard, she is going to be in for a long night. She has struggled against short opposition to find her range and often throws ineffectual combinations with limited to no chance of landing. Conversely, Mazo’s striking is much more impactful and consistent. Look for Sabina to find her range over the first few minutes before opening up her arsenal and battering her adversary with kicks- my prediction is Sabina Mazo to defeat Maryna Moroz by knockout.
135lbs- Alex Perez (21-5-0) vs Mark De La Rosa (11-1-0)
The first fight of the evening will take place in the Bantamweight division as former Flyweights Alex Perez and Mark “Bumblebee” De La Rosa collide. Perez’s 8-fight winning streak, that included a trio of UFC wins, came to an abrupt end against Joseph Benavidez via first-round TKO. De La Rosa dropped his UFC debut to Tim Elliott, but more recently scored a pair of wins including a submission of Elias Garcia.
Both men are the same height and have an identical reach. De La Rosa is the younger fighter by 2-years.
Perez put together an unreal performance in his opening round stoppage of Jose Torres, throttling Torres with 84-significant strikes in under 4-minutes.
With just a single TKO stoppage, “Bumblebee” doesn’t have the stopping power, but he is capable of doing damage on the feet. He will trade punches in close range and throws an effective low leg kick at distance.
Perez is coming off his first knockout loss.
While not unwilling to trade on the feet, De La Rosa offers a sound submission game that will force Perez to be mindful of his positioning if they hit the mat. Perez, a talented collegiate wrestler has been submitted on 3 occasions.
De La Rosa is going to struggle to find success with his grappling game against the strong wrestling of Perez. Alex has had some issues with submission defense, but they came much earlier in his career. Perez is the more impactful and active striker and will find success landing on De La Rosa with regularity. Unless the knockout loss has made Perez gunshy, the combo of his aggressive striking and wrestling will overmatch his foe- my prediction is Alex Perez to defeat Mark De La Rosa by TKO.