UFC on ESPN 3: Ngannou vs Dos Santos | Preliminary Predictions

UFC on ESPN 3: Ngannou vs Dos Santos | Preliminary Predictions

135lbs- Ricardo Ramos (12-2-0) vs Journey Newson (7-1-0)

The final fight of the undercard sees the debut of Journey Newson against the dangerous Brazilian Ricardo Ramos in the Bantamweight division. Newson is riding a 4-fight winning streak after suffering the first loss of his career, a TKO defeat to Benito Lopez. Ramos entered the promotion with a trio of victories before running afoul of Said Nurmagomedov who won by opening-round TKO.

Ramos is the taller man by an inch and will have a 2″ reach advantage. He is the younger man by 6-years. Newson is replacing Sergio Pettis on less than 2-weeks notice.

The Brazilian is exceptionally aggressive and capable of finishing both on the mat and the feet. Ramos has finished 9 of his 12 wins- 6 by submission. He has been outlanded in 3 of his 4 fights and has slowed down in longer contests.

Newson hasn’t fought in 16-months and is coming off his first decision win since early 2016. He has just a single win in the opening round. There is limited footage available on Newson, but his last 3 opponents are a combined 14-26.

Newson is debuting on short notice after an above average layoff and facing the best opponent of his career. That is a lot to overcome. The aggression of Ramos opens himself up to either getting caught or slowing down as the fight goes long, but it could also serve as too much too soon for the newcomer. Ramos benefits from a renewed focus following his first UFC defeat, working together with the periodic takedown with a superior offensive attack- my prediction is Ricardo Ramos to defeat Journey Newson by decision.

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205lbs- Eryk Anders (11-4-0) vs Vinicius Moreira (9-2-0)

The early May withdrawal of Roman Dolidze opened the door for Eryk Anders to return to action as he takes on Brazil’s Vinicius Moreira in the Light Heavyweight division. Anders has struggled at 205-pounds, compiling and 0-3 record that includes a contentious split decision loss to Elias Theodorou. Moreira couldn’t capitalize on a Tuesday Night Contenders victory, falling via first frame knockout to Alonzo Menifield.

Moreira stands a sizeable 6’4″, 3 inches taller than the former Middleweight. He will have 1″ reach advantage and is the younger man by 2-years.

A BJJ practitioner, Moreira’s showed a lot of heart in his final pre-UFC contest. He took some significant damage early from a superior striker before rallying for a 2nd round submission finish- 8 of 9 wins by knockout. He was unable to pull off the same feat in his UFC debut and got finished early.

Anders showcased his power early in his MMA career, but has failed to do so later in his run. Further to his struggles, his striking hasn’t developed beyond a willingness to stand and bang. He has shown a willingness to look for takedowns, but he will want to avoid hitting the mat here.

The American is the better athlete and should have a wide advantage on the feet against the sluggish striking offense of Vinicius. If Moreira can take him down, he has the skills to submit the former Collegiate Football player, but his wrestling has looked well below-par. Anders should find success on the feet at his foe presses forward looking to lock up- my prediction is Eryk Anders to defeat Vinicius Moreira by TKO.

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155lbs- Jared Gordon (14-3-0) vs Dan Moret (13-5-0)

In the Lightweight division, Jared “Flash” Gordon takes on Minnesota-native Dan “The Hitman” Moret. Moret is 0-2 since coming to the UFC, most recently falling to Alex White by decision. Gordon started his UFC tenure with a pair of wins, but has since suffered back to back knockout losses.

Moret is the taller man by 3-inches to go along with a 5-inch reach advantage. Gordon is the younger man by 2-years.

Gordon is a high-paced fighter, but his last 2 defeats have suggested that he is unable to absorb the high levels of damage that come with that approach.  He has surpassed the century-mark in significant strikes twice, but got hurt and finished in his last fight.

The numbers suggest that Moret lacks finishing power, recording just a single win by knockout. He has 8 wins by submission, but he has given up 4 takedowns over 2 fights and has been unable to find much success off his back.

Gordon’s result at Lightweight have been mixed, but this appears to be an ideal matchup for him. Moret is fighting at home, but unless he can find some unexpected success with his takedowns or score just the second knockout win of his career, he will struggle to match the offense of “Flash”. Gordon will land a couple of takedowns mixed in with high volume striking, eventually wearing his foe out- my prediction is Jared Gordon to defeat Dan Moret by TKO.

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205lbs- Dalcha Lungiambula (9-1-0) vs Dequan Townsend (18-7-0)

The first of a trio of Light Heavyweight bouts on the card will feature a pair of promotional debutants as South Africa’s Dalcha Lungiambula battles American Dequan Townsend. Towsend has won 4 fights in a row including a victory over UFC-vet Hector Urbina, but he fought just once in early 2018. Lungiambula is currently riding a 5-fight winning streak after suffering the first and only loss of his career.

Townsend is replacing Justin Ledet with just a week to prepare for the fight. He has fought at both 170 and 185-pounds so making weight shouldn’t be an issue. Lungiambula stands just 5’8″ compared to Townsend at 6’3″. Towsend will also have a 3″ reach advantage.

Both fighters are returning off above average layoffs; Lungiambula has been out for a year while Townsend hasn’t competed in 16-months.

Lungiambula has had some championship experience both at Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight. He is coming off a 5-round split decision win. EFC Champion has finished 4 opponents via knockout and is 4-0 on the cards.

Offering a finish heavy record, Townsend has won 12-times by knockout with 15 of his 18 wins ending inside the opening round. Conversely, he is 3-6 in decisions.

Both men are debuting, coming off long layoffs, and Townsend is fighting on very short notice. Lungiambula is an undersized LHW, but Townsend is far from a big man himself. Recent trends have favoured the fighter moving up and/or cutting less weight. Lungiambula is a heavily muscled fighter and has had some cardio issues. If he can’t get Townsend out of there earlier, most likely with his ground game, the American should be able to take this fight over- my prediction is Dequan Townsend to defeat Dalcha Lungiambula by TKO.

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115lbs- Emily Whitmire (4-2-0) vs Amanda Ribas (6-1-0)

Looking to build on her current success, Emily Whitmire welcomes the debuting Amanda Ribas to the UFC’s Strawweight division. Whitmire scored a dominant submission win over Aleksandra Albu in his last fight to improved to 2-1 in the promotion. Ribas is debuting after rebounding from her first career loss- a knockout defeat to Polyana Viana.

Whitmire made the cut to 115-pounds in her last fight and the results were positive. She is the taller fighter by 2-inches, but she will give up 3 inches of reach. Ribas is the younger fighter by 3-years.

Ribas hasn’t fought in over 3-years adding to the potential difficult nature of her debut. She sat out after a failed drug test. She has finished 5 of her 6 pro wins- 4 in the opening round.

The American is building a well-rounded attack and the cut down to face smaller opponents has further magnified her skills. Despite a pair of submission defeats, she showcased a solid ground game against Albu and quickly tapped her out.

Ribas is facing a multitude of tough scenarios to overcome in this fight. Further to that, Whitmire’s ability to put her on her back and start sub hunting will prevent the Brazilian from loosening up on the feet. Emily will continue to showcased improved striking early, but she will eventually take this fight to the ground- my prediction is Emily Whitmire to defeat Amanda Ribas by submission.

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265lbs- Maurice Greene (7-2-0) vs Junior Albini (14-5-0)

The first foray of the night will feature a Heavyweight title between Maurice “The Crochet Boss” Greene and Brazil’s Junior Albini. Greene is coming off of a split decision rematch victory over Jeff Hughes to improve to 2-0 in the UFC. Albini was last seen falling by middle round TKO to Jairzinho Rozenstruick for his 3rd straight defeat.

At 6’7″, Greene stands a full 4-inches taller than Albini to go along with a 6″ reach advantage. Albini should be the heavier man by roughly 5 to 10 pounds and is 5-years younger.

Greene has looked decent, but his level of competition has been a bit of a question mark. His win over Hughes was narrow and Hughes was coming in on short notice.

While Albini has struggled, he has faced a former World Champ, an experienced and talented grappler, and a very good kickboxer.

The Brazilian has dropped a trio of fights. This will put an added level of desperation in his performance to go along with a step back in competition.

Look for Albini to come out strong, working inside the reach of Greene with a more aggressive attack compared to recent outings. Greene’s cardio is far from perfect and this will show up if this bout goes beyond the first half of the fight. Greene’s chin has never been cracked in the pro ranks, but my prediction is Junior Albini to defeat Maurice Greene by TKO.

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