UFC on ESPN 6: Reyes vs Weidman | Prelim Predictions

UFC on ESPN 6: Reyes vs Weidman | Prelim Predictions

145lbs- Charles Rosa (11-3-0) vs Manny Bermudez (14-1-0)

In the final fight of the undercard, “Boston Strong” Charles Rosa could take on the role of the visitor as he battles Boston-native Manny Bermudez in the Featherweight division. Bermudez is coming off his first career defeat, a decision loss to Casey Kenney- he is 3-1 inside the Octagon. Rosa is 2-3 in the promotion, with wins over Kyle Bochniak and Sean Soriano.

Bermudez had missed weight in back to back bouts and came in heavy on Thursday despite moving up a weightclas. Manny is an inch taller to go along with a 2″ reach advantage. Manny is the younger man by 8-years.

Rosa hasn’t fought in nearly 30-months after a couple of fights in 2017 and 2018 were scrapped. Until his last fight, the first stoppage loss of his career, he has been pretty durable. He offers a blend of unorthodox striking and serviceable grappling. His only UFC finish was the 7th submission win of his career.

A lot of Rosa’s fights are contested on the floor. He has scored 14 takedowns while giving up 8 over 5 UFC bouts.

A horizontally-oriented contest should suit Bermudez just fine. He is the owner of 11 submission wins, accounting for all but 3 of his pro victories. He is adept at forcing his foe into a grappling exchange and chaining his sub attempts together until something sticks. His willingness to fight on the floor allows him to move forward and throw heavy strikes that could result in his opponent attempting to panic wrestle.

Manny missed weight against Kenney and was unable to find enough success on the mat to earn the decision. If the cut was once again too draining, could he falter if this fight goes beyond the first frame?

The layoff is a massive concern for Rosa. So is Bermudez moving up a weight class and still missing weight. How does he fare against larger men? Will he be able to bring his grappling to bear? Rosa is simply too prone to getting dragged to the floor and he has had issues with lesser ground fighters. Look for Bermudez to stalk forward with big strikes, clinch, and drag “Boston Strong” to the mat- my prediction is Manny Bermudez to defeat Charles Rosa by submission.

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125lbs- Molly McCann (8-2-0) vs Diana Belbita (11-4-0)

In the first of 2 Women’s Flyweight fights on the card, England’s Molly “Meatball” McCann takes on the debuting Diana Belbita of Belgium in an all European endeavor. After getting smashed in her debut by Gillian Robertson, McCann has rebounded with back to back wins including a decision victory over Ariane Lipski in her most recent outing. Belbita has won 4 in a row and 8 of 10- she suffered a 2017 submission defeat to the aforementioned Lipski.

Belbita is the taller girl by 3-inches and she will have a 6″ reach advantage. She is the younger fighter by 6-years.

The Belgian has recorded 10 of 13 wins by finish, 6 by knockout. She has also been submitted in all 3 of her pro losses. Belbita comes from a kickboxing background and will most likely look to engage McCann on the feet. Despite her combat base, Belbita is a little wild on the feet. She walks forward behind wide punches, eating her strikes and she will lock up a Thai clinch and deliver knees in close.

Belbita’s last 4 opponents are a combined 4-7. The last girl she fought with more than 2 victories held just a 5-3 record and defeated Diana by submission.

The Brit got hammered on the mat by Robertson, but she has received better stylistic matchups in her last 2 fights. A boxer, McCann has blasted her last 2 foes with 100+ strikes landed in each fight. She has some pop in her hands but has yet to showcase her striking skills at this level.

While she is far from elite, Molly has augmented her striking attack with an improved grappling game. She has secured 4 takedowns over her last 2 fights.

Unless Belbita can clip McCann and hurt her early, she is going to find minimal success here. McCann is the more capable striker. She can land takedowns against the questionable defense of Diana. And finally, Molly has face vastly superior competition. While Molly’s best attribute is her striking, she should have a greater advantage on the mat. Look for Molly to continue her pursuit of a well-rounded attack by putting her foe on the floor with regularity- my prediction is Molly McCann to defeat Diana Belbita by decision.

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145lbs- Kyle Bochniak (8-4-0) vs Sean Woodson (6-0-0)

Despite a couple of strong performances, Bochniak faces the potential end of his UFC tenure when he defends home turf against the debut Sean Woodson. Bochniak dropped a split decision to Hakeem Dawodu and is just 2-4 in the UFC, including a 1-1 record fighting in Boston. Woodson is coming off of a successful Contenders fight, scoring a middle frame knockout.

Woodson is a towering 6’2″, 7-inches taller than Bochniak to go along with an 8″ reach advantage. He is the younger fighter by 5-years.

Bochniak put forth a strong performance against Zabit Magomedsharipov, but his struggles with mounting enough effective offense continued. He gets outlanded by his opponent at an almost 2:1 exchange rate and has yet to connect on more significant strikes than any of his adversaries- even in his 2 UFC wins.

Bochniak did pick up a trio of takedowns against Brandon Davis and 2 in his last outing.

On the Contenders Series, Woodson utilized a sharp jab to punish his foe on the outside. Conversely, once his foe got in close he was able to take him down and attack from back mount. Woodson spent a lot of the fight in a defensive position on the floor, losing the entire fight until he landed a jumping knee for the finish.

Prior to his last bout, Woodson had faced just a single opponent with an above .500 record. He defeated him twice to, knocking his career mark to 4-2.

If Woodson can keep Bochniak on the outside he will further limit the output of the local fighter and take a wide decision. Conversely, Bochniak will need to close the gap and take his foe to the floor. Bochniak fought well against a similarly lengthed Zabit, but in this bout, Kyle will have the edge in grappling. Look for the local fighter to crash forward, score takedowns and grind out his inexperienced opposition- my prediction is Kylr Bochniak to defeat Sean Woodson by decision.

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135lbs- Randy Costa (4-1-0) vs Boston Salmon (6-1-0)

Looking to rebound from unsuccessful debuts, Massachusetts-native Randy Costa and Bostom Salmon both make their sophomore appearances inside the Octagon. Costa’s loss was the first of his pro career, succumbing via submission in the middle round to Brandon Davis. Salmon lasted just 25-seconds, falling via TKO to Khalid Taha in April.

Both fighters are 5’9″, but Costa will have a 4″ reach advantage. Costa is the younger man by 4-years.

Salmon never got out of the starting gate in his debut. During his Contenders bout, he showcased a capable striking attack- utilizing a counter heavy offense. He does a decent job of landing strikes every time his opponent moves into range and with 4-wins by knockout he has some decent pop. He comes from a boxing background and has finished 4 of his 6 wins by knockout.

Prior to his UFC debut, Salmon had been out of action for roughly 22-months.

Lasting into the middle frame, Costa had a much more productive debut. He has issues on the mat and Davis was able to exploit that. Prior to getting subbed, he was able to routinely land quality strikes on Davis. Costa throws a nice variety of kicking attacks and hard punches that were clearly giving Davis issues.

Prior to his debut, Randy’s longest fight lasted just 71-seconds and he clearly slowed down as the fight with Davis progressed.

It is hard to get behind a fighter that got brutally knocked out inside the first minute of his debut. Salmon is the more economical striker, but Costa has the skills to replicate Boston’s debut defeat. Look for Costa to come out firing early with Salmon rolling into a counter striking mode. Once Costa starts to slow down, Salmon will press forward and land more of his offense- my prediction is Boston Salmon to defeat Randy Costa by TKO.

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170lbs- Court McGee (20-7-0) vs Sean Brady (10-0-0)

TUF 11 winner Court “The Crusher” McGee welcomes promotional newcomer Sean Brady to the UFC’s Welterweight division. McGee is coming off a split decision loss to Dhiego Lima- he has lost 3 of his last 4 fights. Brady makes his debut of a 4th round main event knockout at CFFC 72 back in February and he holds a 2018 win over TUF 16 winner Colton Smith.

Court is an inch taller and will have a 3″ reach advantage. Brady is the younger fighter by 8 years.

Brady has finished a trio of opponents by knockout and 2 more by sub with a 5-0 record in decisions. He is coming off of a 4 round fight with some quality long fight experience. He offers a complete attack with decent striking and a capable wrestling attack.

While Brady has been called out for his lack of finishes, his cardio is a solid weapon that he has utilized on more than one occasion.

The 9-year UFC veteran, McGee weaponized his cardio in the early stage of his career. Pushing a torrid pace and throwing with solid volume. Despite his decision heavy-style, McGee is just 1-3 over his last 4 decisions. His striking output has taken a stark downturn, averaging just under 50 strikes per fight over his last 8 bouts (3-5) compared to 90 strikes per fight over the first 6 contest after his TUF win- he went 4-2.

“The Crusher” has gone the distance in all but 1 of his last 13 fights.

McGee’s drop-off in offensive output coupled with his lack of finishing ability is a major concern. Brady appears to offer a similar base, but with more speed and a little less mileage. If Brady struggles with the pressure of his debut, he could fall behind the veteran early and never catch up. Instead, look for Brady to come out firing early and outpace Court in rounds 2 and 3- my prediction is Sean Brady to defeat Court McGee by decision.

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185lbs- Kevin Holland (17-4-0) vs Brendan Allen (11-3-0)

With Eric Spicely off of the card, Kevin Holland steps up to face the debuting Brendan Allen in the Middleweight division. Holland has won 3 in a row since his debut defeat against Thiago Santos- he most recently scored a decision win over Alessio Di Chirico. Allen earned a call to the big show with a submission win on the Contenders series- he has won 4 in a row and 10 of his last 12.

Holland will have just 2 weeks to prepare for this fight, but he was booked to compete in early November. He is an inch taller than Allen, but Kevin will have 6″ reach advantage. Allen is the younger man by 3-years.

Holland is a confident, but sometimes frustrating fighter. He can compete almost anywhere the fight goes, offering a capable submission game and long striking attack. Where Holland has struggled at times is with his Fight IQ. Despite have a clear edge over his opponent, he has a tendency to get drawn into a fight that doesn’t always play to his strengths.

Over the course of 4 Octagon outings, Holland has given up a combined 11 takedowns, including 8 over his last 2 fights- but he won them both.

Allen utilized a clinch heavy attack in his last fight, score a knockdown with a knee strike and moved to the RNC. He has recorded  7 wins by submission, 5 by rear-naked choke. On the feet, Allen throws some decent kicks and can do some damage to the body but the majority of his offense centers around closing the distance. His willingness to take damage is concerning as he enters the top level of competition.

With a 5-2 record under the LFA banner, capturing their Middleweight title after a couple of failed bids early in his LFA run.

Holland is a frustrating fighter and he is fighting a teammate of Gerald Meerschaert, who he narrowly missed blowing a winnable fight against. The TDD of Holland is a major concern and that is what Allen is going to look to exploit. If Kevin can scramble back to his feet or to a top position with regularity, he can edge this one out- his luck runs out against a solid ground fighter- my prediction is Brendan Allen to defeat Kevin Allen by decision.

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265lbs- Daniel Spitz (6-2-0) vs Tanner Boser (16-5-1)

The first fight of the night goes down in the Heavyweight division as Daniel “Daddy Long Legs” Spitz takes on Canadian Tanner “The Bulldozer” Boser. Boser was expected to debut back at UFC 240, but his fight was a late scratch- he has lost just once over his last 6 outings. Spitz is 1-2 in the UFC, scoring a knockout win over Daniel Spitz stuck between losses to Mark Godbeer and Walt Harris.

At 6’7″, Spitz will stand 5-inches taller than his foe to go along with a sizable 7″ reach advantage. Boser should tip the scales roughly 10-pounds heavier than his foe.

Spitz hasn’t fought in just over 16-months. The Spokane-native has just a single win outside of the opening round- recording 2 wins by knockout to go along with 3 wins by sub. He appears devoid of the required wrestling to find success on the mat at this level. He moves well but struggles to meld his above-average movement with consistent output.

Against Harris, he did a solid job of limit his opponent’s connection rate but he failed to land much of his own prior to getting finished.

The big Canadian has 8 wins by knockout, but unexpectedly his record is deep in long fight experience. He is 4-0 in bouts that reach the championship rounds and over his last 13 fights he has gone to the 3rd frame or more 12-times. Boser is a methodical striker and focuses a lot of his offense on his kicks, specifically targetting his opponent’s lower half.

“The Bulldozer” has finished multiple opponents with his leg kicks and overall he has stopped 7 opponents after the first round.

Beyond his height, reach, and decent movement Spitz doesn’t offer much. Conversely, Boser’s lack of urgent output could turn this bout into a grind. Look for the leg kicks of the Canadian to play a big role in closing the distance against the taller man. Boser should have the superior cardio which suggests he has a great window for victory- my prediction is Tanner Boser to defeat Daniel Spitz by decision.

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