UPDATE: Julian Marquez had to withdraw from his fight with Jordan Wright due to non COVID-19 related health issues so we are down to 10 fights and the first fight will now start at 4:30pm EST.
The UFC returns with a 11 fight card headlined by a five round main event in the women’s featherweight division between Aspen Ladd and Norma Dumont.
The action gets started at 4pm EST and streams on ESPN+.
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Aspen Ladd (-135) vs. Norma Dumont (+115)
This week’s main event takes place in the women’s featherweight division between Aspen Ladd and Norma Dumont, two fighters who have struggled to make the 135 pound limit at bantamweight. Dumont was originally set to face Holly Holm, but after Holm was forced to withdraw due to injury, Ladd stepped up. This will be Ladd’s featherweight debut after she missed weight just a few weeks ago against Macy Chiasson.
This will be Ladd’s first fight since tearing both her ACL and MCL training for a fight with Sara McMann. It’s been nearly two years since Ladd finished Yana Kunitskaya in the third round with ground and pound. Ladd is 4-1 in the UFC and 9-1 overall with her lone being a 16 second knockout to Germaine de Randamie.
Dumont made her UFC debut at featherweight and was stopped in the first round by Megan Anderson. Dumont then decided to competed at bantamweight, where she never officially made weight. She came in 3.5 pounds heavy against Ashlee Evans-Smith in a fight she won by unanimous decision, but then badly missed weight against Erin Blanchfield and the fight was cancelled. She moved back up to featherweight and took a split decision over Felicia Spencer. She is 6-1 overall with four wins by decision and two by submission.
The women’s featherweight division is so barren that the winner of this fight could be fighting current champion Amanda Nunes for the title next.
Ladd has struggled badly to make the women’s bantamweight limit so it’s no surprise that she’s now campaigning up a weight class at featherweight. She has always been a talented fighter and she’s still young at only 26 years old. Ladd is an aggressive fighter, especially when she can land takedowns. She’ll go to work with ground and pound and is very vocal as she pounds on her opponent. This can lead to swaying the judges in her favor or even forcing the referee to step in and stop the fight.
Dumont has looked good in her last two fights and is more accustomed to fighting at featherweight so that’s a potential edge here. She has solid striking and can wrestle a bit. A big concern in this fight could be her cardio as she got tired in round three against Spencer and this could potentially go five rounds.
If Ladd isn’t affected by the multiple weight cuts, I like her chances here. Dumont may have a slight striking edge, but Ladd is the better grappler in my opinion. Dumont did not look good off her back against Spencer and combine that with Ladd’s mauling style on the ground, the pick is Ladd by decision with a potential for a late stoppage if she has the gas to pile it on and force the referee to make a decision.
PREDICTION: Ladd by decision
Carlos Felipe (-110) vs. Andrei Arlovski (-110)
In the co-main event, we have a heavyweight battle as Carlos Felipe takes on former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
After losing a majority decision to Sergey Spivak in his UFC debut, Felipe has won three straight fights, a unanimous decision over Yorgan de Castro and split decisions over Justin Tafa and Jake Collier. Felipe is 11-1 overall with six wins by knockout and five by decision.
Arlovski has won three of his last four fights, most recently taking a unanimous decision over Chase Sherman. Prior to that, Arlovski had lost nine of twelve fights, getting knocked out five times. However, in his last 13 fights dating back to June of 2017, Arlovski has gone the distance 11 times so the glass jaw narrative has been put to rest.
Both Felipe and Arlovski engage in incredibly tight affairs so this has split decision written all over it. Felipe is the more active striker, but he also is more porous defensively. They have both proven pretty durable, even Arlovski lately. However, if anyone is likely to get hurt in this fight, I’d expect it to be Arlovski so the pick will be Felipe.
PREDICTION: Felipe by decision
Jim Miller (-225) vs. Erick Gonzalez (+185)
Jim Miller was originally scheduled to fight Nikolas Motta last month, but was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. Now he’ll welcome UFC debutante Erick Gonzalez to the Octagon.
Miller has lost three of his last four and is 3-3 in his last six fights. All three wins have been first round submissions, while all three losses have come by unanimous decision. This will be his 38th fight inside the Octagon.
Gonzalez enters the UFC with a 14-5 record with nine finishes, eight by knockout. He’s fought mostly in the Combate Americas promotion and has notable losses to UFC veterans Humberto Bandenay and Rafa Garcia.
Miller is a tough, grizzled veteran, but his cardio is a major concern now. If he doesn’t win by first round submission, he gets grinded out and loses a decision. Miller’s biggest strength is his grappling, but he’s not the strongest wrestler and he’s an average striker.
Gonzalez is a curious signing as he’s not the best talent. When your biggest strength is your toughness, you aren’t going to go far in the UFC. Gonzalez just has average skills and his grappling looks like his biggest weakness.
Miller should be able to impose his will on the ground early and potentially score another first round finish. If this makes it to the second round, it could get more interesting, but I don’t see Gonzalez grinding and tiring out Miller like Vinc Pichel or Scott Holtzman did.
PREDICTION: Miller by first round submission
Manon Fioret (-250) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (+200)
Manon Fioret is one of the hottest prospects in the women’s flyweight division. In two appearances inside the Octagon, Fioret has scored two second round knockouts over Victoria Leonardo and Tabatha Ricci. She’s 7-1 overall with six wins by knockout.
Mayra Bueno Silva is coming off a majority decision draw with Montana de la Rosa, but prior to that she was 2-1 in the UFC with first round armbar wins over Mara Romero Borella and Gillian Robertson. She’s 7-1-1 overall with six wins coming inside the distance, five by submission.
These two were supposed to meet at UFC 266 last month, but the bout was rescheduled due to COVID-19 protocols. Both Fioret and Bueno Silva are strong Muay Thai strikers so this should be fun. Bueno Silva is probably the stronger submission grappler, but she hasn’t landed a takedown in the UFC yet. She has good output on the feet, but Fioret is even more active and better defensively. Bueno Silva is a stiffer test than Leonardo and Ricci, but I’m confident in Fioret getting the win here.
PREDICTION: Fioret by decision
Julian Marquez (-255) vs. Jordan Wright (+205)
Julian Marquez has won two fights in a row since returning from a serious back injury that kept him out of competition for two years. He’s won both fights by submission, catching Sam Alvey in the second round with a rear naked choke and Maki Pitolo in the third round with an anaconda choke. He’s 9-2 overall with all wins by finish, five by knockout.
Jordan Wright competed on the Contender Series years ago and was throttled in just 40 seconds by Anthony Hernandez. However the result was later overturned to a no contest, keeping his incredibly padded undefeated record intact. Wright picked up a solid win over Gabriel Checco in LFA before getting the call to the big show. He stepped up a weight class to light heavyweight to take on Ike Villanueva and won by doctor stoppage in just 91 seconds. He was then knocked out in the second round by Joaquin Buckley, but bounced back with a ground and pound just 64 seconds into the first round over Jamie Pickett. Wright is 12-1 with all finishes, seven by knockout.
I do not foresee this fight going the distance. Wright is very aggressive, but he has major durability concerns and Marquez looks like a rough matchup for him. Marquez is tough and durable and once he’s able to close the distance on Wright, I don’t see “The Beverly Hills Ninja” lasting long.
PREDICTION: Marquez by first round knockout
Bruno Silva (-155) vs. Andrew Sanchez (+135)
Bruno Silva made his long awaited UFC debut earlier this year, knocking Wellington Turman out cold with ground and pound in the first round. He had been serving a two year USADA suspension, but prior to joining the UFC had impressive finishes of Artem Frolov and Alexander Shlemenko in Russia. He’s 20-6 overall with 17 wins by knockout. He’s been submitted in five of his six losses.
Andrew Sanchez has lost two of his last three fights and is coming off a brutal knockout by Makhmud Muradov earlier this year. He’s 5-4 in the UFC with four wins by decision. Three of his four losses have come by knockout, all in the third round.
Silva displayed some serious power in his ground and pound stoppage of Turman, but his grappling definitely looked like a concern and now he faces a strong wrestler and grappler in Sanchez. Silva obviously has power in his strikes, but he doesn’t push a great pace so Sanchez could potentially outwork him on the feet. Sanchez’s durability is an issue, but two of his knockout losses have come late in the fight, after he was absolutely exhausted. Unless Silva lands a big shot early, Sanchez should be able to land multiple takedowns and grind away for a decision victory.
PREDICTION: Sanchez by decision
Ramazan Emeev (-335) vs. Danny Roberts (+260)
Ramazan Emeev has won two in a row and five of six fights since joining the UFC, all by unanimous decision. He dropped a unanimous decision to Anthony Rocco Martin in 2019. He’s 20-4 overall with his wins split evenly between finish and decision.
Danny Roberts snapped a two fight losing streak with a second round knockout of Zelim Imadaev. Since then Roberts has withdrawn from two fights and hasn’t fought in nearly two years. He’s 6-4 in the UFC with four finishes, three by knockout. He’s been stopped in all four losses, three times by knockout. Thirteen of his seventeen career wins have come by finish.
Emeev has solid boxing skills, but he’s not very active on the feet. His biggest strength is his wrestling and that’s what he’s used to great effect in the UFC. He’s not a great control grappler, but he’ll keep attempting takedowns or stifle you in the clinch.
Roberts is a good striker, has some power and a knack for the finish. He has average takedown defense and isn’t a terrible defensive grappler, but he can be held down.
Emeev’s low output standing could make this closer than it needs to be, but he should be able to land a few takedowns and rack up enough control time on the ground.
PREDICTION: Emeev by decision
Lupita Godinez (-225) vs. Luana Carolina (+185)
Fresh off her first round armbar submission over Silvano Gomez Juarez, Lupita Godinez will move up to flyweight and replace Sijara Eubanks against Luana Carolina. Godinez will make UFC history as the first fighter to fight twice in a seven day period. Khamzat Chimaev held the previous record at ten days between fights.
Carolina has won two of three fights since joining the UFC, most recently taking a split decision over Poliana Botelho. She’s 7-2 overall with four wins by decision.
Godinez landed five takedowns last week before securing the armbar so we got to see a nice glimpse of her wrestling and grappling against a weaker opponent. Carolina is going to have a four inch height and nine inch reach advantage so I’m expecting Godinez to come in with another grappling heavy approach. Carolina’s biggest weakness is on the ground as she was submitted with a knee-bar by Ariane Lipski and controlled early by Botelho.
Carolina’s best chance to win this fight will be to keep the fight standing and use her length to her advantage. Godinez is the more talented fighter, but there are weight classes for a reason. Still, I think Godinez is skilled enough to get this fight to the ground, where she should dominate Carolina.
PREDICTION: Godinez by decision
L’udovit Klein (-410) vs. Nate Landwehr (+310)
L’udovit Klein made a successful UFC debut, knocking out Shane Young in just 76 seconds with a head kick and follow up punches. Most recently, he lost a unanimous decision to Mike Trizano. He’s 17-3 overall with 16 finishes.
Nate Landwehr has lost two of three fights since joining the UFC. He was knocked out with a knee by Herbert Burns in the first round in his UFC debut, then won back and forth war with Darren Elkins by unanimous decision. In his most recent fight, he was knocked out in just 56 seconds from a flying knee by Julian Erosa. He’s 14-4 overall and was the M-1 featherweight champion prior to joining the UFC. Eight of his fourteen wins have come by knockout.
Klein lost a close unanimous decision to Trizano, where he landed four takedowns, but just didn’t do enough on the feet to sway the judges in his favor. He’s a dangerous striker, especially with his rear leg head kick, but he just isn’t active enough. It might not matter against Landwehr though, who has shown major durability concerns since joining the UFC. Landwehr likes to brawl and Klein is a sharp striker so another first round knockout loss for Landwehr is very possible. If Landwehr doesn’t get hurt or finished early, he might be able to outwork Klein like he did prior to joining the UFC. The longer the fight goes, it’s better for Landwehr. But until, I see Landwehr show some more durability I have to go with Klein to score another early finish.
PREDICTION: Klein by first round knockout
Danaa Batgerel (-170) vs. Brandon Davis (+150)
Danaa Batgerel lost his UFC debut to Heili Alateng, but has bounced back with consecutive first round knockouts of Guido Cannetti and Kevin Natividad. It took just 50 seconds for Batgerel to put Natividad away. He’s 9-2 overall with seven finishes, five by knockout.
Brandon Davis went just 2-5 in his first stint in the UFC, but after winning four straight on the regional scene he’ll get a second crack in the Octagon. Davis is 14-8 overall with eight finishes. Six of his eight losses are by decision with the other two by submission.
Davis had a rough stretch of opponents during his first UFC run, facing Zabit Magomedsharipov, Enrique Barzola and Giga Chikadze to name a few. Davis isn’t great in any facet, but he’s good everywhere. He has good boxing, pushes a high pace and can wrestle a bit. He’s just a tough fighter.
Batgerel is coming off back to back first round knockouts, but Davis is very durable so I’d be shocked if Batgerel was able to knock him out. He’s a solid striker overall, but doesn’t look to wrestle much at all. Maybe he can win the striking exchanges, but I prefer the overall game and toughness of Davis.
PREDICTION: Davis by decision
Ariane Carnelossi (-155) vs. Istela Nunes (+135)
Kicking off the card is a women’s strawweight bout between Ariane Carnelossi and UFC debutante Istela Nunes.
Carnelossi picked up her first UFC win in her last fight with a second round ground and pound stoppage of Na Liang in a wild affair. She lost her UFC debut by doctor stoppage against Angela Hill. She’s 13-2 overall with ten finishes, nine by knockout.
Nunes was supposed to make her UFC debut over two years ago against Angela Hill, but was suspended two years by USADA for testing positive for steroids. She was then supposed to debut against Jinh Yu Frey earlier this year, but had to withdraw. She’s 7-1 with five wins by decision and two by knockout. Her lone loss came to Angela Lee in One FC.
Nunes hasn’t fought in three years so it’s hard to predict exactly what she’s going to look like. We do know she’s been training at American Top Team is a Muay Thai world champion.
Carnelossi is a powerhouse of a fighter much like Jessica Andrade. She’s not a very technical striker, but she comes forward, throwing bombs and pushes a good pace.
Carnelossi will likely be more active on the feet, but Nunes should have the technical skill and footwork to land the cleaner shots. As long as Carnelossi’s aggression doesn’t shut down her game, Nunes should strike her way to a decision.
PREDICTION: Nunes by decision
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