The UFC heads again to Las Vegas this weekend for UFC 250: Nunes vs Spencer. Amanda Nunes (19-4-0), the ladies’s pound-for-pound finest fighter, seems to be to defend her featherweight title in opposition to former Invicta Preventing champion Felicia Spencer (8-1-0). Nunes enters the match as a an enormous favourite at -525.
Since becoming a member of the UFC, in a few yr’s time, Spencer has established herself as a sport challenger, successful twice through end, and making a reputation for herself as she took every thing Cyborg Santos might throw at her earlier than finally dropping a call. Can Spencer shock the world Saturday evening by taking down the champ? We’ll discover out quickly.
Co-headlining the occasion will probably be two of the bantamweight’s finest, as No. 9 Cody Garbrandt (11-3-0) makes his lengthy awaited return after a yr away in opposition to No. 5 Raphael Assuncao (27-7-0). Assuncao, a perpetual contender, seems to be to get again on observe after shedding a unanimous choice to Cory Sandhagen final August. Garbrandt is closely centered and motivated to get again to title conversations after shedding his final three fights through KO; ending his streak of 11 straight victories to begin his skilled profession.
Your complete card will probably be full of motion, because the UFC continues its use of the smaller, 25’ octagon on the APEX, as an alternative of the usual 30’ cage. Using the smaller octagon has traditionally elevated struggle end charges, and shortened common struggle instances. That is because of the means to create extra motion and engagement between the 2 fighters.
The cardboard will get underway at 6pm ET and is scheduled for 12 matches in whole. The matches which can air stay on ESPN and work its solution to Pay-per-view for the principle card.
TIME: SATURDAY 06/06/2020
BROADCAST: PAY PER VIEW – PRELIMS: ESPN
VENUE: UFC APEX
LOCATION: Las Vegas, Nevada
UFC 250 MAIN CARD
WOMEN’S FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE BOUT 145 LBS
(C) AMANDA NUNES 19-Four VS FELICIA SPENCER 8-1
BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135 LBS
#5 RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO 27-7 VS #9 CODY GARBRANDT 11-3
BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135 LBS
#2 ALJAMAIN STERLING 18-Three VS #Four CORY SANDHAGEN 12-1
WELTERWEIGHT BOUT 170 LBS
NEIL MAGNY 22-7 VS ANTHONY ROCCO MARTIN 17-5
BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135 LBS
EDDIE WINELAND 24-13-1 VS SEAN O’MALLEY 11-0
FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT 145 LBS
ALEX CACERES 15-12 VS CHASE HOOPER 9-0-1
MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT 185 LBS
#13 IAN HEINISCH 13-Three VS GERALD MEERSCHAERT 31-12
FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT 145 LBS
#12 CODY STAMANN 18-2-1 VS BRIAN KELLEHER 21-10
MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT 185 LBS
CHARLES BYRD 10-6 VS MAKI PITOLO 12-5
FLYWEIGHT BOUT 125 LBS
#Four JUSSIER FORMIGA 23-7 VS #9 ALEX PEREZ 23-5
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT 205 LBS
ALONZO MENIFIELD 9-Zero VS DEVIN CLARK 11-4
CATCHWEIGHT BOUT 150 LBS
EVAN DUNHAM 18-8-1 VS HERBERT BURNS 10-2
Felicia Spencer will get her crack at gold vs Ladies’s MMA Goat Amanda Nunes
Within the evening’s essential occasion, ladies’s featherweight champ, Amanda Nunes (19-4) will look to defend her title in opposition to former Invicta FC’s champion Felicia Spencer (8-1).
Nunes is driving a 10-fight win streak, and has remarkably defeated each lady who has held the UFC’s bantamweight and featherweight titles. It’s robust to not name her the best ladies’s MMA fighter after viewing her resume. Her final defeat got here in 2014, when Cat Zingano was capable of cease her late within the struggle through elbows and punches. Since that defeat, Nunes has cruised by means of the “who’s who” in females combating, and alongside the best way grew to become each the Ladies’s Bantamweight and Featherweight champion. She has completed seven of her final 10 fights inside the gap, together with 5 KO/TKOs and two submissions.
The struggle which many take into account the occasion that put her because the pound-for-pound finest, was her 51-second knockout in opposition to Cyborg Santos, a standard opponent between her and Saturday’s foe Felicia Spencer. Though Spencer misplaced to Cyborg through choice, many take into account her means to take the beating that she did and nonetheless come ahead to make the ultimate bell an ethical victory in a way.
Following that loss, which was first in her skilled profession, Spencer acquired proper again on observe and completed Zarah Fairn dos Santos in lower than a spherical. With a division carrying lower than 10 energetic fighters, Spencer’s the rightful subsequent contender for the belt. Nonetheless, on paper, that is the equal of a faculty soccer crew stepping as much as compete in opposition to an NFL squad. Spencer has a considerable skillset (BJJ – black belt, Tae Kwon Do – black belt), confirmed sturdiness, and is hungry to shock the world. However to have the ability to dethrone the champ, it’ll take a really particular efficiency from her on Saturday evening.
Nunes’ solely weak spot, which we’ve seen nicely up to now, has been her occasional suspect cardio. In her final struggle she went 5 rounds with no points, however with the pandemic and incapacity to coach persistently, and her companion Nina Ansaroff pregnant with their first youngster, I’m wondering if we are going to see Spencer impress greater than anticipated. All issues thought-about, this can be a sizable mismatch. If Spencer can get it accomplished, it is going to be akin to Matt Serra defeating Georges St. Pierre again in 2007, contemplating the upset of the last decade.
PREDICTION: AMANDA NUNES
Can vet Eddie Wineland put the breaks on the rise of the Suga Present?
Kicking off the pay-per-view Saturday evening, the primary match on the principle card options uber-popular, 25-year-old Sean O’Malley (11-0) taking up the inaugural WEC bantamweight champ Eddie Wineland (24-13-1).
Wineland, a full-time firefighter had been coaching to tackle Marlon Vera again in March, had his match scrapped because of the pandemic, placing his return to the Octagon briefly on maintain till this rebooking with O’Malley for UFC 250.
O’Malley, at present ranked simply outdoors of the highest 15, is asking for a title struggle by the tip of 2021. After a pair key wins, he’ll look to validate the hype and may accomplish that if he impresses in opposition to the veteran. Wineland is versed, clever and received’t go away shortly on this matchup. He understands he’s positioned as a attainable identify to proceed the rise of the brand new era of fighters, one being O’Malley.
As O’Malley is the rightful favourite, I see a place the place he can survive and get this into the “over” on rounds set at 1.5.
Wineland may have a number of disadvantages on the ft, the place O’Malley may have the peak and attain benefit, coupled with the truth that O’Malley carries a +3.04 strike differential, and can management the octagon nearly all of the struggle.
I believe the massive length of the struggle will probably be on the ft, because the 38 struggle veteran Wineland, brings to the desk an 86% takedown protection and prefers entering into hanging wars himself.
The struggle might flip into one thing much like what we noticed when O’Malley confronted Soukhamthath, finally successful through choice and accomplished his publish struggle interview on his again, not having the ability to stroll after taking huge harm through legkicks.
Although Wineland hasn’t been overly energetic during the last 10 years or so, he’s respectfully balanced combating together with his firefighting gig, taking 17 fights during the last decade. In that point, he’s solely misplaced twice in lower than 7.5 minutes.
The smaller cage is in motion but once more this week, however Wineland’s no stranger right here.
PREDICTION: WINELAND/O’MALLEY OVER 1.5 ROUNDS -125
Chase Hooper locked in as my favourite play of the evening.
Alex Caceres is in for a troublesome take a look at Saturday because the 15-12 vet takes on 20-year outdated rising star Chase Hooper (9-0-1). The match will probably be part of the headliner struggle on the ESPN preliminary broadcast.
After I noticed Hooper open at -120 I jumped throughout it. With just one struggle to date within the UFC, we haven’t had an opportunity to see a lot of what Hooper can supply on the sport’s prime tier. However now we have seen sufficient of his strengths, together with Caceres’ weaknesses, which make for a stylistic benefit for the child.
Caceres has been submitted seven instances in his profession and never serving to the trigger will probably be a small cage and a submission artist standing throughout from him. Final week we really helpful Mackenzie Dern through Submission which got here by means of with ease, and this might come by means of as a re-run. Whereas the rising Hooper is undefeated in his first 10 fights as a professional, Caceres is 5-7 in his final 12, and in a uncommon case, enters because the fighter missing each measurement and attain within the matchup. Hooper stays undefeated and celebrates with some M&Ms and fairly presumably a $50Ok bonus by evening’s finish.
PREDICTION: CHASE HOOPER -120
Cody Stamann Will get the Job Accomplished Honoring Loss of life of his Brother
Even earlier than information broke nearly per week in the past the place Cody Stamann’s 18-year-old brother Jacob out of the blue handed away, we sided with the favourite to win decisively in opposition to Brian Kelleher, one other winner from simply three quick weeks in the past.
I’m large on a fighter’s mentality heading right into a struggle, and one thing like this sometimes would pull me off the struggle. However after I noticed Stamann’s motivation to honor his late brother Saturday, together with the added gas to the hearth to get the job accomplished, I’m sticking with the -285 favourite. With the elevated line, I’ll wager through choice at -137.
Stamann is a nicely rounded fighter, former NCAA Division II wrestler, and BJJ blue belt besides. He ought to be capable to get Kelleher to the mat and management. Whereas on the ft, he ought to proceed to show Kelleher’s unlucky means to get hit, as he absorbs 6.02 strikes per minute, practically double that of Stamann.
Stamann’s final 5 wins all got here through choice in opposition to a troublesome schedule of respectable opponents. On the flip aspect, Kelleher has solely heard the ultimate bell as soon as in his final 10 fights, the place he received through end on six events. I simply don’t see him ending Stamann, and though Kelleher has solely gone to choice in 22% of his fights, including danger to this prop wager, I’ll take a shot.
PREDICTION: CODY STAMANN VIA DEC -137
QUICK PREDICTIONS ON THE MATCHUPS:
(C) AMANDA NUNES defeats FELICIA SPENCER
- Nunes 10-fight successful streak.
- Nunes 80% takedown protection.
- Spencer has by no means been completed.
- Spencer has solely gone into the championship rounds as soon as.
#5 RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO defeats #9 CODY GARBRANDT
- Garbrandt is again after a yr layoff, after shedding three straight through KO.
- Assuncao leads on giant majority of each hanging and grappling statistics.
- Garbrandt has 100% takedown protection.
- Whereas mma math is just not a factor, I’ll nonetheless be aware Garbrandt has been KO’d by each TJ Dillashaw and Pedro Munhoz, whereas Assuncao has beat them each.
#2 ALJAMAIN STERLING defeats #Four CORY SANDHAGEN
- Sterling hasn’t misplaced a spherical in his final 4 fights.
- Sandhagen has by no means been completed.
- Sandhagen is on a 7-fight successful streak.
- Sandhagen has been taken down by his opponent in all 5 of his UFC fights.
NEIL MAGNY defeats ANTHONY ROCCO MARTIN
- Magny may have a 6.5 inch attain benefit.
- Magny was a essential coaching companion for Justin Gaethje in his title successful camp.
- Martin has not landed a takedown in his final seven fights.
SEAN O’MALLEY 11-Zero defeats EDDIE WINELAND 24-13-1
- O’Malley is 10 years youthful, and may have measurement benefit throughout the board.
- O’Malley is undefeated in 11 fights, with seven finishes within the first spherical.
- Seven of Winelands final eight victories have come by means of knockout.
CHASE HOOPER 9-0-1 defeats ALEX CACERES 15-12
- Nearly 60% of Caceres’ losses have come by means of submission.
- Hooper has a +3.27 strike differential, and lands 5.16 per minute.
- Caceres is 2-2 in opposition to southpaws.
- Caceres is 5-7 in his final 12 matches.
#13 IAN HEINISCH defeats GERALD MEERSCHAERT
- Heinisch leads throughout the board in all hanging stats.
- Heinisch has solely been submitted as soon as, which occurs to be Meerschaert’s energy.
- Meerschaert has a substantial expertise edge, with 27 extra skilled fights.
#12 CODY STAMANN defeats BRIAN KELLEHER
- Kelleher with a fast turnaround, after successful through KO on Might 13th.
- Stamann’s final 5 victories have come by means of choice.
- Kelleher absorbs 6.02 vital strikes per minute.
- Stamann has by no means been completed by strikes.
CHARLES BYRD defeats MAKI PITOLO
- Byrd leads in all grappling stats.
- Pitolo’s return struggle to 185 lbs.
- 70% of Byrd’s wins have come within the first spherical.
#Four JUSSIER FORMIGA defeats ALEX PEREZ
- Formiga is coming off of again to again losses for the primary time in his profession.
- Three of Perez’s final 4 fights have ended within the first spherical.
- Formiga has confronted the next tier of opponents compared to Perez.
- Formiga has excellent grappling, and is a BJJ and Judo Black belt.
- Formiga hasn’t been taken down in his final eight fights, relationship again to 2015.
ALONZO MENIFIELD defeats DEVIN CLARK
- Menifield is undefeated in 9 fights, and have by no means gone to the choice.
- Clark however, has gone to the ultimate bell in his final 5 victories.
- Menifield could be very explosive, and his profession common struggle time is 3:24.
EVAN DUNHAM defeats HERBERT BURNS
- Burns leads in all grappling stats, although Dunham has an 80% takedown protection.
- Burns has by no means been completed, and Dunham’s final 5 wins have come by choice.
- Dunham with a substantial expertise edge.
Combat card predictions total: 167-89-6 (65%)
Focused matchups (wagers): 61-24-2 (72%) Avg. odds -107
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