The UFC heads overseas to the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang with an action-packed line up with 2 Title Fights! Let's dive into the fray and breakdown this amazing main card.
Jack Della Maddalena (-160) vs. Ramazan Emeev (+140)
The main card is ignited by a welterweight scrap between Jack Della Maddalena and Ramazan "Gorets" Emeev. Maddalena is a surging young prospect with nasty hands. Emeev is an experienced pressure grappler who likes to grind out fights.
After losing his first 2 professional bouts, Maddalena has been on an absolute terror with an 11-fight win streak including 9 knockouts. This dude can box! He has excellent combinations in the pocket and digs to the body very well. Emeev is a bonified veteran with solid top pressure and a good submission game. He relies on keeping people on the back foot and likes to do dirty work up against the cage.
This is a classic striker vs grappler match up. Both fighters hold distinct advantages in their area of expertise. I just see a glaring whole in Emeev's striking defense. Maddalena throws crisp powerful punches and I expect him to catch Emeev on the button as he charges in. A straight right or a short-left hook might get it done. Pick: Maddalena via KO
Manel Kape (-225) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (+185)
The flyweights take center stage in the second fight of the night. Manel "Starboy" Kape toes the line against Rogerio Bontorin. Kape is an exciting striker with some really wild strikes in his arsenal. Kape has finished opponents in 16 of his 17 victories. Bontorin is a decently well rounded fighter with a sick rear naked choke. Of Bontorin's 11 submission wins 8 have came by way of RNC.
This fight comes down to momentum to me. Kape has it and Bonotorin does not. Bonotorin has a path to victory, but it is by way of making it a boring clinch style fight. Kape is coming off back-to-back highlight knockouts and I believe Bonotorin is too patient to not be the next reel. Don't blink. Pick: Kape via KO
Zhang Weili (-165) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (+145)
HERE WE GO! The meat and potatoes of this card is here. We get to see the much-anticipated rematch between Zhang "Magnum" Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The first fight between the two was in my opinion the best fight in the history of women's MMA. Both these savages are pinpoint strikers with outstanding footwork and counters.
Zhang has an ever-improving grappling game and Joanna's ability to stay on her feet is second to none. This will be a 3 round fight opposed to the 5 round fight we saw previously. Because of that I expect Zhang to come out the gates like a bat out of hell. This could be trouble for Joanna who has been out of competition since their 1st fight 2 years ago.
Inactivity can be a death note for some fighters. Joanna has been traveling the world and posting thirst traps while Zhang has been competing. I know Joanna takes her training very seriously and she looks to be in fantastic shape, but I understand some people's hesitancy in picking the boogey-woman. I however am not.
Joanna needs to play the matador. She cannot engage in those long exchanges in the pocket like she did in the first fight. I believe Joanna needed a break and I'm getting Dominik Cruz vibes. I expect her to make the needed adjustments and fight a more intelligent fight this go. Look for her to get in, score, then use her length and footwork to stay safe. Pick: Joanna via Dec
Valentina Shevchenko (-630) vs. Taila Santos (+450)
In the co-main event of the night, we see Women's MMA Terminator against a promising young contender. Valentina "Bullet" Shevchenko welcomes Taila Santos to the limelight. Santos is a very powerful puncher with a lot of momentum. Shevchenko is skill for skill the MOST technically sound fighter in the UFC. I will die on that hill.
Unfortunately for Santos, she's competing in a division and at a time where being great just isn't enough. Shevchenko is leap and bounds ahead of any contender available. She is going to do whatever the hell she wants and sign off with her signature dance. Pick: Shevchenko via TKO
Jiri Prochazka (-200) vs. Glover Teixeira (+170)
The main event is absolutely one of the most interesting match ups we've seen in a while. The champ Glover Teixeira defends his crown against the berserker Jiri "Denisa" Prochazka. Teixera is an absolute legend with outstanding traditional boxing and a top game that is terrifying for any opponent. Prochazka is a whirlwind of controlled chaos, boasting unorthodox striking with serious power.
Teixera has a lethal left hook that he launches from his peekaboo boxing style. If he gets you backed up against the cage it is serious trouble. And if he is able to hurt you and get your back, it's all she wrote. His durability is notable, and he has a knack for coming back to finish fights in which he was hurt in. In the past he has been susceptible to strikes up the middle because he tends to lead with his head.
Prochazka is like a character from Street Fighter. He is extremely explosive and mixes up his strikes in a way that we haven't really seen before. He likes to keep his hands low and does block punches with his face more than I'd recommend. Although he might be taken down, he has shown good scrambles and escapes.
Prochazka has to stay off the cage. If you look back to Teixeira's first title shot with Jon Jones, you'll notice the trouble he had when pressed with awkward angles. When Jon controlled the center, Teixera was not able to trap him to land big hooks or get to his legs.
Now, Prochazka isn't Jon Jones, but he possesses similar attributes on the feet. Spinning elbows, flying knees and kicks up the middle are all things the champ hasn't seen for a long time. Mix in the killer instinct and power of Prochazka and I see an outstanding finish on the horizon. Look for something straight up the middle while Teixeira is trying to corral this Wildman. And New. Pick: Prochazka via KO