Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back in action this Saturday night (Feb. 4, 2017) for UFC Fight Night 104: “Bermudez vs. Korean Zombie,” which takes place inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, live on FOX Sports 1.
The promotion’s latest mixed martial arts (MMA) offering will feature a featherweight showdown featherweight “Menace” Dennis Bermudez against the returning “Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung.
Probably not the most exciting fight card in recent memory, but at least it’s free.
Prior to the “Bermudez vs. Korean Zombie” main card, the promotion will host a handful of preliminary fights on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass. To get a closer look at those bouts, courtesy of “Prelims” professor Patrick Stumberg, click here and here. Latest odds and betting lines for UFC “Houston” can be located here.
With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the main card line up.
145 lbs.: Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez vs. “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung
Nostradumbass predicts: Fight fans love nostalgia more than anything and Chan Sung Jung, unquestionably a fan favorite thanks to his multiple “Fight Night” bonuses, walked away from the hurt business in August 2013. Partly because he was injured during his loss to Jose Aldo, but mostly because he wanted to fulfill his military duties back home.
Jung was ranked No. 5 when he skipped town but I think it’s important to recognize just how different the featherweight division looked during that time. Conor McGregor had yet to crack the top 10, outranked by middling journeymen like Clay Guida and Nik Lentz.
Strawweights didn’t even exist back then, at least not under the UFC banner.
So for me to blindly jump on the “Korean Zombie” bandwagon, I have to believe that operating in the top five in late 2013 is good enough to overcome more than three years on the sidelines. Maybe if Jung was fighting a plodding, turn-based striker like Dennis Siver, sure, I’ll buy that. Against a savage like Dennis Bermudez?
I’m not so sure.
While Jung was off playing soldier, Bermudez managed to rack up seven fight inside the Octagon, compiling a 5-2 record in the process. He’s not a technical striker by any means and he will give up both height and reach to Jung. That said, you are unlikely to find a more blistering pace from any contending featherweight and “The Menace” secured nine takedowns across his past two victories. He’s the sort of aggressor who will put you on your back before you even realize he’s shooting.
The path to victory is clear for both combatants.
Jung is the more polished puncher and has an impressive arsenal of submissions. But let’s not forget he was knocked out by George Roop and holds just one victory over an active UFC fighter. Bermudez will need to exploit the obvious: ring rust, timing, and cardio, three unforgiving areas of combat sports that require more forgiving match ups.
Final prediction: Bermudez def. Jung by unanimous decision
115 lbs.: Alexa Grasso (9-0) vs. Felice “Lil’ Bulldog” Herrig (11-6)
Nostradumbass predicts: Felice Herrig could not have timed her career any better. After bouncing around the regional circuit for several years, the “Lil’ Bulldog” increased her exposure with stops in Bellator MMA and Invicta FC.
Then UFC created a strawweight division.
That led to a stint on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 and more importantly, a bigger outlet to showcase her formidable marketing skills (sample). That’s important because Herrig has been unable to make any kind of noise at 115 pounds, frustrating herself and her fans with her consistent inconsistency.
That said, her submission win over Kailan Curran was an encouraging sign, but I would expect a former kickboxer to have more than just one knockout win in 17 professional MMA fights. In addition, Herrig does not have a win over anyone ranked in the promotion’s top 15, where Alexa Grasso sits at No. 9.
The Mexican phenom, much like Yair Rodriguez over at 145 pounds, represents the next generation of cage fighters. Her striking is clean and fluid and she has a great sense of timing when it comes to takedowns and scrambles. On the flip side, she gets a little too comfortable with her defensive striking and has yet to be truly tested across all three rounds.
Herrig will be that test.
Grasso does not have to do anything sensational to win this fight. A competent, measured approach, coupled with Herrig’s aggressiveness, should end in a clear-cut decision win. Just don’t be surprised to see “Lil’ Bulldog” win the first round by brute force, only to tire and give it away in the second and third.
Final prediction: Grasso def. Herrig by unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Abel “Killa” Trujillo (15-6, 1 NC) vs. James “The Texicutioner” Vick (9-1)
Nostradumbass predicts: James Vick was 9-0 (5-0 in UFC) and on his way to becoming a major player at 155 pounds — until he went and got starched by grappling phenom Beneil Dariush. Does that mean he was exposed … or simply careless and caught off guard?
We need to figure that out in order to accurately predict this fight.
Vick is a tall, crafty fighter with clean hands and formidable ground skills. For this fight he’ll be required to assume the role of matador, sidestepping his hulking foe who will no doubt be trying to decapitate him with every punch.
Abel Trujillo may not be ranked in the top 15, but he’s 10-2 dating back to 2011 and entering this bout on a three-fight win streak. His only losses in UFC have come against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, two of the three best fighters at 155 pounds.
Vick will be dangerous from all angles, but when you have a “Killa” like Trujillo — who gives zero fucks about what his opponent brings to the table — there are two options: Beat him at his own game, or play cat-and-mouse in hopes of winning on points. Truth be told, I can’t envision “The Texicutioner” managing either.
Final prediction: Trujillo def. Vick by knockout
205 lbs.: Volkan “Cousin” Oezdemir (12-1) vs. Ovince “OSP” Saint Preux (19-9)
Nostradumbass predicts: Ovince Saint Preux is coming off back-to-back losses and dropped three of his last four. Still, the former Strikeforce contender maintains his rank of No. 6 at 205 pounds, likely because all four of his UFC defeats have come against top five contenders.
Volkan Oezdemir is not top five.
In fact, he’s not even top 15, making his Octagon debut after a bouncing around the regional and international circuit with two pit stops in Bellator MMA. “Cousin” is a dangerous striker with heavy hands, but he gives up a whopping five inches in reach, problematic when facing an equally powerful striker.
In addition, “OSP” is one of the most athletic fighters in the light heavyweight division and will not be pinned down so easily. If this fight does go south, the Knoxville native boats a bevy of impressive submissions. Remember that shoulder choke on Nikita Krylov?
Saint Preux may have his faults, but we’ve only seen them because he’s consistently fought the best in the world. Oezdemir has not and until I see something to indicate otherwise, I don’t believe he’s ready for such a big step up in competition.
Final prediction: Saint Preux def. Oezdemir by submission
265 lbs.: Marcel Fortuna (8-1) vs. Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton (15-6)
Nostradumbass predicts: Unlike the above match up between Saint Preux and Oezdemir, this heavyweight showdown represents a more balanced pairing. Anthony Hamilton is an experienced UFC fighter, but he’s failed to win consecutive fights in seven trips to the Octagon.
If he was going to do something special, he would have done it by now.
Marcel Fortuna tore through the west coast circuit, racking up five straight wins with three finishes, including a “baseball choke” in June 2013. Unfortunately for the jiu-jitsu wizard, he’s a natural light heavyweight and could probably make 185 pounds if he really tried.
In the old days, you could get away with tiny Royce Gracie submitting fat bar fighters. This is not 1993 and Hamilton — a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt — is a massive 6’5” and tips the scale right at the heavyweight limit. Couple that with an All-American wrestling pedigree and you have a big, dangerous combatant.
Working in Fortuna’s favor is the fact that Hamilton will do all the work for him, at least in terms of turning this into a ground game. The question is, whether or not he can survive the onslaught long enough to lock up something tap-worthy. When in doubt, go with what you know.
Final prediction: Hamilton def. Fortuna by technical knockout
115 lbs.: Jessica “Bate Estaca” Andrade (15-5) vs. Angela “Overkill” Hill (6-2)
Nostradumbass predicts: Angela Hill gives hope to all those fighters who get cut from UFC and believe their career is kaput. “Overkill” was outclassed on TUF 20 but got the callback because she’s blessed with a great look and is hilarious on Twitter. But her in-cage skills were incongruent with her marketing prowess, forcing Dana White and Co. to bid her adieu.
Four wins later (including two finishes and one championship title) and Hill is right back where she started. What’s changed? The level of competition. No disrespect to fighters like Stephanie Eggsink and Kaline Medeiros — a combined 77 years old — but there is a reason they are fighting for Invicta and not UFC.
On the flip side, Andrade has been mixing it up with the best of both weight classes. A terribly undersized bantamweight, “Bate Estaca” was winning fights on her ruthless aggression but faltered in the face of bigger competitors like Raquel Pennington, who is now ranked No. 5 at 135 pounds.
The Brazilian has since dropped to strawweight and steamrolled both Jessica Penne and Joanne Calderwood in the process. Andrade has that old Chute Boxe approach of kill-or-be-killed and it’s going to be a very, very difficult style to stop for anyone outside of Claudia Gadelha and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Andrade is seven years younger, has fought tougher competition, and presents the kind of pace that few fighters can contend with. Unless Hill stuns her with something quick and nasty, she’s in for a very long night.
Final prediction: Andrade def. Hill by unanimous decision
That’s a wrap.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 104 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.
For much more on UFC Fight Night 104 click here.
Source:: mma mania