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UFC Fight Night 114 predictions

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The UFC returns to Mexico with a solid card packed with tons of Mexican and Latin American talent. UFC Fight Night 114 is being headlined by a pivotal and likely title eliminator bout between top 10 flyweights Sergio Pettis and Brandon Moreno. This card also features an important women’s strawweight bout in Randa Markos vs. Alexa Grasso, the return of unbeaten prospect and TUF: Latin America 3 winner Martin Bravo, and career-defining fight for former UFC champion Rashad Evans – who faces Sam Alvey in a middleweight bout.

What: UFC Fight night 114

Where: Arena Ciudad de México in Mexico City, Mexico.

When: Saturday, Aug. 5. The two-fight UFC Fight Pass preliminary card begins at 7 p.m. ET, the four-fight FOX Sports 1 preliminary card begins at 8 p.m. ET, and the six-fight main card begins at 10 p.m. ET also on FOX Sports 1.

Sergio Pettis vs. Brandon Moreno

This is a fantastic match up, pitting two 23-year-old flyweight prospects. It’s not written in stone, but the winner here will likely receive a title shot since there no clear contenders in the division.

Sergio Pettis had some hiccups early on his UFC career, but has recently turned the corner, notching three straight wins. Pettis now looks experienced and patient when he fights, and seems to be coming into his own. Pettis is a composed striker that has a varied striking arsenal. Pettis is also good on the ground, although that’s not his bread and butter, as he can defend takedowns, achieve favorable positions, and even threaten with attacks from the ground.

Meanwhile, Brandon Moreno has become a well-rounded fighter, as he’s greatly improved his striking by training with T.J. Dillashaw and Duane Ludwig. But despite improving his stand up game, Moreno shines best in the grappling department and feels more comfortable fighting on the ground. Moreno is tough, has power behind his strikes and is very crafty when locking up submissions. Moreno can get sloppy on the feet, but each time he steps on the Octagon we see less of that.

It’s no secret that Pettis has an edge on the feet and Moreno has the edge on the ground. This should be a good scrap, but I think Moreno walks away with the win here. The Mexican fighter has a big advantage on the ground, and on the feet, Moreno might be at a disadvantage, but I don’t think it’ll be huge. I see this bout being very competitive on the feet, but once the fight hits the mat, Moreno should get his way.

Pick: Moreno

Randa Markos vs. Alexa Grasso

You’d think the UFC would give Alexa Grasso, who’s a very bright prospect, a tune up fight after her loss to Felice Herrig. But nope, Grasso is getting matched up against a top-10 opponent that can present several problems stylistically.

Despite having a 7-5 record, Randa Markos is actually a pretty solid competitor. Markos is a strong strawweight with a well-rounded skill set. The Canadian fighter is not afraid to strike, and can also take the fight to the ground. Grasso might not be as well-rounded as Markos, but her skillset is far more advanced, at least in the areas she’s proficient in. Grasso is a very technical striker that can mix things well with kicks and punches. She also has a very high striking output and her takedown defense is very solid. All this makes Grasso a tough opponent for anyone.

I can see Markos pressuring Grasso against the cage, and winning some rounds there. However, over the course of five rounds and in Mexico City, it’s hard to imagine Markos pulling off a strategy like that against an opponent that has good cardio and takedown defense. I think Grasso could have some issues early on, but nothing she can’t adapt to.

Pick: Grasso

Alan Jouban vs. Niko Price

This welterweight bout could be Fight of the Night.

I saw Niko Price come up in the regional circuit in South Florida and he always delivered action-packed fights. Price is extremely well-rounded and always fights to finish his opponents. The undefeated fighter has solid striking with good power, a granite chin, and an advanced ground game.

Alan Jouban is an experienced veteran that’s not afraid to get into a firefight. The 35-year-old fighter is extremely durable and possesses very technical muay thai. On the ground, Jouban is no slouch, but his best work is obviously on the feet.

Jouban is very game here, and can very well win this fight, but it seems Price has youth and momentum on his side. On the feet, Jouban will probably get the better of the striking exchanges, but Price just has a big edge on the ground. I see Price using his size and superior grappling skills to get this fight to the ground and finish the fight there.

Pick: Price

Martin Bravo vs. Humberto Bandenay

Martin Bravo will be returning to the Octagon for the first time since winning the third season of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America. The 23-year-old unbeaten fighter is extremely well-rounded and has shown glimpses of greatness in his young career. Bravo is dangerous wherever the fight goes, as he has submissions and dangerous boxing in his arsenal.

His opponent, Humberto Bandenay, is another promising prospect. At just 22 years of age, Bandenay has compiled a record of 13-4 mostly fighting in the regional circuit in Peru. Bandenay has good kicks, and is very accurate and powerful with his strikes. His downfall is that he tends to keep his chin up and he doesn’t possess the best head movement. On the ground, Bandenay is not as dangerous as he is on the feet, but he can still threaten with submissions.

This should be a fun filled fight with tons of action. But taking a short-notice fight against a durable guy is not a great scenario for success. This bout will likely be competitive early on, but Bravo should outpoint Bandenay over the course of three rounds.

Pick: Bravo

Sam Alvey vs. Rashad Evans

This is probably a do or die fight for Rashad Evans.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion hasn’t won a fight since 2013 and is currently on a three-fight losing streak. In his last outing, Evans lost a split decision to Daniel Kelly, which marked his middleweight debut. I don’t think Evans, 37, looked that bad against Kelly, I just think Kelly has a talent to take fighters out of their rhythm, making them look lost. At this stage, Evans still has good boxing, and solid wrestling base. Evans might have the speed he once had, but he’s still well conditioned and at middleweight he’s no longer overpowered.

Alvey, on the other hand, is very similar to Kelly in the sense that he can make his opponents look bad. Alvey is a not a very technical striker but he has surprising power, and tenacity to make up for it. Alvey also has a great chin, a good takedown defense, and can fight from the clinch.

It’s hard to imagine that Evans could lose to guy like Alvey, but it’s 2017 and his past performances don’t signal a revival of his distinguished MMA career. I think Evans is the better boxer, but Alvey has the momentum and power. I see Alvey landing the more significant strikes of the fight, and neutralizing Evans’ grappling attempts.

Pick: Alvey

Alejandro Perez vs. Andre Soukhamthath

Alejandro Perez, who won the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America, has failed to fully take off and make a name for himself in the UFC. Yet, despite not being ranked or having an established name in the division, the Mexican fighter has done well in the UFC, compiling a 3-1-1 record. Perez is a good counter striker with solid leg kicks. Perez’s only downfall on the feet is that he tends to throw one-strike combinations and his output tends to be very low. Perez is also a decent grappler that’s capable of setting up submissions.

Meanwhile, Andre Soukhamthath failed to defeat Albert Morales in his UFC debut earlier this year. Soukhamthath is not too proficient on the ground, but knows enough to keep avoid trouble against a mid-level grappler. Soukhamthath has good striking with very diverse attacks.

On the feet, I give a slight edge to Soukhamthath just because he has a bit more diversity, and is way more active with his strikes. And on the ground, Perez has a significant edge. The Mexican fighter is also more experienced than Soukhamthath. It’s a hard fight to pick, but I think the altitude and the Perez’s leg kicks can present issues for Soukhamthath.

Pick: Perez

Undercard:

Jack Hermansson def. Brad Scott

Dustin Ortiz def. Hector Sandoval

Rani Yahya def. Henry Briones

Diego Rivas def. Jose Quinonez

Roberto Sanchez def. Joseph Morales

Jordan Rinaldi def. Alvaro Herrera

Source:: mma fighting