The UFC returns tomorrow night to the APEX, in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a five-round heavyweight battle in the main event. #3 ranked heavyweight, Curtis Blaydes (13-2) squares off with #7 ranked, Alexander Volkov (31-7). Here are my picks for the main card airing live on ESPN.
Leading off the main card, in a catchweight bout, UFC veteran Jim Miller (31-14-0, 1 NC) faces Roosevelt Roberts (10-1). Roberts is the younger, taller, faster, better striker coming off a second-round submission victory over prospect Brok Weaver only three weeks ago. Miller has seventeen career wins by submission. He made his debut for the promotion back in 2008 at UFC 89, winning via rear-naked choke. Ultimately, Roberts’s striking will be the deciding factor. Roberts via TKO.
Lyman Good (25-5-0, 1 NC) vs. Belal Muhammad (16-3) takes place in the welterweight division. Good, the inaugural Bellator welterweight champion looks to make it two in a row against Muhammad who is fighting out of Roufusport. Again, size will be a factor in this matchup Good has a three-inch height and two-inch reach advantage. Good via TKO.
In the women’s bantamweight division Raquel Pennington (10-8) takes on Marion Reneau (9-5-1). Ranked #6 – Pennington is looking to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to Holly Holm at UFC 246. Reneau ranked #6 – is hoping to reverse her two-fight losing streak as one of the oldest women on the roster. Anything less than a stoppage will be a disappointment for ‘Rocky.’ Pennington via decision.
In the co-main event, in a featherweight scrap, Josh Emmett (15-2) will fight Shane Burgos (13-1). Emmett, the Team Alpha MMA member is the #8 ranked featherweight. He hasn’t fought in nearly a year and is looking for his third straight finish against the #10 ranked, Burgos. This fight is not going the distance. How can Burgos’ five-and-a-half inch reach advantage not be a factor? Burgos via TKO.
In the five-round main event, #3 ranked Blaydes looks edge closer to a title shot with an impressive performance over Russian fighter, Volkov. The only two defeats on Blaydes’s record come from the same person, Francis Ngannou, currently ranked #2 in the division. Volkov, the former M-1 Global and Bellator heavyweight champion, should look to keep the fight standing and in the center of the Octagon enabling him to capitalize on his striking advantage. Blaydes via TKO.