Previous Record: 11-4
The decision by the promotion to allow a heavyweight interim belt so soon since Francis Ngannou won the actual title back in late March is questionable. Nonetheless, this card is still filled with intriguing fights all the way back to the prelims. This is a card with the potential to give the audience insane finishes, especially in the main event. Even with the title fight between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena being canceled, Saturday night should still be extremely fun. Ethan Hartley is here to give you his main card predictions for tonight’s fights.
Song Yadong vs. Casey Kenney
After a unanimous decision loss to Kyler Philips, Song Yadong looks to get back into the win column on Saturday. His challenge comes against Casey Kenney, who is also coming off a loss against Dominick Cruz back in March. Both fighters are also packed with finishes throughout their careers. But a major factor in this fight is whether it will stay standing or not. Keeney’s submission threat could be a huge problem. Yadong is going to have to show he can handle Casey’s takedown while also implementing his own game plan. I simply think that’s too much to handle as Keeney is one to push his pace for the full three rounds. I think Keeney earns another win and solidifies himself as a ranked opponent in a stacked Bantamweight division.
Prediction: Kenney by Unanimous Decision
Tecia Torres vs. Angela Hill
After a three-fight losing streak, Tecia Torres has set her career back on track, winning two straight fights in 2020. Angela Hill also won her only appearance in 2021 after going 2-2 in 2020. With only one finish by knockout in Torres’s career, it would take a dominating performance for her to earn a win on Saturday. I frankly don’t see that happening with someone like Angela Hill. This isn’t a matchup where Torres is a clear favorite and she’s able to implement her game plan to be a technical fighter. Instead, the fight will be a brawl from the start and it’ll take serious punch power from Torres to score a finish, something she’s obviously never proven. However, Hill is one who can land clean knockouts, as she has five in her career thus far.
Prediction: Hill by KO/TKO
Michael Chiesa vs. Vicente Luque
One of the most intriguing fights outside of the main event comes between Michael Chiesa and Vicente Luque. Both are rising established names in the Welterweight division. The two fighters also each hold more than a three-fight winning streak. Finally, both of these men have double-digit finished numbers in their careers. Despite Chiesa’s strong wrestling background, Luque has a submission threat of his own that can’t be counted out. However, I believe because of Chiesa’s focus as a wrestler, it’ll just be simply too overwhelming for Luque. Chiesa’s only problem will be defending and countering the shots from Luque while the fight is standing. I think Chiesa’s win will put him in the title-contending conversation and could make him lined up for a number one contender fight.
Prediction: Chiesa by Submission
José Aldo vs. Pedro Munhoz
Former Featherweight Champion, Jose Aldo, continues his search for another title shot at Bantamweight after losing his opportunity against the now should-be champ, Peter Yan. Aldo put together a convincing win against Marlon Vera at the end of 2020. He now faces Pedro Munhoz, another established Bantamweight who is coming off a big win against Jimmy Rivera in February after back-to-back losses. Munhoz is like a swiss army knife, he’s shown he can compete with the best in standup brawls, but has been known for his submissions his entire career. However, Aldo’s championship experience and adjustment-making could play to his advantage. I still see Munhoz overwhelming Aldo with his versatility, earning himself a key win and another finish.
Prediction: Munhoz by submission
Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane
This is a classic matchup of power vs technicality. Derrick Lewis currently is tied with the most knockouts in promotion history. Ciryl Gane is also one of the biggest and newest names to contend in the division. Gane has been almost perfect to this point, earning wins over big names with big finishes across his career. He has been able to pick apart his opponents and make them look almost amateur in their matchup. Derrick Lewis on the other hand has obliterated almost every opponent he’s faced on his win streak. This is an extremely close matchup to predict because of Lewis’s ability to just need one punch. But Gane has been perfect up to this point, why think that stops now? He has to be more than aware of Lewis’s ability to sleep him in one punch which is what gives Gane a major advantage in this fight. His technicality is through the roof, especially for a heavyweight. Gane has been able to pick apart some of the most polished fighters in the weight class and Derrick Lewis can’t be much harder. However, all it takes is one mistake for Gane and it is lights out for him.
Prediction: Gane by Unanimous Decision