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UFC Fight Night July 7th Preview

UFC Fight Night Jason Silva, via Flickr.


UFC Fight Night July 7th Preview, along with some predictions.

July looks like it’s going to be a wild one for the UFC, as they prepare for the much anticipated UFC 200 event, which will take place on July 9th at 10PM/7PM EST, from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  But before that, two highly anticipated events in The Ultimate Fighter Finale the night before, which sees the final battles of Team Claudia and Team Joanna; but, on the 7th, a stacked card for UFC Fight Night, which will be headlined by the UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship match pitting the champ Rafael Dos Anjos against the #2 contender Eddie Alvarez.

Starting at 6:45 with the prelims, the first bout will pit “The Silent Assassin” Vicente Luque (8-5-1) against Alvaro “Chango” Herrera (9-3-0). Herrera has an advantage when it comes to kicks, hits landed and defense, as he scores in with a leg reach of 41 inches to Luque’s 38, has a strikes rating of 8 per minute to Luque’s 2.32 per minute, and a defensive rating of 75%, which dwarfs Luque’s defense rating of 42.47%. Luque does have a reach advantage of about 1 inch, with a reach of 75 inches, but when looking over the numbers, it’s clear that the advantage in this fight looks good for Herrera, look for him to try to end the fight with his stand up game.

The next bout will see Mexico’s Marco “Psycho” Beltran (7-4-0)take on Brazil’s Reginaldo Vieira (14-3-0), in what looks to be the perfect match between a striker and a grappler. Beltran comes in with higher ratings in knockouts (29%), reach (69 in.), defense (58.97%) and take down defense (66.67%), where as Vieira has the advantage in submission (71%), strikes landed per minute (3.93), strike accuracy (56.19%), and submissions average (2). This one appears to be even in certain ways, look for Beltran to use his strikes to try to win it, although, Vieira looks like a definite odds on favorite.

Gilbert “Durinho” Burns (10-1-0) will square off with Lukasz “Wookiee” Sajewski (13-1-0) in one of the most even match ups of the night. Each fighter’s points percentage are fairly close with each other, with the lone exception being takedown defense, where Burns’ 33.33% pales in comparison to Sajewski’s 66.67%. With hits landed (Burns’ 1.95 to Sajewski’s 1.73), strike accuracy (Burns’ 35.04% to Sajewski’s 30.23%), hits absorbed (Sajewski’s 3.6 to Burns’ 3.13) and strike defense (Sajewski’s 57.14% to Burns’ 55.36%), the stand up game looks about dead even. However, when you look at the grappling game, Burns looks to have a slight advantage, save for the takedown defense. Look for Burns to take Sajewski down to the ground for the tap out.

Felipe “Sertanejo” Arantes (17-7-1, 2NC) will have his work cut out for him as he takes on Jerrod “J-Reazie” Sanders (15-3-0). Both of these competitors have a penchant for both the striking game and the grapple game, as you can barely call this one a mismatch. Sertanejo comes in with a hits landed rating of 2.59, strike accuracy of 49.22%, hits absorption rating of 2.41, and a strikes defense of 63.8%. Sanders brings to the fight a strike rating of 0.87, and while that may seem small, his hits seem to be sure fire strikes, as he has an accuracy rating of 66.67%. Add on top of that an absorption rating of 1.36 and a defense of 42.86%, and he seems like a formidable opponent. The grappling ratings for both of these competitors is quite eye opening, as J-Reazie has a higher takedown average of 2.18 compared to Arantes’ 1.38, but his accuracy pales in comparison to Arantes’ 56.25% to Sanders’ 33.33%. Sanders carries a 10% advantage in takedown defense, 50% to Arantes’ 40%, and has a much higher submission average of 2.18 to Arantes’ 0.61. It’s another evenly matched bout, but, look for Sanders to work his submission game to his advantage.

Russell Doane (14-5-0) will take on “The Young Punisher” Pedro Munhoz (11-2-0, 1NC), and Doane comes into this fight with a reach advantage of 6 inches (70 inches to Munhoz’s 64 inches), but reach might not work in his favor. Munhoz comes in with a hits landed rating of 3.74, dwarfing Doane’s 1.71 rating. Doane does come in with a higher accuracy rating of 41.78% to Munhoz’s 38.11%, but Munhoz can take more punishment, with a absorption rating of 6.1 to Doane’s 1.56. They are almost even, with Doane edging out Munhoz with a 57.64% rating to a 56.41% rating. Looking at the grappling ratings, Doane has a clear advantage over Munhoz, with a takedown average of 2.73 to 0.9, takedown accuracy rating of 43.48% to 20%, and a takedowns defense of 62.5% to 57.14%. Munhoz only edges out Doane in submissions average, with a 1.35 over a 1.09. Doane may look to take Munhoz down for a ground and pound for the victory, expect Munhoz to look for either a standing KO, or a tap out.

Dileno Lopes (19-2-0) looks to add victory #20 against Anthony “El Toro” Birchak (12-3-0). Lopes comes into this fight with a very impressive rating when it comes to his strikes and grappling. With a strikes accuracy of 42.2% and strikes absorption rating of 3.93, along with grappling ratings for takedown average of 3, accuracy of 75%, defense of 100% and a submissions average of 3, he looks to be an odds on favorite coming into this bout. Birchak brings an equally impressive rating for strikes landed with 6.64 and strikes defense of 59.02%, and also has both a height (3 inches) and reach (4 inches) advantage over Lopes. El Toro may have the striking advantage in this one, but, look for Lopes to add win number 20 to his record.

“The Sultan” Mehdi Baghdad (11-3-0) looks to use his reach advantage against John “The Bull” Makdessi (12-5-0). Baghdad has a five inch reach advantage coming into the fight, but, his reach might not help against Makdessi, as his strikes landed pales in comparison to Makdessi (0.22 to Makdessi’s 5.34), as well his accuracy (20% to Makdessi’s 50.39%, absorption (1.11 to 3.92) and strikes defense (61.54% to Makdessi’s 72.3%). Factor in Makdessi’s takedown defense of 87.5%, and you can see where the advantage in this one lands. Makdessi may make short work of Baghdad in this one.

The “Soldier of God” Alberto Mina (12-0-0) looks to upend the challenge of Mike “Quicksand” Pyle (27-11-1). Mina comes in with both an arm and leg reach advantage over Pyle. Mina’s strike game is also a threat to Pyle, with Mina touting advantages in strikes landed (5.34 to Pyle’s 2.88), accuracy (48.82% to Pyle’s 47.37%) and absorption (5.65 to Pyle’s 2.73). Pyle’s only saving grace in strikes is his defense, which he outclasses Mina’s 42.02% with 61.17%. On the flipside, Pyle’s grappling game may give him the slight advantage, if he can get Mina to the ground. Pyle outclasses Mina in takedown average (1.93 to 1.56), takedown accuracy (35.59% to 11.76%), takedowns defense (73.21% to 50%), and submissions average (1.57). Look for Pyle to attempt to take Mina to the ground early on, although, this one looks to favor Mina.

Pyle and Mina close out the Prelims, which can be seen on both FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass, making way for the main card, which begins with a rowdy one, as “Irish” Joe Duffy (14-2-0) takes on Mitch “Danger Zone” Clarke (11-3-0). Both competitors are dead even in both leg and arm reach, but, they differ in strikes and grappling rankings. Duffy carries the advantage in strikes, landing more strikes (3.02 to 2.26), absorption (4.28 to 2.82) and defense (51.43% to 46.73%). Clarke is only close to Duffy in accuracy (35.5% to 34.16%). Duffy also seems to have the upperhand when it comes to the grappling game, where his defense is 5.56% higher than that of Clarke (55.56% to 50%) and his submission average is higher, as well (1.51 to .05). Clarke has the advantage in takedown average (0.74) and accuracy (18.75%), but, a betting man could make the case that Duffy might make short work of Clarke.

This next match doesn’t show up in the media notes, which brings into question whether or not it is set to happen, but, it does show on the official match lineup, so, we will report it. “Remember The Name” Belal Muhammad (9-0-0) makes his UFC debut against Alan “Brahma” Jouban (13-4-0). Belal comes into the UFC touting a 9-0-0 record, with three of his wins coming by way of TKO. The rest of his victories come by way of decision, and he may have his hands full with Jouban, who not only has a height advantage, but has significantly more victories via TKO. Muhammad may want to rely on his strike defense, as well as his grappling defense, as Jouban touts advantages in both. Muhammad, based on data, seems like a more rounded fighter, but, his all around style may be his disadvantage. Look for Jouban to try to go for the KO, but don’t be surprised if Muhammad pulls the upset.

And we have the treat, as we will have a showcase of the heavyweights, as Roy “Big Country” Nelson (22-12-0) faces off against “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis (15-4-0, 1NC). Lewis comes in three pounds lighter than Nelson, but, what he lacks in weight, he makes up for in arm reach, touting a 7 inch reach advantage. Lewis carries advantages in strikes landed (3.9 to 2.25) and accuracy (59.93% to 35.23%), but his absorption rate lacks compared to Nelson (4.8 to Lewis’ 1.51) and also lacks in the defense (Nelson’s 47.75% to 36.73%). Lewis fares only slightly better in takedown average (1.1 to 0.74) and takedown accuracy (33.33% to 20.93%). Both competitors are dead even in takedown defense, as both come in at 63.33%, but Nelson averages in submissions with 0.16. With Lewis having won a majority of his fights by KO, expect him to look for a standing knockout.

In the main event, Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos (25-7-0) defends his title against Eddie Alvarez (27-4-0). Dos Anjos comes in with advantages in strikes defense (69.39% to Alvarez’s 58.28%), takedown accuracy (44.83% to 41.51%) and submission average (0.81 to 0.53). However, that is where his advantages end, as Alvarez outshines him in strikes average (3.27 to 3.06), absorption (3.22 to 2.37), takedowns (3.9 to 2.64), and virtually outclasses him in takedown defense (91.67% to 66.04%). They only come out relatively even in strike accuracy (Alvarez’s 41.72%  to Dos Anjos’ 41.14%), but even with that, Dos Anjos has his hands full in this one. Alvarez has won a significant amount of his fights via KO/TKO, however, Dos Anjos has won a large number of his fights via decision. Unless he can somehow outscore Alvarez, expect the UFC to be crowning a new Lightweight Champion.

The night promises to be one of those incredibly memorable events for a weekend that culminates on Saturday, with UFC 200 and the double main event, where Brock Lesnar faces Mark Hunt in main event one, while Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones face off to decide who is the undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion.

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