UFC Vegas 14 Full Card Preview w/ @DieHardMMAPod
By; Clint MacLean (@DieHardMMAPod)
Finally, after three events, we have a card full of close competitive fights. The horrendous run of chalk is over. If you are a sports bettor, you have been waiting with me for weeks for a card like Saturday’s UFC Vegas 14 to get here. No need for parlays, no laying the big wood. We finally have some close lines and plenty of opportunities for live underdogs to bark!
Okay, and right after I get all worked up about closely lined fights, the very first fight on the card features the biggest favorite on the card. Don’Tale Mayes is taking on Roque Martinez in a heavyweight clash that should kick our night off just right. Roque is fresh off of his beating at the hands of King Kong, Alexander Romanov, and is turning around to face the other “Kong.” Mayes is roughly a 3-1 favorite in this spot, and he is not worthy of that price tag based on his merits as a fighter, in my opinion. He is, however, likely going to look like a 3-1 favorite simply due to the massive size advantage he will have come Saturday night.
The next battle is the very first live dog of the night, in my opinion. Geraldo de Freitas Jr is taking on Tony Gravely in a Bantamweight battle that should give one of these men a real push in the division. Gravely is an explosive and athletic wrestler, while de Freitas is a BJJ black belt who relies on his height and reach while striking. They are pure opposites, and I feel like this fight should be near a pick-em. De Freitas Jr opened as a +165 underdog and has been getting nothing but love making this line much closer.
UFC Vegas 14 has several WMMA fights, and the first one features a UFC debutant in Kanako Murata and long time veteran Randa Markos. This is another spot where I am looking at the underdog. All people recall is the rough run that wrestler/boxer Randa Markos has been on in the UFC, but you have to take into account the level of her competition! She has fought Angela Hill, Claudia Gadelha, Nina Ansaroff, Mackenzie Dern, and Amanda Ribas!! That’s a murderer’s row in the UFC today, and you’re telling me that a relatively untested 11-1 fighter making her first attempt at the UFC level should be a sizable favorite over Randa? I’ll roll with the red-headed underdog.
A can't miss! 👀
— UFC (@ufc) March 14, 2020
Our next fight is one between two struggling Bantamweights who are both trying to find their footing in the UFC. Jose “El Teco” Quinonez is facing “Da Last Samurai” Louis Smolka in a fight where neither man can afford to lose. Both have been trading wins and losses, beating their lower-ranked competition and losing to the higher caliber fighters in the division. This fight is going to show who is a can crusher and who has a shot to really leap up into the mid/upper tier and potentially be considered a contender. Quinonez is a point fighter who likes to play the outside, whereas Smolka is a kill or be killed finisher who will come in hard and fast every time. This fight should be fireworks, and I am backing Smolka as a short favorite.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) September 14, 2019
Do you remember Rhys McKee? The only reason you may know that name is because the UFC used him to springboard the runaway freight train that is Khamzat Chimaev. Poor Rhys made his UFC debut against the monster that is Chimaev and paid dearly for it. After joining the UFC, similarly to being jumped into a gang, Rhys is getting a real fight to see if he truly belongs. Standing across from him is Alex Morono, who is a deadly finisher from Fortis MMA. Fortis is on a hot streak right now, and Alex has a chip on his shoulder after his last devastating loss. Alex is a BJJ black belt vs. Rhys’ BJJ purple belt, but on the feet, Rhys will enjoy a nice reach advantage. This is a contender for fight of the night, and I expect somebody to end the night unconsciously.
Closing out the preliminary card is Brendan Allen vs. Sean Strickland. This fight was thrown together just a few short days ago as Allen was supposed to face Ian Heinisch on last week’s card, but it was canceled due to Ian popping for COVID. Sean faced Jack Marshman a few weeks ago and looked dominant in that fight but emerged unscathed. This is a great fight, and I expect fireworks. I lean to the young gun in Allen, but if Strickland can put together another performance like he did last time out, we will be talking about him as a real contender.
All business tonight for Sean Strickland, as he gets the TKO victory. pic.twitter.com/TBN2rihAKF
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) October 28, 2018
UFC Vegas 14’s main card kicks off with Ya Boi!! Eryk Anders returns to the Octagon against an exciting Dana White’s Contender Series fighter Antonio Arroyo. This is a spot where Anders needs to show up and show something. The Alabama alum has essentially peaked as a fighter and hasn’t shown us any improvements over the last few years. Antonio Arroyo is a young, hungry fighter who is looking to mount a run at the title! This is a changing of the guard spot where the older fighter really needs to show up correctly, or he will get dusted, and I am backing the new blood here. Arroyo is physically powerful and should be able to negate the strength advantage that Anders has over most of his opponents. Arroyo is an extremely skilled grappler and has a technical rangy kicking game that should cause the slow, plodding Anders some trouble.
The co-main event is an absolute BANGER between Abdul Razak Alhassan and Khaos Williams. Abdul Razak is fresh off just his 2nd professional loss in a fight where he had a bad weight cut and missed weight just a few weeks ago. Khaos is the fighter who wrecked Alex Morono, who we teased a bit earlier. Both men are athletic and explosive with crazy power. Khaos Williams has ten wins, with 5 of them coming by KO, and Abdul has ten wins with all ten coming by KO for a 100% knockout rate. This fight is one you simply cannot blink for. Neither man has been finished, but with the way they fight, it is hard for me to imagine anything but somebody hitting the canvas.
KHAOS IS SCARY 😱 Quite the UFC debut for @Khaoswilliams #UFC247
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 9, 2020
Saturday’s main event is a wild fight due to the need for a late replacement. Rafael dos Anjos is making his glorious return to 155 and, unfortunately, had his opponent fall out. On just a week’s notice, UFC broadcaster and top five 155 contender Paul Felder has stepped up and will take on this tall order like an absolute boss! This is such a tough fight to call because RDA has fought nothing but the best since his move up to 170, and the only issue he has had has been his size. RDA is criminally undersized and cannot contend with the pure wrestlers in the top 5. 155 is another matter entirely. RDA was forced to move to 170 when the weight cut because too much for him to handle, but if he is able to get himself back down to 155 safely, then he will be an absolute monster. Felder is a volume striker who seems to end up in a bloodbath of a war every time he steps into the cage. This fight should be fireworks on the feet, but I give a very important edge in grappling to the former champion RDA. IF Paul can keep this fight standing, then it will be close and entertaining, but if he cannot stop the takedowns, then RDA is going to maul him. Similarly, if RDA struggles to make the lightweight limit, Paul’s insane cardio will be the weapon he leans on to win this fight. There are lots of ways the main event can play out, and I feel like the line may be a bit wide. I would caution you to watch the weigh-ins and see how RDA looks on the scales prior to making any kind of bets.
PAUL FELDER SHORT NOTICE VIOLENCE pic.twitter.com/dDNM03NoiM
— Talkin Hands (@TalkinHands101) November 9, 2020