UFC Vegas 19: Put Up Or Shut Up

by Pub Sports Radio

UFC Vegas 19: Put Up Or Shut Up

By; Clint MacLean (@DieHardMMAPod)

 

UFC Vegas 19 is going to be one that you do not want to miss. I know, I know. I am a Die Hard, and I will watch the two worst fighters from Alaska punch each other as long as I have my fireball and can bet on them, but I’m serious. This card is a proving ground. UFC Vegas 19 is full of prospect vs. prospect fights. Changing of the guard fights. Sink or swim fights. Saturday’s event is going to be full of fighters who are fighting for their job or a place in the UFC’s good graces, and that should lead to big performances and big upsets.

Not only is this card full of awesome matchups, but it is full of heavyweights. We start and end the night with the heavyweight division as the UFC throws a few would-be prospects at one another for the first fight on the card. Sergey Spivak, who has earned his spot on the UFC roster as a potential prospect, welcomes the Contender Series veteran Jared Vanderaa to the big stage. Sergey is a talented boxer with a solid ground game. Vanderaa is a big man who might be raw but has potential. This fight will be interesting as Sergey will need to finesse and play the matador against Jared, who will look to use his size and strength to his advantage.

The preliminary card is a big one this week! We have a 15 fight card, and 10 of those are slated for the prelims. Returning to the UFC is Shana Dobson, who many recall as being the woman who pulled off the biggest upset of 2020. Somehow Shana has still not earned the bookies’ respect as she is once again an underdog to the UFC newcomer Casey O’Neil. The UFC is once against looking to test a prospect at Dobson’s expense, and she might be fighting for her job. O’Neil trains at Tiger Muay Thai and is undefeated at 5-0 in her professional MMA career. The UFC and the bookies are expecting O’Neil to get it done here, but we have seen what happens when you count out Shana Dobson before.

Another Dana White Contender Series veteran Rafael Alves is getting his spot under the bright lights against UFC newcomer Patrick Sabatini who is a highly-touted prospect himself. This is a prospect vs. prospect fight between two explosive fighters who could be quite marketable. Alves is a powerhouse striker who has flashy knockouts and a tight squeeze. Alves has that fast-twitch muscle that allows him to finish his opponents at any point in the fight. Patrick Sabatini is a grinding grappler who has a nasty submission game to go with it. Patrick is precisely the kind of fighter who can cause Alves problems and possibly finish the finisher if he can drag Rafael into the later rounds.

The UFC closes the prelims with another would-be heavyweight prospect Tom Aspinall getting a HUGE step up in competition when he faces the ever elite, Andrei Arlovski. Arlovski has been in the UFC for what seems like ever, and he is on a roll right now. The UFC is attempting to use Andrei to springboard some younger talent, and he just continues to cause problems and show them the ropes. Aspinall is a powerhouse and a huge man. The hand speed and knockout power this man brings to the table is something terrifying. We have had questions about Arlovski’s durability for some time, but it has been a while since he has faced a power puncher. Will we see Tom Aspinall turn into a genuine prospect on Saturday, or will Andrei remind us not to doubt him again?

The Main Event of UFC Vegas 19 is a massive showdown between potential heavyweight contenders when Curtis Blaydes faces The Black Beast. Derrick Lewis is a huge fan favorite who has serious knockout power and can end the fight at literally any time. Curtis Blaydes is a power wrestler who embraces the grind and will make his opponents break in the cage. This fight comes down to whether Lewis can land a bomb before he ends up on his back or not. I am extremely high on Blaydes myself and believe that he would be UFC heavyweight champion if not for Francis Ngannou. I have a hard time seeing Lewis either defending the takedowns or cracking the chin that even Francis couldn’t break. I expect Curtis to do his thing and make Lewis look for the door around the 3rd or 4th round of the fight.

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