UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Stephens Preview

 

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Stephens will air on September 21, 2019, in Mexico City, Mexico.

Preliminary Card (ESPN+)

CLAUDIO “EL NINO” PUELLES (8-2-0) vs MARCOS “DHALSIM” MARIANO (6-5-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Puelles brings Luta Livre and boxing. Mariano brings striking and grappling. Mariano doesn’t have any specific skill set, which will cost him. Puelles possesses boxing and will quickly take advantage of Mariano. Mariano will take heavy shots right away causing him to become hurt. Puelles will then corner him and go all out until Mariano goes down for the count. My prediction: Puelles wins via knockout in Round 1.

#14 SIJARA “SARJ” EUBANKS (4-3-0) vs #15 BETHE “PITBULL” CORREIA (10-4-1)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s bantamweight division. Eubanks brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Correia brings kickboxing, kung fu, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Correia’s aggression appears to be Eubanks’ downfall in this fight. However, Eubanks speed and power will prove too much for Correia. She will attack her hard while keeping her under pressure. Correia will land heavy strikes, but Eubanks will withstand each one. Eubanks will continue her plan of attack causing Correia to become weaker throughout the fight. My prediction: Eubanks wins via knockout in Round 3.

VINICIUS “MAMUTE” MOREIRA (9-3-0) vs PAUL “BEARJEW” CRAIG (11-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the light heavyweight division. Moreira brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Craig brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. These fighters are great with their jiu-jitsu; Craig possesses boxing which he will use to overpower Moreira. He will keep a full-on attack throughout the fight while Moreira tries to defend. Moreira will grow tired faster and expose himself giving Craig the perfect opportunity to take Moreira out. My prediction: Craig wins via TKO in Round 2.

#5 SERGIO PETTIS (17-5-0) vs #13 TYSON NAM (18-9-1)
This is a three-round fight in the flyweight division. Pettis brings kickboxing, taekwondo, and jiu-jitsu. Nam brings boxing, kickboxing, and judo. Both are almost similar; Pettis is more well-rounded. His ability to transition from one skill set to the next will catch Nam off guard. He will attack Nam with strikes before bringing him to the ground and controlling him for the majority of the fight. My prediction: Pettis wins via unanimous decision.

ARIANE “SORRISO” CARNELOSSI (12-1-0) vs ANGELA “OVERKILL” HILL (9-7-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s strawweight division. Carnelossi brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Hill brings kickboxing and Muay Thai. Hill’s striking abilities appear to give her the advantage with Carnelossi not having any specific striking style. However, Carnelossi possesses grappling, which will give Hill trouble. She will be able to bring her down right away and out grapple her with almost no effort. My prediction: Carnelossi wins via submission in Round 1.

POLO “EL TORO” REYES (8-6-0) vs KYLE “THE MONSTER” NELSON (12-3-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Reyes brings boxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Nelson brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both are great grappler; Reyes is the better striker. His Muay Thai will prove too much for Nelson right away. Nelson will try to defend, but will only take more damage as the fight progresses. My prediction: Reyes wins via TKO in Round 3.

JOSE ALBERTO QUINONEZ (7-3-0) vs CARLOS “EL PERRO MALO” HUACHIN (10-4-2)
This is a three-round fight in the bantamweight division. Quinonez brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Huachin brings striking and grappling. From their skill set, Quinonez appears to take this fight with ease. Huachin can strike and grapple but has no specific style. Quinonez will use his wrestling to bring Huachin to the ground right away. Once on the ground he will transition to jiu-jitsu and force Huachin to quit. My prediction: Quinonez wins via submission in Round 1.

Main Card (ESPN+)

MARTIN “EL TORO” BRAVO (11-2-0) vs STEVEN “OCHO” PETERSON (17-9-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Bravo brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Peterson brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Peterson’s Muay Thai looks to be trouble for Bravo. However, Bravo possesses boxing and wrestling, which will give him the advantage. He will use both to wear down Peterson with mixing of grappling and ground-and-pound. Peterson will try to defend but end up receiving more damage instead. My prediction: Bravo wins via unanimous decision.

#10 IRENE “ROBLES” ALDANA (10-5-0) vs VANESSA “MISS SIMPATIA” MELO (10-5-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s bantamweight division. Aldana brings boxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Melo brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both can grapple; Aldana is the better striker. Her Muay Thai will overthrow any of Melo’s strikes with ease. Melo will try to defend, but it will be useless. Aldana will continue her attack until Melo can no longer go on. My prediction: Aldana wins via TKO in Round 2.

#9 BRANDON “THE ASSASSIN BOY” MORENO (15-5-0) vs ASKAR “BULLET ASKAROV (10-0-0)
This is a three-round fight in the flyweight division. Moreno brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Askarov brings striking, jiu-jitsu, and sambo. The Muay Thai Moreno possesses appears to trouble for Askarov. However, Askarov’s sambo is no joke and will make Moreno’s Muay Thai useless. He will take Moreno to the ground and wear him down with both grappling and ground-and-pound. Moreno will try to get back up, but Askarov will overpower him and keep him down. My prediction: Askarov wins via unanimous decision.

#8 CARLA “COOKIE MONSTER” ESPARZA (14-6-0) vs #9 ALEXA GRASSO (11-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s strawweight division. Esparza brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. She is a former strawweight champion. Grasso brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Both are almost identical in every technique; Grasso has more confidence and doesn’t rely on just her wrestling. Esparza will be relying heavily on her wrestling and that will be her downfall. Grasso will be able to defend and cause damage to Esparza with her boxing. This will cause Esparza to grow weaker and give Grasso enough of an edge to slip by her. My prediction: Grasso wins via split decision.

#7 YAIR “EL PANTERA” RODRIGUEZ (11-2-0) vs #8 JEREMY “LIL HEATHENS” STEPHENS (28-16-0)
This is a five-round main event in the featherweight division. Rodriguez brings striking, taekwondo, and jiu-jitsu. Stephens brings Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Both are tough fighters with much techniques to challenge each other. This looks to be a back-and-forth brawl, but Rodriguez appears to have the advantage. Stephens is a tough guy; Rodriguez is faster and will set up cleaner shots. Stephens is aggressive and wild, but he will get to wreckless and that is where Rodriguez will catch him. Rodriguez will let him play his own game before going all out while keeping heavy pressure on him. My prediction: Rodriguez wins via knockout in Round 3.