UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs Till Preview

 

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till will air on July 25, 2020, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Preliminary Card (ESPN)

NATHANIEL “THE PROSPECT” WOOD (16-4-0) vs JOHN “SEXY MEXI” CASTANEDA (17-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the bantamweight division. Wood brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Castaneda brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both are well-rounded; Wood is a far greater grappler. His jiu-jitsu will overpower Castaneda right away. Castaneda will try to use his jiu-jitsu to defend, but it will be no use. My prediction: Wood wins via submission in Round 2.

RAMAZAN “GORETS” EMEEV (18-4-0) vs NIKLAS “GREEN MASK” STOLZE (12-3-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Emeev brings sambo and wrestling. Stolze brings kickboxing and jiu-jitsu. Stolze’s kickboxing seems to be his main weapon to defeat Emeev. Emeev will avoid his kickboxing with the help of his sambo and keep Stolze on the ground. Stolze will use his jiu-jitsu to try to grapple with Emeev, but it will be of no use. My prediction: Emeev wins via submission in Round 1.

#13 BETHE “PITBULL” CORREIA (11-4-1) vs PANNIE “BANZAI” KIANZAD (12-5-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s bantamweight division. Correia brings kickboxing, kung fu, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Kianzad brings boxing, shootfight, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Correia aggression looks to be a challenge for Kianzad. However, Kianzad can fight under pressure and will attack Correia head-on. Correia will try to finish Kianzad early on, but Kianzad will use her boxing to harm Correia and keep her at bay. My prediction: Kianzad wins via knockout in Round 1.

RAPHAEL “BEBEZAO” PESSOA (10-1-0) vs TANNER “THE BULLDOZER” BOSER (17-6-0)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Pessoa brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Boser brings Muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, and jiu-jitsu. Boser’s Muay Thai looks to be all he needs to take Pessoa out. Boser lacks grappling abilities, which will cost him dearly. Pessoa will take advantage of this weakness and bring Boser to the ground with ease. He will then out grapple him and force him to quit. My prediction: Pessoa wins via submission in Round 1.

MOVSAR EVLOEV (12-0-0) vs MIKE GRUNDY (12-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Evloev brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Grundy brings boxing, Luta, Livre, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Evloev looks finish Grundy early with his striking power. However, Grundy is faster and more aggressive with his striking. He will cause greater damage to Evloev and this will cause Evloev to grow tired much faster. My prediction: Grundy wins via TKO in Round 3.

TOM ASPINALL (7-2-0) vs JAKE “THE PROTOTYPE” COLLIER (11-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Aspinall brings striking and grappling. Collier brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both bring their techniques and always give every fight their all. Aspinall is better at pressuring and controlling his opponents. He will be able to strike with Collier before taking him to the ground and out grappling him. Collier will try to get back to his feet, but Aspinall will not let that happen. My prediction: Aspinall wins via unanimous decision.

NICOLAS DALBY (18-3-1, 1 NC) vs JESSE “THE BODY SNATCHER” RONSON (21-10-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Dalby brings kickboxing, Ashihara Karate, and jiu-jitsu. Ronson brings kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Ronson looks to use his kickboxing to take control of this fight. However, Dalby holds great defense and will manage to keep Ronson. He will use both his kickboxing and Ashihara Karate to attack and defend against Ronson. Ronson will try to strike and defend against Dalby, but he will not be able to keep up. My prediction: Dalby wins via unanimous decision.

FRANCISCO “MASSARANDUBA” TRINALDO (25-7-0) vs JAI “THE BLACK COUNTRY BANGER” HERBERT (10-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Trinaldo brings striking, kickboxing, and jiu-jitsu. Herbert brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Herbert possesses good striking, but not enough to strike with Trinaldo. Trinaldo will attack Herbert with more aggression. Herbert will try to counter-attack, but he won’t have the accuracy. Trinaldo will continue to attack him hard and not give him any opportunities to make a comeback. My prediction: Trinaldo wins via unanimous decision.

Main Card (ESPN)

ALEX “COWBOY” OLIVEIRA (20-8-1, 2 NC) vs PETER SOBOTTA (17-6-1)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Oliveira brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Sobotta brings taekwondo, judo, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Both are excellent strikers; Oliveira appears to have more power. Sobotta will be able to inflict some damage to Oliveira early-on, but it won’t be enough. Oliveira will be able to withstand Sobotta’s attacks and counter with his own. My prediction: Oliveira wins via TKO in Round 2.

PAUL “BEARJEW” CRAIG (12-4-1) vs GADZHIMURAD ANTIGULOV (20-6-0)
This is a three-round fight in the light heavyweight division. Craig brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. Antigulov brings boxing, sambo, and wrestling. Craig’s boxing looks to be his main weapon, but it won’t be enough. Antigulov will use his sambo to bring him to the ground and turn the fight into a grappling match. Craig will try to use his jiu-jitsu, but he will not withstand Antigulov’s power. My prediction: Antigulov wins via submission in Round 1.

#7 CARLA “COOKIE MONSTER” ESPARZA (16-6-0) vs #9 MARINA RODRIGUEZ (12-0-2)
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. Rodriguez brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Esparza looks to make quick and easy work of Rodriguez by using her wrestling. However, Esparza is not one of the best strikers and Rodriguez has knockout power with her Muay Thai. Rodriguez will attack her right away and continue a full-on assault at Esparza. Esparza will try to defend, but she will be unable to withstand the power of Rodriguez. My prediction: Rodriguez wins via TKO in Round 2.

#14 FABRICIO “VAI CAVALO” WERDUM (23-9-1) vs #7(LHW) ALEXANDER “THE MAULER” GUSTAFSSON (18-6-0)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Werdum brings Muay Thai, judo, and jiu-jitsu. He is a former heavyweight champion of Strikeforce and UFC. Gustafsson brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Werdum looks to use his jiu-jitsu and take Gustafsson out with ease. Gustafsson has great takedown defense and will not let Werdum take him to the ground at all in the fight. Werdum will then try to strike with Gustafsson, but Gustafsson’s boxing will get the best of Werdum. Gustafsson will outstrike Werdum and continue to attack him until he goes down for the count. My prediction: Gustafsson wins via knockout in Round 2.

#15 MAURICIO “SHOGUN” RUA (26-11-1) vs ANTONIO ROGERIO NOGUEIRA (23-9-0)
This is a three-round co-main event in the light heavyweight division. Rua brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. He is a former light heavyweight champion. Nogueira brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. Nogueira’s jiu-jitsu appears to be his key weapon in winning this fight. However, Nogueira’s chin has lost much of its resistance. Rua will take advantage of this with his Muay Thai and hit Nogueira hard the moment the fight begins. Nogueira will try to defend, but he will stand no chance in doing so. My prediction: Rua wins via knockout in Round 1.

#1 ROBERT “THE REAPER” WHITTAKER (20-5-0) vs #5 DARREN “THE GORILLA” TILL (18-2-1)
This is a five-round main event in the middleweight division. Whittaker brings boxing, hapkido, karate, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. He is a former middleweight champion. Till brings boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Luta Livre. Till’s striking power looks to be all he’ll need to take Whittaker down. However, Whittaker can take a hit and will be returning heavier hits to Till. Till will try to avoid Whittaker’s attacks, but Whittaker will prove to fast for him. Till will not be able to withstand Whittaker’s power and wish he had stayed in the welterweight division. My prediction: Whittaker wins via knockout in Round 2.