MadLab’s UFC Fight Night Mexico Breakdown and Predictions!!! Here is what Twitter is saying.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT MAIN CARD
Rodriguez $8200 vs. Stephens $8000
Yair is one of those fighters that came into the game with a very dynamic game. He was one of the guys that showed us what the UFC was shaping up to be in the near future. A mixture of traditional fighting with a hybrid ability has shown us what can be if MMA keeps transcending itself. Yair seemed to really have all the markings of a really good fighter early and then he met with Franky Edgar and was completely dominated and finished in the 2nd round. He then came back and fought the Korean Zombie in which shaped up to be an absolute war in which he showed much heart but he was on his way to lose. In the closing moments of the fight, he caught Zombie with an amazing elbow while ducking a punch that I am not even sure he meant to do. I can tell you this. If he really meant to throw that upward elbow than he is an absolute genius. With 1 second left on the clock he was able to catch him with the most phantom shot I think I have ever seen. With a record of 14-2, Yair has 4 KOs and 2 Subs. In his 2 loses he was KO’d 2 times which makes me concerned given the power of Stevens. Stevens is one of the OGS of the game and he is one of those guys that has seen it all. With a record of 28-16, he has seen everything that there is to see in MMA. his style is very simple. Move forward, throw with a lot of power and look to clean your clock. In his 28 wins. he has 19 by way of KO and 2 by way of submission. It’s quite obvious that this man likes to scrap in the pocket. In his 16 losses, Stephens has only been KO’d 2 times and submitted 3 times. So although he can be finished, It is not going to ever be an easy task. Stephens was on a really good run for a while but took 2 hard loses against Zabit and Aldo which is really nothing to hang your head down at. With that said, he really doesn’t want to drop 3 straight because that is never a good look. Both men have the style to solve each others riddle and it will be interesting to see how this shakes out. I think that Stephens is going to have some trouble with the speed and style of Yair. Don’t get me wrong, Stephens is going to make this a dog fight, but in the end, as time cuts into the clock Yair is going to start finding spots that frustrate Stephens making him lunge in desperation. The question is, will Yair get tired. This is 5 rounds and if this goes deep, Stephens has been there before and made it known that he has been training in elevation weeks before the fight. The deeper this goes after the 3rd round I may start leaning on Stephens a bit, but I think Yair will be up too much on the cards to have the rug pulled out from under him. I think it’s a good fight with a close decision that Yair will ultimately pull out in the end.
The Pick: Rodriguez
Esparza $7800 vs. Grasso $8400
Very good fight here and this is really going to be a measuring stick for Grasso. Esparza has fought the top of the heap in her class and although sometimes falling short in spots there were also times she came through extremely victorious. The one element about her game that I love to hate is her wrestling. The reason I say that is because Esparza has the ability to wrestle better than the majority of the people in her class but sometimes she gets caught up in the stand up end of things. However, when her wrestling g is dialed in she has the ability to really rack up some points with her takedowns. With a record of 14-6, her record is really not a good indication of what she is capable of inside the cage. She has fought some very very stiff competition. In her 14 wins, she has finished half of them. 4 by sub and 3 by KO. In her 6 loses she has been KOd 2 times and submitted 1 time. I like Esparza but if she decides to stand and trade with young Grasso things can get ugly fast. Grasso is extremely raw and young but she shows great promise in a women’s landscape that can really use a young marketing push. Grasso impressed in her last outing against Karolina is which she showed great maturity and improvement. However, her career has been toiled with a win and lose rotation under the UFC banner. So this fight will really come down to if Esparza decides to wrestle or stand. If she wrestles then I give her a very good chance here. If she doesn’t then I can see Grasso maturing further and winning sharp exchanges. Esparza has come a long way in her stand up but Grasso is just much younger and sharper out of the barrel. Grasso may be a little fun shy tho, considering she will need to keep her eye on a second level when it comes to Esparza’s wrestling game. I’m the end I think the trend continues for Grasso. Although she is getting better every fight and I expect her to do so going further I can see her just getting caught up in being sucked onto the ground with no real answers once she’s on her back. It’s going to be a fight that is clearly dictated by where Esparza decides to play it. I’m expecting her to get caught up early in a little war but once she realizes where her path lies she goes for the hips and gets it there. Tough fight but I’ll take the dog I’m this spot.
The Pick: Esparza
Moreno $7400 vs. Askarov $8800
This can be a very fun fight to sink your teeth into as well as a spot in the DK wheelhouse. Moreno has shown us some really high and low times in his career. Winning his first 3 fights in the UFC and then dumping his last 2, Moreno was forced back to LFA. Winning his last fight in LFA he gets the call again. Moreno is one of those fighters with loads of talent but he just hasn’t shown me that he is going to transcend out of his comfort zone. With a 15-5 record, Moreno pimps 10 submission wins and in his loses he has never been finished showing that Mexican pride. His striking has been good and spots and it has also been pretty terrible in spots, but where he shines is in the scramble of chess on the ground. He enjoys the fluency of transitions and gets to the spots fairly quick. He will need all of it against another extremely creative grappler in Askarov. Askarov comes in with a 10-0 record with 7 of them coming by way of sub and 3 by way of KO. Askarov showed his creative grappling when he landed a twister in one of his fights with solid understanding and execution. His grappling is extremely impressive but his striking is not very tight. He does fight long and he does tie his kicks together in well, but he doesn’t really throw with a ton of heat. His strikes come out of the barrel with just a small lack of steam behind them, but I really believe that it is more of a means to an end to get it to the ground where he is extremely comfortable for him. With an array of submissions in his bag, he will look to bait you into his spots which I do like, but the competition has been less than stellar, so you must keep that in mind. The problem for me with Moreno is like I stated above that he just hasn’t really grown. He is what he is and that is a tough fighter with good chops and a tough Mexican constitution, but did he throw some new wrinkles in his game? I feel like this fight is mispriced and Moreno is getting disrespected here but I just don’t like the matchup for him here. Liking to play the transition game, the brown belt in BJJ will have trouble in spots here when he is transitioning into positions because now he has a dance partner that will be waiting at every door with an answer. This is a tough spot here for Moreno but he should hold the candle in cardio of this becomes a dirty grappling match, but I don’t think Askarov slows up enough for him to lose too much ground on the cards if it even gets there.
The Pick: Askarov
Aldana $9400 vs. Melo $6800
Everyone knows how I feel about Aldana. There is something about her fighting style that just appeals to me. She’s long, rangy, and she too holds that Mexican pride style. Aldana has been around the game for a while, and she, like many fighters, tends to have fights where she looks stellar and other times can look a bit lost. With a UFC record of 3-3, Aldana needs to get that record leaning more in the W column if she plans on getting out of the journeywoman location. Aldana has a lot of tools but there are clear paths to beat her. However, in front of her home people, I highly doubt the UFC is setting her up to fail against newcomer Melo. Melo is a Brazilian fighter that has fought watered-down opposition. With a 10-5 record, she has no finishes under her belt and that’s all you really need to know. Aldana being far and away her best challenge to date and never chalking up a finish anywhere on the Brazilian scene is a tough pill to swallow in picking her. I highly doubt she is going to be able to shorten up the distance on the long and rangy Aldana to outpoint her. Aldana keeps her outside and slip and rips her way to victory in a lopsided one.
The Pick: Aldana
Bravo $8100 vs. Peterson $8100
Anytime Peterson is involved in a scrap I feel compelled to watch it. He has a mixture of a bunch of fighters all molded into one but he just isn’t super good. However, you can still be fun to watch and not super good. He has sprinkles of Justin Gaethje and Jason Knight in him. He is like their B-Level cousin in a sense. Carries some traits but just not as good. Petterson has a record of 17-9 and shows in his losing side how hard it is to finish him with only 1 of his 9 losses coming by finish. In his 17 wins, he has 8 by submission and 4 by KO and a kill or be killed attitude. He will be taking on Martin Bravo, who quite honestly does nothing for me. He came into the UFC forefront when he KO’d Puelles and got people talking. Then he loses his last 2 fights back to back to some very poor quality of opposition. Well, I wouldn’t call Caceres poor, but I wouldn’t call him very good either. Bravo has a pretty decent and sharp stand up game, so I will give him that. This is where he may be able to take advantage of Peterson. The only thing I will say about him is that he will be able to possibly bait Peterson into what he wants which is a clean and calculated Striking match. This is something that Peterson is just not capable of. He is either going to win this on the ground or win this by just pushing forward and just trading leather. He can not win a calculated striking match. He just isn’t composed enough to do so. It is not his style and never will be. With an 11-2 record, Bravo’s record can be a bit deceiving. With 4 Subs and 5 KOs, he is much more of a striker than he is a grappler and if this does go the ground he can find himself in a bit of trouble with Peterson to be quite honest. In his 2 which both came inside the UFC umbrella, he has been KO’d once and has never been submitted. The matchup is quite intriguing, to be honest, and this is one of the fights that I am looking forward to. I will say this. The reason I am giving Bravo the slight lean here is Mexican crowd and Elevation. Elevation is very very real and I am not sure how Peterson fairs in a high paced fight if he can’t seem to drag this one to the floor. It should be a good one but one I have to lean on the hometown kid.
The Pick: Bravo
UFC FIGHT NIGHT UNDERCARD
Quinonez $8700 vs. Huachin $7500
This fight is a little more clear cut to me and I will tell you why. I didn’t even get to watch much film on Huachin because I picked up things so quickly on him that I had my answer pretty quickly. As a guy that is extremely dedicated to the craft of stand up, I see things a bit differently than your average tout that just looks at a punch and a kick. I look at head movement, footwork, angles, adjustments, etc. Huachin although he is supporting a 10-4 record with 8 KOS, he does a lot of things very very wrong even tho it does not look too bad when he does it. For 1, He doesn’t check kicks at all. He tries, but he doesn’t succeed. 2, He never throws kicks. 3, He has no head movement and he really is there to be hit. I saw him fight someone that literally was completely flat-footed and although Huachin ended up Knocking him out, He was just there to be hit by a plodding striker that was not very good at all. Quinonez is extremely underrated, Very good crisp striking and extremely durable. The only issue I have with him is that he is not much of a finisher. He is much more of a points player and that is ok with a 7-3 record, but at the end of the day, we want finishes right? With 2 Kos, 1 Submission, and 4 Decision wins, JQ is still a very talented young man. The Mexican will look to make an impression in front of his people by landsliding a fighter that is going to give him the exact fight that he wants. The important thing for JQ to remember is that if he’s watched any film on this kid, then he knows that he just is not very smart. He will put his chin on the shelf during a combo, he doesn’t bring his hands back to protect his chin, and his legs are there to be chopped away at. JQ’s greatest game plan would be to just stay composed and let the reckless style of Huachin move forward until he is in a range where you can pick him apart at range. Dial in on his lead leg from the start and just slow down the pace a bit. When your legs become loose, so does your fighting. I am not sure JQ finishes him here but he will have plenty of opportunities to do so if he plays his cards right. If he doesn’t then I am fairly confident that he walks away with a pretty convincing decision in this one.
The Pick: Quinonez
Reyes $7600 vs. Nelson $8600
I can see this being a banger that just doesn’t go to the cards and it is probably a fight no matter which way you decide to stab it, you should have some skin on it. Reyes is a full-throttle fighter with good power and looking for the finish at any point in time. There is really no composure to his game when it comes to trading leather. He will throw heat with every punch and hoping that the intent of his hands are going to spark you if you give him any window for them to creep through. The problem with Reyes is that he is very reckless and although not many people like to sit in the pocket and trade with him if you do then the chances are really 50/50 that you catch him before he catches you. With an 8-6 record, he has 6 wins by way of KO and 4 loses by way of KO. So as you can see the narrative is fairly simple. Whoever lands flush first usually wins. In his last two fights, he was caught first and was KO’d. In his fight before that, he KO’d Matt Frevola, and in his fight before that, he was KO’d by James Vick. So you can see the pattern here. He will be taking on a big Kyle Nelson from Canada that really has some impressive skills even tho he is on a little bit of a downtick right now. He ties his punches and kicks together very well and has very sharp timed knees. With a 12-3 record, Nelson supports and extremely even ratio of 4-4-4 in the winning department and in his 3 loses it is the same at 1-1-1. So not only is he well rounded in his winning approach but he is also well rounded in his losing efforts. He must be a Libra with that kind of balance. I think Reyes is going to be the quicker and snappier fighter out of the gate here and it may even take Nelson by surprise, but when Nelson starts to find his spots and Reyes begins to slow down a bit, I think you will see a slight shift in power. Mind you, the elevation thing is big for me here and it does scare me in all fights but this one may not get as far as it needs to for the elevation to play a big role. I think someone is getting caught and even tho Reyes has the sharper and faster approach, I can see Nelson catching him with a knee or something big on an engagement or off the break. The fight is going to boil down to who gets caught first and I think I am going to lean on Nelson catching Reyes in a heated exchange at some point. With a 9-7 record, Hill only has 3 KOS to her merit and the rest are by way of decision. She is a points fighter. A good points fighter if she is getting what she wants, but the minute you push her and make her uncomfortable, then it seems that hill begins to buckle a bit.
The Pick: Nelson
Carnelossi $7700 vs. Hill $8500
This fight there can be some value here for you. Angela Hill is a fighter that comes out 1 of 2 ways. She either throws a good amount of volume and wins or she gets controlled and isn’t allowed to lead the dance and just flat out looks terrible and loses. There is no denying that hill has the talent to be a good fighter and she is a good fighter but my overall gut feeling with her is that she blew her wad in her debut fight against Andrade. I feel like she was just never the same after that fight. She fought so hard and well that even tho she lost, the respect for her was on another level. Then after that, I just feel as if she fluttered away and has been riding on cruise control since then. She is fighting a girl that brings meaning to what Angela Hill is not and that is a pure pressure fighter with a lot of power and looks like she taking regular trips to Dr. X for a little help in the strength and conditioning department. With a 12-1 record, Carnelossi has 8 wins by way of KO. The young 26-year-old has much to learn but what she does have is that push forward style that gives hill fits. Hill is really going to have to stay sharp and stay on her bike to really just keep this young tank off her. I just don’t see her being able to do so. You are going to know very early how hill is going to fair here. She has a very distinct body language when she fights. You can tell where her confidence is and it’s quite obvious when it starts to rear its head. Carnelossi is going to want to send a statement early and she is not going to want Hill to get into the tempo of the fight, because if she does then Hill can literally run away with it. The altitude can be a little dicey for someone like Carnelossi that is carrying the muscularity that she does, but I just think she may be able to carry enough into the fight to win enough time before she gets tired and Hill being a pillow puncher, I think she does enough pressure wise to pull this one out.
The Pick: Carnelossi
Pettis $9300 vs. Nam $6900
This fight is going to be cut short article wise. Sergio Pettis was set to fight Perez and after Perez could no longer take the fight, they bring in newcomer on short notice NAM that holds a record of 16-9 and he really is just not impressive on film. Outside of his power and 9 KOS and sharing my birthday, there is nothing about this kid that Pettis should fear. Pettis comes from an extremely well-rounded camp with solid striking and underrated grappling. As of Late Pettis has taken major strides forward and a major step backward at the same time. Losing his last 2 to very good competition, he is one of the guys who really has the potential to be a contender in the division as he grows a little more. Nam is not on his level and I really don’t see a way he loses this fight unless he really just takes a nosedive. Losing 3 in a row will not be a good look here especially against a late replacement debuting fighter like Nam. I see Pettis showcasing here and winning this fight with no reason to believe it’s even close. The price tag does scare me a bit tho.
The Pick: Pettis
Moreira $8300 vs. Craig $7900
Flip a coin here. Both men are really one in the same. Submission threats from the ground but their chins are pretty dusty. So what can we expect? Moreira is 9-3 with 8 submissions and 3 loses all by way of KO. Craig is 11-4 with 10 Subs and 3 loses by way of KO. So as you can see these guys are sheer carbon copies of each other from a fighting aspect from what they like to what they don’t like. It will be a grapplers delight, to say the least, and if they stand it will basically be who touches the other first. From a grappling standpoint, it is clear to me that the fight can go either way but I am going to go with the dog here. The fight is a coin flip and I have seen more of Craig in bigger spots then I have of Moreira. Not that I trust Craig because I don’t, but I trust him more than I do Moreira in this spot. He has shown the ability to pull rabbits out of a hat in big spots and that is enough for me to lean on him a little more here.
The Pick: Craig
Eubanks $9100 vs. Correia $7100
Ugly fight here. Both women are going nowhere fast and to be quite honest, I don’t see either of their shelf lives lasting long here in the UFC. Eubanks came off the TUFF with some promise but has had her health issues in the past and has also shown some ups and downs. Winning her first 2 fights in mediocre fashion and then losing her last fight where she just didn’t look good against Aspen Ladd is an eyebrow-raiser to me, to be quite honest. With a 4-3 record, there is really nothing that you can feel super promising about. She is big for the division and has some good skills but she really doesn’t have the chops to dance in the top of the heap from what I have seen and that is why this may shape up to be a good fight. Correira has been to the top of the heap but just could never beat any of them because she really didn’t belong there. Very tough and durable and always game to fight, she just lacks the talent to really be on that level. She lost 5 of her last 6 fights and how she is still hanging onto a roster spot is beyond me. I think this fight is going to be a pink slip ticket for Correia and Eubanks is going to have an opportunity to show her worth. I think this is Eubanks fight to win or lose and I think she does win this fight but I can’t bank on the price tag given that Correia has fought much higher level of competition and you really don’t know what to expect when the flames grow higher in this fight and how Eubanks will fair, but I see Eubanks winning this fight in the end and take a small step forward.
The Pick: Eubanks
Puelles $9000 vs. Mariano $7200
I’ll make this very very short. Shitty fighters for a first fight seems so fitting. Mariano is a very long and rangy fighter with a decent striking game that seems very fluent. The problem with him is that he really just has zero ground ability and that’s where Puelles comes into play. Although Puelles really is lacking largely in the stand up, he does have a decent ground game that can really come to fruition if he can get the fight there. So where do we go from here? I am going to say it is all premised on where this fight goes but I am going to take Puelles here in the hopes that he can get Mariano to the ground and at the very worst just ride him there and gain that control time. If he can’t then that will obviously be trouble in the long haul. Where the 9k price tag comes in here is really beyond me but to be quite honest I can’t see it lasting on the feet for the full 15 and with that said I think he does enough to win, but covering the price tag is going to be very very dicey. Read the DK section below for more on this.
The Pick: Puelles
UFC FIGHT NIGHT DRAFTKINGS
Rodriguez $8200 / Stephens $8000
There is clear value on both ends here. Stephens has the better upside for a finish but Rod has the better value as it goes later from a point perspective. I like Rod to win the fight but you MUST play both sides of this fight. You can not fade either side!
There is clear value here at 7800. If she gets the wrestling going then she can cover clearly in a win whether by finish or by decision.
If she can keep this standing then she can cover her value, but I am not high on her against an Esparza who will be looking to ground her.
Moreno is a live dog at 7400 but I don’t see him winning this fight to be quite honest. With that said I will be putting a few SMALL plugs here lightly in case he does get the scramble he needs to make something happen.
I like him to win here but I don’t like his price all that much. I think I am going to let him go here. Fade.
I like Aldana in most of her spots. She is very pricey here but I am expecting her to win this fight in a big way so I am going to have some shares of her here. I think even with her price tag there is some upside. I think she will be slightly lower owned then she should be and it is a dangerous stab but one I am willing to take my chances on.
Fade for me.
Bravo $8100 / Peterson $8100
Play this fight both ways with a higher lean on Bravo. Peterson is tough but really has no blueprint to his style and if Bravo is patient and composed then he should be able to win this fight. So I have a heavier lean on Bravo.
I like him in this spot. I think he is far and away a better fighter and I if he can pour it on early then I see him covering his value. I don’t think he will be a bit overlooked and that may drive towards him slightly in GPP.
I am fading this spot. I really think that this is Quinonez’s fight to win.
With his power and reckless ways, I see him being able to finish anyone but also get finished, so tread lightly here but tread.
Nelson is 8600 and people may think he is a bit pricey. I would agree if he wasn’t fighting someone like Reyes that will give him opportunities to find his chin. Someone is going to sleep in this fight and given that I think it is going to be Reyes, I will have more weight here.
Nice little dog plug here that I am willing to take a swing on. Hill hates pressure and this girl is going to bring just that. She can be a little dark horse and if she is then I want to make sure I have a taste and not miss out. She’s worth a shot in small spots.
I am not a big Hill advocate. She doesn’t finish fights and she fights just to get by. She does throw good volume in spots but I find it hard to believe she will be able to get too much off when fighting off her back foot against a girl that is going to be pushing forward. Fade
I know he is pricey but I see no way he loses this fight. He isn’t a barn burner of a finisher but he in a spot like this where I see no clear path of him losing, I am willing to save him some spots to see just how much he can showcase for us getting himself right back in the mix against a late replacement debuting fighter. Get some.
Fade. I just don’t see it.
Moreira $8300 / Craig $7900
I don’t see many other ways that this can go but on the ground in a wild chess match. Choose your spots wisely, but def chose a bit on both sides. I am going to lean a little more on Craig here because he has had much more spotlight time, but this is anyone’s game and I am willing to ride the Craig a smidge harder on this balance.
I am not wasting 9100 on Eubanks. I just don’t trust her enough in this spot. Not yet.
I think she loses but I may take a small swing here. Very small just for the mere fact that she has been in some big spots before and even tho she dropped the ball in 90% of them she has had some “OK” moments. I am not expecting much here at all and Eubanks really should beat her, but Eubanks is a much lower class then Correia has faced before.
I hate his price tag and I think he is terrible. However, I will throw a bullet on him for a submission here. It may not happen but he is going to be largely under-owned and if he gets the sub then you can bet that you will be sitting quite nicely in a large field GPP to start your day. It’s a high priced flier play that you shouldn’t invest hard earned money on but a small stab is in play for sure for the sneaky chance that it does in fact happen. Just prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
I’m hoping this goes to the ground quick. So in that, I fade.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRIZE PICKS
67.1 Quinonez over
85 Pettis over
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