UFC Fight Night 156 takes place this coming Saturday night in Uruguay and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche
Carmouche holds a TKO stoppage win over Shevchenko back in 2010, but don’t read too much into that as it was due to a controversial upkick that opened up a cut to end a fight that ‘Bullet’ was winning up until that point.
Shevchenko has only become more well-rounded as a fighter since then, with her technical kickboxing and excellent range management being supplemented with a surprisingly strong wrestling game.
Carmouche on the other hand is much the same as she’s always been, offering up serviceable boxing, but undoubtedly being at her most effective when it comes to her wrestling, physical strength and toughness.
I’d expect Shevchenko to just be too good of a striker for Carmouche as well as being able to hold her own for the most part with her wrestling to ensure she emerges victorious on the scorecards.
Valentina Shevchenko wins by decision.
Vicente Luque vs. Mike Perry
Two fighters who are always on the hunt for a finish feature in the co-main event, and while Perry has got more attention for his knockout power, Luque has actually stopped nine of his last 10 fights inside the distance by either strikes or occasionally submissions.
Luque has a more well-rounded game than Perry and in addition will enjoy a 4.5″ reach advantage, which he’d be wise to utilize as Perry certainly packs a punch and is dangerous with strikes from the clinch. Luque can be hit though and that will make things interesting on the feet.
On the other hand, Luque has a superior ground game and that might be his best chance of a finish here as that’s definitely not Perry’s strong suit. So, I’ll take Luque to be the more strategic fighter here, outstriking Perry from range and timing his moments for takedowns, leading to a second round submission.
Vicent Luque wins by submission in Rd2.
Luiz Garagorri vs. Humberto Bandanay
Garagorri grew up in Uruguay, so he gets some main card love here in his UFC debut against Bandanay, who has struggled to make his mark in the promotion so far, with losses in two of his last three fights.
Nevertheless, Bandanay still has the better level of experience, as even although Garagorri’s record might initially look impressive at 12-0, the truth is he’s been fighting complete unknowns on the regional circuit for the most part.
That being said, both men are brawlers first and foremost and that means anything could happen, but Bandanay does have submission skills too and will look for that in the heat of the battle at times, and I think that’ll give him the edge here on his way to an early finish.
Humberto Bandanay wins by submission in Rd1.
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Ilir Latifi
After such a fast rise to a title shot in the UFC, Oezdemir has now gone three fights without a win, which has led to some questions as to whether his early form flattered to deceive.
Still, Oezdemir undoubtedly has an impressive track record for stopping opponents and in this fight he’ll be the more active and diverse in the striking department and is effective offensively from the clinch too. He is also the significantly taller fighter, although despite that he actually only has a 1.5 inch reach advantage over the short, stocky Latifi.
As for Latifi, he too throws with power, but often uses overhand bombs as a way of closing the distance to get into range for takedown attempts. Once there he is a very good wrestler, aided by the fact that he’s very physically strong and that will likely cause problems for his opponent, who is far more comfortable on his feet.
It’s possible that Oezdemir will just look to keep Latifi at bay and outstrike him, but he also likes to clinch, which might not be the best idea against a bear like Latifi, who is also hard-headed and I think will be able to eat a few shots as he closes the distance and lands takedowns in this fight, eventually leading to a submission finish.
Ilir Latifi wins by submission in Rd2.
Rodolfo Vieira vs. Oskar Piechota
A highly decorated jiu-jtsu player, Vieira will look to extend his current 5-0 MMA record so far on Saturday night when he makes his UFC debut against Piechota.
Piechota is a good grappler in his own right, but that’s unlikely to be enough against someone of Vieira’s calibre on the mat, so I can see him opting to test the BJJ ace’s striking instead.
Nevertheless I still think it’s Vieira’s submission game that’s going to win the day here as he brings down Piechota in the first round and taps him out.
Rodolfo Vieira wins by submission in Rd1.
Enrique Barzola vs. Bobby Moffett
This should be a high-tempo fight between two grapplers who will push the pace from start to finish.
Barzola is the better wrestler, but Moffett’s jiu-jitsu is on point, so that should lead to some competitive action on the mat.
Barzola’s also the more active fighter on the feet though and that together with his takedowns and top control should be enough here for him to earn a decision victory.
Enrique Barzola wins by decision.
Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)
Ciryl Gane vs. Raphael Pessoa Nunes
Tecia Torres vs. Marina Rodriguez
Rogerio Bonterin vs. Raulian Paiva
Geraldo de Freitas vs. Chris Gutierrez
Rodrigo Vargas vs. Alex Da Silva
Gilbert Burns vs. Alexey Kunchenko
Veronica Macedo vs. Polyana Viana