UFC Fight Night 177 takes place tomorrow night in Las Vegas and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Michelle Waterson vs Angela Hill
This fight takes main event honors after the originally planned Glover Teixeira vs. Thiago Santos headliner was canceled recently.
Waterson has always had title ambitions, but has come up short so far when she reaches the highest level of competition, including dropping back-to-back defeats against Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Carla Esparza lately after having amassed a three-fight unbeaten stretch before that.
Meanwhile, after showing promise earlier in her career, Hill has finally hit her stride in the past year, racking up a trio of wins and then only narrowly losing out to Claudia Gadelha last time out.
Of the two Waterson is the more well-rounded as she’s a technically sound striker who is also a solid grappler who can threaten with submissions.
However, Hill also has good striking, but keeps up a higher workrate than Waterson, and that offensive volume could potentially give her the edge in this match-up.
Neither has the kind of power that’s likely to end the fight before the final bell, so a Waterson submission is the most likely route to a finish here, but while that’s a real possibility I think Hill will keep this one standing and her higher activity levels in the striking department will help her to edge out the fight and claim her biggest win to date.
Angela Hill wins by decision.
Khama Worthy vs Ottman Azaitar
Two big finishers on display here, with Worthy having impressed with a TKO and submission victory in his first two UFC outings, while Azaitar rides a perfect 12-0 record and won by KO in his Octagon debut last time out.
Anything could happen in this one since both men are so dangerous offensively, yet at the same time are also very hittable. The big difference between them though, othher than Worthy’s 3″ height and reach advantage, is that Worthy has been finished by strikes no less than five times, while Azaitar has so far shown that even when he is hurt he can still turn things around and emerge victorious.
Technically I think Worthy has the edge as Azaitar can load up on his punches too much, but given the issues with his opponent’s chin in the past, I can’t see past the fact that one thunderous blow from Azaitar may be all that’s required to end this fight early by KO.
Ottman Azaitar wins by KO in Rd1
Roxanne Modafferi vs Andrea Lee
In 2014 the already seasoned veteran Modafferi defeated Lee, who was only three fights into her career at the time, by split decision.
This is a rematch, with these two last having fought back in 2014 when they were competing for Invicta FC, with Modafferi emerging with a split decision victory on that occasion.
To her credit, in the six years since Modafferi hasn’t just settled on her existing skill-set and instead has looked to improve her striking and physical conditioning, but as you might expect it’s Lee who has shown the most growth and has a lot more experience under her belt heading into this second meeting.
Lee is the younger, more athletically gifted fighter here and despite Modafferi’s best efforts to upgrade her functional striking, the reality is that ‘KGB’ should still be on a different level in that aspect of the fight.
Modafferi is surprisingly tough though and her crafty ground game offers her a real route to victory via submission here.
Lee is no slouch on the mat though and if she can keep this one upright more often than not then I like her chance of picking Modafferi apart and emerging victorious on the scorecards here.
Andrea Lee wins by decision.
Ed Herman vs Mike Rodriguez
Herman’s longevity in the sport has to be applauded as despite having alternated between wins and losses for a significant amount of time and then suffering three defeats in a row, the 39-year-old has bounced back with two wins in a row recently in his 13th year as a UFC fighter.
Herman has a somewhat workmanlike set of skills and isn’t much of an athlete, but he’s tough as old boots, willing to eat a punch to land one of his own and between his gritty clinch work, wrestling and submissions he can prove to be a thorn in the flesh of his opponents.
In Rodriguez he’s facing a fighter whose only a couple of weeks removed from a first round KO finish in the UFC and will be the bigger man of the two, standing 2.5″ taller than ‘Short Fuse’ and will enjoy a 5″ reach advantage into the bargain too.
Rodriguez has some good offensive weapons, with his knees and elbows being as dangerous as his punches, but on the flipside he’s not the most active striker and he’s likely to come off second-best to Herman when it comes to grappling.
Herman has lost too many fights during his UFC tenure to pick him with a great deal of confidence, but I do think he has a solid chance of emerging with a win here, with his toughness, tenacity, clinch game and wrestling enabling him to outwork Rodriguez and secure a decision victory.
Ed Herman wins by decision.
Billy Quarantillo vs Kyle Nelson
Returning after testing positive for Covid-19 in June, Quarantillo will be looking to continue his current seven-fight winning streak and rack up his third win in a row.
Standing in his way is Nelson, who conversely lost his first two fights in the UFC, but did earn a quick TKO stoppage last time out.
Nelson is a hard-hitter and can wrestle too, but I think Quarantillo has the momentum on his side here and will prove to be the better all-round fighter here as he battles his way to a second round TKO stoppage here.
Billy Quarantillo wins by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)
Julia Avila vs Sijara Eubanks
Roosevelt Roberts vs Matt Frevola
Alan Patrick vs Bobby Green
Matt Schnell vs Tyson Nam
Jalin Turner vs Brok Weaver
Bryan Barberena vs Anthony Ivy
Sabina Mazo vs Justine Kish