UFC Fight Night 219 Predictions

UFC Fight Night 219 takes place tomorrow night in Las Vegas and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.

Main Card

Jessica Andrade vs. Erin Blanchfield

The three-fight unbeaten Andrade was drafted at the start of fight week to replace Taila Santos against Blanchfield, who has won all four of her UFC fights to date.

It’s also been just three weeks since the 31-year-old Andrade last fought, picking up a convincing victory over Lauren Murphy and she’s since signed a big new contract with the promotion.

As is nearly always the case for Andrade at flyweight in particular, she’s the shorter, more compact fighter here, giving up 2″ in height and 6″ in reach.  That’s never been much of a problem for the Brazilian powerhouse, who loves to pressure opponents with her aggressive, rapid-fire punches on the feet, while also using her brute strength to land thumping takedowns and work mauling ground-and-pound on the mat, while her takedown defense is sturdy too.

The 23-year-old Blanchfield is a rising force in the division who brings good wrestling and talented grappling to the Octagon, and has earned submission wins in her last two Octagon outings.

On the feet Blanchfield has an active style on the outside and will utilize kicks nicely, and though she’s not got much in the way of power it does give something else for her opponents to think about while she looks for takedown opportunities.

Coming in on short notice is never ideal, but given that she’s a natural cardio machine I think Andrade will deal with it better than most.  It’s a headache for Blanchfield too as Andrade potentially offers a tougher challenge given that she’s more well-rounded and has a better chance of shutting down her takedown attempts.

If that is the case then I’m not convinced Blanchfield will be able to keep Andrade at bay as she continually marches forward throwing heavy leather, leading to a decision victory for the former strawweight champion.

Pick: Jessica Andrade to win by decision.

Jordan Wright vs. Zac Pauga

The pressure is on Wright to get a win here after losing three in a row, while Pauga also has to prove himself after losing his debut by KO last year.

This fight takes place at 205lbs, seeing Wright move up from middleweight, while Pauga drops back down to light-heavyweight after having gone up to heavyweight to fight on the TUF show.

The 34-year Pauga is a former Colorado State running back and as such is a good athlete with solid striking who can mix in wrestling too and isn’t afraid to embrace the grind to win on the scorecards.

On the other hand, the 31-year-old Wright has a kill-or-be-killed approach and has finished all 12 of his career victories by either strikes or submission.  On the feet he has a karate-style and is quite accurate as he launches into big kicks and punches, but he leaves wide-open space for his opponents to return fire and as a result he’s suffered three defeats by KO or TKO during his UFC run so far.

I’m not sure that moving up to 205lbs is really going to help Wright and while Pauga could look to weather an early storm and take him into deeper waters later in the fight, I think he could also punish Wright for his early exuberance by testing his questionable chin to emerge with a first round TKO finish.

Pick: Zac Pauga wins by TKO in Rd1.

Josh Parisian vs. Jamal Pogues

Parisian has gone 2-2 in the UFC heavyweight ranks so far and now goes up against a Contender Series recruit making his debut in Pogues.

Parisian has a somewhat plodding style on the feet, but he is an active boxer and carries power in his punches, but also eats as many strikes as he lands in addition to having suspect cardio and a lack of other options other than keeping the fight standing.

Meanwhile, Pogues is more fleet of foot and faster to the punch, but he doesn’t  hit as hard and also suffers from a fairly porous defense.

However, Pogues can also wrestle and between that and his edge in the speed department I’ll take him to emerge with a decision win.

Pick: Jamal Pogues wins by decision.

William Knight vs. Marcin Prachnio

Knight has lost two fights in a row and adding to his problems in the first of those fights he missed weight by a remarkable 12 pounds, while last time out he fought at heavyweight and tipped the scales at a whopping 251lbs.

Now Knight is back down at light-heavyweight and so obviously that leaves some concerns about how he’ll look on the scales as he prepares to go up against Prachnio, who was beaten in his last fight after having won two in a row prior to that.

Weight issues aside, Knight is a fairly short, thickly built fighter who keeps things fairly simple with boxing fundamentals and is somewhat sparing with his output, but makes up for that by having a lot of power, while he can wrestle too. Prachnio can be a finisher on the feet too, but the disastrous start to his UFC career that saw him suffer two KO losses inside the first round and another one by TKO has left serious questions regarding the quality of his chin.

To be fair to him that’s not an issue that’s cropped up in his most recent fights and he’ll use a lot of movement on the outside to mitigate the risk and make the most of his 5″ height and 1″ reach advantage.

There’s a real chance then that Prachnio could just look to tire Knight out by staying mobile from range, but I’ll take Knight to land a fight-ending knockout punch in the first round.

Pick: William Knight wins by KO in Rd1.

Jim Miller vs. Alexander Hernandez

The current UFC record holder for the most bouts in company history (40), the 39-year-old Miller is also riding a three-fight winning streak as he locks horns with Alexander Hernandez, who has suffered submission and TKO losses in his last two fights.

Miller has even showed off some new-found finishing power during this late career run of form, though his competition hasn’t been the strongest in Erik Gonzalez, Nikolas Motta and most recently Donald Cerrone, who was well past his sell-by date by that stage and promptly retired after being submitted by him.

Nevertheless, Miller has shown he’s still a dependable veteran at this stage with a solid, savvy skill-set that will see him comfortably switch between striking, wrestling and grappling.

Nine years younger than Miller, the 30-year-old Hernandez hasn’t lived up to expectations in the UFC so far with a 5-5 run.  In this fight though he should be the more active, explosive fighter and he has finishing power in his punches in addition to also being a capable wrestler.

Hernandez can be inconsistent though and does suffer from less than stellar defense, as well as lacking Miller’s submission ability on the mat.

It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out, but I do have a nagging feeling that given his age and long career, Miller’s current form is going to be tough to maintain, and it’s worth remembering he’d actually lost three out of four fights before that.

As such I’m going to take Hernandez’s youth, energy and speed advantage early in the fight to pay off with a first round TKO victory.

Pick: Anthony Hernandez wins by TKO in Rd1.

Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)

Lina Länsberg vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
Jamall Emmers vs. Khusein Askhabov
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Philipe Lins
Nazim Sadykhov vs. Evan Elder
A.J. Fletcher vs. Themba Gorimbo
Clayton Carpenter vs. Juancamilo Ronderos

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.