UFC On ABC 3 Predictions

UFC On ABC 3 takes place tomorrow night in New York and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.

Main Card

Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez

Two of Ortega’s last three fights have been title shots, coming out on the losing end up fights with Max Holloway and then Alexander Volkanovski, while Rodriguez also lost to Holloway last time out, but had back-to-back wins against Jeremy Stephens and ‘The Korean Zombie’ before that.

At an earlier moment in time this could have been seen as a grappler vs. striker match-up, with Ortega cast as the submission specialist, while Rodriguez is the dynamic stand-up technician.

However, credit must go to Ortega for levelling up his striking ability during a long layoff following the beatdown he suffered against Holloway back in 2018 and so he is now a genuine threat on the feet.

That being said, there’s no doubt that Rodriguez remains the more talented striker and he has a remarkable arsenal of striking weapons at his disposal, and has a knack for making even the flashier, eye-catching ones land effectively rather than just being for show.

Rodriguez ground game is weaker though and that could be big for Ortega as he is relentless once he sees any opening for a submission, though a potential weakness is that his wrestling isn’t on the same level as his BJJ, so getting the fight to the mat in the first place is an issue.

Nevertheless, over the course of five rounds it feels likely that Ortega will get a chance to show his skills on the mat, and in the meantime he’s capable enough on the feet to hang on in there, so I’ll take him to win by submission in the third round.

Pick: Brian Ortega wins by submission in Rd3.

Michelle Waterson vs. Amanda Lemos

Waterson has always been a marketable fighter for the UFC, so she lands the co-main event spot here despite having lost three of her last four fights, while Lemos lost to Jessica Andrade by submission last time out, but had won five-in-a-row prior to that.

A former atomweight champion in Invicta FC, Waterson is fairly small at strawweight and relies more on her fast movement and agile kicking game on the feet to make up for her relative lack of stopping power.

On the other hand, Lemos is a former bantamweight who has a knack for finishing fights by strikes that’s fairly uncommon in these lighter weight classes, with seven stoppage from 11 career victories.

While she’s known as ‘The Karate Hottie’, Waterson is the more well-rounded fighter here with good submissions and some wrestling ability too, and with Lemos having been tapped out in her last outing that may be a tempting path to victory for her.

That being said, Andrade’s bullish strength helped her overcome Lemos and I don’t see Waterson having the same kind of success against her naturally strong opponent here, and with Lemos dishing out the more damaging blows on the feet I’ll take her to emerge with ta decision win here.

Pick: Amanda Lemos wins by decision.

Li Jingliang vs. Muslim Salikhov

Two challenging bookings in a row for Jingliang, who lost to Khamzat Chimaev last time out and now faces Sailkhov, who has compiled a five-fight unbeaten stretch in the promotion.

Salikhov’s been fairly inactive over his time in the UFC though, normally fighting only once a year, and so at 38-years-old he’s now past his prime and still remains outside the welterweight rankings.

Nevertheless, ‘The King Of King Fu’ remains a composed and talented striker who operates at a measured pace and is good defensively, but does deliver potentially fight-ending power in his kicks and punches.

The 34-year-old Jingliang is the more busy of the two fighters offensively, looking to apply a pressure-heavy style with high-volume attacks and he generates good power too, while also showing a willingness to transition into takedown attempts at times.

Both men are very durable, having never been stopped by strikes in their respective careers.  With that in mind a decision may well be on the cards here and I could see Jingliang’s higher intensity and work-rate giving him the upper-hand here to win by decision.

Pick: Li Jingliang wins by decision.

Matt Schnell vs. Sumudaerji

Schnell has only one win to show from his past four fights, while Sumadaerji comes into this fight off a trio of wins.

Still, Schnell is the more well-round fighter of the two here as while he might not be much of a finishing threat on the feet, he has solid boxing and backs that up with a good submission record on the mat and a wrestling advantage to go along with it.

That being said, the 32-year-old Schnell’s chin does feel somewhat compromised, having been knocked out in the first round on three separate occasions during his time in the UFC.

That’s a record Sumadaerji will be eager to add to with his dangerous striking ability, which has so far seen him racking up 13 finishes via strikes from 16 career wins.  Admittedly most of those came during his time fighting in China, where everything from flying knees to spinning back kicks helped him to victory, but he does have a KO win in the UFC too so far.

Sumadaerji llikes to fight from distance with fast footwork, so he can be hard to track down and that will be important as he looks to discourage Schnell from getting him to the mat as he has been stopped by submissions four times in his career so far.

So both men have weaknesses here that plays into the others strengths, so this one could go either way, but I’m not sure of Schnell’s ability to get the takedowns he needs and with his compromised chin I’ll take Sumadaerji to take advantage via a second round TKO finish.

Pick: Sumadaerji wins by TKO in Rd2.

Shane Burgos vs. Charles Jourdain

Burgos got back to winning ways with a decision victory last time out after back-to-back losses, while Jourdain has put together two wins in a row.

Two very offensively minded strikers here, and Burgos holds a major size advantage, being 2″ taller but with a whopping 6.5″ reach advantage.  He utilizes that well with a high-volume boxing-based style that effectively targets the body as well as the head.

That high level of activity does also see him being hit himself often though and while he’s very durable he has been dropped on multiple occasions and suffered a troubling delayed-reaction KO against Edson Barboza a year ago.

Jourdain might not quite match Burgos’ output, but he’s also a fighter who likes to strike in volume, and does so in a more versatile fashion with more kicks, while he also has heavy hands.  He’s also the younger man at 26 and has yet to be finished inside the distance via strikes.

If this one ends before the 15 minutes is up then it may well be Jourdain who has landed the killer blow, but I think they are both hard-headed enough to keep pushing on to the final bell and I’ll cautiously take Burgos to make the most of his reach advantage with frequent boxing combinations to outland Jourdain and get the nod from the judges.

Pick: Shane Burgos wins by decision.

Lauren Murphy vs. Miesha Tate

Murphy lost to Valentina Shevchenko in a flyweight title fight last year and now gets another high-profile opponent in former 135lb queen Tate, who is coming down to 125lbs after a decision loss to Ketlen Vieira.

Despite spending over four years in retirement, Tate actually looked like she’d made improvements to her striking game when she returned with a TKO win against Marion Reneau last year, but some of those perceived gains did seem to fade away when things weren’t going as well for her against Vieira.

Still, Tate will have learned lessons from that and can always fall back on her strong wrestling ability as well as having some submission ability and being good in the clinch too.

Murphy is a tough, experienced veteran who has a fairly well-rounded set of skills, though it does feel like she has leaned into her natural grit and determination to exceed expectations at times.

I think Tate will feel she can favorably compete with Murphy in the striking department, while holding an advantage on the mat with her wrestling if need be, so assuming the weight cut doesn’t deplete her too much I see her emerging with a decision win here.

Pick: Miesha Tate wins by decision.

Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)

Punahele Soriano vs. Dalcha Lungiambula
Ricky Simon vs. Jack Shore
Dustin Jacoby vs. Da Un Jung
Dwight Grant vs. Dustin Stoltzfus
Jessica Penne vs. Emily Ducote
Bill Algeo vs. Herbert Burns

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.