UFC On ESPN 11 takes place tomorrow night in Las Vegas and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights for you below.
Curtis Blaydes vs. Alexander Volkov
For a while now Blaydes and Volkov have been two of the best operators just outside of UFC title contention picture, so it’ll be interesting who emerges on top here.
In a purely striking battle I’d have to favor Volkov here. He’s not a particularly heavy hitter, but he makes the most of his long 6ft 7″ frame and 81″ reach with clean, accurate straight punches, push kicks and good footwork keeping his opponents at bay, while he has the cardio to maintain a good pace from start to finish.
Blaydes isn’t as technically proficient and assured as Volkov on the feet, but he can hold his own to some extent with good power in his hands and though he gives up 3″ height here, he has an 80″ reach, which negates some of his opponents usual range advantage.
Realistically though, ‘Razor’ will be looking to utilize his wrestling here as that’s his strongest suit, and I do like his chances of being able to get hold of Volkov’s lanky legs and take him down, while his brutal ground and pound will take a toll on the Russian and eventually lead to a third round TKO stoppage.
Curtis Blaydes wins by TKO in Rd3.
Josh Emmett vs. Shane Burgos
The co-main event looks to be a fun one, with both of these featherweights having plenty to offer in the Octagon.
Emmett is a proven knockout artists with fight-ending one-punch power, though he also has a strong wrestling base, which can be overlooked in favor of waiting to drop a bomb on the feet.
Burgos will be more than happy to oblige in a stand-up battle and along with being the better technician on the feet he also has a 5.5″ reach advantage to work with, and he’ll put out a higher volume of strikes and attempt to keep the pressure on throughout.
If the action does hit the mat then Burgos will try to make up for his wrestling disadvantage by offering up a submission threat, but it feels like this could be a fight where both men prefer to lock horns on the feet and though Emmett could absolutely lands something devastating at any stage, I’ll take Burgos to outstrike him for three rounds to claim a win on the scorecards.
Shane Burgos wins by decision.
Raquel Pennington vs. Marion Reneau
Reneau’s is in effect the UFC’s elder stateswoman, as evidenced by the fact she will turn 43 on Saturday night, but to her credit she still poses problems for others in the bantamweight division, even if she has last her last two fights.
Reneau’s physicality is a strong point and though she might be slowing down she will still look to engage on the feet, though her most effective weapon is via submission.
Pennington is a solid boxer and though she’s not a particularly hurtful puncher she should be able to win the engagements on the feet here and can also utilize takedowns where neccessary to help win rounds and rack up a decision win here.
Raquel Pennington wins by decision.
Lyman Good vs. Belal Muhammad
A former Bellator champion, Good has alternated between wins and losses so far in the UFC, but he’s demonstrated his heavy hands along the way, with all three of his victories so far in the Octagon having come by way of punches.
Good’s boxing ability will be aided by a 2″ height and reach advantage and he’s the better athlete of the two as well.
Muhammad has won six of his seven UFC fights to date though despite not offering up the same kind of finishing threat as his opponent here, instead relying on being a solid, hard-working all-rounder to come out on top over the course of 15 minutes.
Muhammad’s wrestling should be his biggest advantage here, but Good’s takedown defense is strong and if he can keep this one standing then I think he’ll make the bigger impact on the feet to sway the judges in his favor.
Lyman Good wins by decision.
Jim Miller vs. Roosevelt Roberts
A true veteran of the sport, Miller may have won only 3 of his last 9 fights, but he’s still a challenging opponent to deal with and not someone a rising talent like Roberts can afford to take lightly.
Roberts is also just coming off a win at the end of last month, so this is a quick turnaround for him, and it remains to be seen whether that is a positive or a negative.
What we do know is that Roberts is 10 years Miller’s junior and his lanky frame will give him a 5″ height and 2″ reach advantage over him, which he will use effectively with strikes from range.
Miller’s a competent striker, but really he has more spark to his game when he’s on the mat as he’s got good jiu-jitsu, especially if he’s in control and has a proven track record of submission finishes.
I suspect that will also mean that Roberts own propensity for getting submission stoppages might be shut down here due to Miller’s veteran savvy, but I think Roosevelt can win the wrestling and clinch battle, while also outlanding his opponent on the feet here at range to get the better of the fight and keep his current run of form going.
Roosevelt Roberts wins by decision.
Bobby Green vs. Clay Guida
Tecia Torres vs. Brianna Van Buren
Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Oskar Piechota
Cortney Casey vs. Gillian Robertson
Frank Camacho vs. Justin Jaynes
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Lauren Murphy
Austin Hubbard vs. Max Rohskopf