UFC On ESPN 19 takes place tomorrow night in Las Vegas and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Marvin Vettori vs. Jack Hermansson
Originally scheduled to fight Kevin Holland, now Hermansson finds himself up against another solid opponent in Vettori, who was already training for a fight with ‘Jacare’ Souza in just a week’s time.
Vettori is a hard-working, durable all-rounder who will be aggressive on the feet and also has good wrestling and has demonstrated a knack for pulling of submissions, albeit not with anything like the same regularity during his UFC run as he did on the regional scene.
Hermansson is also a threat wherever the fight goes. He’s very active offensively in the striking department and is more potent than Vettori, while he’s just as dangerous on the mat and has shown a very crafty submission game at times.
It’s a finely balanced match-up. Hermansson is more of a finisher, but in turn he has been finished by TKO and submission in the past, whereas Vettori is more robust and yet to be stopped inside the distance.
So it could go either way, but Hermansson has the advantage of having been preparing for a five-rounder anyway, while Vettori may have to pace himself more than he’d like. It should be very competitive on the feet, but I believe Hermansson’s grappling could shine here as he will emerge with a third round submission victory.
Pick: Jack Hermansson wins by submission in Rd3.
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Jamahal Hill
OSP is a frustrating fighter to watch at times as it often feels he’s not pushing himself to his full potential, with a KO victory last time out against Alonzo Menifield serving as a reminder that that even at 37-years-old he does have the ability to make an impact in the Octagon when he uses the tools at his disposal.
Along with that knockout threat he’s also shown strong submission skills at times, but the problem is that he often just opts for a low-volume approach on the feet and seems content to sit in cruise-control rather than show the kind of urgency and ambition you might expect from a talented athlete.
That could get him in trouble against Hill, who also has that same long, rangey striking style on the feet, but is eight years his junior and seems to have more fire in his belly, operating at a higher tempo and showing more willingness to a high output of strikes.
That being said, Hill isn’t as heavy a hitter as OSP, while neither man will be enjoying a notable height or reach advantage, which they are normally accustomed to.
Most importantly though, Hill doesn’t have OSP’s grappling credentials and I think that it’s in the clinch and on the mat that the veteran could hold the biggest advantage and be able to negate his opponent’s busier striking output.
It’s not a confident pick because OSP might get lazy and just wait on one big strike to try to find a finish, but if he can get this fight to the mat I see him emerging with his hand raised by submission in the second round.
Prediction: Ovince Saint Preux to win by submission in Rd2.
Montana De La Rosa vs. Taila Santos
This should be an interesting one as Santos appears to be shaping up to be a real handful to deal with on the feet, showing off good muay thai striking, and, on the regional scene at least, that led to numerous finishes.
That’ll be a concern for De La Rosa, who has tried to improve her striking, but it’s still a weak point and she’s not a particularly great athlete.
That being said, De La Rosa does have good wrestling and control opponents on the mat for extended periods while also having the option to go for submissions too.
There’s certainly good reasons to pick the up-and-coming Santos here as if she can fend off DLR’s early takedown attempts and punish her with clean strikes then she could force her opponent into a stand-up fight that she’s very unlikely to win.
Still, De La Rosa only needs a couple of takedowns during the fight to shut down Santos for lengthy spells and so I’m going to pick her to stick doggedly to that task and manage to edge out a win on the scorecards.
Pick: Montana De La Rosa wins by decision.
Roman Dolidze vs. John Allan Arte
Dolidze is 7-0 in his MMA career to date, while Allan has had a bumpier road, including losing on the Contender Series and also receiving a year-long drug suspension after his UFC debut, which he’s only just returning from.
Still, Allan is a very capable striker who will look to push the pace, take the fight to his opponent and has a strong chin if things get heated. Dolidze is a powerful man though and has finishing power in his punches, backed up by solid kicks too.
Dolidze is the more well rounded fighter here, possessing good grappling ability and the fact that Allan has been stopped by submissions in the past offers him a route to victory here that I believe he will eventually take, leading to a second round submission stoppage.
Pick: Roman Dolidze to win by submission in Rd2.
Movsar Evloev vs. Nate Landwehr
Unbeaten in 13 career fights, including three in the Octagon, Evloev has real momentum heading into this fight against a bit of a wildman in Landwehr.
Known as ‘The Train’, Landwehr will launch himself into the striking battle with gusto, and his forward pressure and power has overwhelmed some opponents, while he’s also good at getting back upright when he’s taken down.
Evloev is the cleaner technical striker here though and has good movement, which will aid his cause on the feet, while he’s a very good wrestler who will happily utilize repeated takedowns without gassing himself out to ensure he seizes a decision victory here.
Pick: Movsar Evloev wins by decision.
Gian Villante vs. Jake Collier
Matt Wiman vs. Jordan Leavitt
Jimmy Flick vs. Cody Durden
Ilia Topuria vs. Damon Jackson
Gabriel Benitez vs. Justin Jaynes
Louis Smolka vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez