UFC On ESPN 57 Predictions

UFC On ESPN 57 takes place tomorrow night in Louisville, Kentucky and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.

Main Card

Jared Cannonier vs. Nassourdine Imavov

Jared Cannonier is currently ranked No.4 at middleweight after his latest back-to-back victories and will now fight Nassourdine Imavov, who fought to a win and a no-contest in the past 12 months, leaving him ranked No.8.

Cannonier is now 40-years-old and is returning to action after spending half-a-year out due to a torn MCL. Cannonier is an assured muay thai style striker who still has explosive power and speed for his age, whether via punches, hard low kicks or vicious elbows. That being said, despite his offensive prowess he can fight in an overly cautious manner at times, even when it’s not in his best interests to do so. Meanwhile, Cannonier does have some wrestling ability and good ground-and-pound, but isn’t seen as much of a submission threat.

Imavov is a 29-year-old fighter who originally hails from Dagestan, but nowadays lives in France. He’ll have a 3″ height advantage here, but is actually giving up 2.5″ in reach to Cannonier. He’s well-rounded and mixes up his strikes well, has nice counter-striking ability and stays relatively sound defensively. Imavov is also a solid wrestler, has good takedown defense and on the mat will go for submissions as well as ground-and-pound.

It’s not as easy to bounce back from significant injuries as you get older, and with Imavov being 11-years younger and capable of holding his own on the feet as well as having the edge on the mat I’ll take him to do enough here in a competitive fight to emerge with a win on the scorecards.

Prediction: Nassourdine Imavov wins by decision.

Dominick Reyes vs. Dustin Jacoby

Despite having given Jon Jones one of his toughest 205lb title defenses a few years ago, Dominick Reyes has struggled since, having now racked up four losses in a row. He’ll try to get back to winning ways on Saturday night against Dustin Jacoby, who has also been struggling lately with just one win from his last four fights.

At his best the 34-year-old has been an athletic striker who uses his fast footwork well to deliver solid kicks and swift punches. That worked for him against the likes of Jared Cannonier and Chris Weidman during the six-fight winning streak that took him to his title shot and also gave Jon Jones some trouble. However, since then Reyes hasn’t come close to replicating that kind of form, looking slower, less sharp and more prone to being hurt than in the past. That’s led to being TKO’d by Jan Blachowicz, KO’d by Jiri Prochazka and then another KO defeat in just 80 seconds against Ryan Spann. To add to his woes, earlier in the year Reyes found himself in a life-threatening situation after suffering from deep vein thrombosis, though he’s since recovered.

At 36-years-old, Jacoby has had his fair shares of ups and downs in combat sports over the course of his career. He failed to make an impact in his first UFC run back in 2011, exiting after back-to-back losses, then a few years later had an equally unsuccessful two-fight run in Bellator. However, Jacoby was a good enough striker that he was able to compete frequently for the Glory Kickboxing outfit, though he had mixed results there. He did eventually make a return to the UFC though and exceeded expectations by going on an unbeaten run consisting of six wins and a draw. However, that’s led to tougher fights and more losses than wins in recent times.

Even though results haven’t been going his way Jacoby still feels like the more consistent, reliable and durable fighter of the two here and I think he’ll add to Reyes losing streak here by TKO’ing him in the second round.

Pick: Dustin Jacoby wins by TKO in Rd2.

Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Ricky Turcios

Still only 19-years-old, Rosas comes in off a TKO victory to fight Ricky Turcios, who he was originally supposed to fight back in March before falling ill on the night of the fight, leading to it being rescheduled for this weekend.

Nothing’s really changed to amend the prediction from just a few months ago. Rosas Jr is a fighter with clear potential, but he does remain quite rough around the edges. He’s physically strong and has good grappling for his age, while he’s also a fairly capable wrestler. His striking in particular is a work-in-progress, but he does seem to have natural power and can be quite dynamic offensively. It’s a skill-set that’s enough to help him run through fighters on the regional circuit or fringe UFC fighters, but the cracks begin to show beyond that. He’s not learned to pace himself yet and instead can try too hard to overwhelm his opponents early, making him more prone to silly mistakes and risky manoeuvres while draining his gas-tank. As such the hope is that he learns from fight-to-fight and not only continues to build on his technique, but also develops more composure and fight IQ over time too.

The 30-year-old Turcios can be a tricky opponent to deal with as he’s quite wild and unorthodox, pushing a hard pace and being unpredictable with his offense, while also having an extra 4″ in reach. He’s also a decent offensive wrestler and can be quite crafty on the mat, but has poor takedown defense.

Turcios certainly should have the cardio advantage here and will hope to keep the pace high and wear out Rosas Jr over time here. That’s a real possibility, but I feel Rosas has the ability to get the better of the action in the opening couple of rounds and will then have to dig deep to survive the third and eek out a win on the scorecards.

Pick: Raul Rosas Jr wins by decision.

Brunno Ferreira vs. Dustin Stoltzfus

Brunno Ferreira’s latest KO win takes him to 2-1 in the UFC and now he’ll square up to Dustin Stoltzfus, who is only 2-4 overall in the UFC so far, but that includes winning two of his last three fights.

A ripped fighter with an all-action, aggressive striking style, the 31-year-old ran through many of his opponents on the regional circuit and showed he could continue to be potent in the Octagon too when he KO’d both Gregory Rodrigues and Phile Hawes, but his offensive approach did also see him get KO’d by Nursulton Ruziboev in 2023. Ferreira can mix things up as he has experience in both judo and BJJ that he utilizes in the cage. However, due to his focus on fast-finishes it does mean that we’ve never seen how Ferreira’s cardio would hold up if he was in a fight went beyond the half-way point.

Like his opponent, Stoltzfus also had a solid regional record, but perhaps dodged a bullet in his Contender Series fight when Joe Pyfer suffered a freak dislocated shoulder during their fight. That got Stoltzfus into the UFC and at first it looked like a step too far from him as he suffered three defeats. He’s since shown he has more to offer though by getting a couple of wins under his belt and showing off some fairly well-rounded skills. He’s a respectable striker, albeit without much in the way of knockout power, but has found more success finishing opponents on the mat with a solid submission game and capable wrestling. Defensively there are still issues though, having been submitted twice in the UFC as well as also being TKO’d in just 19 seconds.

Stoltzfus has far more experience competing in fight that go the distance and so he may well look to survive the early storm here and punish Ferreira for expending too much energy earlier on. However, I think that’ll be easier said than done as Ferreira presses the action and connects with big strikes to deliver a 1st round TKO finish.

Pick: Brunno Ferreira wins by TKO in Rd1.

Julian Marquez vs. Zachary Reese

A KO and TKO loss in his last two fights means Julian Marquez has a lot to prove in his next fight as he gets ready to face Zachary Reese, who suffered a knockout loss in his promotional debut last year.

The 34-year-old Marquez likes to take the fight to his opponents and will swing for the fences with big power punches at close range, while he can also go on the hunt for submissions if the action goes to the mat. A glaring problem with his approach on the feet is that he has been all too willing to take punches to land his own, and while his durability helped out in that regard for some time, his chin has now been compromised after being KO’d by Gregory Rodriguez and TKO’d by Marc-Andre Barriault.

Reese is the younger man here at 30-years-old and with a 2″ height and 4″ reach advantage he naturally prefers to keep the fight at range with straight punches and lengthy kicks, though like Marquez he is also capable of working his submission game if required. It’s also worth noting that Reese is only seven fights into his career and has yet to have a fight go beyond the opening round.

Marquez’s recent durability issues are troubling given that his fighting style puts his chin in harm’s way, but with Reese still relatively new to the promotion and coming off a KO loss he’s in a vulnerable spot too. In the end I feel Marquez will still bring the fight to Reese and be able to unsettle him at close quarters, paving the way for a 2nd round TKO stoppage win.

Pick: Julian Marquez wins by TKO in Rd2.

Miguel Baeza vs. Punahele Soriano

These two main card openers could be fighting to keep their place on the roster on Saturday night given that Miguel Baeza is in the midst of a trio of losses, while Punahale Soriano has lost four of his last five bouts.

Baeza is 31-years-old and has a 3″ height and 2″ reach advantage here. He has an upright stance and works good kickboxing from range with significant power, managing to TKO Hector Aldana with leg kicks and Matt Brown via punches during his UFC run. Baeza welcomes a good scrap, but his defense can suffer in the heat of the battle and that’s becoming an issue given that he’s been TKO’d in his last two fights.

The 31-year-old Soriano has been struggled at 185lbs for a while, so he’s now trying his luck at 170lbs. He’s a stocky fighter who likes to get into a brawl and use his boxing and durability to be the one left standing, though he has shown some ability on the mat too.

Baeza comes in off a two-year layoff, while Soriano hasn’t fought at welterweight before, so that makes it a tricky fight to call. If it’s just an all-out slugfest then Soriano’s chin seems more reliable here, but I do feel that Baeza is the more skillful and dynamic striker and so I’ll take him to land the cleaner strikes here on his way to a TKO finish in the 2nd round.

Pick: Miguel Baeza wins by TKO in Rd2.

Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)

Thiago Moises vs. Ludovit Klein
Charles Radtke vs. Carlos Prates
Andrea Lee vs. Montana De La Rosa
Brad Katona vs. Jesse Butler
John Castaneda vs. Daniel Marcos
Eduarda Moura vs. Denise Gomes
Cody Stamann vs. Taylor Lapilus
Rayanne dos Santos vs. Puja Tomar

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.