UFC Fight Night 42: Preliminary Card Predictions
The UFC is back this weekend after a busy weekend with UFC Fight Night 42. Live from Greg Jackson territory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the card boasts a very interesting lineup that should deliver on the entertainment side of things.
The card will be headlined by lightweight contenders Benson Henderson and Rustam Khabilov, with this event being the first time the Russian has headlined a UFC card. They will be supported by a co-main event between The Ultimate Fighter winners Diego Sanchez and Ross Pearson.
The busy weekend brought great success on my record. Between 13 preliminary fights on two cards, I lost on just four predictions, ascending my record to a better percentage.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the prelims for this card and make some more predictions as we near the halfway point on 2014.
2014 Riley's Record: 73-49
Last Events: UFC Fight Night 41 and TUF Brazil 3 Finale (9-4)
Patrick Cummins vs. Roger Narvaez
Kicking things off on the Fight Pass prelims are the light heavyweights, as late replacement newcomer Roger Narvaez takes on Patrick Cummins. Narvaez, a normal middleweight, took this bout for Francimar Barroso, who suffered an injury in training.
Cummins, famous for his late fill-in at UFC 1700's co-main event against Daniel Cormier, will get a reset here against an opponent who is not top three in the world like Cormier. Cummins, a solid striker with good wrestling, was 4-0 with four stoppages before running into the world-class Cormier at UFC 170.
Narvaez is currently undefeated at 6-0, as the Legacy FC vet has finished everybody but one man he has faced. He is well-rounded, though he prefers to bully men to the canvas and beat them up there. They may not play into his hands well here.
Give Cummins a mulligan for his last bout. Anybody taking on Cormier in those type of circumstances was likely to fail anyway. Cummins is a solid prospect and should have no problem dispatching the smaller, less-prepared Narvaez at some point in the fight.
Prediction: Cummins def. Narvaez via TKO
Jon Tuck vs. Jake Lindsey
Up first on the Fox Sports 1 prelims are the lightweights, as Jon Tuck welcomes late replacement Jake Lindsey to the UFC. Lindsey took this fight when Yosdenis Cedeno dropped out from injury.
Tuck was originally on TUF 15 where he lost in the elimination round despite looking like a good prospect. The UFC gave him another chance to show his stuff in China, where he beat Tiequan Zhang in a one-sided decision. However, in his most recent outing, Tuck was beaten by decision at the hands of Norman Parke in a bout that he was competitive in before suffering an injury.
Lindsey is an undefeated prospect who usually fights at featherweight and is a Titan FC veteran and powerful striker. He is known for stalking men, downing them with strikes and finishing them quickly when they are hurt. This will be his biggest test to date, especially in fighting up a division.
Lindsey is a solid fighter who will greatly benefit from his sophomore effort, likely at 145 pounds. However, Tuck is seasoned, tough and ready to go, which will see him survive some sticky situations to outpoint the newcomer.
Prediction: Tuck def. Lindsey via decision
Scott Jorgensen vs. Danny Martinez
The flyweights are set to do battle next, as struggling UFC/WEC vet Scott Jorgensen takes on TUF 18 veteran Danny Martinez.
Jorgensen has found great struggle since fighting for the WEC title opposite Dominick Cruz, which led to his arrival in the UFC. He has fought as a bantamweight and flyweight with the UFC, going 3-5 with the company. However, he is 1-5 in his last six fights, including two losses in his flyweight career to Zach Makovsky and Jussier da Silva.
Martinez, a fellow wrestler, is a Dominick Cruz teammate at Alliance MMA and had a close decision taken from him in his UFC debut. He dropped a unanimous decision to Chris Cariaso, though many people thought that Martinez could have easily taken the bout.
Both men are wrestlers, which should cancel out here. That being said, despite his struggles on the feet, Jorgensen is likely the better banger. He should sneak a decision here to finally get back into the win column.
Prediction: Jorgensen def. Martinez via decision
Bobby Voelker vs. Lance Benoist
Next up are the welterweights in a win-or-go-home situation, as Strikeforce import Bobby Voelker takes on Lance Benoist. One has to believe the loser of this fight will be searching for a new promotion to call home.
Benoist entered the UFC in 2011 as an undefeated prospect to keep your eye on and kept that notion going with a debut win over Matt Riddle. However, he is 0-2 since then against Seth Baczynski and Sean Pierson, with his last fight against Pierson taking place in September of 2012. That is an extremely long layoff, which could affect how he fights here.
Voelker is 0-3 in the UFC, which reversed a relatively successful Strikeforce career. That said, he has stepped in against some tough names in his UFC career, including Patrick Cote, Robbie Lawler and William Macario. He has kept his job because of his toughness and exciting style that never sees him quit.
Benoist is a ground fighter who will want to test Voelker's submission game. However, getting him down is going to be tough. Voelker will make this a kickboxing match and earn the nod over a game Benoist.
Prediction: Voelker def. Benoist via decision
Sergio Pettis vs. Yaotzin Meza
Headlining the prelims are a pair of bantamweights, as Sergio Pettis comes to the Southwest to take on Arizona native Yaotzin Meza.
Pettis, the brother of UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, has seen mixed results in his two-fight UFC stint. The striker outpointed Will Campuzano in his debut with the company but was choked out late in the third round against Alex Caceres in his latest showing.
Meza, who brings in a significant experience edge, has also seen mixed results in his three-fight stint. He has fallen to Chad Mendes and Chico Camus but beat John Albert in the middle of those losses. To be successful here, one has to believe Meza needs to get Pettis down.
Pettis is quick and flashy on the feet, so Meza will need to stalk and grind him down. However, Pettis can avoid doing that by sticking and moving, a strategy that will lead him to victory here.
Prediction: Pettis def. Meza via decision