Two top lightweights are going at in the main event November 5 in UFC’s return to Mexico City. Good news for us, the UFC wised up and doesn’t have any heavyweight fights at this savage of an elevation.

 

Rafael Dos Anjos vs Tony Ferguson

Lightweight

Former lightweight champ is looking to get back his title by taking out a super hunger challenger. After a KO like Dos Anjos suffered in his last fight to Eddie Alverez, it will be interesting to see how he fights. Training out of Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, CA, Dos Anjos is an elite BJJ black belt with a constantly improving striking game plus nasty kicks.

Keys to victory:

  • Be patient and keep distance
  • Leg kicks at the end of combinations
  • Win scrambles or get to the feet quickly when taken down

Tony Ferguson is on an 8 fight win streak with 6 finishes. Tony likes to keep an incredible pace with slick boxing combination and wrestling transition for submission to get finishes. Ferguson has yet to be KO/TKOed while fighting but did get dropped in his last fight against a UFC newcomer on a few weeks notice. Let’s see if he can back all of his recent talk.

Keys to victory:

  • Push the pace
  • Close the distance and wrestle as often as possible
  • Look to land bomb or submission in scrambles

Tough fight to call - Where is Dos Anjos head at and can Ferguson put the pressure on to the point he can make the former champ make a mistake.

Prediction - Dos Anjos by decision

 

Diego Sanchez vs Marcin Held

Lightweight

Why is Sanchez still fighting? It seems almost irresponsible to continue to let Diego fight with how much damage he takes but here we are. Good news for him, Held is not known as a power puncher. Sanchez has been on the down side of his career for several years now but might still have enough to pull this one out.

Keys to victory

  • Avoid ANY grappling exchanges
  • Pressure
  • Wing wild punch

Multiple Bellator tournament champion, Marcin held is making his UFC debut after a short lived free agent period. Held is a throwback to the old days of pure submission specialists. Marcin will pull, rolling takedown attempts, will do anything to get the fight to the ground so he can go to work on a limb or his opponent's neck. He is a leg lock specialist keep a close eye anytime Held is grabbing Sanchez’s leg.

Keys to victory:

  • Reactive takedowns off Diego’s pressure
  • Takedowns, sweeps, and trips
  • Relentlessly go after submissions

Prediction - Marcin Held by 1st round leg lock

 

Ricardo Lamas vs. Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira

Featherweight

Suppose to headline the UFC’s return to Manila but BJ hurt himself so now he finds himself in a lose-lose situation. Fighting mid-card on a TUF Finale against a more dangerous opponent who doesn’t have as big of a name. Lamas is super underrated (probably because he isn’t that flashy) pressure fighter that is willing to go hard for 15-25 minutes. His best chances to win are by keeping Oliveira on his heels and control him in the clinch. When he gets it to the ground, try to land in half guard or side control to negate his offensive submission game off his back.

Keys to victory:

  • Heavy pressure
  • Control on the fence
  • Avoid submissions

Oliveira has all of the tools to be a champ but not the fight IQ to put it all together. An incredible grappler with slick kickboxing, he can be overly aggressive at times and get finished in the process. Dangerous at all times, do Bronx is a natural finisher with 90% of his wins with no judges involved.

Keys to victory:

  • High volume of strikes on the feet
  • create scrambles on the ground and attack with submissions
  • Avoid getting slowed down in the clinch

Prediction: Lamas by Decision

Daniel Dariush vs Rashid Magomedov

Lightweight

I am a huge fan of Daniel but it is easy to sum him up as the poor man’s Rafael Dos Anjos. World class submission pedigree with great fundamental kickboxing developed at Kings MMA. He has strong leg kicks and was well rounded enough on the feet to squeak out a decision of Michael Johnson just over a year ago.

Keys to victory:

  • Avoid the looping punches & having your back on the cage
  • End combinations with kicks
  • Be the more technical grappler - control before going for submissions

Rashid has only lost once in his professional MMA career with 19 wins (10 decision, 8 KO/TKOs and 1 submission). He is the latest hand-to-hand sambo champion to come from Dagestan, Russia and make an impact in the UFC. He is taking a big step up in competition and will have to show off all of his skills to continue his win streak.

Keys to victory:

  • Constant pressure everywhere the fight goes
  • Look to mix strikes with takedowns and clinch
  • Check leg kicks or get the takedown off of kicks

Prediction: Daniel by decision

 

Alexa Grasso vs Heath “Jo Jo” Clark

Strawweight

Alexa is undefeated in her eight professional MMA fights. With 4 of her wins coming in the all female MMA organization, Invicta FC. At only 23 years of age, Alexa is a Mexican prospect that has a lot of upside to her even if she gets the Octagon jitters Saturday night.

Keys to victory:

  • Use footwork and take advantage of Clark’s slow movement
  • Avoid takedowns/clinch
  • Make Jo Jo pay for slow shitty attempts to initiate grappling exchanges

Jo Jo has never impressed me with her technical abilities. She does bring a lot of tenacity to the cage that has seen her hand raised 7 out of 12 fights. At 36 years old, it is very unlikely she continued to develop her skills.

Keys to victory:

  • Pressure Grasso to the cage
  • Slow down Alexa with takedowns and clinch
  • Control position as much as possible

Prediction: Alexa by 2nd round TKO

 

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