UFC Vegas 33 takes place this weekend at the UFC Apex and will be headlined by top 15 middleweights Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland.
Both Hall and Strickland are currently riding a four-fight win streak, and have a chance to take a huge step towards the middleweight title with a win on Saturday.
The main card also features intriguing fights between lesser-known but extremely talented fighters. In the co-main event, Kyung Ho Kang takes on Rani Yahya in a bantamweight contest, while elsewhere on the card, Cheyanne Buys takes on Gloria de Paula, Jared Gooden fights Nicklas Stalze and Zarrukh Adashev locks horns with Ryan Benoit.
Uriah Hall vs Sean Strickland
Uriah Hall is a veteran of the sport. He’s an excellent striker with pinpoint accuracy and a very composed fighting style. His opponent is the polar opposite of himself, as Strickland is an extremely aggressive and unforgiving young prospect, who never shies away from a slugfest.
Strickland has a great ground game, but probably not good enough to keep Hall on the mat, which means the fight will stay on the feet. There, it’s anyone’s to take. Strickland is a high-volume striker who loves phone booth sort of fights, but Hall’s counter striking style is the perfect antidote to the fire Strickland brings inside the Octagon.
It’s very likely that Strickland overwhelms Hall with his unstoppable pressure and catches him with a good one. But it’s also likely that Hall hurts him with a counter shot with his chin exposed, and knocks him out cold. The UFC Vegas 33 main event could go either way, but rest assured, it won’t go the distance.
Kyung Ho Kang vs Rani Yahya
Kyung Ho Kang has won six out of his last seven fights, while Rani Yahya has won seven out of his last 10, but he has more experience competing in the UFC.
Kyung Ho has a very slight edge on the feet. He’s an excellent striker, but he’s also a solid grappler, with 11 submission wins to his name. Yahya is a world-class grappler with 21 submission wins to his name, but he’s also a solid striker, with a Muay Thai background.
Yahya certainly has the edge on the mat as he’s a more skillful grappler, but if Kyung Ho can hold his ground and avoid grappling exchanges, his chances of winning will grow significantly. If it goes to the mat, Yahya is going to be the favorite.
Cheyanne Buys vs Gloria de Paula
Both Cheyanne Buys and Gloria de Paula have lost their most recent fights and will be looking to bounce back into the win column. Unfortunately, only one will succeed in doing so.
Neither of the two is well known, but both are talented enough to guarantee an action-packed three rounds of fighting at UFC Vegas 33. De Paula is a heavy-handed striker, who will be looking for a finish, but Buys is tough as nails and has a very well-rounded skill set, which might cause de Paula problems.
Buys certainly has more ways of winning the fight, but de Paula will benefit a lot if she keeps the fight in the center.
Jared Gooden vs Nicklas Stalze
Jared Gooden is coming off back-to-back losses at the hands of Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Alan Jouban, whereas Nicklas Stalze’s four-fight win streak was snapped in his most recent fight against Ramazan Emeev. Both fighters are coming off a loss and will be looking to turn things around.
Both Gooden and Stalze are excellent submission grapplers, but Gooden has a slight edge with his takedown defense, which is an incredible 83 percent. They are both good strikers as well, but Stalze has a slight edge in that department as he starts off aggressively, and if he succeeds in putting Gooden on the back foot early on, he’ll have a better chance of winning. It’s a very close fight, nonetheless.
Zarrukh Adashev vs Ryan Benoit
Zarrukh Adashev has had a bad start to his UFC career, losing twice in as many fights. Ryan Benoit has also dropped two in a row, which means it’s a do-or-die situation for both men at UFC Vegas 33.
Adashev is a better striker than Benoit, who may not be as polished as his opponent, but still has the power to damage him. However, his best bet is to take the fight to the ground to avoid Adashev’s flurry, which could prove to be a tough ask as Benoit’s takedown game hasn’t developed a lot in recent years.
If this stays on the feet, Adashev will have the edge.
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