We’re back to the home of the UFC Las Vegas with an exciting Fight night card this weekend. This card has some underrated matchups between strong rising contenders who can cause trouble to the top 5’s in their division.
Let’s dive right in!
Giga Chikadze Vs Cub Swanson
In the co-main event of the evening, we’ve got a clash to determine the next badass in the Featherweight division. We have a 5-fight win streak momentum rider in rank 14 Giga Chikadze taking on the top veteran of the game in rank 15 Cub Swanson.
Giga Chikadze is riding strong at the back of his 5-fight win streak over strong contenders in the UFC. Giga fell short of 1 win to equal Kevin Holland’s 5 wins in 2020 record, with 4 wins over tough fighters Giga has set himself up for this ranked fight with Cub.
Giga is primarily a Kickboxer with 7 knockouts out of his 12 wins to prove his finishing ability. A win over Swanson would get Giga into the picture for better-ranked fights soon. Standing 6 feet tall, Giga is probably the tallest featherweight on the roster and has a sizeable reach advantage over all of his opponents in his favor.
Cub Swanson is a true veteran of this game and he’s as tough as they come. Cub Swanson has shared the Octagon with the absolute best in the business in Dustin Poirier, Max Holloway, and Jose Aldo, etc. Cub is one of the most entertaining fighters on the UFC roster, he has 7 fight of the night bonuses and 2 knockouts of the night to prove his wild fighting style.
Cub has always been a fan favorite and you do not want to miss out when this guy is fighting. Cub was starting to be overlooked by fight fans due to some of his razor-close recent losses, but he cashed out as a 2.50 underdog against Daniel Pineda and knocked him out cold in December last year.
This is primarily a striker vs striker fight, but we have to factor in Cub’s ground game here. Having a Black belt in BJJ Cub is famous for displaying his elite-level ground game from time to time. We can expect a banger in this co-main, where the newbie looks to make a name for himself and the veteran is out to put his experience on display.
We think Chikadze is riding a confident streak and his striking keeps looking better with every fight, he could have an upper hand on Cub on the feet. Giga will look to keep this fight on the feet, use his massive reach advantage to keep kicking Cub from distance.
Contrarily, Cub is famous for showing up on fight night and we think he will cover the gap well with his wrestling. Cub also has some explosive strength, and this could be a big factor in this fight. Ultimately, we’re going with the veteran here, Cub will look to put some heat in his punches and clinch with Giga. We can see this being an interesting 15-minute affair where ultimately Cub gets his hands raised.
Prediction – Cub Swanson by Decision – Industry Odds- 3.75 (Odds are subject to change, watch out when odds go Live on Stake)
Dominick Reyes Vs Jiri Prochazka
We’ve got an explosive and violent main event on our hands; this is potentially a number 1 contender fight for the Light Heavyweight Division.In the main event, we’ve got the ex-title challenger rank 3 Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes taking on the dangerous rank 5 Jiri “Denisa” Prochazka.
Fighting out of the red corner, we’ve got the very dangerous Dominick Reyes. Until last year Reyes was one of the most talked-about rising contenders in the UFC, riding a 12-0 MMA record with vicious knockouts of veterans in Chris Weidman and Jarrod Cannonier.
Reyes was set for nothing but greatness in the UFC as he was the first undefeated fighter to challenge the goat, Jon Jones for his title. Reyes gave Jones one of the toughest challenges Jones has been given, till this date half of the fans around the world believe that Reyes beat Jones.
Reyes dusted himself off from this performance and challenged for the vacant title again against Jan Blachowicz, but he had his first major setback when he got knocked out in round 2. Now that we know that Jan is a different animal, Reyes has only lost to the elitist in the game in Jones and Jan. With 7 knockouts, 2 submissions, and 2 performances of the nights, we know that Reyes is always game to fight.
Fighting out of the blue corner, we’ve got the new dog in the UFC yard, Jiri Prochazka. The newer fight fans are confused why Jiri is fighting for a number 1 contender fight in only his second UFC fight. Jiri Prochazka is a veteran of the MMA world; he has been a champion in Japan’s Rizin MMA promotion and defended his title twice.
Just like Israel Adesanya, Jiri rejected a UFC contract early in his career and took his time to get to his prime. Once he hit his peak, he has arrived in the UFC to conquer gold. UFC fans saw how vicious Jiri is in his debut last year when he knocked out ex title challenger and then rank 7 Volkan Oezdemir.
Jiri has gone to the judge’s scorecard only twice in his 31-fight career. In Jiri, you have an elite-level Muay Thai fighter who has 24 knockouts out of 27 wins to prove his power. Jiri is explosive and is known to put pressure on his opponents until they break.
This fight is going to be wild, it’s a battle of who breaks first. We think this fight is going to have a wild finish, someone is getting knocked out in this war but who? Tune in this weekend to find out.
Reyes has the skill-set needed to capture UFC gold, but his journey took a detour when he took back-to-back losses against Jones and Jan. We are big believers in the concept of, “styles make fights”. After seeing what Reyes did against Jones, he was a 1.30 favorite to beat the dangerous Jan, but he took a loss. Jan was a bad matchup for Reyes as he put pressure on Reyes from round 1 as opposed to the Jones fight where Reyes put early pressure on Jones.
Jiri is similar to Jan, he is strong, puts pressure on his opponents, and has that legendary knockout power. Can Reyes make the adjustments and make a comeback? Of course, Reyes is a top athlete, but we think Jiri is going to be too much to handle for Reyes. We are going with the favorite to get a finish this weekend.
Prediction- Jiri Prochazka by Knockout – Stake Odds- 2.30 (Odds are Subject to Change).
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