UFC on ESPN+ 46 - Undercard Analysis & Prediction 5/22/21

Bill Algeo (14-5-0) vs Ricardo Ramos (14-3-0)

We last saw Bill Algeo tangle with Spyke Carlyle on route to a UD. Before that, it was a fight of the night candidate in his debut against Ricardo Lamas. Ricardo Ramos is a BJJ blackbelt who also throws a lot of spinning and unorthodox strikes. He got blasted out by Lerone Murphy in his last effort.

Very close fight but I’m leaning towards Ramos. In Algeo’s last fight, he performed well but gave up his back and his neck several times to Carlyle very readily. This is just a horrible way to fight Ramos who has the ability to transition to someone’s back even while on the feet. Algeo has been subbed a couple of times and I think it happens again here as long as Ramos doesn’t get too complacent in there (coming off a KO loss makes me think he’ll tighten things up a bit).


Ben Rothwell (38-13-0) vs Chris Barnett (21-6-0)

Everyone knows Rothwell’s game by this point. Have a granite chin, wade forward, and throw bombs. The 39-year-old will attempt to walk down any heavyweight and trade. Or sometimes clinch up and make things a slog. Chris Barnett is making his UFC debut on relatively short notice. He’s a super heavyweight! Not skill-wise but pound-wise, routinely fighting way over UFC’s current limit of 265 in regional promotions.

Well, it’ll be an interesting first few minutes. If anyone is going to sleep Rothwell it might as well be a 300-pound fighter with 16 KO’s on his record. I don’t see it happening though. Ben has been around for too long to get caught with something as sloppy as the stuff Barnett throws. The level of competition that both guys have faced is nowhere near the same level. But this is the heavyweight division so like I said....the first few minutes should be interesting.


Court McGee (19-10-0) vs Claudio Silva (14-2-0)

Court McGee is on a 3 fight losing streak but the guy has only been finished once in his career, and that loss was not by submission. He’s incredibly durable. Claudio Silva won his first 5 UFC matches before “The” James Krause put a stop to that streak. He has a ridiculously good BJJ game.

This one is interesting. McGee is actually a better striker than Silva by a large margin. Silva was incredibly sloppy with his striking in his last bout and when he couldn’t get the fight to the mat to use his BJJ, it was over. The writing is on the wall for how to beat Silva now and honestly, there is a version of McGee that could do it. But with little finishing ability for McGee in the twilight of his career, I have to give a slight edge to Silva to overcome McGee’s takedown defense eventually and threaten submissions the whole time.


Bruno Silva (11-5-2) vs Victor Rodriguez (5-3-0)

Victor Rodriguez took a short notice fight to make his UFC debut as a huge underdog. His opponent, in fact, starched him in the first round with a serious head kick. Rodriguez’s style is that of a wrestle-boxer with some decent power in his hands. Bruno Silva snapped a two-fight losing skid with a TKO win over J.P Buys in March.

Honestly, Silva just seems to be better almost everywhere. The one-shot power that Rodriguez may have utilized to success on the regional circuit probably doesn’t come into play here after seeing Silva’s durability in previous bouts. This should be a fun one while it lasts though but I expect Silva to put his experience on display and win every round.


Josh Culibao (8-1-1) vs Yilan Sha (17-6-0)

Culibao put on a good performance against Charles Jourdain and was honestly robbed on that one since the fight was scored a draw somehow. Yilan Sha makes his debut after fighting an insane 6 times in 2020 on the Asian fight scene.

Culibao has earned the heavy favorite status for this one. After watching a small pile of Sha’s previous fights, I just don’t see what he can do to win this. He MIGHT have a cardio edge but that's about it. Culibao should get his first UFC win here.


Damir Hadzovic (13-6-0) vs Yancy Medeiros (15-7-0)

Medeiros has been fighting in the UFC since 2013, taking on the majority of prospects and mid-ranked fighters in the welterweight and lightweight divisions. He had a great stretch where he finished Sean Spencer, Erick Silva, and Alex Oliveira. But then got TKO’d by Donald Cerrone and Gregor Gillespie (which was a drop to lightweight). He also had no answer for Lando Vannata’s footwork in his most recent bout which was also at lightweight.

Hadzovic has also struggled to gain traction, going 3-4 in the UFC. This sort of feels like a pink slip fight to me so I expect both guys to bring it. This one is very close to call. When Hadzovic gets hit he becomes more game as if it wakes him up. With Medeiros, we just don’t really know who’s going to show up at this point. But with Hadzovic being a more standard striker without much else to offer, it has to be a benefit to Medeiros (having seen this style dozens of times). I gotta think with his job on the line, his experience, competition faced, and 5” reach advantage that the Hawaiin gets it done.


Rafael Alves (19-9-0) vs Damir Ismagulov (19-1-0)

Very very very long night for Rafael Alves. Ismagulov should slowly and methodically grind him down. Alves is very well-rounded and a great pick-up by the UFC but I think this is a disastrous debut for him. Possibly a punishment for his record-setting 11.5-pound weight miss last time out.


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Donnie Vee

Ever since renting my first UFC VHS at my local video store, I’ve been in love with the sport of MMA. I’ve watched every single fight that has ever taken place under the UFC banner over the past 25 years. Once I started doing incredibly well in fantasy leagues, I realized I could utilize my skills in fight analytics to make a profit on betting. My obsession with researching every aspect of a fight gave me a real edge in finding value. Since then, it's been one profitable year after the next. Watching your favorite sport is good, but getting paid while watching your favorite sport is better.