UFC on ESPN+ 60: Kim vs Cachoeira - Predictions - 2/26/22
Ji Yeon Kim vs Priscilla Cachoeira
Ji Yeon Kim (9-4-2) won a couple South Korea regional bantamweight belts before getting her UFC contract back in 2017. “Fire Fist” would fight 7 times under the UFC banner, going 3-4 in the process. A bantamweight UFC debut loss would prompt a drop to flyweight in her next fight. She would edge out close split decisions in her next two flyweight bouts. Scale troubles would then hit the South Korean as she would miss weight on her next two fights (alternating a loss to Antonia Shevchenko and a win against Nadia Kassem). Unfortunately for Kim, she would also drop her next two fights against Alexa Grasso and Molly McCann by decision. These last two fights are also her most recent. She will look to avoid dropping 3 in a row as she takes on Cachoeira this Saturday.
I probably use the “baptism by fire” analogy too often but there is no other fight that fits it better than Priscilla Cachoeira’s (10-4) debut. She went up against flyweight GOAT, Valentina Shevchenko and to make matters worse, Mario Yamasaki was reffing the fight and had $5 riding on Cachoeira (I assume). Cachoeira would get outstruck 230-3, suffer a surgery-requiring knee injury, and eventually get mercy choked out in round 2. “Zombie Girl” (I’m sure that got dubbed after the Shevchenko loss) would drop her next two fights by decision but then begin to figure things out by scoring her first UFC win by knocking out Shana Dobson. The Brazilian would keep the momentum going with a TKO victory over Gina Mazany but the streak would end at 2 when Gillian Robertson submitted her with a second left in the first round back in December. To add insult to injury, Cachoeira would miss weight for that contest.
Although height will be identical, Kim will hold 7 inches of reach over Cachoeira. Despite the scale troubles for both fighters, this one will once more be contested at flyweight.
How They Match Up
Cachoeira’s game in a nutshell is having no takedown defense, no striking defense, having some power in her right hand, and being ultra tough. There’s not much else to really break down for her. Mazany took her down at will on almost every attempt but luckily for Cachoeia, this gassed her out completely. At that point Cachoeia was able to tee off on her with little regard for her own safety. This worked because Mazany is no striking threat whatsoever.
Kim also prefers to strike first and she’s quite a deal more technical than Cachoeira, at least offensively. She also has some power in her hands as evidenced by the body shots she folded Kassem with. She also landed some heavy shots on McCann last time out. Her takedown defense at 40% is pretty weak but when you actually watch how she’s been taken down, it’s not nearly as easy for her opponents as it is for Cachoeira’s opponents. Sadly, her striking defense is also pretty weak as she absorbs a lot of significant strikes per minute.
Not going to over analyze this one, Cachoeira’s greatest asset is her toughness and that won’t even be much of an edge here as Kim has never been finished. I think Kim struggled with the relentless brawling pressure of McCann but Cachoeira doesn’t really bring the same energy. I suspect Kim is going to be getting the better of all the exchanges and the judges are going to love seeing Cachoeira’s guardless head getting whipped back. Neither girl has ever gone the wrestling route by choice so this one seems like a standard kickboxing match and it’s very winnable for the more technical striker. Give me Kim.