UFC on ESPN+ 60: Undercard Part 1 - Predictions - 2/26/22
Alejandro Pérez (22-8-1) vs Jonathan Martinez (14-4)
Martinez is another one of these counter punching kickboxers who really prefers to be on the outside. When he leads the dance he likes to leap in with some isolated bursts and then get right back out. His takedown defense is also pretty solid which allows him to keep the fight in his preferred stand-up realm.
Perez’s new patient style with a lot of head movement translated to a dreadfully inactive first round against Johnny Eduardo. It was only when he switched back to his grappling in round 2 that he had success (beauty arm bar actually, check it out if you get a chance). I think he lets this fight slip away from him on points. He certainly has the power to duplicate what Davey Grant did to Martinez in a frenetic exchange but I really see Martinez just point-fighting his way to a couple rounds in the bank. If he does rely on his grappling, I think Martinez’s takedown defense will be good enough to prevail and then continue piling up strike counts.
Prediction: Jonathan Martinez
Ramiz Brahimaj (9-4) vs Micheal Gillmore (6-4)
Gillmore got run over by the wrestling game of Petroski last time out. It’s a bit hard to tell if dropping to welterweight is going to fix that for this one. Brahimaj isn’t anything special either but I like his chances to impose wrestling on Gillmore. If he can’t do so and this becomes a striking match then the pendulum will swing in Gillmore’s favour. But even still, not by much. I like Brahimaj’s submission strength to overcome Gillmore’s submission weakness here. If Gillmore comes out reinvented and can overcome Brahimaj's durability then so be it. I'll have to see him do something special before I can back him.
Prediction: Ramiz Brahimaj
Victor Altamirano (10-1) vs Carlos Hernández (7-1)
The battle between two guys who won via split decision on The Contender Series last time out. What was good about those close fights is we got an extended look at the strengths and weaknesses of both guys. Unfortunately it doesn’t really make picking a winner for this one much easier. Hernandez has some solid combinations and absolute dreadful takedown defense. He also gave up incredibly advantageous positions when controlling his opponent’s back.
Altamariano keeps his hands low and blocks head kicks with his face. He also got taken down a bunch of times and soundly beaten up in the first round against Candelario. I saw that fight as a clear win for Candalario actually and I’d say if this wasn’t the flyweight division which desperately needs talent, both of these guys would not be getting contracts. Anyway, Altamirano also looked pretty tired half way through that fight which is a disastrous trait to have in the flyweight division. I’ll take Hernandez to avoid Altamirano’s head kicks and win a decision.