UFC on ESPN: Undercard Preview and Prediction Pt 2
Loma Lookboonme vs Sam Hughes
Loma Lookboonme (5-2-0) makes her 4th trip to the octagon Saturday night. She’s 2-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Jinh Yu Frey in October. She’s a multi time Muay Thai champion who made her way into MMA on the regional scene back in 2018. She’s fought most of her career at atomweight (105 lbs) but had to move to strawweight (115 lbs) when she got the call from UFC.
Sam Hughes sports an identical record of 5-2 and is coming off a UFC debut loss to Tecia Torres. “Sampage” was beaten pretty soundly in that fight and told her corner she couldn’t see at the end of round 1 which ended the bout.
Hughes will hold a 4 inch advantage in height and 2.5 inch reach advantage.
There’s been some question marks on how Lookboonme would be able to compete outside of her natural weight class. She had a pretty good size disadvantage in her last fight against Frey but she showed that was a non factor. Even in the clinch where a size and strength disadvantage should be prevalent, the Thai fighter leaned on technique and cut her opponent up. She did get taken down in the third round but was able to get up and still win the round. Hughes really needs to try and exploit that takedown angle in this one but I think she’s going to stay on the feet too long and she’s outmatched here. If she does rush in and clinch then she’s going against a Thai boxing specialist which won’t go well.
Prediction: Loma Lookboonme
Andreas Michailidis vs KB Bhullar
Andreas Michailidis (12-4-0) is back for his sophomore UFC effort. His freshman outing didn’t go his way as he succumbed to strikes against Modestas Bukauskas. He was doing well for the majority of the round landing solid low kicks and just missing with haymakers. It was a bit of an unusual one as Bukauskas landed a couple hard elbows at the very end of the round and “The Spartan” couldn’t continue into round 2.
KB Bhullar (8-1-0) is in the same boat, losing his octagon debut by TKO finish. He ate a jab from Tom Breese fairly quickly into round 1 and that was all she wrote.
“The Bengal” will hold a 4 inch height and 2 inch reach advantage against Michailidis.
Even with that height advantage, Michailidis is coming down from light heavyweight to fight at middleweight for this one. He does have a tendency to evade backward with his head straight up so Bhullar needs to time a perfect shot early. I just don’t see it happening. “The Spartan” is going to have all the strength and power advantages in this one and I expect him to land one of those huge punches in the first round. Getting dropped badly from a jab that he saw coming from a fellow middleweight is just too much of a red flag for me to have faith in Bhullar.
Prediction: Andreas Michailidis
Luke Sanders vs Felipe Colares
“Cool Hand” Luke Sanders (13-4-0) makes his 8th UFC octagon walk. The brawler is looking to get back in the win column after alternating wins and losses in his last 4 (beating Patrick Williams and the ghost of Renan Barao - while losing to Rani Yahya and Nate Manness recently).
His opponent has gone the distance in all three of his UFC appearances, losing two of them and winning one by split. Most recently he was beaten soundly by Montel Jackson but showed ridiculous heart to survive the full 15.
Colares (9-2-0) will hold 2 inch reach and height advantages in this one.
This is some good matchmaking right here and I have a feeling this could be the best fight on the undercard. Sanders is a 35 year old brawler whose chin could very well be compromised (he was subbed last fight but that was a result of getting dropped badly). Meanwhile Colares was a wobbly punching bag in his last fight but was still throwing spinning back elbows and attempting submissions throughout. “Cool Hand” Luke is athletic as hell and should be able to walk through a fighter like Colares. I say should because he has a knack for throwing away fights he is clearly winning. I’m going to side with him here just because I don’t think Colares has the power to get the finish on the feet. Colares also had heaps of trouble against a southpaw last time out which will work in Sanders’ favor when he starts throwing bolos.