UFC 275 Prelim Card
The prelims open up with a women's featherweight encounter between Ramona Pascual and Joselyne Edwards. The more experienced Edwards should come out on top in this one.
Liang Na takes on Silvana Gomez Juarez in women's strawweight action. Despite her inferior record, Juares is favored to come out on top as a slight favorite.
Kang Kyu-Ho takes on Danaa Batgerel in a bantamweight tilt. Batgerel should be earning his 13th professional career win in this contest.
Andre Fialho takes on Jake Matthews in a welterweight battle. The Australian was once a hot prospect, but the Celtic Kid has not lived up to expectations losing after two consecutive 3-fight winning streaks in the Octagon. Fialho has been on a good run lately, even beating common opponent James Vick that beat Mathews, and should make it three wins in a row.
Hayisaer Maheshate takes on Steve Garcia in a lightweight contest. Garcia should edge this battle over the fighter from China with only 7 fights, and mostly on a much smaller stage.
Choi Sueng-Woo meets Joshua Culibao in a featherweight encounter. Expect a win for Choi in this one.
MIddleweights collide in the featured prelim as Brendan Allen takes on Jacob Malkoun. Allen was a hot prospect that came in blazing in the UFC with three solid wins, including Kevin Holland and Tom Breese, after getting a contract on the Contender Series.
However, “All In” has stumbled with a loss to Sean Strickland and another to Chris Curtis. The UFC is trying to build back up the American, and is is a solid favorite and should come out on top over the Australian that has only had 7 pro fights and still developing his skills.
UFC 275 Main Card
Jack Della Maddalena (11-2) v Ramazan Emeev (20-5)
Jack Della Maddalena takes on Ramazan Emeev in a welterweight battle that will open up the main card. Maddalena has been impressive since joining the UFC.
The Australian outpointed Ange Loosa at Dana White's Contender Series before TKO’ing Pete Rodriguez at UFC 270. Emeev, meanwhile, is coming off a defeat to Danny Roberts in October last year, having not competed since. It’s a close fight, but the safe money is on Della Maddelena to continue his recent run.
Rogerio Bontorin (16-4, 2NC) v Manel Kape (17-6)
An important flyweight encounter is also on the cards as Rogerio Bontorin takes on Manel Kape. Bontorin is winless in his last four and is coming off a split decision defeat to Brandon Royval.
Kape, meanwhile, has won his last two with knockouts. The former RIZIN star should make it three wins in a row with a victory over Bontorin and is favored to do so.
Weili Zhang (21-3) v Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4)
One of the most highly-anticipated rematches takes place as former champions Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk battle in a women’s strawweight encounter.
Their first fight was a fight of the year candidate back in March 2020 that saw Zhang win a razor-thin split decision to retain her title at the time. The two slugged it out for 25 minutes showing there was no real advantage between the two.
Since then, Zhang would compete twice, losing her belt to Rose Namajunas before getting outpointed in a rematch soon after. Jedrzejczyk, however, has not competed at all since, waiting for the big fight which has now arrived.
While the first fight was very close, the long layoff is one reason why Zhang is a slight favorite to come out on top in what would likely be a decision. The power of Zhang and the most recent experience of 25 minutes with “Thug Rose” gives her the momentum coming into this one.
Valentina Shevchenko (22-3) v Talia Santos (19-1)
The first of two title fights sees dominant 125-pound champion Valentina Shevchenko take on Talia Santos. Shevchenko has not met her match at flyweight so far as she has won her last eight fights in a row.
Her most recent title defense was a TKO win over Lauren Murphy in September, that showed that the “Bullet” is on another level than all her opposition. Santos is also on a winning streak as she has won her last four in a row, including a most recent submission win over Joanne Wood in November.
Santos has the most impressive record of any recent Shevchenko opponent with 19 wins and just the one loss. However, that doesn't stop her from being a massive underdog against Shevchenko. It’s hard to see Valentina losing any fight in the flyweight division.
Glover Teixeira (33-7) v Jiri Prochazka (28-3-1)
The event’s headliner sees Glover Teixeira look for a first light heavyweight title defense when he takes on the red-hot Jiri Prochazka. Teixeira achieved a lifelong goal by becoming the 205-pound champion at the age of 42 when he submitted Jan Blachowicz in October last year. It culminated what is now a six-fight winning streak for the Brazilian. While the talks of retirement have been a topic, the champ has now focused on extending his 6 fight winning streak.
Prochazka, on the other hand, has only had two UFC fights, but they were impressive enough to earn him the next shot. His debut in 2020 saw him brutally knock out former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir. The former RIZIN champion then earned another brutal knockout win over another former title challenger in Dominick Reyes in May last year.
In total, the Czech native has won his last 12 fights. Prochazka has shown some weaknesses and can be caught with his lack of defense. However, he is an explosive, finishing machine. “Denisa” is much younger and faster than Teixeira which are driving the odds in his favor to become the new light heavyweight champion.
While it should be Prochazka time soon, I like one more upset win from the aging Teixeira.
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About Ryan O’Leary
Ryan O’Leary is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist and commentator. The Swedish-based writer is the founder and editor at MMAViking.com, which is the premier source for Nordic mixed martial arts news since 2008.