Let’s take a closer look at the UF® 250: NUNES vs. SPENCER card going down at the UFC APEX this Saturday night.
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UFC 250 Prelim Card
There are three fights on the early prelim portion of the card. Kicking things off is Las Vegas based vet Evan Dunham (18-7-1) that will face the upcoming Brazilian Herbert Burns (10-2) in a 150-pound catchweight.
Light heavyweight contender Devin Clark (11-4) will take on the heavy-handed Alonzo Menifield (9-0) who has never heard the final bell in any of his professional fights, knocking out 8 and submitting 1 opponent.
Two experienced flyweight contenders, as #4 ranked Jussier Foamiga (23-7-0) battles #9 Alex Perez (23-5-0), with Formiga a favorite to take a step forward to the top of the division.
The four-fight prelim card starts with “Kid Dynamite” Charles Byrd (10-6-0) and Maki Pitolo (12-5-0). Pitolo has a 50% KO ratio while Byrd has 50% of his victories via submission.
Bantamweight contender Cody Stamann (18-2-1) is looking to crack the top ten as the #12 ranked fighter will test his chin against heavy hitter Brian Keller (21-10-0). Keller beat previously undefeated Hunter Azure just 3 weeks ago, and looking for another upset against a hot prospect.
Ian Heinisch (13-3-0) and Gerald Meerschaert (30-12-0) have both had their ups and downs in the Octagon. The Americans are looking to march into the top 10 with a win here, with the Hurricane coming in with the #13 ranked fighter. Meerschaert is dangerous on the ground and the best way to get the victory here.
The final bout of the prelim will be a featherweight confrontation between two popular fighters in Alex Caceres (15-12-1) and the undefeated prospect Chase Hooper (9-0-0). Caceres is more experienced of the two and will be a solid test for up-and-coming Hooper, that still looks like he should be in high school.
UFC 250 Main Card
Sean O’Malley vs Eddie Wineland
Undefeated Sean O’Malley (11-0) is the UFC’s new golden boy. The American has the charisma out of the cage and flashy skills inside it to become a star. He will put his 0 at on the line against the experienced Eddie Wineland (24-13-1) in the opening fight of the main card. The bantamweight contender Eddie Wineland was the WEC champ, but is now 4-5 in his last 9 fights, so clearly put up in front of “Sugar” as a test to see if he could take another step forward in his young career.
Neil Magny vs. Anthony Rocco Martin
The second bout of the main card will be contested between welterweight contenders Neil Magny (22-7-0) and Anthony Rocco Martin (17-5-0). Magny has won three of his last four, including former interim champ Carlos Condit. Martin is also coming into this bout with a win, but comes into this bout as a slight underdog in a good play.
Aljamain Sterling vs. Cory Sandhagen
This could be a headlining bout on any of the smaller cards, but is a featured bout here. Aljamain Sterling (18-3-0) who is #2 contender in the UFC bantamweight ranking will face the fellow American Cory Sandhagen (12-1-0) ranked #4. This is a pick-em fight, as both fighters are coming in with massive consecutive wins. Sandhagen has 7 wins in a row, including such names as Assuncao and Lineker, and the “Funk Master” beating Munhoz, Rivera, and Stamann. Aljamain’s striking has really been improving, and I like a win here for the Serra Jiu-Jitsu fighter.
Raphael Assuncao vs. Cody Garbrabdt
In the co-main event, Raphael Assuncao (27-7-0) will meet the former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (11-3-0). Garbrandt is the first man to defeat the best bantamweight fighter of the era; Dominick Cruz. But after this notable victory, Cody lost three fights in a row, and now it looks like a shell of his former self as he has dropped to #9 in the rankings.
Assuncao is the #5 ranked fighter, but has battled a series of injuries as of late. The 37-year-old has wins over T.J. Dillashaw and Pedro Manhuz, and both of these fighters have stopped Garbrandt. Although Raphael is 0-2 in the last 2 fights and comes into this fight an underdog. I like a play on the Brazilian here, with Cody’s chin and durability a big question.
Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer
In the main event, the reigning UFC women’s featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes (19-4-0) will put her strap on the line against Felicia Spencer (8-1-0). Amanda has defeated almost every top fighter of her generation, and has been unstoppable since 2014 with an impressive 10-fight winning streak.
Cris Cyborg is the only fighter who has defeated Spencer, and the “Lioness” has stopped Cyborg at UFC 232. The odds have Nunes as the huge favorite over the “Feenom,” but Spenser is tough. The Canadian is also dangerous on the ground with submission ability and nasty ground and pound.
Nunes continues to impress with her pure power in her hands. Although she can make bantamweight, she has no problem taking out featherweights, and I expect her to put Spenser away early. Take the finish in this one.
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.