The UFC?s best may not be bringing a cup of kindness, but they?ll be bringing something much more entertaining Saturday. Live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, welterweight champion Robbie Lawler defends his title against ?The Natural Born Killer,? Carlos Condit. In the co-main event of the evening, Andrei Arlovski tries to extend his winning streak and improbable resurgence against Stipe Miocic. Take my hand my trusty friend, it?s fight time!
ABEL TRUJILLO VS. TONY SIMS
We begin the main card in the lightweight division with Abel Trujillo and Tony Sims. A powerhouse prone to recklessness, ?Killa? Trujillo has lost his last two fights against Tony Ferguson and Gleison Tibau by submission. Trujillo may be known for his KOs, but Sims actually has 10 career knockouts (five more than his opponent). After an impressive debut against Steve Montgomery, Sims dropped a decision to Olivier Aubin-Mercier in his last Octagon appearance.
Trujillo has one-punch KO power. That?s not always enough to win a fight, but it will serve him well this time. Sims is the more technical striker, but trying to out-strike Trujillo is a recipe for disaster. If Sims could mix in some grappling to slow down Trujillo or make him tentative, it would be a different story. He hasn?t necessarily shown that ability, though. Trujillo pulls the upset and takes home the second round TKO.
DIEGO BRANDAO VS. BRIAN ORTEGA
We move to featherweight for Diego Brandao and Brian Ortega. Winner of season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” ?DB? is another powerful, yet wild, fighter. He suffered two first-round TKO losses to Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, but has bounced back with two first-round KOs of his own. Ortega is being trumpeted by many as one of the most promising 145-pound prospects. A dangerous submission artist, he earned the first TKO of his career back in June against Thiago Taveres.
This fight mirrors the last in a lot of ways. In this case, I?m more inclined to take the less explosive of the two fighters. Why? Because Ortega has a much more diverse skillset. Brandao overextends himself searching for the KO and Ortega has multiple avenues to counter. Even if Brandao doesn?t overcommit to strikes, he has to be aware that Ortega can attack at different levels. Ortega might eat a couple shots early, but he?ll calm down, find his groove and win by second-round submission.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images