UFC ON ESPN 34 + Bellator 277 + Weekly MMA Report

UFC 273 PPV brought some high-level championship bouts, but belts didn’t change their owners. Alexander Volkanovski dominated in the 145-pound featherweight bout over “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung and scored a TKO win in round 4 (Herb Dean stopped the bout on the feet).

Aljamain Sterling showed top-notch movement and grappling skills en his route to a split decision win in a rematch against Petr Yan (Aljo won the first fight via disqualification due to an illegal knee). He remains the 135-pound champion.

Volkanovski also banked an additional 50k for the stoppage of the night after forcing the ref to stop the one-sided beatdown. The Submission of the Night award went to the vet Aleksei Oleinik, who scored win number 60 with a first-round choke of Jared Vanderaa.

The Fight of the Night award was given to Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns. Despite many self-proclaimed MMA experts writing Gilbert off, the former three-time ADCC champion and BJJ black belt gave a hard time to the Swedish high-level freestyle wrestler. Gilbert dropped Khamzat twice in the second round. All three judges scored the contest 29-28 for Khamzat Chimaev after three rounds of bloody and battered war.

The next weekend the greatest MMA promotion returns to UFC Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, with its UFC on ESPN 34 event on Saturday, April 16th, 2022.

UFC on ESPN34 vicente vs belal

Image source: @ufc Twitter

The rematch between Vicente Luque and Belal Muhammad headlines the contest. Vicente Luque didn’t have a hard time in their first fight, as he destroyed Belal with a flurry of punches after only 79 seconds in the first. Belal is a top-notch pressure wrestler and cage control expert, but Luque’s movement and BJJ are on a whole new level. Plus, the Brazilian fighter perfectly understands wrestling defense and works on explosive and powerful strikes every single day.

Prediction: Luque to win (-160), or Luque inside the distance

Two UFC newcomers Caio Borralho and Gadzhi Omargadzhiev will fight in the co-main event of the evening. The Brazilian fighter is extremely skillful on the ground plus his takedown offense rocks thanks to spending many hours in the gym. Omargadzhiev’s wrestling is excellent so this fight might go all the way, but Borralho could be the first guy to defeat the Russian prospect.

Prediction: the fight goes the distance, or Borralho to win (+115)

Check all my predictions in one playlist:

Here’s the full fight card, but last-minute changes might happen, so please visit this link too. https://www.tapology.com/fightcenter/events/85814-ufc-fight-night

Main Card (ESPN+, UFC On Fight Pass, 5:30 PM ET, 10:30 PM ET UK)

Welterweight: Vicente Luque vs. Belal Muhammad

Middleweight: Caio Borralho (10-1) vs. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev (13-0)

Welterweight: Andre Fialho (14-4) vs. Miguel Baeza (10-2)

Bantamweight: Mayra Bueno Silva (7-2-1) vs. Yanan Wu (12-4)

Featherweight: Pat Sabatini (16-3) vs. T.J. Laramie (12-4)

Welterweight: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (23-7) vs. Mounir Lazzez (10-2)

Prelims (ESPN+, UFC On Fight Pass, 8:30 PM ET, 1:30 AM UK)

Heavyweight: Devin Clark (12-6) vs. William Knight (11-3)

Bantamweight: Lina Länsberg (10-5) vs. Pannie Kianzad (15-6)

Lightweight: Drakkar Klose (11-2-1) vs. Brandon Jenkins (15-8)

Welterweight: Rafa García (13-2) vs. Jesse Ronson (21-10)

Heavyweight: Chris Barnett (22-7) vs. Martin Buday (9-1)

Lightweight: Trey Ogden (15-4) vs. Jordan Leavitt (9-1)

Strawweight: Sam Hughes (5-4) vs. Istela Nunes (6-2)

Bantamweight: Heili Alateng (14-8-2) vs. Kevin Croom (21-14)

But another event’s coming up. Bellator 277 takes place at SAP Center, San Jose, California, on Friday 15th, 2022.

Bellator 277 event AJ vs Pitbull and Vadim vs Corey

Image source: BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) / Twitter

The event is headlined by a featherweight world championship bout between the reigning defending champ AJ McKee (18-0) and legendary Brazilian striker and the former titleholder Patricio Pitbull (32-5). This is the rematch between the two, AJ McKee has already choked out Pitbull in the past. Patricio might change his tactics, but McKee is better in all aspects of the game.

Prediction: McKee to win (-275)

In the co-main event, the Russian Sambo fighter and the current 205-champ Vadim Nemkov (15-2) will try to deal with UFC vet Corey Anderson (16-5). Corey Anderson is a super-explosive one-punch knockout artist, while Nemkov’s an all-around fighter with great clinching and excellent ground game. Anything is possible, but if the bout advances into the later rounds, Nemkov should outlast Anderson due to better cardio.

Prediction: the fight will not go the distance, or Nemkov wins (-190)

Check my predictions for the Bellator 277 main card here:

Don’t miss this weekend, the UFC PPV is behind us, but two high-level events are coming up!

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