Levy vs Valdez Under 2.5 Rounds
Elkins vs Pearce - No Distance
After a short pause, the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns with a weird event that is neither considered an edition of UFC Vegas nor a UFC Fight Night. This week, we have UFC on ESPN 42 and the fight card is stacked with unbelievable fighters – a card that is worthy of a PPV event. Here are our predictions for the best fights of the evening.
UFC on ESPN 42: Predictions
Tai Tuivasa vs Sergei Pavlovich
Tai Tuivasa Preview
Tai is a 29 year old fighter from Australia. He started his professional career in 2012. Before moving to the UFC, Tuivasa fought in regional promotions of Oceania, where he scored a 7-0 record and became the champion of the Australian FC organization in 2016.
UFC matchmakers noticed the bright finisher and invited him to the promotion. Tai's debut in the UFC took place in November 2017 in a duel against Rashad Coulter, whom he knocked out in the 1st round.
Having received a prize for the best performance of the evening for a bright finish in his debut, the Australian continued to conquer the UFC. In February 2018, he won against Cyril Asker in 2 minutes, and in June he defeated Andrei Arlovski on points. After Tuivasa went on a 3 win streak, analysts were talking about him as a rising bright prospect and the biggest opener of 2018. But the further ascent of the Australian slowed down.
Tuivasa received his first defeat in his career in December of the same year. He was knocked out with a kick to the body by UFC veteran Junior dos Santos. From that moment on, the affairs of the colorful Australian went into decline. In 2019, he lost first to Blagoy Ivanov on points, and then was submittedwas Sergei Spivak in the 2nd round.
Tuivasa, who was on a 3-match losing streak, was fired from the UFC in early 2020. But Ty did not remain a free agent for long. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fighters refused to perform and there was no one to fill out the cards. UFC matchmakers remembered the bright Australian and offered him a second chance.
He went on an impressive winning streak and even fought for the Interrim title against Gane in September, when he lost.
Tuivasa is a basic kickboxer. He has a cannon strike, he is able to send an opponent to sleep with one accurate hit. At the same time, he has impressive speed for his dimensions (the fighter weighs almost 120 kg). His punches are very fast, which was a big surprise for Tai's opponents.
Tai has big problems on the ground. He is easy to translate to canvas. Tuivasa blocks less than 30% of takedown attempts from opponents. Once on his back, the Australian becomes completely helpless. He loses ground and can surrender to submission.
Sergei Pavlovich Preview
Sergey is a 30-year-old fighter from Russia. He made his UFC debut in November 2018 against Alistair Overeem, whom he lost to via TKO in the 1st round.
Sergey closed the defeat received in the debut, going on a series of 4 victories in a row:
• Marcelo Golm – 1st round knockout
• Maurice Green – 1st round knockout
• Shamil Abdurahimov – victory by knockout in the 1st round.
• Derrick Lewis – victory by 1st round knockout
Pavlovich has a rich background in martial arts: combat sambo, Greco-Roman wrestling and army hand-to-hand combat. The native of Rostov prefers to act in a standing position. He practically does not use kicks and aggressively breaks opponents with his hands.
I note that the fighter works well in the clinch and on the canvas in the top position. Due to his physical strength, he can confidently control opponents, scoring points on this, and works well with ground and pound.
Sergei has problems in defense. He flirts in attack, which is why he forgets to close his jaw and misses powerful feeds from opponents.
I have questions about Sergey's cardio. In the UFC, none of his fights went beyond the 1st round. Yes, he has experience in 5-round fights, but that was 5 years ago and in Fight Nights Global, where the management turns a blind eye to doping. In the UFC, supplementary nutrition for athletes is strictly controlled. Therefore, the heavyweights of the promotion do not look as fresh as their counterparts from other organizations.
Tuivasa vs Pavlovich Prediction
We do not think that this fight will go to distance or even enter the final round. Both fighters are dangerous strikers and can knock each other out with one punch. Even if Pavlovich decides to wrestle, Tuivasa is completely helpless on the ground and will get submitted within a minute. We envision a KO for one of the fighters.
Natan Levy vs Genaro Valdez
Natan Levy Preview
The 31-year-old Israeli, born in Paris, trains, and lives in Las Vegas. Levy's professional record is 7-1, with three wins by submission, and his amateur record is 4-0. Natan entered the UFC through the Contender Series in November 2021, losing a decision to Rafa Garcia in his debut, but managed to close the defeat five months later by defeating Mike Breeden. Levy represents the Syndicate MMA gym and has a black belt in karate and a magenta belt in jiu-jitsu. He is left-handed, the best shots in stock are kicks, Levy has good submission/choke skills. On average, he shoots 3.84 per minute, 54% defense in the stand.
Genaro Valdez Preview
A 30-year-old fighter from Mexico, Valdez lives in Tijuana and trains at the Entram Gym. Genaro's professional record is 10-1, all fights ended ahead of schedule, seven wins by knockout. Like Levy, the Mexican entered the UFC through the Contender Series, knocking out Patrick White in the second round. He made his UFC debut three months later in a first-round knockout loss to Matt Frevola after absorbing sixty punches in three minutes. Valdez's base is hard to understand, he has a blue belt in jiu-jitsu, and he goes into the cage and just puts up a fight, without much plan for a fight.
Levy vs Valdez Prediction
Despite Valdez's recent unbeaten record of 10-0 and the fact that they are both Contender Series graduates, there is a huge gap in level between Levy and Valdez. No, I don’t think that the Israeli is the future of the division and not even the Top 15, but what I saw from the Mexican didn’t impress me, he shouldn’t be in the UFC. His fight at the Contender Series was the worst fight of the season between fighters with an unbeaten record. Valdez's fights are reminiscent of an ordinary street fight, he has nothing but character, and when he is shocked, on the contrary, he opens up even more. Genaro has never seen referee decisions, so his endurance is appropriate. In addition, Levi will have a huge advantage in grappling and if the Mexican did not learn anything from the debut fight, he will lose ahead of schedule, possibly by submission.
Darren Elkins vs Jonathan Pearce
Darren Elkins Preview
The UFC veteran is 38 years old, and while he continues to actively perform, he will enter the octagon for the second time in 2022 and the third time in a year. The activity of this 38-year-old featherweight is simply amazing. From 2015 to 2018, Elkins went on a six-win streak and was close to a title shot, but the successful streak was replaced by a series of four defeats, and he was one step away from being fired. So far, Adkins has won three of his last four appearances. The veteran has a professional record of 27-10, lives in Sacramento, and still trains at Team Alpha Male. On average, he throws 3.52 hits per minute with only 38% accuracy and performs 2.76 takedowns in 15 minutes.
Jonathan Pearce Preview
Jonathan is a thirty-year-old fighter from Johnson City, Tennessee. Pearce's professional record is 13-4, with nine wins by knockout and two by submission. GSP trains at Fight Ready MMA in Scottsdale, Arizona. Like many, Pearce entered the UFC through the Contender Series, where he knocked out Jacob Rosales in the third round. Jonathan has already fought five fights in the UFC and won four, losing only in his debut to Joe Lauzon. The move up to featherweight has paid dividends as he is undefeated in the division and has finished three times.
Elkins vs Pearce Prediction
Jonathan Pierce is much more aggressive and active in the Elkins stance, throwing three times as many punches. The only weapon that Elkins has left at 38 years old is the work of wearing down opponents in the fight. This is a trick that has worked on a large number of very skilled fighters. But Pierce has the deadly chokes and functional tenacity to tear Elkins apart, and more importantly, GSP just doesn't get tired. Pеаrce is 8 years younger and looks like a fresher version of Elkins himself. Elkins' age makes itself felt and the defeat of Swanson by knockout in the first round confirms this. I think Pеаrce is tearing him apart on the ground, which is more likely to win via ground and pound, but I'll play it safe and take an incomplete fight.