Russian MMA fighter Sergei Pavlovich will fight American Curtis Blaydes in the main event of this week's UFC event. While this card is not stacked with the usual number of big names and stars, we believe that it will entertain all MMA fans, and provide opportunities for all motivated bettors. Here are our UFC Vegas 71 predictions.
UFC Vegas 71 Full Card Predictions: Main Card Analysis
We start our predictions from the main event and we will move down to the prelims. Continue below for the complete list of UFC Vegas 71 predictions.
Sergei Pavlovich vs Curtis Blaydes Prediction
Sergei Pavlovich Preview
Sergei Pavlovich is the champion of Russia, Europe and the world in universal combat, as well as the champion of FNG. The 30-year-old native of the Rostov region ranks third in the division ranking. He has 17 wins (14 by knockout) and one loss, which happened in his debut fight in the promotion in November 2018. Then the Russian lost to Alistair Overeem from the Netherlands. After that, Pavlovich won five victories in a row. In the last fight, Tai Tuivasa from Australia was defeated.
Curtis Blaydes Preview
Curtis Blaydes is fourth in the division rankings. Before switching to mixed martial arts, the 32-year-old American was engaged in boxing and wrestling. Razor can safely be called a league veteran Dana White. The Chicago fighter was defeated by Francis Ngannou of Cameroon in his UFC debut in April 2016. Blades has 17 wins (11 by KO) and three losses. In the last fight, he defeated the Englishman Tom Aspinall (TKO).
Pavlovich to Win by Knockout
Analysts of bookmakers found it difficult to name the favorite of the upcoming fight. In their opinion, Blaydes will have a very small advantage. We kick off our UFC Vegas 71 full card predictions with the main event and an underdog upset. Both fighters are generally equal in strength and either of them can win. In this situation, it is worth betting on the winning method. Pavlovich and Blaydes have 25 knockout wins together. Everything Also, do not forget that heavyweights have knockouts quite often.
Bobby Green vs Jared Gordon Prediction
Bobby Green Preview
Before moving to the UFC, Bobby Green performed in Strikeforce. He is a former KOTC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion. The fighter began his professional career in 2008 and joined the UFC in 2013. In his debut fight, the American defeated his compatriot Jacob Volkmann (submission).
At 36 years old, Bobby Green remains an active fighter, which is good news: in 2022 he fought three times, and in 2021 he had 4 fights. He is still one of the most agile boxers in the division with an underrated fight, and even at 36, there aren't many lightweights who can beat him. Bobby returns from a knockout loss to Drew Dober in a fight in which Green looked good with his jab until he got caught.
Jared Gordon Preview
Bobby Green should take this one home
Iasmin Lucindo vs Brogan Walker Prediction
Iasmin Lucindo Preview
Lucindo hasn't won in the UFC yet, but she really impressed with her debut against Yazmine Jauregui. Yasmin managed to demonstrate a really dangerous stance and good physical shape. She already has 18 professional fights (13:5), which is not bad for 21 years old, as well as 8 knockout victories.
Brogan Walker Preview
Brogan Walker began her professional career in Invicta FC and PXC, after which she was invited to The Ultimate Fighter show, where she won 2 victories and reached the final. In the final, she limply lost to Julianne Miller ahead of schedule.
Iasmin Lucindo will win this bout, possibly via decision
Lucindo vs Walker is the only women's bout we picked in our UFC Vegas 71 predictions. And here is why. Even if Walker can take the start of this fight, Lucindo's speed and athleticism are likely to play an increasing role, Brogan is too passive on the stand and does not pose a threat on the ground. On his feet, Lucindo will be able to take it apart and get either a late technical knockout or a unanimous decision.
Jeremiah Wells vs Matthew Semelsberger Prediction
Jeremiah Wells Preview
Jeremiah Wells competed in the CFFC, CES MMA, and PACF before making his debut in the world's strongest league. The 36-year-old American defeated Brazilian Worley Alves in his first fight in the UFC (knockout). And in the last fight, he defeated his compatriot Court McGee by knockout. In total, Wells has ten wins (four by knockout) and two losses.
Jeremiah is a versatile fighter. In the standing position, he aggressively puts pressure on opponents, throwing out a large number of powerful punches in various combinations with the connection of amplitude uppercuts and biting kicks to the body and legs.
Matthew Semelsberger Preview
Matthew Semelsberger has been with the UFC since August 2020. The 30-year-old has nine wins (five by knockout) and five losses. The American fighter has won three of his last four fights. In December 2022, he defeated Australian Jake Matthews (unanimous decision). However, before that, he lost to Alex Morono from the USA. Matt is a versatile fighter with a good wrestling base. He controls opponents well on the ground and in the clinch, due to which he scores points. In the stand, he relies on good boxing skills and knockout power. 6 out of 10 victories he won by knockouts.
Semelsberger should win this bout, possibly via decision
Bookmakers found it difficult to name a clear favorite of the upcoming fight. In my opinion, Wells is heavily overrated by bookmakers. Analysts were impressed with his flashy and quick welterweight victories, leaving Jake's weak opposition out of the picture. In the UFC, he won either against mediocre fighters or against veterans.
The preamble to this fight is similar to Semelsberger's last fight. Then, Matt also met with a bright finisher and outplayed him at a distance. Wells is the most dangerous in the first round. Semelsberger will approach this bout carefully in the long run and when Wells sags on cardio and becomes less dangerous, Matt will work in his usual style and most likely win on points.
UFC Vegas 71 Prelim Predictions: Best Picks in the Early Bouts
There is no way to complete our UFC Vegas 71 predictions without some action from the prelims. Betting on unknown fighters is riskier and therefore, we picked only two bouts from this section. Here we go!
Mohammed Usman vs Junior Tafa Prediction
Mohammed Usman Preview
Mohammed is a 33-year-old American fighter. He started his professional career in 2017 and has performed mainly for Titan FC. Mohammed is a basic wrestler and often his game plan is based on passive control of the opponent in the clinch and ground and scoring points.
In recent fights, Usman began to utilize more boxing and spends most of the fight in the stance, where he tries to pull the opponent apart on the jab, after which he starts working with twos: straight jab, jab hook, and overhand jab. Given Usman's impressive size, this tactic pays off: he can knock out an opponent with one accurate hit.
Junior Tafa Preview
Junior is a 26-year-old fighter from Australia. He started his professional MMA career in 2022. Before moving to the UFC, Tafa performed in promotions in Oceania and Asia, where he won 4 times by KO.
Junior prefers to fight on the stand. He has a Muay Thai and kickboxing base. He has good punching speed, good footwork and inventive combinatorics. I note the solid knockout power in the fists of the Australian. With one tight hit, he can knock down an opponent.
Junior Tafa should continue his streak
Mohammed Usman as an underdog is not at all attractive. This is a passive fighter who does not always have enough strength to complete the main wrestling game plan. In the standing position, Mohammed will lose to Tafa, missing serves from him over and over again.
It is likely that in the first round, Usman will try to score points through control in the clinch. But fighting at the net with a Muay Thai representative is a risky gamble. The longer the fight drags on, the more tired Mohammed will be and the more chances Junior will have to win. This is one of the more obvious UFC Vegas 71 predictions if you ask us.
Statements are ready to be made by these heavy hitters 😤
— UFC (@ufc) April 17, 2023
Francis Marshall vs William Gomis Prediction
Francis Marshall Preview
The 24-year-old fighter from New Jersey will enter the UFC cage for the 2nd time. Marshall has an unbeaten professional record of 7:0, and an amateur record of 5:0. In the UFC, Francis got through the Contender Series, despite a decision victory over Connor Matthews – this was enough to sign a contract with the UFC. His debut in the octagon took place 4 months later against the Argentinean Marcelo Rojo. Then Marshall won by knockout in the 2nd round. Francis represents the Pellegrino Mixed Martial Arts hall, and before MMA, he successfully competed in wrestling. Of his 5 early victories, 4 were won by submission.
William Gomis Preview
William is a 25-year-old representative of France, from Paris, with a professional record of 11:2. William Gomis gained experience in Europe before joining the UFC in September 2022. In his debut in the octagon at a home tournament in Paris, he faced Jarno Errens of the Netherlands, who he defeated by a unanimous decision. He trains in one of the most famous gyms in Europe – MMA Factory. He is 8 cm taller than his current opponent.
Francis Marshall should take the win home
We complete our UFC Vegas 71 full-card predictions with this thrilling bout. This fight is a test of maturity for Marshall. Although Gomis did not impress in his debut, he will be able to give Marshall problems, primarily with his kicks and constant lateral movement. Marshall is a versatile fighter, physically strong, with excellent cardio, but it is worth noting that he is very straightforward. On the other hand, Gomis is too invested in kicking. A strong fighter like Francis should use it and land takedowns. Marshall will take the kicks, land a few takedowns, and win the majority of close-range exchanges to secure the win. I still doubt Gomis is a UFC-level fighter.