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Ike at the Fights

UFC Fight Night Undercard Preview

by Ike Feldman
Updated On: May 13, 2022, 1:24 pm ET

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This week’s UFC card is a bit of a drop-off from last week’s stacked pay-per-view event, but nonetheless, we get a card filled with young talent, proven commodities and many juicy underdogs! 

 

-230 Ion Cutelaba (16-6-1: 12 KOs, 2 SUB) vs. +185 Ryan Spann (19-7: 5 KOs, 11 SUBs)

A battle of the brutes here as two very big light-heavyweights clash in a matchup to determine who starts to knock on the top-10 door. Both Spann and Cutelaba wing bombs and have the capability of putting out anybody’s lights on any given night. However, at times, they’ve found themselves mentally absent on fight night. This fight is a great opportunity to show who has the better boxing skills. Spann has a better jab, yet Cutelaba has a higher accuracy of landed strikes per minute (4.91 vs. 3.43). While both possess power, their approaches are different. Cutelaba is like a locomotive while Spann is much more of a counter-fighter. At this weight class, I like Spann to sit back and pick his shots to eventually land a fight-shifting haymaker.

Selection: Spann wins via 2nd-Round TKO

 

-300 Davey Grant (13-6: 3 KOs, 8 SUBs) vs. +240 Louis Smolka (17-8: 8 KOs, 7 SUBs)

The Englishman, Davey Grant, is a skillful wild man whose barnburner style was halted by the supremely accurate boxing of Adrian Yanez. Grant is hoping to bounce back from that loss against a longtime UFC vet in Louis Smolka, who was once a highly-touted prospect riding a rollercoaster of a professional career. Smolka will have the clear advantage on the ground, as he has mixed it up with some of the UFC flyweight elite before moving up a weight class, but Grant currently has the edge in confidence. I also see Grant being more keen on his charging barrages than in his previous fights to win all three rounds of action. 

Selection: Grant wins via Decision

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-180 Katlyn Chookagian (16-4: 2 KOs, 1 SUB) vs. +150 Amanda Ribas (11-2: 3 KOs, 4 SUBs)

Former UFC flyweight title challenger and successful vet, Katlyn Chookagian, takes on the very talented jiu-jitsu fighter, Amanda Ribas. Chookagian has a clear advantage in striking as she has refined her kickboxing skills with longtime instructor Mark Henry. Chookagian has always knocked on the door of title fights, as she often neutralizes all but the division’s elite competition. Ribas constantly fishes for submissions with a high work rate to boot and isn’t shy about a fight on the feet, but I believe Chookagian, who has never lost via submission, will show her dominance over Ribas, a fierce challenger to be right in-line for another title shot.

Selection: Chookagian wins via Decision

 

-180 Virna Jandiroba (17-3: 1 KO, 13 SUBs) vs. +150 Angela Hill (13-11: 5 KOs)

Angela Hill’s record is nowhere near indicative of how good she has been throughout her career. Time after time, Hill has lost razor-thin decisions and has only faced tough opponents on a consistent basis. Hill gets another tough competitor in Virna Jandiroba, a grappling specialist with an enthusiasm for fighting that is palpable everytime she trots out there. Hill is trying to prove she isn’t over the hill (haha) by winning an important fight with her signature static kickboxing and high work rate. Jandiroba will be looking to drag Hill to the mat and add another sub to her resume. I believe in Hill regardless of retirement talk, especially considering Jandiroba has shown big gaps in her defensive kickboxing. 

Selection: Hill wins via Decision

 

-400 Nick Maximov (8-0: 2 KOS, 3 SUBs) vs. +300 Andre Petroski (7-1: 4 KOs, 3 SUBs)

Two young guns square off here as Nick Diaz Academy product Nick Maximov goes against a fellow Gracie jiu-jitsu fighter in Andre Petroski. Typically, when two high-level grapplers meet there tends to be hesitancy to engage, resulting in a lackluster kickboxing match, but something tells me we will get chess-like grappling exchanges at some point. Petroski, an Ultimate Fighter reality show contestant, has more tools in terms of kickboxing techniques and wrestling than Maximov. Those two factors alone will make it difficult for Maximov to get the fight to his comfort zone. While I love everything connected to the Diaz brothers, I can’t ignore how much Maximov must improve his striking if he wants to compete with the greater competition. This is a great line to throw a unit on.

Selection: Petroski wins via Decision

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Ike Feldman

Ike Feldman is not only a longtime combat sports practitioner, but he is also an Edgy broadcaster that has been covering and handicapping combat sports on a high level since 2016. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @IkeFeldman to get unrivaled MMA and Boxing content, insight and entertainment.