UFC 202: Prelims Preview and Predictions

kim kardashian

UFC 202 is right around the corner; less than a week away, in fact. On Saturday, August 20, Conor McGregor will look for revenge against Nate Diaz. But before that, there is a slew of entertaining fights on the preliminary portion of the card. Without further ado, let’s look at what’s on tap:

Cody Garbrandt vs. Takeya Mizugaki

These bantamweights will headline the televised prelims of UFC 202, and it should be an exciting fight, for multiple reasons. Garbrandt has the feud with current champion Dominick Cruz going for him, and could potentially earn a title shot with a win over Mizugaki. At the very least, a win should set him up for a title eliminator. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Garbrandt is fun to watch. Still, he can’t overlook Mizugaki, who appears to have a role as a gatekeeper into the top-10 of the bantamweight division. Mizugaki’s best hope is to use his wrestling, as Garbrandt will likely land a bomb in the stand-up. Garbrandt’s takedown defense is a mystery, as no one has even attempted to take him down in the UFC, yet. Still, the emerging Garbrandt should find his range and end Mizugaki’s night with a big punch, probably early.

Raquel Pennington vs. Elizabeth Phillips

Two women bantamweights looking to climb up the ladder are set to clash. Both ladies get hit quite a bit, but Pennington throws more volume. Smart money says that “Rocky” uses her boxing to out-strike Phillips to a decision. She can also mix in her takedowns to keep Phillips guessing. Pennington has seemed to round a corner lately, as she submitted the dangerous Jessica Andrade, got past former women’s bantamweight title challenger Bethe Correia and barely lost to former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm in a tight decision. The No. 8-ranked bantamweight should keep her momentum rolling against Phillips.

Artem Lobov vs. Chris Avila

Fans will get their first taste of the UFC 202 main event, as Conor McGregor’s teammate Lobov will introduce Nate Diaz’s training partner Avila to the UFC. After appearing on The Ultimate Fighter, Lobov has had a tough-go of it in his official UFC stint. He dropped both his fights to Ryan Hall and Alex White. Lobov relies primarily on his powerful hands, and can potentially knock out any opponent. Still, the blueprint to defeat him has been laid out. If Avila’s boxing and jiu-jitsu game resembles anything of his teammate’s, he should be able to use a careful strategy to box Lobov up from the outside and take him down if need be. If his first two UFC fights are any indication, Lobov will look for the power punch. As long as Avila isn’t there for it, he stands a good chance of sending Lobov packing.

Randa Markos vs. Cortney Casey

Both women looked impressive in their last victories, as Markos edged out a striking duel with Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger and Casey ground-and-pounded Cristina Stanciu into paste. It will make for a solid opening bout to the UFC 202 Fox Sports 1 prelims. Markos is gritty, and has more experience than Stanciu, however. She should be able to hold her own on the feet enough to use her scrappy wrestling to take Casey to the floor. Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Jones-Lybarger, Markos’ last two opponents, had iron takedown defense. That’s not the case so much with Casey. Through mixing up her striking and grappling, Markos should be able to win a hard-fought, close decision.

Neil Magny vs. Lorenz Larkin

No. 7-ranked welterweight Magny and the rising Larkin will grace the Fight Pass headliner of  UFC 202. Magny has won 10 of his last 11 fights, with his only loss coming to No. 3-ranked Demian Maia, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace. He has beaten tough opponents like Hector Lombard, Kelvin Gastelum and Erick Silva during his three-fight winning streak. Meanwhile, Larkin is coming off of a close but impressive win over Jorge Masvidal. This will be a close fight between two solid strikers, but Magny should win on volume (he averages 4.15 significant strikes per minute), and his defense. He can also take the fight to the ground if need be. Larkin will have his moments, but Magny should keep the train rolling and win a decision.

Colby Covington vs. Max Griffin

The wrestling-heavy Colvington will welcome another UFC newcomer on the Fight Pass Prelim portion of UFC 202. There’s always the chance for Griffin to land a bomb and stun Colvington, but that seems to be his best hope. While Colvington’s striking seems to be improving, he can smother Griffin with his wrestling and play it smart. If he uses that strategy, there’s an excellent chance of Colvington cruising to a unanimous decision or sinking in a rear naked choke.

Alberto Uda vs. Marvin Vettori

In his second UFC fight, the Brazilian Uda will welcome Italian newcomer Vettori to the UFC. It’s a battle of two-well rounded welterweight prospects with very similar records. Vettori has arguably beaten the better competition, while Uda has a bit of UFC experience under his belt. It’s anyone’s fight, but the slight edge goes to Uda for a minor upset. While he lost to Jake Collier, he has that first UFC bout under his belt, and he’s a former light heavyweight fighting at welterweight. That could mean a big size and power advantage, which could lead to a first round knockout for Uda.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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