On Saturday, June 21st, The UFC will be returning to the Apex facility in Las Vegas for the fourth time in four weeks. This time around the smaller Octagon will deliver a heavyweight main event between two top contenders in Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov. However here I am going to be covering the fantastic preliminary card for this event. Which is home to many great matchups that I feel are flying under the radar.
Austin Hubbard vs. Max Rohskopf:
Kicking off the card we have a lightweight bout. It is between Austin Hubbard (11-4) and UFC newcomer Max Rohskopf (5-0) who has taken this fight on roughly a week’s notice. This is a huge opportunity for the 25-year-old Rohskopf to introduce himself to the UFC as a prospect and make a statement against a talented fighter like Hubbard. Hubbard’s last outing was against Mark Madsen in which he did surprisingly well in as the underdog.
Madsen is an extremely high-level wrestler and was able to do as he pleased with Hubbard for enough of the fight to win the decision. However, Austin showed great scrambling skills and punished the lesser striker. Rohskopf’s five wins have all been by submission and it is obvious he wants to get this to the mat. If he can get Hubbard flat on his back he should get the job done with yet another submission however the smaller cage may very well allow Hubbard to safely get back to his feet and punish Rohskopf on the feet.
Roxanne Modaferri vs. Lauren Murphy:
In the second bout of the evening, we have a women’s flyweight bout between two veterans of the sport. Lauren “lucky” Murphy lived up to her nickname back at UFC 247 where she was gifted a bogus decision win over Andrea Lee. Roxanne Modafferi is coming off the biggest win of her career when she derailed the hype train of Maycee Barber at UFC 246. This will certainly help her in a push for a title shot if she can get a win on Saturday as she has a victory over the champions’ sister as well, I’m sure Valentina would be willing to avenge her sister’s loss there if Roxanne can set herself apart from the rest of the contenders in the dull women’s flyweight division.
I believe that this is a very even fight with both fighters being well rounded. As much as Modaferri is still stiff and awkward on the feet she seems to have improved and got to a point where her boxing is somewhat technical which is necessary to back up her clinch entries. Murphy is the better striker but also gets hit a great amount. I expect a good fight that goes the distance. With the winner being the fighter who has a higher work rate and aggression.
Frank Camacho vs. Matt Frevola:
Here we have a fantastic fight in the lightweight division. Frank “The Crank” Camacho brings the fight to his opponent every time he makes the walk. His opponent here in Matt Frevola will match that mentality. I feel this has good potential to be the fight of the night earning both men the 50k bonus. Frevola’s last fight against Luis Pena was fantastic and although the decision was questionable it was a great victory. Camacho is coming off a submission loss to Beniel Dariush which there is absolutely no shame in. Where Frank shines is a firefight and if he can make this one a firefight I like his chances as an underdog. However, I feel the younger Frevola will be faster and will probably look to get takedowns after some wild exchanges with Camacho where he has a clear grappling advantage.
Gillian Robertson vs. Courtney Casey:
Here we have another bout in the women’s flyweight division between lower-ranked contenders Gillian Robertson and Courtney Casey. This is a very quick turnaround for Casey who last competed on May 16th picking up a first-round submission win over Mara Romero Borella. As for Robertson, she hasn’t competed since her loss to Maycee Barber last October. I feel Robertson who is a slight favorite has the correct skillset to dominate this fight. Casey is well rounded with improved striking but despite coming off a submission win I feel her grappling just isn’t good enough to compete with Gillian who is world class on the mat. I feel Casey will give up takedowns too easily and get dominated possibly being submitted at some point.
Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Oskar Piechota:
We now move to the middleweight division for a contest which in my opinion will result in the loss being cut from the UFC. Both are on losing streaks of three and are fortunate to have this opportunity to redeem their UFC careers. Piechota is the more talented fighter here I feel. He was undefeated at 11-0 prior to his three-fight skid. Barriault is a very basic fighter and none of his fundamental skills are particularly impressive. He is yet to even win inside the UFC. I believe Piechota has the advantage everywhere in this fight and will outclass Barriault who despite not being high caliber is unquestionably very tough and hard to finish.
Brianna Van Buren vs. Tecia Torres:
In the second to last bout of this preliminary card. We have an exciting fight in the women’s strawweight division. Van Buren (9-2) comes into this one as the favorite. This was surprising to me considering the fact that she has not fought near the level of competition Torres has, she is 1-0 in the UFC with a decision win over Renata Souza last July. Tecia Torres who is Notoriously small will actually have the height advantage for the first time in her career as Van Buren comes in at 4”11, as opposed to ‘The Tiny Tornado’ who is 5”1. Torres, is on a four losing streak.
However, all of them have come to world-class opponents so there’s not too much to look into there. As for Van Buren like I previously mentioned she really hasn’t faced anyone high caliber yet and this is her first opportunity against an elite contender in the strawweight division.
Torres always brings the fight to her opponents and Van Buren is willing to take part in great exchanges frequently. The smaller cage makes this fight even more excellent and I expect to see some wild exchanges throughout the fight. Ultimately it comes down to work rate and output I feel here if Torres can use her experience and dictate the pace of the fight she can cruise to a decision while avoiding the dangerous combinations of Van Buren. However, if Brianna can take the center of the cage and unload attacks at Torres at a good pace I feel she can shut Tecia out.
Clay Guida vs. Bobby Green:
In the featured bout of the prelims. We have a clash between two veterans of the game. Clay Guida, who has been fighting since 2003 and Bobby Green. Both men are coming off losses. In Green’s case two losses, and are certainly on there way out of the game. With that being said Green looked decently sharp in his last outing against Francisco Trinaldo showing his sharp boxing skills as always. Guida is coming off a submission loss to Jim Miller where he dived into a guillotine after being rocked and was put to sleep about a minute into the fight. ‘The Carpenter’s’ last win came against BJ Penn in a tragic fight at UFC 237.
Green is the favorite here by a clear margin and I completely agree with those odds. Guida can not stay on the feet with him as he will get picked apart and maybe even finished. If Clay decides to use his wrestling and try and smother Green his chances aren’t terrible and the smaller cage will definitely help him to stall against the fence while chain wrestling which he likes to do. However, ultimately I see the shots being stuffed by Green and him taking home a victory either by clear decision against the always tough Guida or knockout if he can find the correct blow to finish things which would likely be an uppercut in my opinion.
We are in for a great night of fights on Saturday, I hope you all enjoy.
Follow me on Twitter at @Jw_MMA02 for more of my content!
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
Visit our shop and check out the latest Overtime Heroics merch drops!