On Saturday night we are treated to our 9th fight night at the Apex For UFC Vegas 9. Headlined by Overeem vs Sakai, and Co-Headlined by Ovince Saint-Perux and Alonzo Menifield. We will be looking at the rest of the main card here!
Brian ‘Boom’ Kelleher vs Kevin Natividad
Brian ‘Boom’ Kelleher
To kick off the main card, we have a featherweight bout between two natural bantamweights on short notice. Kelleher, originally scheduled to face Ricky Simon. However, a positive COVID test this week forced Simon out of the bout. Kevin Natividad stepped in on Sunday night and suffered a scare of his own. Thursday night, Natividad suffered a false positive test. Thankfully, it was only that. A false positive, as the second taste came back negative.
Last time out, Kelleher lost a razor-close decision to surging prospect Cody Stamman. In a fight that was fought between what seemed to be carbon copies of each other, it ended Kellehers 2 fight win streak.
Since taking 2019 off, Kelleher has come back with a Boom. With 2 victories, including a brutal KO victory over Hunter Azure back in May. Also prolific on social media, Kelleher is becoming a fan favorite for all the correct reasons. Such as his willingness to remain active, his social media abilities, and just being a decent guy.
A stronger Wrestler, Kelleher has been developing his stand-up game significantly. Now a real problem with his hands, there’s not just the grappling to worry about from Boom.
Originally from Hawaii, Natividad now fights out of Arizona. 9-1 as a pro so far, it is a short-notice UFC debut for the Hawaiian. But it’s one he’s looking to take in his stride.
“If they told me like eight weeks in advance, I know that the pressure would be getting to me a lot harder,” Natividad said. “The time was so short that I feel like I just feel free for some reasonKhon2 interview with Natividad.
A technical brawler, it’s a fight that should bring fireworks aplenty against someone like Kelleher. For sure, this is a slept on fight on this card.
Thiago Moisés vs Jalin Turner
Moisés is a former winner on the Dana White Contender series and has racked up a good few fights in the promotion to date. After coming through the contender series, Moisés has faced names like Beniel Dariush, losing to a decision. Michael Johnson, another big name, this time he won via submission, this one being his last outing.
“He’s a good fighter (and) a good striker,” Moises said, when asked about Turner. “He’s dangerous on the feet. He has a longer reach. He’s very tall, so I think that’s his strength.”via MMAjunkie
Moisés also recognises the need to take this fight to the ground.
“The training went very good,” Moises said. “As I said before, Jalin Turner is a very tall fighter. I trained with Luis Pena, whose reach is the same and is the same height as Jalin. I’m very used to (sparring) with guys his size.
I want to give it my best. I’m going to try to close the distance, try to get the fight to the ground and finish him.”via MMAjunkie
Jalin Turner has only been a professional since 2016, yet has fought under the banners of Bellator, World Series of Fighting, and now the UFC. At 6ft 3′ with a 77′ reach, Jalin is massive for both Lightweight and Welterweight. Also very good at keeping fights at the end of his jab, Turner will need to keep distance to avoid the scrambles and BJJ of Moisés and look for the KO.
He hasn’t been finished, so I do wanna test that and see if I can finish him in the first round, but first round, third round, I’m ready for whatever comes to the table.via MMAjunkie
At 2-2 in the UFC, Jalin Turner sees this as an opportunity to climb the metaphorical ladder. Both men are prospects, Turner intends to prove he’s the bigger one on Saturday.
“I just wanted to get a fight in. I didn’t care who it was, what style it was, I told my manager just give me a name, I don’t care who. They throw Thiago at me; it is a good fight. I feel like it’s a who-wants-to-go-up-the-ladder type of fight between me and him. We’re both up and down in the UFC, so now it’s time to see who’s going to make it up to that next level.”via MMAjunkie
Michel Pereira vs Zelim Imadaev
From Maraba, Brazil, Michel Pereira is a fighter every MMA tunes in to watch. From mid-fight backflips to jumping off the cage kicks, the Brazilian Capoeira star is enthralling to watch every time.
This time around, Periera has been training with cows and horses.
“So I was running around with animals, I always try to train in different places and get to know different things, so every time I step in the Octagon, I can bring something new and put on a show.”
“I trained with cows and working on taking them down and running with horses. I had different experiences with different animals and just tried to work on different strategies,”via BJPenn.com
One thing is for sure, I can’t wait to see how his training has impacted his style.
Imadaev is your typical Russian fighter, fantastic chain wrestling, with brilliant positioning. Almost reminiscent of Khabib, although nowhere near the level.
Where this fight gets interesting, is the striking. Still looking to sure up the striking offense, Imadaev has a long way to go until he reaches the level of Pereira.
On a 2 fight losing skid at 25, the Russian needs to kickstart his career and a win over a fan favorite will do just that.
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