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UFC Vegas 20 Prelims: Fight Previews

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The UFC Vegas 20 prelims present six bouts with two newcomers on the card. Bantamweight competitor Ronnie Lawrence makes his UFC debut, as he faces fellow American Vince Cachero. The welterweight division welcomes a new member, with Ramazan Kuramagomedov stepping in for Randy Brown to face Alex Oliveira on short notice.

Editor’s Note: This article was published prior to the William Knight vs Alonzo Menifield fight being postponed and Alex Oliveira vs Ramazan Kuramagomedov being pulled from the card.

UFC Vegas 20 Prelims Preview

Thiago Moises (14-4) vs Alexander Hernandez (12-3)

The only lightweights to feature in this event are Thiago Moises and Alexander Hernandez, who go to war on Saturday night to try and push themselves for a place in the division’s rankings.

Moises is only 25 years of age, and the Brazilian is looking for a third win in a row against Hernandez. He was the RFA champion before appearing on Dana White’s Contender Series Brazil 3 back in 2018. An impressive performance knocking out Gleidson Cutis with a head kick in the first round earned him a UFC contract.

It wasn’t a perfect start for Moises, with his debut performance not going to plan. He faced a tough opponent in Beneil Dariush, where the judges decided unanimously in Dariush’s favour. He was back to winning ways at UFC 237, earning himself a decision victory over Kurt Holobaugh.

Another setback for the Brazilian came when he was dominated by Damir Ismagulov in August 2019. A new year came for Moises and he had to step up to the plate to keep his place in the UFC.

In 2020, Moises faced two UFC veterans in Michael Johnson and Bobby Green. He was victorious in both, beating Johnson with a stunning Achilles lock, and winning via unanimous decision against Green. He now sits on a positive record of 3-2 in the UFC.

Funnily, Alexander “The Great” Hernandez started his UFC career against Dariush as well, eight months before the Moises and Dariush fight. The difference was Hernandez came away a winner on this occasion, with a stunning knockout punch inside the first round to earn his victory.

Alexander Hernandez kicking Francisco Trinaldo
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – JULY 20: (L-R) Alexander Hernandez kicks Francisco Trinaldo of Brazil in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at AT&T Center on July 20, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Four months later, he was victorious again beating Olivier Aubin-Mercier via unanimous decision, giving himself an unbeaten start in the UFC. In January 2019, Hernandez got the fight he deserved, coming up against UFC legend Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.

It was a fast-paced first round between the pair, Cerrone delivered some damage to the face of Hernandez. In the second round, Cowboy took advantage. Hernandez fell to the ground after a kick to the head, and Cerrone pounced on top with the ground and pound until the referee stopped the fight.

Another setback came for Hernandez after he beat Francisco Trinaldo, he then was knocked out by Drew Dober. He was back in October last year, knocking out Chris Gruetzemacher inside the first round.

The two lightweights still have many years left in their fighting careers if they want, and this is a massive fight for both of them to show their talents. Expect some quick pace on the feet, and also some groundwork as both fighters will look to mix it up and play to their strengths.

Alex Oliveira (22-9-1 2 NC) vs Ramazan Kuramagomedov (8-0)

The fight between the veteran and the prospect has come at short notice, with the fight being announced on Tuesday with MMA Junkie releasing the news. Kuramagomedov stepped in on short notice, as Brown pulled out of the fight for undisclosed reasons.

Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira has racked up 34 fights in his MMA career and he will be stepping into his 35th looking to avenge himself from his last fight. He was submitted at UFC 254 by the undefeated Shavkat Rakhmonov.

The record of Oliveira was dampened by his poor run of fights from December 2018 to September 2019. He fought three times and lost all three. Losing out to Gunnar Nelson, Nicolas Dalby, and Mike Perry.

Unbeaten prospect Kuramagomedov will be desperate to overcome the veteran and impress White in his first UFC bout. A finish would be impressive, and Ramazan may feel he needs to put on a show to White after Dana seemed unimpressed with the judging in his Contender Series victory over Jordan Williams.

Oliveira missed weight in his last fight and has fought at catchweight four times in his career. The Brazilian has jumped up and down between lightweight and welterweight, a loss for Oliveira in this one will make us unsure on his next move.

Kuramagomedov will play to his strengths and look to dominate Oliveira on the ground. If Oliveira can handle the takedown threats, he has a great chance in this one if he can keep it on the feet, but don’t rule out the ability of the Brazilian on the ground.

Sabina Mazo (9-1) vs Alexis Davis (19-10)

Another prospect vs veteran, 23-year-old Sabina Mazo faces 36-year-old Alexis Davis in the women’s bantamweight division.

Mazo was the two-time LFA flyweight champion, amassing a record of 6-0 before being signed by the UFC. In her first bout in March 2019, she was beaten by Maryna Moroz, where the judges voted unanimously for a Moroz victory.

The “Colombian Queen” was back in the octagon five months later against Shana Dobson. Mazo came out on top this time and earned her first win in the UFC, winning by a unanimous decision.

Sabina Mazo punching Justine Kish
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 12: In this handout image provided by UFC, (L-R) Sabina Mazo of Colombia punches Justine Kish of Russia in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

A tougher test came in her next fight against JJ Aldrich, with the two battling it out on the feet. The judges awarded Mazo a split decision victory. A third victory came against Justine Kish, which came at UFC Fight Night 177. She battled for her first finish, submitting Kish in the third round.

Alexis “Ally-Gator” Davis was in the original roster of women to sign for the UFC, as her contract was made official 11 days before the first women’s bout took place in the UFC. This is when Ronda Rousey submitted Liz Carmouche, just to jog your memory!

The 36-year-old has been involved in some quality fights in her career. She participated in Strikeforce, where she beat the most lethal woman on the planet in MMA at this time in Amanda Nunes in 2011, knocking her out in the second round.

Davis was signed from Invicta in 2013 and she won her first bout against Rosi Sexton at UFC 161. She was on the hunt for that title and next was Carmouche and then Jessica Eye faced her wrath. Davis became 3-0 in the UFC, with Rousey up next for the bantamweight title.

Rousey knocked Davis out in the first round and retained her title. After this, Davis struggled, as she’s now 3-4 in her last seven fights since Rousey. Moving down to flyweight in 2017 seemed to be the wrong decision, with her losing her last three fights. She will be desperate for a win in her 30th professional fight when she returns to bantamweight this weekend.

William Knight (9-1) vs Alonzo Menifield (9-2)

A light heavyweight brawl in the making, with these two guys in the octagon, it doesn’t look like it will be going the distance. Knight will be looking to add to his one-win streak in the UFC, whilst Menifield will be hoping to get his UFC career back on track.

William “Knightmare” Knight is one dangerous fighter. He has managed eight KO’s in his nine wins, five of those coming in the first round. He was signed by the UFC after an impressive victory over Cody Brundage in the first round of Dana White’s Contender Series 2020: Week 5.

His first and only fight in the UFC so far came at UFC 253, he beat Aleksa Camur via unanimous decision. This was the first fight of his career to go the distance, and as stated before, this doesn’t look as likely on Saturday.

Alonzo “Atomic” Menifeld was also introduced to the UFC by Dana White’s Contender Series back in 2018. He knocked out Dashawn Boatwright in the first round, which impressed White enough to give him a contract.

Menifield had the perfect start to his UFC career, knocking out Vinicius Moreira and Paul Craig in his first two fights. His two fights in 2020 went to disaster, with him losing to Devin Clark, then being knocked out to veteran Ovince Saint Preux.

The height and reach difference is in favour of Menifield in this one, with both these fighters being knockout artists, as Alonzo has eight knockouts in his nine wins. It’d be typical to think these two will just stand up and fight, but it could be the case of one fighter taking the other to the ground, and hammering them from there!

Vince Cachero (7-3) vs Ronnie Lawrence (6-1)

A bantamweight bout between two Americans, with Ronnie Lawrence making his UFC debut against Vince Cachero.

Vince “The Anomaly” Cachero lost his first fight in the UFC back in August 2020, losing by a unanimous decision to Jamall Emmers. He was signed from the LFA and will be desperate to not go into his UFC career (0-2), or his situation in the promotion could be in real danger.

Vince Cachero punches Jamall Emmers.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 01: (L-R) Vince Cachero punches Jamall Emmers in their featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 01, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Ronnie “The Heat” Lawrence impressed in Dana White’s Contender Series 2020, with a dominant performance over Jose Johnson.

The battle between these two could be an all-out slugfest. It seems more than likely these two will have different game plans though, with Cachero more of a submission guy and Lawrence looks to go and knock people out. Who knows what will happen in this one?!

Dustin Jacoby (13-5) vs Maxim Grishin (31-8-2)

A light heavyweight bout that has two MMA fighters who have been all around the block in their careers.

Dustin “The Hanyak” Jacoby started off perfectly in his career going into the UFC 6-0 back in 2011. Jacoby lost his first two fights against Clifford Starks and Chris Camozzi, he was then released from the promotion.

Jacoby went everywhere. He fought for Titan, Bellator, CCCW, Glory, you name it, he’s been there! In 2020, he took part in Dana White’s Contender Series. A dominant showing over Ty Flores seen him rewarded with a UFC contract. In his return to the UFC at Fight Night 181, he destroyed Justin Ledet inside the first round to claim his first victory in the UFC.

Maxim “Maximus” Grishin has been fighting everywhere too! This fight will be his 42nd of his MMA career but only his third in the UFC. He’s spent much of his career at M-1 Global and recently joined the UFC from the PFL.

His first fight didn’t go to plan, with a unanimous decision loss to Marcin Tybura at UFC 251. He came back like a true fighter does and earned his first victory in the UFC octagon. At Fight Night 180, he knocked out Ghadzhimurad Antigulov in the second round.

This is another unpredictable fight. Both fighters are at late stages in their careers and will be desperate to get some big fights to their name and earn some money. With Jacoby having nine knockouts, it seems like he has his plan for the fight, but Grishin is an all-around fighter and could end up dominating Jacoby on the ground.

With all of the UFC Vegas prelims previewed, which fight are you looking forward to the most?!


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Featured Image Credit to Embed from Getty Images.

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