The UFC Vegas 23 prelims present a total of nine bouts, each with its own compelling storyline. One fighter will even grab a spot in the record books when he steps in the octagon this weekend.
The UFC will make its second appearance on network cable’s ABC with the main card at 3:00 pm (ET). However, the prelims will be aired on ESPN+ beginning at 12:00 pm (ET), with the lone early prelim bout broadcasting on UFC Fight Pass at 11:30 pm (ET).
Breakdown of the UFC Vegas 23 Prelims
Jim Miller (32-15 1 NC, 21-14 UFC) vs Joe Solecki (10-2, 2-0 UFC)
When Jim Miller steps inside the octagon to face Joe Solecki in the featured prelim, he will stand alone at the top for most appearances (37) in UFC history. The New Jersey native is also top three in wins (21), finishes (13), and submission wins (10). Needless to say that Miller is a staple within the promotion.
Meanwhile, Solecki is a Contender Series contract winner who has yet to taste defeat in the UFC. The North Carolina native is very well-rounded, he’s fully aware of the massive opportunity that lays ahead of him in this next fight.
These two athletes are incredibly dangerous in hunting submissions; it could be standing up, in the top position, or even off of their back. No matter the situation submissions will be in play on both sides in this bout. The real question is who will have the edge in the striking department? Advantage leans toward the younger, faster Solecki. Moreover, the 27-year-old already got his feet wet against a veteran in Matt Wiman. Solecki seems primed to be prepared for this opportunity.
Prediction: Solecki via Decision
Scott Holtzman (14-4, 7-4 UFC) vs Mateusz Gamrot (17-1, 0-1 UFC)
Scott Holtzman is a training partner of Solecki’s at Gym-O in North Carolina. “Hot Sauce” is coming off of a loss to Beneil Dariush, but prior to that, he beat the aforementioned Miller as well as Dong Hyun Ma. The 37-year-old wants to steal back his momentum on the UFC Vegas 23 prelims.
Mateusz Gamrot is a promising talent out of Poland, who just fell short in his UFC debut by losing to Guram Kutateladze by split decision. Surely “Gamer” learned from his first defeat and he’ll be motivated to show some improvements in a big spot against Holtzman.
Both men mainly stand orthodox and both fight angry, which should lead to a fun scrap. Holtzman possesses a very sneaky right kick that he often throws to the body. On the other hand, Gamrot will switch stances from time to time and he has a freakish ability to lock up heel hooks and leg locks once the bout goes to the mat. Of the two, Gamrot might be able to land first and then utilize his relentless ground and pound.
Prediction: Gamrot via TKO
Erin Blanchfield (6-1, 0-0 UFC) vs Norma Dumont (5-1, 1-1 UFC)
Erin Blanchfield will be making her debut on the UFC Vegas 23 prelims after competing at both CFFC and Invicta FC. “Cold Blooded” is just 21 years of age and she already owns a victory over Kay Hansen while fighting for Invicta FC. She’s a fascinating young prospect to keep a close eye on.
Norma Dumont had the pleasure of debuting against former title challenger Megan Anderson. After that defeat, the Brazilian bounced back strong with a decision win over Ashlee Evans-Smith. Standing at 5’7″, Dumont is the more natural bantamweight of the two.
Dumont frequently changes back-and-forth from orthodox to southpaw, and she hits hard. She commonly throws a nasty right hand as she moves forward while switching stances. Blacnhfield has growing to do of course, but she’s been groomed for this moment. This will be a fairly even affair, but there will be a pretty clear strength advantage for one of them.
Prediction: Dumont via Decision
John Makdessi (17-7, 10-7 UFC) vs Ignacio Bahamondes (11-3, 0-0 UFC)
John Makdessi has been on the UFC’s roster since 2010. Remarkably, he’s still only 35 and he’s won three of his last four contests. “The Bull” has been in there with some top guys but has historically come up short. Yet, a victory on the UFC Vegas 23 prelims will give him his best stretch of results since entering the promotion.
Ignacio Bahamondes is a 23-year-old Chilean fighter who scored a highlight-reel front kick knockout on the Contender Series last November. “La Jaula” has already amassed 14 pro fights at such a young age and that experience will aid him in his debut.
The experience disparity in this match-up is still drastic, to say the least. The most interesting stat here is that Bahamondes will be cutting to lightweight despite being 6’3″. The Chilean won’t offer a ton that Makdessi hasn’t seen before, but this bout will be a great indicator as to just how good Bahamondes really is.
Prediction: Bahamondes via KO
Yorgan De Castro (6-2, 1-2 UFC) vs Jarjis Danho (5-1-1, 0-1-1 UFC)
Yorgan De Castro needs a victory this weekend on the UFC Vegas 23 prelims. “The Mad Titan” has dropped two in a row since scoring a knockout in his debut. Another Contender Series alum, De Castro has flashed big-time talent, but only in spurts.
Jarjis Danho has had a strange MMA career, to say the least. He signed in 2016 and went 0-1-1 before not competing again until now. From 2017 to 2019, “Man Mountain” had three bouts canceled, but it appears as though the Syrian native will finally be fighting once more.
We’ll find out early on in this one how much ring rust affects Danho. De Castro likes to come out aggressive, so definitely expect that against an inactive opponent. 15 minutes with both Greg Hardy and Carlos Felipe should have the Cape Verde native better prepared to leave with his hand raised.
Prediction: De Castro via KO
UFC Vegas 23 Prelims Quick Picks
- Hunter Azure (9-1, 2-1 UFC) vs Jack Shore (13-0, 2-0 UFC)
Prediction: Shore via Decision
- Luis Saldana (14-6, 0-0 UFC) vs Jordan Griffin (18-8, 1-3 UFC)
Luis Saldana makes his UFC debut against Jordan Griffin in a battle of Contender Series contract winners. Griffin has struggled to gain traction since signing, but the Roufusport affiliate should get the job done.
Prediction: Griffin via Decision
- Da Un Jung (13-2-1, 2-0-1 UFC) vs William Knight (9-1, 1-0 UFC)
Probably don’t blink during this one because these two light heavyweights carry heat. Da Un Jung is coming off his least impressive performance, while William Knight enters about six months after winning his debut. Knight can shut the lights out and dominate with his grappling.
Prediction: Knight via KO
- Impa Kasanganay (8-1, 1-1 UFC) vs Sasha Palatnikov (6-2, 1-0 UFC)
We all saw when Impa Kasanganay suffered his first UFC defeat, but this guy has real talent. He faces another tough foe in Sasha Palatnikov though. Look for “Tshilobo” to rebound after getting knocked out.
Prediction: Kasanganay via Decision
What fight are you most looking forward to watching on the UFC Vegas 23 prelims? Leave your thoughts and predictions in the comment section!
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