Coming off of a star-studded UFC 263 event last weekend in Arizona, the UFC find themselves back at the Apex, where the Featherweight division will take center stage once again at UFC Vegas 29. Coming off a one-sided loss to the current #1 contender Brian Ortega, a win for Chan Sung Jung would keep him in the conversation at the top of the division.
On the other side of the octagon, Dan “50K” Ige is riding high after a 22 second KO against Canadian prospect Gavin Tucker. To say this could be Ige’s marquee victory and breakout moment is an understatement.
In the co-main event, two heavyweights will go to battle at UFC Vegas 29. On Saturday night Aleksei Oleinik and Serghei Spivac will look to get started on what they believe could be the beginning of a title run. Currently, Oleinik is on the outskirts of the rankings, with Spivak just on the outside looking in.
Marlon “Chito” Vera is sitting at the #15 ranked spot and looking to climb the rankings. His opponent Davey Grant will hope to break into the top 15, with a second victory over Chito after defeating the Venezuelan-born fighter back in February of 2016.
Opening up in the main card will be Matt Brown and Dhiego Lima in the welterweight division. Rounding off the rest of the UFC Vegas 29 card will be a middleweight fight between Wellington Turman and Bruno Silva. Let’s take a look at the last fight on the main card Julian Erosa vs Choi Seung-Woo.
Meet The Fighters
Julian “Juicy J” Erosa (25-8)
The 31-year old Julian Erosa first made a name for himself in MMA back on season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter. Reaching the semi-finals with three consecutive decision victories, Erosa’s tournament would end as the eventual runner-up after being knocked out by Artem Lobov. Despite the setback, Erosa was offered a UFC contract for his efforts and would go 1-1 with the promotion. Unfortunately, Erose was released after Teruto Ishihara finished him 30 seconds into the second round. In the coming years, Juicy J bounced around lower-level organizations such as Cage Warriors, King of the Cage, and even capturing the CageSport lightweight championship twice in 2017.
This led to a call from Dana White offering him a spot on Dana White’s Contender Series, a way back into the largest organization in the sport. As the +210 moderate underdog, Erosa did the best he could with the opportunity to finish Jamal Emmers in the second round with a head kick and punches. In most cases, this would mean a return to supremacy, but on that night, it was not to be for Erosa. However, later that year, the UFC would offer Julian Erosa a fight against fellow DWCS alumni Devonte Smith. This would be the beginning of a 3-fight skid that saw the featherweight briefly cut from the promotion once again.
After picking up one win in February 2020 outside of the UFC, he got the call from the UFC matchmakers once again, slotting him into a short notice fight against Sean Woodson. Erosa made no mistake in capitalizing on what he saw as his final opportunity with a third-round D’arce choke finish. He is currently coming off of a spectacular first-round flying knee finish against Nate Landwehr and hopes to ride that momentum into UFC Vegas 29.
“Sting” Seungwoo Choi (9-3)
Before Seungwoo Choi joined the sports biggest promotion back in 2019, his potential went under the radar. With a record of just 7-1, Choi entered MMA with an extensive background in Muay Thai. Previously fighting for his national team and even winning bronze in the 2010 Muay Thai World Championships.
In his debut, Choi was immediately introduced to world-class opposition in Mosvar Evloev, who most recently dispatched Canada’s talented Hakeem Dawodu. Evloev took Choi down at will, landing his own stinging shots in the process that equated to a clear 30-27 victory even with the second round point deduction.
Next for Choi was another Canadian featherweight talent, Gavin Tucker. Taking from Choi’s last fight, Tucker used a very similar game plan that Evloev found success with. He looked to push Choi’s back to the cage, dominating the grappling positions and using his trips to get him on the canvas. Although Choi showed improvements like using the cage to get back up and creating more scrambles, it ultimately didn’t lead to a better result.
Taking a step back in competition, next on the books for Choi would be Suman Mokhtarian in his home country of South Korea. Choi was finally able to showcase his stand-up skills. Mokhtarian was more than willing to stand with Choi throughout the fight. In the end, it showed why his previous two opponents were not. Choi was able to use his reach and height to sting his opponent in Muay Thai clinches. Even with the early point deduction for grabbing the fence, Choi cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
In a short notice fight, originally scheduled for late 2020, Choi finally stepped into the cage with 24-year old Morrocan featherweight Youseff Zalal. Choi again proved if you let him plant his feet and throw fast combinations, it’ll be a long night in the office for you. He now finds himself looking to make a statement at UFC Vegas 29
Julian Erosa vs Seungwoo Choi Breakdown and Prediction
Julian Erosa is more or less a “finish-or-be-finished” type of fighter, and on Saturday night, expect no different. Finishing 22 of his 25 wins, Erosa is dangerous wherever the fight takes place. Currently 3-4 in MMA’s top promotion, the Seattle native is riding a 2-fight win streak over Sean Woodson and Nate Landwehr. Erosa expects to keep the momentum going in his fight at UFC Vegas 29.
On the other side, Choi Seung-Woo is also unbeaten in his last two fights. Both men are willing to trade, and in Choi’s case, it’ll be the first time he doesn’t hold a significant height and/or reach advantage on his opponent.
However, he has shown to use feints effectively and picks his shots very accurately. Whereas, Erosa will have to brawl his way to victory. Erosa’s experience will play a key factor on Saturday, as he’s seen the elusive technical striker before. It may come down to whether Erosa can get into Choi’s range and counter his long strikes.
Prediciton: Seungwoo Choi by Decision
With plenty of exciting fights coming up at UFC Vegas 29, which bout are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.
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