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UFC Vegas 33: Prelims Preview

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After TJ Dillashaw made his octagon return at UFC Vegas 32, the UFC is back with UFC Vegas 33 at the Apex before UFC 265 next week. Stay tuned for our main card and betting breakdowns for Hall vs. Strickland.

Phillip Rowe (7-3) vs Orion Cosce (7-0)

Phillip Rowe and Orion Cosce kick off the prelims, in a battle of Contender Series graduates. Rowe holds a four-inch height, and nine-inch reach advantage over Cosce and should look to use his range to manage the distance. Cosce holds experience in wrestling, while Rowe is an accomplished grappler, training with Jacare Souza and Rodolfo Vieira. Cosce lost the first round on Contender Series before capitalizing on a gassed opponent who couldn’t convert a takedown past round one. Rowe should use his size to keep Cosce from getting inside and out-point Cosce over three rounds with straight punches. Official Pick: Phillip Rowe by Decision

Ronnie Lawrence (7-1) vs Trevin Jones (13-6)

Trevin Jones was originally scheduled to face Tony Kelley but now welcomes Ronnie Lawrence on short notice. Jones secured a knockout in each of his first two fights, the first victor later overturned to a no-contest for a positive cannabis test. Lawrence has one TKO victory on his UFC record as well, displaying relentless wrestling and diverse striking. Jones holds a black belt, serious power, and the ability to withstand adversity. Lawrence was able to rely on simple entries and easy takedowns when Cachero caught him on the feet a couple of times. Against Jones, Lawrence might end up in a submission attempt if he shoots without caution. I expect Jones to land the more impactful striking, and stuff most early takedowns to end up getting a late submission finish if the short-notice Lawrence gasses out wrestling. Official Pick: Trevin Jones R3 Submission

Jinh Yu Frey (10-6) vs Ashley Yoder (8-7)

Jinh Yu Frey faces the experienced Ashley Yoder in an exciting strawweight matchup. Frey usually is low output, looking for power shots from the southpaw stance, while Yoder uses her positioning from the southpaw stance to frustrate opponents before initiating grappling exchanges. Given they are both in the same stance, they lose a natural advantage they would have over an opponent with an opposite stance. Yoder will have an advantage in striking output, as well as a four-inch height and reach advantage, and has never been finished. Expect Yoder to roll to a comfortable unanimous decision. Official Pick: Ashley Yoder by Decision

Danny Chavez (11-4) vs Kai Kamaka III (8-4)

Danny Chavez struggled against the top control and pressure of overweight Jared Gordon. Kai Kamaka is willing to strike on the feet, and if he does initiate the wrestling, he gasses out as the fight extends past round one. Chavez is willing to commit to wrestling, and he should have the advantage in this matchup. Kamaka might win round one on the cards, but the further this fight goes and the more Chavez shoots for takedowns, Kamaka will tire out and be in danger of getting finished. I envision this fight going to the scorecards, with Chavez winning the last two rounds. Official Pick: Danny Chavez by Decision

Chris Gruetzemacher (14-4) vs Rafa Garcia (12-1)

Chris Gruetzemacher was thoroughly embarrassed in his last appearance, while Rafa Garcia provided a tough account of himself making the step up on short notice to fight Nasrat Haqparast. Garcia was able to hurt Nasrat early, before succumbing to the volume and elite defense over the final two rounds. Garcia should be able to either hurt Gruetzemacher on the feet or land takedowns to smother him on the mat. Garcia will be 9 years younger, with a fresher chin, and should be able to find a finish early. Official Pick: Rafa Garcia R1 KO

Collin Anglin (8-1) vs Melsik Baghdasaryan (5-1)

In a battle of Contender Series debutants, Collin Anglin and Melsik Baghdasaryan are sure to bring the fireworks as they return to the Apex octagon. Anglin is a cardio machine, who is willing to wrestle and get dirty in the striking. Baghdasaryan is a high-level kickboxer, with a variety of snapping kicks and crushing straights, elbows, and hooks from the southpaw stance. Baghdasaryan is liable to gas out if this fight extends, but his combos, pressure, and power should mean that the lack of head movement from Anglin will lead to an early finish. Official Pick: Melsik Baghdasaryan R1 KO

Nicco Montano (5-3) vs Wu Yanan (11-4)

Nicco Montano makes her long-awaited return to the octagon against Wu Yanan to close out the preliminary card. Montano has faced a high level of opponents, showing high-level output and strong grappling and wrestling. Yanan has put herself in bad grappling positions continually and will get smothered by top control if Montano can’t get the submission. Montano has shown to survive against tougher grapplers in Modafferi and Pena, so a matchup with Yanan should prove comfortably winnable. Official Pick: Nicco Montano by Decision

Prelims Prediction Record (10-5)


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I first got heavily into MMA betting and started chronicling the UFC around the Max Holloway vs Ortega and Henry Cejudo vs TJ Dillashaw fights. I quickly became intrigued with stylistic match-ups, scouting fighters, and learning about their backgrounds. I started Chronic Combat Conversations with GuruScoutingMMA in January of 2021, and first started writing for Overtime Heroics in July of 2021. Please follow me @TBScoutingMMA on all social media and anywhere MMA related!