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X-Factor! Some UFC Vegas 25 main card predictions – MMA Root

This weekend (Saturday, May 1, 2021), the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will return to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC Vegas 25. After a short jaunt to Jacksonville, Fla., For UFC 261, one of the most absolutely ridiculous MMA events of all time IMHO – we are returning to a more standard night of action inside the Apex. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a fun show, as the main event between Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka promises fireworks, and the rest of the card is a lot of fun.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the major card fights:


Light heavyweight: Ion Cutelaba vs. Dustin Jacoby

Best win for Cutelaba? Khalil Rountree Jr In order to Jacoby? Maxim grishin
Current streak: Cutelaba has technically lost his last two in strange (but also violent) circumstances to Magomed Ankalaev, while Jacoby has won two matches in a row.
X Factor: Which man manages his energy more efficiently?
How do these two pair up?: There hasn’t been a boring Cutelaba fight yet, and Jacoby is a very skilled kickboxer. Sounds like fun!

Cutelaba seems to be at least slightly out of it. He’s always flexing and screaming, but admittedly, he brings that intensity into the cage! A skilled fighter with real power in his hands, Cutelaba very often attempts to empty the tank immediately overwhelming his opponents.

Jacoby is a more measured fighter, but former kickboxer Glory has still knocked out 18 enemies between the ring and the cage. He is a wily and slender striker, looking to take down his enemy from the outside before delivering the killing blow.

Unless pulled out of the water, Cutelaba’s fights are hard to predict. The 27-year-old “Hulk” is very talented, but also very willing to waste victories fighting or gassing. At the same time, Jacoby has shown that while he has improved a lot for his second UFC career, there are still cracks in his overall MMA game.

He himself is not immune to fatigue.

Ultimately, I trust Cutelaba’s fighting and physique to get through some tough times. It’s strong and tough enough to fire, return fire, and find your way to the takedown. No matter how talented the kickboxer is, a couple of minutes of fighting makes him a lot less dangerous.

Prediction: Cutelaba by knockout


Middleweight: Sean Strickland vs. Krzysztof Jotko

Best win for Strickland? Brendan allen In order to Jotko? Thales Leites
Current streak: Both athletes have won three in a row
X Factor: Jotko’s recent hesitation in shootings
How do these two pair up?: Two experienced and talented middleweights to take down.

Strickland’s decision to return to 185 pounds. That’s the right one. As a result of taking on bigger men – something like Strickland is huge – his speed advantage has really shone through, allowing his boxing to control the flow of fights.

Meanwhile, Jotko has recovered well from a slump, largely returning to his wrestling to control his opponents. Last time, however, Jotko showed that his kickboxing is still on point, sticking and moving beautifully in front of Eryk Anders to navigate to another victory.

Jotko is a veteran and has been there with many of the best in the division. However, Strickland is riding a huge wave of momentum, gaining confidence, and his style seems totally wrong for Jotko. Kamaru Usman aside, Strickland has struggled more with his fellow forwards than with wrestlers.

It seems unlikely that Jotko will be able to take down “Tarzan”, at least not consistently or for long. On his feet, Strickland’s quick jab will likely make a difference, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s apparently the bigger puncher as well.

Prediction: Strickland by decision


Bantamweight: Merab Dvalishvili vs. Cody Stamann

Best win for Davalishvili? John dodson In order to Stamann? Bryan caraway
Current streak: Dvalishvili has won five matches in a row, while Stamann came up short last time
X Factor: Dvalishvili takes a lot of risks
How do these two pair up?: Both men like to use range kickboxing to set up takedowns, but they follow that strategy in very different ways.

Dvalishvili is a whirlwind. He has a seemingly endless tank of gas, and he fights as if his mission is to find the bottom. The Georgian athlete throws jump kicks and spinning punches as if they were going out of style, confusing his opponent with constant volume and general weirdness. Then looking to rack up takedowns, he rarely bothers to actually stop his opponents.

I’d rather take them down again!

Stamann is much more calculated and skilled. He manages his distance very well, using a sharp side kick and smart angles to set up his counters and takedowns. He’s one of the best fighters in the division, so this fight could really produce some incredible revolts.

At first, I really hope Stamann looks sharper. He’s going to feint, make Dvalishvili miss, and throw punches. In all likelihood, you will be able to defend takedowns or fall back immediately.

Unfortunately, Stamann has yet to finish off an opponent inside the Octagon, and Dvalishvili is apparently made of iron anyway. “The Machine” is going to be a tough man to make decisions; throws too much and fights too often. Stamann will most likely win the early parts of the fight, but Dvalishvili’s nature of making something eventually influences the judges.

Prediction: Dvalishvili by decision


Women’s flyweight: Poliana Botelho vs. Luana carolina

Best win for Polyana? Lauren mueller In order to Carolina? Priscila Cachoeira
Current streak: Both women lost their last match
X Factor: Will any of the fighters look to fight?
How do these two pair up?: We should have a good old-fashioned kickboxing fight on our hands (unless someone decides to change the script!).

Botelho started his UFC career strong, scoring a body kick stoppage to build some buzz and gain a step up in the competition. Since then, unfortunately, Botelho has struggled to implement her Muay Thai skills against opponents determined to take her down. Likewise, Carolina will be looking for her third career knockout win, and she has shown solid kickboxing so far.

He was doing well in his last match, beating Ariane Lipski. Then he tried to do a leg block and his opponent responded with a knee bar that sat Carolina on the bench for the better part of a year.

This showdown certainly reads like a kickboxing battle, but with so many legs flying through the air, it still feels like a takedown is going to happen. Either way, Botelho’s physique is a huge advantage. She hits harder, and if the two of you get into some wrestling, she’s more likely to finish on top.

In short, Carolina still has a lot to prove inside the Octagon before I can confidently cast her over the more established UFC veterans.

Prediction: Botelho by decision


Remember it MMAmania.com will offer round-by-round, step-by-shot LIVE coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 25 card this weekend, beginning with the ESPN +/ ESPN2 “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 7 pm ET, then the remaining balance on the main card at ESPN +/ ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET.

For the latest and greatest news and highlights from UFC Vegas 25: “Reyes vs. Prochazka ”, be sure to visit our comprehensive event archive. right here.

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