UFC Vegas 55: Holm vs Vieira Predictions

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UFC Vegas 55: Holm vs Vieira Predictions & Results

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Too many times I step on a soapbox and rant about the quality of a card. UFC Vegas 55 is atrocious, only a level below some of the tripe that we have been served in 2022, but rather than whine I’ll just keep the analysis brief. Only the saddest, most MMA-deprived addicts will sit themselves down to watch this one.

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Is there enough time left for Chidi Njokuani to emerge as the next superstar | UFC Vegas 55 Predictions
Is there enough time left for Chidi Njokuani to emerge as the next superstar | UFC Vegas 55 Predictions

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UFC Vegas 55: Main Event

Holly Holm vs Ketlen Vieira

Women’s Bantamweight (135)

Holly Holm (14-5)

Forty years old and one of the dullest fighters on the roster, Holy Holm remains one of the biggest names across the Women’s divisions. Cheers, Ronda. More than happy to hang on the outside, Holm rarely sits into her shots in case she loses her total control of distance. Vieira is one of the most physically impressive opponents that Holm has faced in recent years, but I don’t believe it will matter. Holm is dully consistent in sticking to her preferred fight and is highly unlikely to be dragged into any sort of exchanges on the inside. The only potential banana skin would be Holm’s long layoff and a string of injuries, with a small red flag over whether Holm can match Vieira’s size.

Ketlen Vieira (12-2)

The Irene Aldana knockout loss really threw a spanner in the works for Vieira. The Brazilian has been slow to recover her confidence on the feet, which is vital in a division where aggression and activity count for a lot. Meisha Tate isn’t a defensive savant, but Vieira’s jab was still crisp and found success immediately. Unfortunately for Vieira, she lacks the mobility or the intuition to cut off the cage against Holm. Vieira’s top control is successfully grindy at times, but Holm’s TDD has weathered far more consistent wrestling storms before. On the mat, Holm can be static in guard, but the fight will have to tumble down there in the first place.

Predicted Result: Holm Decision

The Irene Aldana knockout loss really threw a spanner in the works for Vieira. The Brazilian has been slow to recover her confidence on the feet, which is vital in a division where aggression and activity count for a lot. Holm rarely sits into her shots in case she loses her total control of distance. Unfortunately for Vieira, she lacks the mobility or the intuition to cut off the cage against Holm. Vieira’s top control is successfully grindy at times, but Holm’s TDD has weathered far more consistent wrestling storms before. Aside from Holm’s layoff and Vieira’s physicality potentially throwing a spanner in the works, this screams a disgustingly dull decision shut-out.

Result: Vieira def. Holm // Decision (split – 47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Did you know that Holly Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey? | UFC Vegas 55 Predictions
Did you know that Holly Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey? | UFC Vegas 55 Predictions

Return to Fight Card


UFC Vegas 55: Co-Main Event

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Michel Pereira

Welterweight (170)

Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-5)

A fight that I was initially buzzing to see but have slowly lost my faith for an all-out, gun slinging affair. Ponzinibbio hasn’t looked the same beast upon his return from the sidelines over 2018-2020. The Argentine Dagger hasn’t the athletic edge or reckless aggression to draw Pereira into a wild brawling mess that defined the Brazilian’s early career. Ponzinibbio may struggle to match the speed of Pereira initially, with the Argentine unable to make early reads for counters. Pre-layoff Ponzinibbio would have been able to weather the storm and then match Pereira’s firepower, post-layoff Ponz odds feel frighteningly closer than they should.

Michel Pereira (27-11)

There are still sprinkles of crazy in Pereira’s new style, but knockouts such as the Danny Roberts jumping knee are unlikely to return. I can’t say that it breaks my heart, Pereira is an athletic freak and is young enough to at least try to refine his style. Pereira lacks many fundamentals in his striking, largely falling back on short and simple combinations to stay active. Both men have shown their ability to dig deep, albeit with Ponz proving it at a far higher level. A cracker of a crossroads fight, but my heart is overruling my brain to favour the dynamic athletic specimen over the well-matured veteran.

Predicted Result: Pereira TKO Round 2

A cracker of a crossroads fight, but my heart is overruling my brain to favour the dynamic athletic specimen over the well-matured veteran. Ponzinibbio may struggle to match the speed of Pereira initially, with the Argentine unable to make early reads for counters. Pre-layoff Ponzinibbio would have been able to weather the storm and then match Pereira’s firepower, post-layoff Ponz odds feel frighteningly closer than they should. Granted, Pereira lacks basic fundamentals on the feet, often falling into shots and leaving his chin well extended on a platter. It just feels as though Ponz’s style hasn’t been adapted to his athletic twilight.

Result: Pereira def. Ponzinibbio // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Underrated photo | UFC Vegas 55 Predictions
Underrated photo | UFC Vegas 55 Predictions

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UFC Vegas 55: Main Card

Chidi Njokuani vs Dusko Todorovic

Middleweight (185)

Chidi Njokuani (21-7)

Gotta love a debutant finding a crushing first minute knockout over a typically durable fighter. At 33, Njokuani doesn’t have much time to create a name for himself, but a few more highlight reel KOs will certainly see him collect a fanbase. Todorovic roots himself to the ground when throwing combinations, ensuring Njokuani doesn’t need to craft entries. Let us not forget that Njokuani has already sparked out one of the UFC’s new golden boys, Andre Fialho, within 21 seconds.

Dusko Todorovic (11-2)

Dropping 6″ of reach and almost certainly going to walk himself into the clinch with Njokuani, Todorovic’s chances of survival look slim. The Serb carries more consistent power than Njokuani, however, and can push a dogged pace that prevents Njokuani from opening up on the feet. There is also the potential that Todorovic shoots early and avoids Njokuani’s early potency. The American panics when he finds himself on his back and could walk into a takedown as he looks to secure an early highlight reel finish.

Predicted Result: Todorovic Decision

Dropping 6″ of reach and almost certain to walk into the clinch with Njokuani, Todorovic’s chances of survival initially look slim. It is easy to forget that Njokuani has already sparked out one of the UFC’s new golden boys, Andre Fialho, within 21 seconds. Even with the Serb’s less than stellar start to the UFC, there is a strong likelihood that Todorovic can shoot early and drain some of Njokuani’s early potency. The American panics when he finds himself on his back and could walk into a takedown as he looks to secure an early highlight reel finish.

Result: Njokuani def. Todorovic // KO (elbow) Round 1 4:48

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Polyana Viana vs Tabatha Ricci

Women’s Strawweight (115)

Polyana Viana (12-4)

A well-rounded solid athlete, Viana meets a more technically polished opponent in Tabatha Ricci. Viana is a far more imposing figure and that could make the difference on the mat, the Brazilian has a lethal submission game. Add in Viana’s attritional striking which benefits from reckless aggression – her lack of control can often create the ideal openings for Viana. Against a consistently good decision-maker in Ricci, Viana will likely fall on the wrong end of the double-edged sword.

Tabatha Ricci (6-1)

If not for Ricci’s slight frame, there would be considerable interest in the Brazilian’s career. A technical grapple-boxer, Ricci has mostly fought cans across her MMA career, but she has shown moments of class so far in her two UFC appearances. Viana excels against opponents unwilling to risk the fight going to the mat, Ricci won’t be so easily dissuaded.

Predicted Result: Ricci Decision

A well-rounded solid athlete, Viana meets a more technically polished opponent in Tabatha Ricci. Viana is a far more imposing figure and her attritional, aggressive striking could make a difference late. More likely, however, is that Viana’s recklessness and Ricci’s willingness to go to the ground will see the latter control the affair to the scorecards.

Result: Ricci def. Viana // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Eryk Anders vs Jun Yong Park

Middleweight (185)

Eryk Anders (14-6)

Eh. It’s a winnable fight for Anders, but why? Is there any point in giving Anders a push? The former linebacker rarely delivers entertainment, instead regularly offering sluggishly paced striking affairs. Which is a shame as Anders is a powerful wrestler who could have at least tried to make the most of his size on the ground.

Jun Yong Park (13-5)

The Iron Turtle is a durable, adaptable scrapper but there is never any confidence in Park’s gameplan. More than happy to string together combinations in the pocket, whilst representing one of the smaller physical specimens at the weight, it’s often a coin flip whether Park’s chin can afford to exchange. If Anders wasn’t so difficult to take down, Park could fall back on his strong top game. Park is cuter on the feet, more active and determined to lead the fight, but Anders’ size and weapons just seem set to prevent Park’s ideal game.

Predicted Result: Anders Decision

Park is cuter on the feet, more active and determined to lead the fight, but Anders’ size and weapons just seem set to prevent Park’s ideal game. Anders has never pieced together a functional MMA game, often stumbling between various facets on a fight-by-fight basis. If Anders wasn’t so difficult to take down, it’d be easier to back Park utilising his strong top game.

Result: Park def. Anders // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Joseph Holmes vs Alen Amedovski

Middleweight (185)

Joseph Holmes (7-2)

A huge physical specimen at Middleweight, Holmes is a mishmash box of components that range from meh to ok quality. Compared to Amedovski, however, Holmes is on a game-planning level as Alexander Volkanovski. Despite Holmes representing at best a bang average wrestler, Amedovski can’t stop a takedown to save his life. Holmes does tire and his striking defence is non-existent, but his early aggression could shake Amedovski.

Alen Amedovski (8-2)

Near three years out of the game and coming off a crushing fourteen-second knockout loss. Sometimes you hold your hands up and say fair play, it’s the name of the game, you can be sparked by anyone at any moment… but not by John Phillips. Amedovski has likely missed his athletic prime, is technically derelict, and can only bank of swangin’n’bangin heavy hands.

Predicted Result: Holmes Submission Round 2

Near three years out of the game, coming off a crushing fourteen-second knockout loss to John Phillips, and well past his athletic prime, Amedovski is up against the wall. Despite Holmes representing at best a bang average wrestler, Amedovski can’t stop a takedown to save his life. Joseph Holmes’ striking defence is non-existent, so there is the potential for a short night, but the coin-flip is equally weighted.

Result: Holmes def. Amendovski // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1 1:04

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

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UFC Vegas 55: Preliminary Card

Parker Porter vs Jailton Almeida

Heavyweight (265)

Parker Porter (13-6)

How on Earth has Parker Porter compiled a three-fight win streak in the UFC? I can answer that question. He’s fought a litany of cans. The Heavyweight division outside of the top-5 is legally deceased. Porter is an athletic joke, albeit with a deceptive level of strength, but his wrestling credentials have been enough to overcome unranked sloppy brawlers. Against an opponent that is effectively a blown-up Light Heavyweight, Porter has a decent chance of winning based on being the more natural Heavyweight alone.

Jailton Almeida (15-2)

The real head-scratcher is whether Almeida can handle an opponent on the mat that is 60lbs heavier than the last. Almeida is a physical beast, so there is reason to believe his frame can handle the extra pounds, but it remains the biggest question of whether Almeida can control Porter on the ground. Almeida could also flag late, he is a notorious early round finisher. I’ll still favour Almeida as the far better fighter, but LHW to HW is a dangerous transition.

Predicted Result: Almeida Submission Round 2

The real head-scratcher is whether Almeida can handle an opponent on the mat that is 60lbs heavier than the last. Almeida is a physical beast, so there is reason to believe his frame can handle the extra pounds, but it remains the biggest question of whether Almeida can control Porter on the ground. Almeida could also flag late, he is a notorious early round finisher. I’ll still favour Almeida as the far better fighter, but LHW to HW is a dangerous transition.

Result: Almeida def. Porter // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1 4:35

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

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Omar Morales vs Uros Medic

Lightweight (155)

Omar Morales (11-2)

One of the rare solid fights on this card. Morales is a well-schooled kickboxer who won’t ever climb far up the ladder, but will still offer tough tests to prospects. Part of Morales’ strength was the inability to put him on his arse – an area that was finally shattered by Jonathan Pearce in his last fight. Morales could thrive outside of an ugly first round, the Venezuelan is a patient striker who will pick apart Medic. The return to Lightweight, a far more natural weight class which forgives Morales’ lack of speed, is a positive sign.

Uros Medic (7-1)

Another Balkan fighter who has lost a decent bit of stream from his hype train. Jalin Turner is a kill or be killed fighter, so losing your unbeaten record to The Tarantula isn’t a career ender. Unfortunately for Morales, he struggled with the sweltering pace that Pearce laid on him. Medic hasn’t shown evidence of maintaining a pace consistently across three rounds, but he is a scarily lethal threat in the opening round.

Predicted Result: Morales Decision

The return to Lightweight, a far more natural weight class which forgives Morales’ lack of speed, is a positive sign. Unfortunately for Morales, he struggled with the sweltering pace that Pearce laid on him. Medic hasn’t shown evidence of maintaining a pace consistently across three rounds, but he is a scarily lethal threat in the opening round. Backing Morales to just about get through a tense opening round before picking Medic apart later down the stretch.

Result: Medic def. Morales // TKO (punches) Round 2 3:05

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Return to Fight Card


Jonathan Martinez vs Vince Morales

Bantamweight (135)

Jonathan Martinez (15-4)

Since his second-round sleep courtesy of Davey Grant, Martinez has set about his boxing with a fresh lease of life. Growing into one of the more entertaining boxers on the roster, Martinez’s leg kicks remain his money strikes. If Martinez finds himself stranded at a mid-range, however, he can be overawed by volume. A dangerous scenario considering Martinez’s inability to change the pace of a fight.

Vince Morales (11-5)

Another fighter who has enjoyed a similar career resurgence, Morales will have gained huge confidence following his stoppage win over Louis Smolka. Martinez will destroy Morales on the outside, it was only a couple of years ago that Chris Gutierrez tore apart Morales’ leg. Since that loss, however, Morales has been deadset on closing the distance with opponents and thriving in the pocket.

Predicted Result: Martinez Decision

Both men meet each other after enjoying minor career resurgences. Martinez will destroy Morales on the outside, it was only a couple of years ago that Chris Gutierrez tore apart Morales’ leg. Since that loss, however, Morales has been deadset on closing the distance with opponents and thriving in the pocket. A true pick’em.

Result: Martinez def. Morales // Decision (UD – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Chase Hooper vs Felipe Colares

Featherweight (145)

Chase Hooper (10-2-1)

I’m sure there’s a crowd out there who love Chase Hooper’s spiel – it just doesn’t cut it for me. Hooper’s wiry frame and one-dimensional game leave him with only one game plan for every fight. Colares is certain to ensure a high-paced, crazy fight that will create opportunities for Hooper to find his preferred fight on the mat. The Brazilian’s pace and aggression are also designed to bamboozle Hooper’s lack of defence on the feet.

Felipe Colares (10-3)

Colares’ style doesn’t lend itself to healthy MMA careers. The Brazilian tends to drag opponents into scrappy wars, occasionally of benefit to his solid athleticism. Poor wrestling shouldn’t be too much of an issue against Hooper, an opponent who will be desperate to hit the mat. Colares’ flashy head kicks may well find the mark though, with sufficient defensive grappling and ability to dig deep offering enough time to exploit Hooper on the feet.

Predicted Result: Colares Decision

Colares’ stand-up style doesn’t lend itself to healthy MMA careers. The Brazilian tends to drag opponents into scrappy wars, occasionally of benefit to his solid athleticism. Poor wrestling shouldn’t be too much of an issue against Hooper, an opponent who will be desperate to hit the mat. Hooper will have ample opportunity to find speculative submissions, but Colares is surprisingly defensively aware on the mat.

Result: Hooper def. Colares // TKO (punches) Round 3 3:00

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Elise Reed vs Sam Hughes

Women’s Strawweight (115)

Elise Reed (5-1)

Both slight athletes for Strawweight, both gritty bottom-of-the-barrel roster names. Reed’s advantages are on the feet, while Hughes benefits from back-and-forths on the ground. Reed holds decent power in single-strikes but struggles to maintain her base over extended combinations.

Sam Hughes (6-4)

Sam Hughes is improving to be fair to the grinding wrestler. Istela Nunes is technically levels above Hughes, but the American’s grit and pace eventually wore the Brazilian down to the point that Hughes was beating Nunes on the feet by the end of their affair. Reed won’t flag to the same degree, however, and it may be a painful night for Hughes.

Predicted Result: Reed Decision

Reed holds decent power in single-strikes but struggles to maintain her base over extended combinations. Hughes is a gritty wrestler, who as seen against the technically superior Istela Nunes, can break down opponents with pace to eventually level the playing field. Reed won’t flag to the same degree, however, and it may be a painful night for Hughes.

Result: Hughes def. Reed // TKO (elbow and punches) Round 3 3:52

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Return to Fight Card


Prediction Accuracy

UFC Vegas 55

Winner: 5/11

Method: 6/11

Round: 4/11

2022 MMA Season

Winner: 137/203

Method: 105/203

Round: 94/203

MMA Overall

Winner: 633/995

Method: 468/995

Round: 419/995

Takeaway comments: Who envisaged Pereira’s stylistic change?


TIPPING JAR

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