This article is part of our Drake's Takes series.
Casey O'Neill (6-0-0) v. Lara Procopio (7-1-0)
- O'Neill did not disappoint in her debut back in February against Shana Dobson. She is a volume striker with quick combos and kicks. She comes out aggressive and pushes a pace that can be hard to keep up with. She works great in the clinch throwing hard elbows and has shown an excellent chin. O'Neill is a great grappler with improving wrestling. She has quick takedowns in and out of the clinch showing good movement after hunting for subs. In top control, she has admirable ground-and-pound. Overall, she has shown phenomenal cardio and an amazing ability to push the flow of the fight to her liking.
- Procopio is coming off an electric win in her last fight. In her debut against Karol Rosa, she showed off her volume striking, and in her second fight against Molly McCann, she showed off her ground game with seven takedowns and dominant control time. Procopio has quick hands, great leg kicks and an excellent counter. She mixes her combos and kicks to create level changes so she can shoot for the legs. Once on the mat she gets into an assertive position where she can control her opponent and is no stranger to submissions. Her cardio is questionable towards the latter part of the fight, but she is as durable as they come.
- This will be a good match-up between these two women. Both are good all around fighters and this will be a good test for them. O'Neill has the advantage with speed, and I think her pressure will get to Procopio and cause her to panic a little. She definitely has the better cardio so the longer the fight goes the more it continues in her favor.
My Pick: O'Neill
- Both fighters have a chance to go over 100 with volume and takedown/control time. Take your preferred option in cash, either could be used for GPP.
Joaquim Silva (11-3-0) v. Rick Glenn (21-6-1)
- Silva has not fought in nearly three years but returns looking to be in great shape. He is an aggressive, in-your-face brawler. He throws great combos and kicks but does not throw them with a ton of volume. He attacks all parts of the body and is always hunting for the knockout. Silva has an underutilized ground game that we have not seen a whole lot of. He does not shoot for takedowns often but finds himself getting wily with submission attempts. His takedown defense is better than average, but his cardio is questionable.
- Glenn last fought about a year and a half ago and returns in hopes to get back on track. He strikes from a distance with jabs and counters while mixing in low kicks to keep his opponent pushed back. He has not shown much power since joining the UFC and offers little chance of a finish. Glenn's grappling is his best avenue to win this fight. His takedown accuracy is poor, but when he gets it to the mat he has shown a good ability to control and keep it there.
- Neither of these guys has fought in quite a while, and neither has been super impressive with their time in the UFC. Silva has the takedown defense to keep this fight standing and should be able to bully Glenn as long as he works in close.
My Pick: Silva
- Silva can score high with a knockout, and Glenn can score high with takedowns/control time if he chooses to go that route. A decision would likely be lower scoring. Would only use in GPP.
Josh Parisian (13-4-0) v. Roque Martinez (15-7-2)
- Parisian enters his second fight in the UFC coming off a tough loss to Parker Porter. He is a solid striker with exceptional footwork and movement for a heavyweight. He has powerful combinations and uses his footwork to mix in heavy kicks. He puts out heavy volume and works well in the clinch. Parisian does not show much in the way of takedowns or a ground game, but he is able to scramble back up when taken down. He does have a deadly ground and pound if in top control. He is exceptionally durable and has commendable cardio.
- Martinez has not had the start he wanted in the UFC, having gone 0-2. He now enters this fight with a huge size disadvantage but hopes to return to where he excels. He has decent striking backed by quick combos and low leg kicks. He tends to pressure forward and work inside looking for opportunities for a takedown. Martinez looks to get the fight to the mat where he can utilize his grappling and wrestling to control the fight. He does find himself being taken down at times and does not have the best defense.
- Parisian is a mix of volume and power entering this fight with a massive seven inch reach advantage. Martinez will need to find a way to work inside and take Parisian down to have a chance in this fight. I do not see Martinez having much of a shot here given the lack of volume and the size disadvantage.
My pick: Parisian
- I think Parisian's volume and power can score him high enough to be used in cash and GPP. Roque is pure GPP, but I do not like his chances in this fight.
Khaos Williams (11-2-0) v. Matthew Semelsberger (8-2-0)
- Williams started hot in the UFC with two huge knockouts but was slowed down in his last fight for his first loss. He is a lower volume pressure striker. He has incredible one-shot power and hunts for that knockout from the bell. He walks down his opponent with poise and once inside unleashes devastating strikes to overwhelm them. He has shown great durability, but his gas tank is questionable. Williams has not shown much ground game and tends to keep the fight upright where he has the advantage.
- Semelsberger is off to a great start in the UFC, going 2-0. He is an explosive volume fighter with fast hands and commendable power. He throws a lot of quick combos while mixing in kicks to back his opponent up. When he has his opponent in the clinch, he will mix in deadly elbows and knees. Semelsberger does not have the greatest grappling or wrestling. We did not get to see the full extent of his defense or ground game against Jason Witt as he knocked him out early in the first round so it is fair to question where he stands there. He does not have the greatest cardio but has shown that he can eat a shot.
- Both guys have serious power and do not back down. Williams has fought better competition overall and does not back down from a brawl and he has excellent defense. Semelsberger will have a huge advantage on the mat if he chooses to take it there. He could also walk right into a power shot from Williams when he pressures forward.
My Pick: Semelsberger
- Williams could break the slate with another knockout in the first 60. A decision win he will not score as high, but would make an excellent cash play. Semelsberger makes a great GPP play. He has a good mixture of power and if he can take Williams down he could score well with control time.
Kanako Murata (12-1-0) v. Virna Jandiroba (16-2-0)
- Murata shined in her UFC debut against Randa Markos, showing her well rounded skill set. She has fast hands and throws heavy volume. She has quick movement and great footwork. She is constantly moving and changing levels to work for a takedown, so she can work where she really shines – on the mat. Murata has several submission wins and is a force on the ground. She has remarkable Judo, and when she has you on the mat she is very hard to get away from. She works great in any dominant position and is always searching for a submission.
- Jandiroba enters the night having lost a tight fight with Mackenzie Dern last time out. She has average striking and little power. She uses combos and level changes to shoot for a takedown almost immediately. She is a black belt in BJJ, and her ground game is one of the tops in the division. She is crafty when hunting for submissions and has shown a propensity for finding them. She works magic on the mat staying in a dominant position to keep control of her opponent until she can take the back or work an arm bar.
- Murata is being super hyped coming into this, and I think it it largely being based on her dominant outing against Markos. Jandiroba is being knocked a little due to her loss to Dern. I understand both but a loss to Mackenzie Dern, who likely has the best ground game in the division, should not weigh as heavy. Jandiroba has faced far superior competition and I think she gets back into the win column with another submission in this fight.
My Pick: Jandiroba
- Both of these ladies have a chance to score high with takedowns/control time or submissions. I do not trust them in cash, but both make fine options in GPP.
Aleksa Camur (6-1-0) v. Nicolae Negumereanu (9-1-0)
- Camur enters the night as a huge favorite coming in after his loss to William Knight. He is a good, straightforward striker with quick movement and solid leg kicks. He has fast hands and quick counters. He will likely put out more volume and can level change for an opening to shoot for a takedown. Camur on the mat will have a huge advantage here. He has shown decent control on the mat and the ability to stay in a dominant position. Once in top control, he can unload with ground and pound. His cardio is great, and his chin is excellent.
- Negumereanu makes his return to the Octagon after over two years. He is a wild striker with heavy punches and a bull rush aggression. He likes to get right in the face of his opponent and go for the knockout. When he gets inside, or against the cage, you will see him attempt to body lock and lift his opponent up to slam him down. Negumereanu does not offer much in the way of a ground game. He struggles to get off his back, and even up against the cage he is slow to get back up. His cardio is lackluster, but his chin is good.
- This fight should be an easy one for Camur. Negumereanu walks forward with his looping shots, and Camur throws quick combos right down the middle before they land. However it is hard to prepare for a guy as wild as Negumereanu, and a knockout is always a possibility. Camur could also just take him down and control the whole fight on the mat.
My Pick: Camur
- Any time you get two guys with good power can lead to an early knockout. Camur is the biggest favorite on the card and makes for a good cash play. An early knockout from Negumereanu would be slate breaking and should not be ruled out for GPP.
Matt Brown (24-18-0) v. Dhiego Lima (17-7-0)
- Brown returned to the UFC with a loss to Carlos Condit back in January. Brown is a bully; he pressures his opponent until he can stick inside and brawl. He throws nice combos to the head and body along with hard elbows. His big issue is that he likes to stand in eating shots so he can give them, and you have to wonder how much of that punishment has caught up to him. Brown's grappling and wrestling are decent, and he looks for body locks and trips in the clinch to get the fight to the mat. He is live for submissions but is also at risk of getting submitted himself.
- Lima was on a three-fight win streak and then ran into a machine in Muhammed. Now he back out against Brown to right the ship. Lima has strong combos and uses his reach to his advantage to strike the head and body. He attempts to keep the fight at a distance and uses big counters when his opponent tries to close in. He is a more technical fighter throwing precise strikes rather than a lot of volume. Lima has an average take down game, but his takedown defense is where he shines. He works well in the clinch and has been successful with submissions in the past.
- Brown is always a threat to end a fight early with his relentless barrage of pressure and volume, but I see Lima working hard to keep this fight at a distance, or on the mat, to prevent that from happening. I expect Lima to fight at range mixing strong counters to slow Brown and controls him in the clinch or take him down.
My Pick: Lima
- I am not targeting this fight much. A decision likely yields low scores.
Wellington Turman (16-4-0) v. Bruno Silva (19-6-0)
- Turman comes out tonight after a brutal knockout loss to Andrew Sanchez. He is not the greatest striker and can be sloppy at times. His striking defense is lackadaisical at times, which gets him touched up early and often. He has decent movement and shoots for takedowns. Turman has good wrestling and prefers to keep the fight on the ground. He is a black belt in BJJ and uses his dominant positions to get submissions. He has a good gas tank, but his chin is lacking durability.
- Silva returns to the ring after a two-year suspension from PEDs. Silva is a knockout artist. He walks you down from the start and throws powerful quick combos to keep you off balance. He throws good volume, works well in the clinch throwing deadly knees and elbows, but has suspect takedown defense. Silva does not have great wrestling and struggles to get reversals on the mat. When he attempts to get back up, he often gives up his back or finds himself being taken down again. He has been submitted five times in his career.
- We do not know how Silva will look after such a long layoff but his power and volume is real. Turman's only path to victory is going to being taking Silva down and hunting for that submission. I expect Silva to be able to keep the fight standing enough to win by knockout or decision with volume.
My Pick: Silva
- Both guys are live to score well for GPP. Silva could end it early with a knockout, or Turman could score high with takedowns/control time or submission.
Julian Erosa (25-9-0) v. Seungwoo Choi (9-3-0)
- After a rough start in the UFC, Erosa has found some footing. He is a high-pressure fighter who loves to brawl. He throws kicks in bunches to back his opponent to the cage and then mixes in quick combos and deadly knees. He does not carry the most power and is not the most technical but throws a lot of volume and has a decent chin. Erosa has not displayed the best grappling or wrestling and gets taken down rather easily. He tends to find ways to get up, and is crafty when it comes to hunting for subs.
- Choi has evened up his record at 2-2 with his win last time out against Youssef Zalal. He is a tall, rangy fighter with good fakes and excellent pressure. He hits with a hard combo and counter. He throws kicks to keep up the pressure and back his opponents up to the cage. He throws with a balance of great power and decent volume. Choi is not a great grappler, and his two losses came because of it. When taken down he has shown good reversals and the ability to get back up, but he would prefer to keep the fight standing.
- Erosa will likely throw more volume, but I worry about his chin and him being taken down too often. Choi will fire with more power and if he hurts Erosa one time we could see a quick end.
My Pick: Choi
- Another good fight to target for GPP. Choi can test the chin of Erosa and get a knockout early. Erosa could put out a lot of volume mixed with takedowns for big value.
Marlon Vera (16-7-1) v. Davey Grant (13-4-0)
- Vera joins the fray having lost a tough battle last time out against Jose Aldo. He is an ever-improving fighter with great technical boxing. He throws decent volume with great power and controls the pace of the fight with forward pressure. He is precise with his strikes and counters and does not waste an opportunity to land a takedown. Vera is a black belt in BJJ. He has exceptional wrestling and is constantly moving to control in dominant positions. He is a well-rounded fighter with knockouts and submissions as part of his resume. His cardio is terrific, and his chin holds strong.
- Grant enters on an excellent three-fight win streak. He has two consecutive knockouts using his length and forward pressure to his advantage. He strikes from range and works his way inside to throw power shots to the head and body. Against the cage he uses devastating knees at the end of his combos. He throws strong kicks to all parts of the body and uses volume to put his opponents away. Grant excels in the clinch and uses level changes to shoot for takedowns. On the mat, he works to control his opponent and look for submissions. He often gets a little to careless on the mat and finds himself being submitted.
- Grant has already beaten Vera once before, but I think Vera has improved and surpassed Grant since then. Grant has a chance to win with volume, a knockout, or winning with control time but I think Vera has surpassed Grant in most areas and is far more dangerous of the two.
My Pick: Vera
- Vera has improved enough that I think he slides into the cash lines without issue. He has a good chance for a finish and is looking for revenge. Grant makes a great GPP play, as he has already beaten Vera once. He will also provide more volume and could mix in takedowns.
Aleksei Oleinik (59-15-1) v. Sergey Spivac (12-2-0)
- Oleinik comes in having lost four of the last six by knockout and needs to right the ship or he may be facing the chopping block. The veteran has always been an awkward slow fighter with respectable power. He changes levels to back his opponent up and is always looking for an opening for a takedown. He is more of a volume striker who relies on a phenomenal ground game. He grapples his way into position to set up a submission, and he can do it in a multitude of ways. Oleinik does not have the best cardio, and his chin is becoming very questionable at this point in his career.
- Spivac enters the night on a two-fight win streak and seemingly gets better each time out. His boxing continues to improve with a nice jab and good combos. He excels at countering with knees and has excellent overall defense. For a big man, he is quick and technical with his strikes. Spivac has shown off his grappling in big ways, controlling his opponents and dictating the flow of the match. He levels changes well and shoots for takedowns when he creates an opening. Once on the mat, he hunts for the submission but does well with ground-and-pound. He does struggle when getting put on his back and has not shown much ability to get back up.
- Spivac has all the tools to make this fight another big win. While you always need to worry about a possible submission from Oleinik, I do not believe Spivac will fall victim to it. He will be the quicker and more technical of the two while also putting out more volume with better movement. I will not be surprised to see Oleinik get knocked out for a third time in a row.
My Pick: Spivac
- This fight likely ends with a finish for either guy and should be in just about every lineup. Olienik is always live for a submission, but tires in the latter rounds. Spivac has shown great cardio and could finish via knockout or submission any time.
Chan Sung Jung (16-6-0) v. Dan Ige (15-3-0)
- Jung is looking to bounce back after a tough luck loss to Brian Ortega. He is a phenomenal all-around fighter with devastating power. He puts out volume striking with combos and kicks. He is quick using good movement and deploys beautiful counters against pressuring fighters. He did look a little sluggish in his last fight and not on the top of his game. Jung's wrestling and submission game is top notch. He does not shoot for takedowns often, but he does well when it gets to the mat. He has sneaky submissions and great cardio.
- Ige showed out in dominant fashion with a twenty-two second knockout over Gavin Tucker last time out. He is a fantastic striker with solid power. He works his way towards his opponent with continuous pressure and great counters. He starts fast and does not stop. His strikes are quick and meticulous, and he does not waste opportunities to land. Ige is one of the better grappler/wrestlers in the in the division. He does not attempt the most takedowns but when he gets control on the mat it is difficult for his opponent to get back up. He can be devastating with ground and pound, or just control a round in dominant positions.
- Comparing the fights each has last time out and it is easy to say Ige. Ige look amazing in his short fight, and Jung looked very off his game. Both guys have the ability to end the fight at any time by knockout or submission, but I think Ige has made the most improvements to his overall game, so I lean with him to get the win.
My Pick: Ige
- This fight can easily be stacked in cash games as a decision likely yields 200+ between the two. Both guys have knockout power and should be a lock in any lineup cash or GPP.