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The place is here, 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, and the time is now. The weigh ins for Bellator 270: “Queally vs Pitbull 2” event tomorrow (Fri., Nov. 5, 2021) on Showtime go down today (Thurs. Nov. 4) ahead of the Lightweight title fight between Peter Queally and Patricky Freire.

The early weigh-ins will take place behind closed doors, and a ceremonial event will be streamed at 5 p.m. ET in the video player above. Meanwhile, official results from the early morning weigh-in session will be posted below as they roll in:

155 lbs.: Peter Queally (155) vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (153.6)
135 lbs.: James Gallagher (136) vs. Patrick Mix (137.8)
265 lbs.: Charlie Milner (263.2) vs. Gokhan Saricam (236.4)
145 lbs.: Daniel Weichel (145.6) vs. Pedro Carvalho (145.8)
155 lbs.: Daniele Scatizzi (155) vs. Brian Hooi (156)
205 lbs.: Lee Chadwick (205.6) vs. Arunas Andriuskevicus (205.4)
145 lbs.: Ilias Bulaid (145.8) vs. Georges Sasu (144.6)
145 lbs.: Ciaran Clarke (145.6) vs. Jordan Barton (143)
170 lbs.: Nicolò Solli (170.8) vs. Bobby Pallett (170.6)
115 lbs.: Danni Neilan (115.6) vs. Audrey Kerouche (114.8)
145 lbs.: Junior Morgan (156) vs. Darragh Kelly (155.4)
170 lbs.: Stephen Costello (171) vs. Yusuf Nazokatov (170.8)


MMAmania.com will deliver coverage of Bellator 270 tomorrow evening on Showtime right here. To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

See you then!


UFC 262: Oliveira v Chandler
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) knockout artists Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler will throw down this weekend (Sat., Nov. 6, 2021) at UFC 268 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.

It feels like a really long time ago that Khabib Nurmagomedov retired, doesn’t it? “The Eagle” called it quits at UFC 254 in Oct. 2020, which is also the last time Gaethje made the walk. It’s surely been a bitter layoff for “The Highlight,” who has been unwillingly sidelined while vocally calling for title fights and similarly high-profile match ups. Fortunately, he has a chance for a big return here. Chandler is coming off a title fight as well, and in each of his two UFC contests so far, “Iron” has come forward swinging like a bat out of hell. This is a stellar match up that was widely demanded by fans, and it just might determine the next title contender.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

Justin Gaethje

Record: 22-3
Key Wins: Tony Ferguson (UFC 249), Edson Barboza (UFC on ESPN 2), Donald Cerrone (UFC Fight Night 158), Michael Johnson (TUF 25 Finale), James Vick (UFC Fight Night 135), Luis Palomino (WSOF 19, 23)
Key Losses: Khabib Nurmagomedov (UFC 254), Dustin Poirier (UFC on FOX 29), Eddie Alvarez (UFC 218)
Keys to Victory: Gaethje is quite arguably the most exciting fighter of all time. He’s refined his brawling instincts a great deal over the last couple years, but he’s still a knockout artist intent on landing huge shots in volume first and foremost.

Defense remains a distance second.

If Gaethje and Chandler take turns punching one another in the face, it’s not clear who falls first. Gaethje is probably a touch more durable, while Chandler has a bit more pure knockout power — who knows which man lands first?

Fortunately, each man has a pretty clear-cut path to tip the scales in his favor. For Gaethje, low kicks could push this from a 50-50 exchange to dominant victory. Chandler stands wide to maximize his explosiveness, but his calf is vulnerable as a result, a proven problem from Brent Primus to Charles Oliveira.


Michael Chandler

Record: 22-5
Key Wins: Dan Hooker (UFC 257), Benson Henderson (Bellator 243, Bellator 165), Brent Primus (Bellator 212), Patricky Freire (Bellator 157), Eddie Alvarez (Bellator 58)
Key Losses: Charles Oliveira (UFC 262), Patricio Freire (Bellator 221), Brent Primus (Bellator NYC), Will Brooks (Bellator 120, Bellator 131)
Keys to Victory: Chandler has to be among the most fast-twitch athletes in the sport today. The former All-American wrestler is simply so fast and powerful, regardless of whether that energy is being translated into a blistering right hand or blast double.

If Gaethje wants to chop up the legs to turn the tide, Chandler’s equivalent game changer is the takedown. Gaethje may be an All-American himself, but that accomplishment is over a decade old, and Gaethje has spent very little time actually wrestling in fights compared to the former Bellator champ. Based on just how easily Nurmagomedov knifed through Gaethje’s defenses once on the mat, a quick rear naked choke win from Chandler wouldn’t be a shock.

Should the takedown fail, however, feints become the key. Chandler has to feint and false start, knowing that low kick is coming. If he can convince Gaethje to throw himself out of position trying to chop calves, it will create openings for Chandler to then press forward and attack more safely.

BONUS KEY TO VICTORY!

The following applies to both men: the left hook could be such a game changer.

Both of these athletes are right hand-heavy strikers, and they really commit to the strike with all their force. If either man were to then return to his stance with the left hook, he stands a fair shot at catching his foe backing out or just generally out of position. Chandler may have just been crushed by Oliveira’s left hook, but the opening is there for both.


Bottom Line

Is this a title eliminator? Maybe.

Gaethje likely has a better shot at turning victory into a second opportunity at UFC gold. He has mild beef vs. Charles Oliveira and a previous, legendary brawl vs. Dustin Poirier. Regardless of who holds the belt in 2022, a Gaethje match up would be electric, and a knockout here likely secures such an opportunity.

Sorry Islam.

Chandler’s situation is a bit more situational, as it’s likely too soon to run back the Oliveira rematch, even if the first fight was fantastic. Poirier would be a fresh opponent, however, so if he capitalizes big on this opportunity and “The Diamond” takes the crown, there’s a chance Chandler (once again) leapfrogs his fellow Lightweight contenders.

At UFC 268, Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler will slug it out. Which man remains standing when the dust settles?

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NEW YORK – Billy Quarantillo expects Shane Burgos to be the same slugger he’s come to be known as at UFC 268.

After Burgos (13-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) suffered a scary TKO loss to Edson Barboza earlier this year, there are questions about how he’ll bounce back. Quarantillo (16-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) doesn’t think there’s going to be a dramatic change in approach, and expects their fight to be among the best on a stacked card.

“I think he’s going to bring the same approach,” Quarantillo told MMA Junkie and other reporters at UFC 268 media day. “He kind of just has one style. He’s very fan friendly. He likes to bang. He doesn’t mind getting hit. I’m expecting all of it. I’m expecting a three-round war.”

Quarantillo and Burgos meet in a featherweight bout on the main card of UFC 268, which takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNNews and ESPN+.

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Crypto.com

I’m so old, I can remember when a non-fungible token was that little gold coin you needed to play Spy Hunter at the local arcade, courtesy of that bulky, brown change machine that mockingly regurgitated your crumpled dollar bill.

Hey, no rush, I only have 10 seconds on the CONTINUE screen, take your time Change Bot.

Anyway, this generation will know Non-Fungible Tokens as NFTs, which unlike traditional currency are wholly unique and serve to authenticate ownership of digital collectibles, such as virtual trading cards, using blockchain technology.

It’s become big business, which is why UFC is partnering with Crypto.com to release its first-ever NFT collection, featuring fighters from this weekend’s UFC 268 pay-per-view (PPV) card inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.

UFC 268 NFTs drop TODAY (Thurs., Nov. 4, 2021) at 9 a.m. ET at Crypto.com and you have 24 hours to grab up to 2,999 NFTs that vary in rarity, featuring limited edition shards, posters, and a belt plate based on this weekend’s event.

Here’s the individual breakdown:


Crypto.com

Apologies in advance to anyone who ends up with the Colby Covington NFT.

Buyers who scoop up qualifying packs — which cost $40 each — within the allotted time frame will enter a special UFC 268 collection sweepstakes with prizes that include an exclusive UFC belt, a one-year UFC Fight Pass subscription, and a $50 gift card.

See below:

*Please note that different editions of the same collectible only count as one collectible. To be eligible for the sweepstakes, make sure you own different collectibles (edition numbers don’t matter).

^Winners of these matches will be announced on Nov. 7, 2021 after the end of the UFC 268 event.

UFC 268 will be headlined by the 170-pound rematch featuring reigning welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defending his belt for a second time against former interim titleholder Colby Covington. “The Nigerian Nightmare” stopped “Chaos” when they first went to war at UFC 245 back in late 2019.

In the UFC 268 co-main event, resurgent strawweight titleholder Rose Namajunas will also face a familiar foe in the form of Zhang Weili. “Thug” stripped “Magnum” of the 115-pound strap by way of thunderous knockout in the UFC 261 co-headliner last April, in what marked the first defeat for Weili since joining the promotion back in summer 2018.

To see the entire UFC 268 fight card and PPV lineup, which also features a lightweight contender’s fight between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler, click here. For more news and notes on the upcoming “Usman vs. Covington 2” PPV extravaganza click here.

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MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s top bouts. Today, we look at the featured main card bout at UFC 268.

Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler (22-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) takes on former UFC interim champ Justin Gaethje (22-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in a key matchup at 155 pounds. The winner will stay in the lightweight title picture and could be next in line to fight the December winner between champ Charles Oliveira and former interim champ Dustin Poirier.

Gaethje is a -220 favorite at Tipico; the comeback on Chandler is +170.

Gaethje is coming off a title unification loss to former champ Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2020. Prior to that, he had four straight knockout wins. The former WSOF champ has nine post-fight bonus awards in his eight UFC fights.

After a bonus-winning knockout of Dan Hooker in his promotional debut after coming to the UFC from Bellator, Chandler fought Oliveira for the vacant title in May, but was knocked out 19 seconds into the second round.

UFC 268 takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews/ESPN+ and early prelims on ESPN+.

Check out the video above for Tom’s breakdown of the fight and prediction.

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The weigh-ins are in the books for Bellator 270, and one key fighter was off the mark.

In the main event, Peter Queally (13-5-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) takes on Patricky Freire (23-10 MMA, 14-8 BMMA) for the vacant lightweight title. The belt was vacated by Freire’s brother Patricio earlier this year.

Queally and Freire both weighed in early in the official weigh-ins window. Queally was 155 pounds on the nose. Freire came in under the limit at 153.6 to make the headliner official.

In the co-main event, James Gallagher (11-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) meets Patchy Mix (14-1 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) at bantamweight. But Mix missed the non-title limit and came in at 137.6 pounds. The fight is expected to go on, but Mix will surrender a portion of his fight purse. Gallagher was 136 and on target.

The weigh-ins took place at the Bellator host hotel in Dublin. The nearby 3Arena hosts Friday’s event, which has a main card on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.

The full Bellator 270 weigh-in results included:

MAIN CARD (Showtime, 5 p.m. ET)

  • Peter Queally (155) vs. Patricky Freire (153.6) – for vacant lightweight title
  • James Gallagher (136) vs. Patchy Mix (137.8)*
  • Pedro Carvalho (145.8) vs. Daniel Weichel (145.6)
  • Ilias Bulaid (145.8) vs. Georges Sasu (144.6)

PRELIMINARY CARD (MMA Junkie, 2 p.m. ET)

  • Jordan Barton (143) vs. Ciaran Clarke (145.6)
  • Brian Hooi (156) vs. Daniele Scatizzi (155)
  • Arunas Andriuskevicus (205.4) vs. Lee Chadwick (205.6)
  • Charlie Milner (263.2) vs. Gokhan Saricam (236.4)
  • Bobby Pallett (170.6) vs. Nicolo Solli (170.8)
  • Audrey Kerouche (114.8) vs. Danni Neilan (115.6)
  • Darragh Kelly (155.4) vs. Junior Morgan (156)
  • Stephen Costello (171) vs. Yusuf Nazokatov (170.8)

*Mix missed the bantamweight limit and will be fined a portion of his fight purse.


UFC 267 Press Conference
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Bringing‌ ‌you‌ ‌the‌ ‌weird‌ ‌and‌ ‌wild‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌world‌ ‌of‌ ‌MMA‌ ‌each‌ ‌and‌ ‌every‌ ‌weeknight!‌ 

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Khamzat Chimaev is a hot button topic right now. The surging Chechen has been unprecedently dominant inside the Octagon, rocketing up into the Welterweight Top 10 on the strength of four straight finishes. What’s next for “Borz?” That depends on who you ask, as many are pointing to Gilbert Burns, while Neil Magny is also doing his best to angle for a showdown vs. the wrestler.

UFC and Dana White, meanwhile, are primarily interested in pitting Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz. Social media reactions to that potential booking are widely negative, and it’s a prominent viewpoint that UFC is looking to “devalue” Diaz before free agency by ending his UFC career with a one-sided loss to a historically bad style match up.

Robbie Foxx of BarStool Sports brought up resistance to the matchup to White, and the UFC President aggressively shut it down. In particular, White took real offense to the idea of devaluing Diaz.

“This isn’t a diss, I love Nate Diaz,” White began. I love Nick and Nate as much as anyone else. You get to a point in fighting, in your professional career in sports, where it’s like ‘Can I hang here anymore?’ Does everybody know he lost his last fight? How are you going to devalue him? What if he loses to someone else that we match him up with, would he be devalued? How does Khamzat Chimaev devalue him? You know how massive that fight ..?”

In classic White fashion, he also took an opportunity to slam the naysayers and doubters, reminding listeners who exactly runs the show.

“Here’s the moral of the story: all these people are f—ing morons and have no idea what they’re talking about. I actually run the biggest f—ing combat sports business on planet f—king Earth. So, shut the f—k up and let me do my job!”

For what it’s worth, this may all be a non-issue, as Diaz himself posted to his Instagram story a clip that seems to show very little interest in fighting “Borz.” Diaz has been vocally calling for fights with Vicente Luque and Tony Ferguson, but it ultimately remains to be seen what Welterweights end up where.

Insomnia

Deontay Wilder deserves some rest after the Tyson Fury trilogy, but when he’s ready to come back, Andy Ruiz seems like a good match up.

A huge loss for the sport:

This man’s rage simply could not be contained.

Bruce Buffer is looking to become the top MMA representative in the booze business.

Mark Madsen will attempt to continue his Lightweight rise opposite the ultra tough Vinc Pichel — this should be a scrap!

I definitely want to see Kamaru Usman rematch Colby Covington, but no fight is made worse by the addition of Vicente Luque.

SWEEP!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

There’s a certain perverse joy in sloppy Heavyweight MMA.

Timed the spinning strike perfectly and then showed great restraint afterward — nice!

The kickboxers are taking our calf kicks! Outrageous.

Random Land

A reenactment of Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem (here’s hoping this dude is okay).

Midnight Music: “I Can’t Make It Anymore” by Richie Havens stood out on my Discovery Weekly as a really soulful and plaintive track, and apparently, he performed the song at Woodstock — that’s pretty cool!

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.



Event: Bellator 271: “Cyborg vs. Kavanagh”
Date: Fri., Nov. 12, 2021
Location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
How To Watch: Showtime (watch it here)

Bellator 271 Main Event:

155 lbs.: Women’s Featherweight champion Cris Cyborg (24-2-1) vs. Sinead Kavanagh (7-4)

Bellator 271 Main Card (8 p.m. ET):

265 lbs.: Tyrell Fortune (11-1, 1 NC) vs. Linton Vassell (20-8, 1 NC)
145 lbs.: Aaron Pico (8-3) vs. Justin Gonzales (12-0)
145 lbs.: Arlene Blencowe (14-8) vs. Pam Sorenson (9-3)
265 lbs.: Steve Mowry (9-0) vs. Rakim Cleveland (22-13-1, 1 NC)

Bellator 271 ‘Prelims’ Card (5 p.m. ET):

125 lbs.: Bruna Ellen (5-3) vs. Desiree Yanez (5-3)
170 lbs.: Roman Faraldo (5-0) vs. Robert Turnquest (11-7)
145 lbs.: Cody Law (4-0) vs. Colton Hamm (4-3)
125 lbs.: Valerie Loureda (3-1) vs. Taylor Turner (5-7)
185 lbs.: Jordan Newman (3-0) vs. Shane O’Shea (4-2)


To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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Andreas Michailidis wants to see what Alex Pereira’s grappling is all about at UFC 268.

Michailidis (13-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has been tasked with welcoming former GLORY kickboxing champion Pereira (3-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) to the octagon on Saturday’s card. Although he feels good about his striking and how different an MMA fight is from kickboxing, Michailidis admits he’d be foolish not to take it to the ground.

Watch the video above as Michailidis previews his UFC 268 fight with Pereira at media day.

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UFC Fight Night Andrade v Zhang
Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing more “Prelims” fights to ESPNEWS and ESPN+ this weekend (Sat., Nov. 6, 2021) when UFC 268: “Usman vs. Covington 2” storms Madison Square Garden in New York City. MMAmania.com’s Patrick Stumberg continues the UFC 268 “Prelims” party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

Two dangerous champions with scores to settle show their stuff inside Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., this Saturday (Nov. 6, 2021) when Kamaru Usman and Rose Namajunas defend their respective titles against Colby Covington and Zhang Weili atop UFC 268. The ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) non-title action is every bit as compelling, as Justin Gaethje meets Michael Chandler, Shane Burgos takes on Billy Quarantillo, and Marlon Vera opens the show against Frankie Edgar.

We’ve still got five “Prelims” undercard bouts to examine (check out the first batch here) before all that, though, so let’s get to it …

185 lbs.: Alex Pereira vs. Andreas Michailidis

The illustrious kickboxing career of Alex Pereira (3-1) included two wins over Israel Adesanya and a lengthy reign as Glory Middleweight champion, which ended in Sept. 2021 with a narrow decision loss to Artem Vakhitov. “Poatan” has found similar success in the cage, most recently returning after four years away to wipe out Thomas Powell with a one-punch knockout.

He’s three inches taller than Andreas Michailidis (13-4) and sports a five-inch reach advantage.

Michailidis rode a 7-1 run into his UFC debut against Modestas Bukauskas, only to succumb to elbows in the final moments of the first round. He found more success his second time out, out-working K.B. Bhullar to a unanimous decision victory.

His 11 professional finishes are split 6/5 between knockouts and submissions.

Not to cast aspersions on Michailidis’ skills, but there’s a reason he got tabbed to welcome Pereira to the Octagon. He’s by far the lesser striker, isn’t much of a wrestler, and regularly gasses as fights progress. Though Pereira’s all-important takedown defense hasn’t been tested in the cage, Michailidis is so thoroughly out-classed standing that he’s unlikely to serve as a crucible before getting knocked silly.

Hell, the guy failed to impress against a mobile punching bag in Bhullar.

Even if Michailidis does manage to drag Pereira to the mat, it’s only a matter of time before he starts to flag and becomes a stationary target for Pereira to destroy. Either way, Pereira’s death touch left hook earns him another violent finish.

Prediction: Pereira via first round knockout

155 lbs.: Al Iaquinta vs. Bobby Green

Al Iaquinta (14-6-1) put a UFC debut loss to Michael Chiesa behind him by winning eight of his next nine, setting up a last-minute title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov. He now finds himself in a 1-3 hole, including one-sided losses to Donald Cerrone and Dan Hooker in recent efforts.

He fights for the first time in 25 months.

Bobby Green (27-12-1) launched himself back into contention with three consecutive wins, among them a “Fight of the Night” victory over Lando Vannata in their rematch. He has since dropped two straight — both by controversial decision — to Thiago Moises and Rafael Fiziev.

“King” has scored eight knockouts and nine submissions as a professional.

Here’s a fun factoid: if the media scores had final say, Green would have entered his most recent bout on a six-fight win streak, and there’s a tentative argument to be made that he won that one as well. He’s better than a lot of people, myself included, gave him credit for even if he’s not getting credit from the right places.

Iaquinta’s a great fighter, of course, but he consistently struggles with rangy opponents. Though he’s stronger than Green in the pocket, “King’s” boxing and improved wrestling figure to pay dividends, especially considering the rust Iaquinta’s facing. Green will earn the win, though it’s anyone’s guess whether they’ll actually give it to him.

Prediction: Green via split decision

185 lbs.: Phil Hawes vs. Chris Curtis

Phil Hawes (11-2) went from suffering two straight stoppage losses to winning seven in a row, three of them inside the Octagon. He was last seen battling his way past Kyle Daukaus in May 2021 for just his second decision win since 2017.

Seven of his nine finishes have come in the first round.

“Contender Series” veteran Chris Curtis (26-8) has won 13 of his last 16, the lone losses coming to PFL champions Magomed Magomedkerimov and Ray Cooper III. His present five-fight streak features three knockouts and a decision over UFC veteran Kenny Robertson.

He originally stepped in on a day’s notice to fight Hawes last month when Deron Winn withdrew, but Hawes declined the last-minute opponent switch.

I honestly don’t blame Hawes for turning down the original match up because Curtis is a legit fighter who can test Hawes in ways the struggling Winn couldn’t. With enough time to properly prepare, though, “Megatron” should have this. While Curtis is a dangerous boxer with stout takedown defense, he’s been controlled against the fence by lesser wrestlers than Hawes, and Hawes’ right hand figures to be a solid weapon against Curtis’ Southpaw stylings.

The bookies currently have Curtis at around +250, which I can’t say I agree with. Even if he’s undersized, that nasty body attack of his will definitely pay dividends if Hawes can’t keep him on the ground or against the side of the Octagon. So long as Hawes’ gas tank holds up, though, he’s got the skills to grind him out.

Prediction: Hawes via unanimous decision

185 lbs.: Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Nassourdine Imavov

Despite losing a bit of luster after a shaky decision over Darren Stewart in his UFC debut, Edmen Shahbazyan (11-2) got it right back by knocking out his next three opponents in less than a half-round apiece. He now finds himself in the midst of an 0-2 skid, starting strong (but fading late) against both Derek Brunson and Jack Hermansson.

All 10 of his stoppage wins have come in less than one round.

Denied an opportunity on “Contender Series,” Nassourdine Imavov (10-3) settled for out-classing Jordan Williams in his UFC debut, only to lose a close decision to Phil Hawes soon after. While he entered his third bout with Ian Heinisch as an underdog, he wound up scoring his first Octagon finish with a vicious knee in the second round.

He’ll enjoy one-inch advantages in height and reach.

UFC brass are either extremely confident in Shahbazyan’s ability to bounce back or ready to wash their hands of him. Imavov is nobody’s idea of a rebound opponent; in fact, he’s every bit Shahbazyan’s equal on the feet and has proven difficult to keep on his back. If Shahbazyan hasn’t ironed out the flaws that let Brunson and Hermansson wear him down, the “Russian Sniper” can exploit them mercilessly.

I genuinely do want to see Shahbazyan succeed. He’s young, talented, and got thrown to the wolves too early. I’ll be pulling for him, but odds are that Imavov takes over down the stretch for a late finish.

Prediction: Imavov via third round technical knockout

170 lbs.: Ian Garry vs. Jordan Williams

Ireland’s Ian Garry (7-0) went 6-1 as an amateur before turning pro in 2019. “The Future” has fought exclusively under the Cage Warriors banner since, most recently cruising past Jack Grant to claim the Welterweight title.

He’ll have two inches of height on “Bomaye” at 6’3.”

Undaunted by an overturned victory and controversial decision loss in his first two appearances on the program, Jordan Williams (9-5) finally secured a contract on “Contender Series” by flattening Gregory Rodrigues. He’s yet to taste victory in the UFC itself, falling to Nassourdine Imavov and Mickey Gall in two appearances.

He boasts seven professional knockout wins and one submission.

Garry really does look like “The Future” at 23 years old. He’s remarkably seasoned for his age, is a skilled finisher both on the feet and on the ground, and uses his lengthy frame quite well.

And based on what he’s shown so far, I don’t see his rise stopping here.

I didn’t have super high hopes for Williams, seeing him as a remarkably sturdy and hard-hitting brawler with solid wrestling to back it up, but he’s definitely underwhelmed in the Octagon. He struggled mightily against another long-range striker in Imavov and got torn apart on the mat by Gall. Garry has the skills to recreate both men’s successful efforts, plus the gas tank and footwork to not wilt under Williams’ pressure, so expect him to take the latter apart on the outside for a wide victory.

Prediction: Garry via unanimous decision

UFC 268 is a monster of a card from top to bottom … one you simply can’t afford to miss. See you Saturday, Maniacs.


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 268 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPNEWS/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 268: “Usman vs. Covington 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

Current UFC “Prelims” Prediction Record for 2021: 156-77-2 (2 NC)