A look at the match ups for the Prelims and Main Card for UFC Fight Night 98 this saturday in Mexico City, Headlined by former Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos and #3 contender Tony Ferguson.
Henry Briones (16-5 MMA 1-1 UFC) Vs Douglas Silva de Andrade (23-1 MMA 1-1 UFC)
With just five decision wins between them in their combined 36 wins, this one on paper seems like a great way to kick off the main card. Mexican native Briones is coming off a decision loss to now Bantamweight title challenger, Cody Garbrandt and will be looking to stay well clear of the thunderous power Andrade carries. Both sporting 1-1 UFC records, both will be looking to cement their place on the roster. All things lead to this one being a great kick starter to theCard.
GASP PREDICTS – Douglas Silva de Andrade via KO.
Erick Montano (7-4 MMA 1-1 UFC) Vs Max Griffin (12-3 MMA 0-1 UFC)
Both fighters are coming off disappointing losses in their last UFC bouts and will be looking to bounce back in style. Montano, a BJJ specialist and winner of TUF: LATAM 2 will be looking to shut down the dangerous stand up game of Griffin with his superior ground game. Griffin seems to start strong and fade fast, he struggled when taken down at will against UFC contender Colby Covington. Griffin will have to keep this fight on the feet if hes to have any choice of upsetting local favourite Montano.
GASP PREDICTS – Erick Montano via Submission.
Erik Perez (16-6 MMA 5-2 UFC) Vs Felipe Arantes (18-7-2 MMA 5-3-1 UFC)
Both fighters are riding two fight win streaks and will be well-known to UFC fight fans. Arantes has looked impressive in his last two, winning both via submission. This is a much bigger step up in class for the Brazilian. Perez has excellent technique and will be looking to feed off the home crowd. Perez’ only UFC losses have come against divisional stand outs Takeya Mizugaki and Bryan Caraway.
GASP PREDICTS – Erik Perez via Decision.
Alexa Grasso (8-0 MMA) Vs Heather Jo Clark (7-5 MMA 1-1 UFC)
An exciting introduction to the UFC for Mexican Alexa Grasso, fighting a tough and seasoned veteran in Heather Jo Clark. Undefeated Grasso was slated to fight for the Invicta FC Strawweight title but was forced to pull out due to injury. Grasso returned with an impressive decision win against Jodie Esquibel, earning a Performance of the Night in the process. Clark on the other hand will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss to title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Grasso has already been talked about as the biggest threat to Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s Title so will be looking to make a mark in her first fight.
GASP PREDICTS – Alexa Grasso via Decision.
#9 Beneil Dariush (13-2 MMA 7-2 UFC) Vs #15 Rashid Magomedov (19-1 MMA 4-0 UFC)
An exciting matchup in the Lightweight division which pits #9 ranked BJJ specialist Dariush against #15 ranked kickboxing champion Magomedov. Magomedov has some exceptional stand up skills but comes up against a dangerous and tough Dariush who was back to winning ways last time out with a superb KO of James Vick. A big step up for Magomedov who hasn’t tasted defeat since 2010. Dariush meanwhile will be looking to cement himself as a legitimate contender to the title in the 155lbs division.
GASP PREDICTS – Beneil Dariush via Decision.
#4 Ricardo Lamas (16-5 MMA 7-3 UFC) Vs #8 Charles Oliveira (21-6-1 MMA 9-6-1 UFC)
The action really heats up with this one, Lamas fresh off the double disappointment of a loss to Featherweight standout Max Holloway and also missing out on a main event match up with returning Legend BJ Penn at the last-minute. Oliveira, a top class Featherweight boasts impressive wins throughout his career but always seems to come up short against elite opposition, which includes the likes of Holloway, Edgar and most recently Anthony Pettis. A win for both does wonders, a Lamas win keeps him relevant in the Title picture and a win for elite grappler Oliveira rockets him right back up the rankings, hoping he has his past weight issues under control. Lamas will be looking to make his substantial power advantage make the difference early.
GASP PREDICTS – Ricardo Lamas via KO
Diego Sanchez (26-9 MMA 15-9 UFC) Vs Marcin Held (22-4 MMA 0-0 UFC)
Diego Sanchez, Nightmare by name, Nightmare by nature. Not many fighters can maintain the constant aggression and relentless cardio that he does, A UFC veteran and a staple name for any fight fan around the world, his highlight video alone will get your blood pumping. Marcin Held will be looking to weather that storm in his first appearance in the UFC octagon. Make no mistake, this might be a UFC debut but the calm Pol and Bellator superstar has some frightening submissions and a great stand up game to go with it, the reason why he got a shot at the Bellator world title. Sanchez has traded losses with wins in his last seven fights but that wont deter the former Lightweight title challenger from welcoming the UFC debutant with a Sanchez style scrap. Held will look to his slick technique and experience to come through victorious and hit the ground running in his new organisation.
GASP PREDICTS – Marcin Held via Submission.
#2 Rafael Dos Anjos (25-8 MMA 14-6 UFC) Vs #3 Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA 11-1 UFC)
The most exciting match up in the Lightweight division in my honest opinion. Dos Anjos will have only one thing on his mind, reclaiming gold. The only route to that belt for him is arguably the toughest,coming up against Lightweight savage, Tony Ferguson. ‘El Cucuy’ is always looking to finish fights, whether it be on the ground with his great grappling skills or on the feet with his unpredictable nature and striking. RDA looked almost destined to reign supreme over the Lightweight division for the foreseeable future until the upset loss by the hands of Eddie Alvarez. Even though both of these fighters have great wrestling abilities, I see this one staying predominantly on the feet and resulting in an all out war. A win for either sees them get a shot at the title in my books and its such a difficult one to call, I can’t wait for the cage door to close behind these two and im sure fight fans all over the world are chomping at the bit to see it too.
GASP PREDICTS – The most difficult one to call and I’m struggling. I’m going for a Tony Ferguson win via Decision.
UFC Fight Night 98 takes place Saturday at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.