The Bloody Elbow team has made its predictions for UFC VEGAS 14. In the main event, most of us are backing Rafael dos Anjos to defeat Paul Felder, who’s heroically accepted this fight on short notice. As for the co-main event, we all believe Abdul Razak Alhaassan will beat Khaos Williams. Alhassan already took an L this week by missing weight, so he can’t get any post-fight bonus.
Paul Felder vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Mookie Alexander: This is the first time in a long time that RDA has fought someone who isn’t remotely close to being a serious takedown threat. One of the issues for RDA at either weight class is that while he’s a brilliant pressure fighter, he’s a bit of a mess when pressured by a wrestler. Felder hardly ever attempts takedowns so if anyone will initiate a ground exchange, it’s dos Anjos. The power advantage clearly goes to Felder, but he’s not necessarily a much better striker than dos Anjos. We could see some fascinating clinch exchanges and body attacks. Ultimately I think RDA plays it smart and is able to wear Felder down with his wrestling and excellent top position grappling to get the win. I’d love it if Felder won, though. Rafael dos Anjos by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Felder almost never wrestles of his own accord, and I can’t seriously believe he’ll be ready for a 5 round fight on 5 days notice. Rafael dos Anjos by decision.
Phil Mackenzie: Should be great fun. Both guys who will take the fight anywhere and will scrap on the floor and in the clinch. Despite the fact that RDA is a more comfortable tweener, I think Felder will have both a size and a relative physicality/youth edge. This should be balanced out by RDA’s wrestling, and whereas Felder has relied on his scrambling to get him out of ground positions, RDA is simply a different kind of top control player to even Chucky Olives. Rafael dos Anjos by unanimous decision.
Staff picking Felder: Lewis, Stephie
Staff picking RDA: Zane, Mookie, Dayne, Phil
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Khaos Williams
Mookie Alexander: Alhassan will fade if he can’t get the finish. He probably will because he can’t help but get into a bombs away contest right away, and Williams is not as good as Mounir Lazzez. Abdul Razak Alhassan by KO, round 1.
Zane Simon: Two dudes who love to throw bombs in flurries right out of the gate. Alhassan is the cleaner, more confident, and more consistent banger of the two. Likely also the bigger puncher. Abdul Razak Alhassan via KO, round 1.
Staff picking Alhassan: Zane, Mookie, Dayne, Lewis, Stephie, Phil
Staff picking Williams:
Antônio Arroyo vs. Eryk Anders
Mookie Alexander: I’ve pretty much given up on Anders. At least he won a national championship at Bama. Roll Tide, etc. Antonio Arroyo by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: I’m really split on this fight. On the one hand, Arroyo’s major defensive liabilities are a real problem given just how aggressive he tends to be coming forward. On the other hand, Anders tends to be so inactive that, if he doesn’t KO Arroyo, picking him to win on points is super chancy. Eventually I was swayed by the potential for Arroyo’s kicking game to chew up Anders’ legs from range. But, I won’t be shocked if he walks into a big left hand. Antonio Arroyo by decision.
Staff picking Arroyo: Zane, Mookie, Stephie, Phil
Staff picking Anders: Dayne
Kay Hansen vs. Cory McKenna
Mookie Alexander: Hansen has pretty high upside and her grappling is no joke. Submitting Jinh Yu Frey is a hell of a feat. Her striking is still not polished and McKenna has opportunities there, but Hansen will be able to get the fight she wants and notch another W. Kay Hansen by submission, round 3.
Zane Simon: Hansen is stronger, faster, and a better grappler. McKenna is well schooled and persistent with her boxing into takedown game, but she looks like she may always be at an athletic disadvantage at the UFC level—depending on her technical edges to see her through her fights. Without a go to finishing ability, I’m just not sure that’s enough. Kay Hansen via submission, round 2.
Staff picking Hansen: Zane, Mookie, Dayne, Stephie, Phil
Staff picking McKenna:
Brendan Allen vs. Sean Strickland
Mookie Alexander: It’s not a confident pick but I’m sticking with Allen. Winning twice in a couple of weeks is not an easy task and this is at a 193 lbs catchweight, which is news to me. It’s pretty clear that Strickland is a much better striker than Allen, so if he keeps this standing then it’s his fight to lose. I’ll still bank on Allen’s wrestling and scrambling ability to get him the victory, and it may be worth looking at how Strickland holds up on the later rounds given he’s got such a quick turnaround. Brendan Allen by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Strickland’s fantastic composure behind long, straight boxing combinations is gonna be a huge problem for Allen who tends to walk forward, chin up, into the clinch. If Allen can get this down and force scrambles he can make it an interesting fight. If he can’t, I think he’s gonna get worked. Sean Strickland via decision.
Staff picking Allen: Phil, Mookie
Staff picking Strickland: Zane, Dayne, Stephie
Rest of the Card
Ashley Yoder vs. Miranda Granger
Staff picking Yoder: Dayne
Staff picking Granger: Zane, Mookie, Stephie, Phil
Alex Morono vs. Rhys McKee
Staff picking Morono: Zane, Dayne, Stephie, Phil
Staff picking McKee: Mookie
Louis Smolka vs Jose Alberto Quiñonez
Staff picking Smolka: Zane, Mookie, Stephie, Phil
Staff picking Quinonez: Dayne
Randa Markos vs. Kanako Murata
Staff picking Markos: Zane, Mookie, Stephie, Phil
Staff picking Murata: Dayne
Tony Gravely vs. Geraldo de Freitas
Staff picking Gravely: Zane, Mookie, Dayne, Stephie, Phil
Staff picking de Freitas:
Don’Tale Mayes vs. Roque Martinez
Staff picking Mayes: Zane, Mookie, Dayne, Stephie, Phil
Staff picking Martinez:
This poll is closed
Rafael dos Anjos