The Bloody Elbow team has made its predictions for UFC Vegas 40 and Bellator 268, and we are actually not unanimous on the main event between Aspen Ladd and Norma Dumont. For the Bellator main event there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Vadim Nemkov will successfully defend his light heavyweight title vs. Julius Anglickas.
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Aspen Ladd vs. Norma Dumont
Mookie Alexander: Ladd’s woodenness (is that a word?) as a striker while going up to a weight class she’s never competed in does give me pause for confidently picking her. However, she’s a better athlete than both Felicia Spencer and Ashlee Evans-Smith (Dumont’s two UFC wins), and I’d like to think she has the ability to get this fight to the ground on her terms. From there she should have the advantage. Aspen Ladd by TKO, round 3.
Zane Simon: Dumont is definitely the more natural, functional striker, and if Ladd can’t get her to the mat, she may be entirely screwed. But, if Ladd can push a pace on Dumont, I’m slightly less confident that Dumont would stay the fresher fighter over five rounds. Maybe that’s just a gut feeling, but I’m gonna roll with it. Aspen Ladd via TKO, round 4.
Staff picking Ladd: Zane, Mookie, Stephie
Staff picking Dumont: Connor, Dayne
Andrei Arlovski vs. Carlos Felipe
Mookie Alexander: This is an actual co-main event. In 2021. I mean I guess Felipe can slug it out with Arlovski but he doesn’t have great power for a heavyweight and say what you want about Arlovski’s chin, it’s been massive hitters who have KO’d him recently. That leaves us with Arlovski likely to go for takedowns and/or the pain of just narrowly outpointing Felipe in a hard to watch contest. Andrei Arlovski by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Arlovski has proved time and time again lately that he’s fully capable of out-boxing the lower end of the heavyweight division, if a boxing game is all they bring to the table. Felipe has some decent technique with his hands, but even with that, he’s barely been able to separate himself from the likes of Justin Tafa and Jake Collier. The consistency just isn’t there. Andrei Arlovski via decision.
Staff picking Arlovski: Zane, Mookie, Connor, Dayne, Stephie
Staff picking Felipe:
Jim Miller vs. Erick Gonzalez
Mookie Alexander: Gonzalez seems like a fun fighter but Jim Miller is very much still here to stifle up-and-comers and tap them out. Jim Miller by submission, round 1.
Zane Simon: Against young fighters that can be out-grappled, Jim Miller is still fully capable of slapping on a first round submission for the win. Gonzalez has definitely been out-grappled before, and even has two first round submission losses. Jim Miller via submission, round 1.
Staff picking Miller: Zane, Mookie, Connor, Dayne, Stephie
Staff picking Gonzalez:
Manon Fiorot vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
Mookie Alexander: I’m liking Fiorot as an actual, worthwhile prospect at flyweight. I see her as having higher upside than Silva and she’ll be able to outwork and outstrike Silva for the victory. Manon Fiorot by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Both women are big, powerful athletes for the women’s flyweight division. And while Bueno Silva’s striking is wild and ugly, she hits hard and has a nasty clinch game. That could make this difficult for Fiorot if she doesn’t handle herself well under pressure, since Bueno Silva’s real offense starts once she drags people to the mat. However, if Fiorot can keep things standing, she’s the much more consistent, technical, high output fighter. I’ll bank on her physicality keeping her off her back. Manon Fiorot by decision.
Staff picking Fiorot: Zane, Mookie, Connor, Dayne, Stephie
Staff picking Silva:
This poll is closed
Vadim Nemkov vs. Julius Anglickas
Mookie Alexander: Seriously though... how exactly does Anglickas win? Try and outwrestle Nemkov, take the back and go for his favorite rear-naked choke? That’s not happening. Outstrike Nemkov? He’s pretty basic on the feet and hasn’t shown a ton of power. I’d have picked Nemkov over Anthony Johnson fairly comfortably anyway but this is not competitive. Vadim Nemkov by TKO, round 2.
Zane Simon: Nemkov is powerful, capable everywhere, and seems much more consistent about his offense and technique. Vadim Nemkov via KO, round 3.
Staff picking Nemkov: Zane, Mookie, Dayne, Stephie
Staff picking Anglickas:
Ryan Bader vs. Corey Anderson
Mookie Alexander: Bader is the heavier hitter and the better wrestler in theory, but how often have you seen Corey Anderson actually get outwrestled? Really the way to beat him has just been to hit him hard in the face and he goes out, which Bader is still very capable of. On the flip side, Anderson has really worked on his offensive game from top position and he’s shown in recent fights that he can crack too, and it’s not like Bader has shown an indestructible chin. Bader is gonna have the home fans behind him but I can’t shake the feeling that Anderson might pull off the road win here. Corey Anderson by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Taking a flyer on Anderson here. If Bader can’t control him, I think Anderson’s more likely to get the finish between the two of them. But this could just boil down to a very close, ugly striking battle between two men who would rather be wrestling, but can’t find the advantage there. Corey Anderson via TKO, round 2.
Staff picking Bader: Dayne
Staff picking Anderson: Zane, Mookie, Stephie
Benson Henderson vs. Brent Primus
Mookie Alexander: Henderson is probably past it now… but I’m not sure Primus is the type of fighter he historically loses to. Maybe by actually losing to him that’s the moment it all unravels, but Primus isn’t known for big power, Henderson is still extraordinarily hard to submit, and I don’t see Primus having a big grappling advantage over Bendo. Which might leave us with a messy kickboxing match in which Henderson scrapes past on the scorecards. We’ve been here before with Henderson and close decisions. Benson Henderson by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Is it wrong to fade Ben Henderson at this point? Because I think that’s what I’m going to do. Brent Primus via... something???
Staff picking Henderson: Mookie, Stephie
Staff picking Primus: Zane, Dayne
Henry Corrales vs. Vladyslav Parubchenko
Mookie Alexander: Corrales is an underappreciated featherweight and I think he’s too powerful for Parubchenko on the feet. Henry Corrales by TKO, round 1.
Staff picking Corrales: Zane, Mookie, Dayne, Stephie
Staff picking Parubchenko:
This poll is closed
Nemkov and Bader
Nemkov and Anderson
Anglickas and Bader
Anglickas and Anderson