This weekend we’re set for the first UFC pay-per-view event to be held in Southeast Asia.
We have two title fights as well as some other intriguing matchups to look at out in Singapore, as the UFC’s oldest champion Glover Teixeira takes on ‘The Czech Samurai’ Jiri Prochazka and the dominant Valentina Shevchenko faces off against Talia Santos.
Let’s get straight into it…
Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka – Light Heavyweight Title
Despite winning three straight fights while being the betting underdog, including picking up the UFC Light Heavyweight title in his last foray in to the octagon, 42-year-old Glover Teixeira remains unfavoured here on Saturday night.
Meanwhile since moving from RIZIN, Czech Jiri Prochazka has burst on to the scene in a big way.
A knockout of Volkan Oezdemir on his UFC debut in 2020 turned heads and earned him a performance of the night. That was followed almost a year later with the spectacular spinning-back-elbow KO of Dominick Reyes.
He’s a striking menace, but he’s never faced the level of jiu-jitsu that Teixeira is bringing to the table and there’s still a question mark over his cardio, another area in which the Brazilian shines.
Both fighters have ways to quickly end the fight, so either Teixeira by Submission (4/1) or Prochazka by KO, TKO Or Disqualification 4/6 could be the best options here, it just depends which fighter you believe in.
Us personally, we’re going with the Czech Samurai.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Talia Santos – Women’s Flyweight Title
There’s seemingly no real ceiling for Valentina Shevchencko, as she continues to look better and better every time she steps inside the cage.
Low on weaknesses, blessed with strengths all around her game, the 34-year-old Kyrgyzstani is now looking for her seventh title defence in a row.
With that said, it has to be mentioned that there’s a real lack of depth in the Women’s Flyweight division, and this fight doesn’t particularly go any way to dispelling that feeling.
Talia Santos is game, but she simply isn’t on Shevchenko’s level and while we’d like to talk this one up into something resembling an even matchup, we must simply say the champion via KO, TKO or Disqualification (5/2) for some value.
Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk – Women’s Strawweight
Here we have a rematch between two, what most would consider, legends of the Women’s Strawweight division.
Both have two losses to Rose Namajunas to their name, and while ‘Thug Rose’ was champion, both were left with no real route back to a title shot.
But after Namajunas dropped her title to Carla Esparza in perhaps one of the worst MMA bouts ever seen by the human eye back in May, suddenly the path has opened up.
Either of these fighters would be favoured in a potential title bout v Esparza, so one could argue this is almost the ‘real’ title fight.
In their previous match up, the two were exchanging constantly, with Jędrzejczyk mostly trying to stay at kicking range. It didn’t work out for her however, and many will remember the startling swelling on the Pole’s head.
Weili was also beaten up despite winning, and both were subject to medical suspensions as a result.
All of this is to say, expect another entertaining dust up.
We’re going to Weili to out-pressure her opponent in this one and pick up the victory.
Rogerio Bontorin vs. Manel Kape – Flyweight
Here we have a classic striker v wrestler matchup.
Rogerio Bontorin is strong, well-conditioned, fast and he’ll look to force the pace in the fight.
He’ll likely look to exchange on the feet until the opportunity presents itself to go for a takedown, where he loves to lift his opponent from their feet and deliver a slam.
He won’t want to hang around in front of Manel Kape for too long however, as the Angolan is a level above on the feet.
Kape is an explosive, technical striker, and if Bontorin comes at him in straight lines with no head movement, it could be a long, or disastrously short night for the Brazilian.
We’re siding with the striker here.
Jack Della Maddalena vs. Ramazan Emeev – Welterweight
This one could be something of a coming out party for the latest in a long line of Oceanic MMA talents.
Australian Jack Della Maddalena, some say, is very much the real deal.
Coming over from Australian promotion Eternal before heading to the US and picking up a win in the Contender series, Maddalena is looking to follow in the footsteps of some of MMA’s brightest stars from down under.
He picked apart Pete Rodriguez on his debut, finishing him in quick time for a first-round finish.
In Ramazan Emeev he faces a fighter on the cusp of the top 15 with a strong wrestling base, but there perhaps isn’t anything overly spectacular about the Russian.
We’re backing the Aussie here.
Check out all of these bouts as well as the undercard odds HERE.