The UFC returns to the Apex this weekend with UFC Vegas 54, which features a title eliminator fight between two top Light-Heavyweight contenders, Blachowicz &. Rakic.
In the main event of UFC Vegas 54, former light heavyweight champion and current No. 1 contender Jan Blachowicz takes on young prospect No. 3 ranked Aleksandar Rakic.
Jan Blachowicz, the former champion, is still ranked No. 1 and could argue that his loss to Teixeira was due to a bad night. Meanwhile, Aleksandar Rakic is ranked No. 4 in the world, with his only octagon defeat coming at the hands of Volkan Oezdemir in a controversial decision. One criticism leveled at Rakic is that his fights are boring. He’ll be looking to add a finish to his record, as he’s only had two in his seven-fight UFC career.
The co-main event is a barn burner and would probably get over with a Knockout. Ryan Spann, ranked 13th, will face dangerous striker Ion Cutelabat. Both fighters are explosive and have knockout power as the fight could end at any time.
Fights to look out for on the card
The bantamweight scrap between Davey Grant and Louis Smolka in the bantamweight division is perhaps the most entertaining fight on paper. Davey Grant is the one to watch the coming off two consecutive Fight of the Nights.
Louis Smolka will be looking to keep the fight on the feet. Grant, on the other hand, is the all-around durable fighter, and the fact that he recently went the distance with Adrian Yanez and Marlon Vera, two incredibly dangerous opponents, suggests he still has plenty to give.
Amanda Ribas is moving up to flyweight and will face Katlyn Chookagian, a perennial contender and former title challenger. This fight is intriguing because if Ribas can win, she’ll have a chance to fight current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko in the future.
Ribas has slick ground skills, solid takedown defense, and decent striking, but she’ll have her work cut out as Chookigian’s distance management and unwillingness to slow down could be challenging with that height & reach disadvantage
The other two top Light-Heavyweights, Anthony Smith & Magomed Ankalaev will collide on UFC 277. As a byproduct, the winner of these two fights who impresses the most is likely to compete for the title.
All whilst, Viviane Araujo, Andrea Lee, Michael Johnson, Alan Patrick, Virna Jandiroba, Angela Hill, Tatsuro Taira, Carlos Candelario, Nick Maximov, and Andre Petroski will compete on the preliminary card.
Predictions: UFC Vegas 54 Fight Card Main Card
1. Light Heavyweight Bout: Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic – Blachowicz via TKO
2. Light Heavyweight Bout: Ryan Spann vs. Ion Cutelaba – Cuteleba via TKO
3. Bantamweight Bout: Davey Grant vs. Louis Smolka – Grant via TKO
4. Women’s Flyweight Bout: Katlyn Chookagian vs. Amanda Ribas – Chookigian via Dec
5. Lightweight Bout: Frank Camacho vs. Manuel Torres – Torres via Decision
6. Flyweight Bout: Jake Hadley vs. Allan Nascimento – Hadley via TKO