UFC Vegas 45 Predictions – MMA Fighting

The final UFC card of the year could have major title implications for several divisions by 2022.

In the main event of UFC Vegas 45, the stakes are clear: Derrick Lewis has held onto a top 5 spot for years and Chris Daukaus wants to take it. The odds are also in Daukaus’ favor and why shouldn’t they? All the rapidly rising contender has done since making his UFC debut last year is racking up knockouts and performance bonuses. Lewis has just come out of a one-sided loss to Ciryl Gane and he looks ripe for the pick.

A victory over Lewis puts Daukaus on the shortlist of potential challengers for whoever emerges victorious in Francis Ngannou and Gane’s heavyweight championship unification fight next month.

Two other names who may put themselves in a position to compete for gold soon are co-star Stephen Thompson and dreaded strawweight Amanda Lemos. “Wonderboy” has said on several occasions that welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is running out of new challengers and he would be happy to answer that call, while Lemos looked like the real deal at 115 pounds with first round finishes. in three of his past. four appearances. Thompson or Lemos will be more than worthy of a title opportunity with an impressive performance on Saturday.

In another main card action, Raphael Assuncao looks to stop the worst losing skid of his career when he fights Ricky Simon, Diego Ferreira takes on former two-division KSW champion Mateusz Gamrot, and Cub Swanson and Darren Elkins collide in a battle of featherweight veterans.

What: UFC Vegas 45

Or: UFC APEX in Las Vegas

When: Saturday, December 18. The preliminary eight-fight map begins on ESPN + at 4 p.m. ET, followed by a main card of six fights on ESPN + at 7 p.m. ET.

(The numbers in parentheses indicate that you are World ranking of MMA fights)

Derrick Lewis (4) vs. Chris Daukaus (8)

Derrick Lewis generally thrives in these situations. Which means that when a relatively cool competitor tries to take their number, “The Black Beast” sends them packing.

Watch Lewis’ last four losses: Ciryl Gane, Junior dos Santos, Daniel Cormier and Mark Hunt. That’s three UFC champions and, well, Mark Hunt. He rarely loses to someone who is not in the top heavyweight pack and the jury is still out on Chris Daukaus. Wins over veterans Shamil Abdurakhimov and Aleksei Oleinik bolster Daukaus’ case, but he has yet to face an opponent with Lewis’s one-shot stopping power.

This is a tricky question for me as I agree with the idea that Daukaus is a shoo-in to one day fight for UFC gold, I’m just not sure if Lewis is the contender that he jumps to get there. Say whatever you like about Lewis who is supposed to be unable to hit the jackpot, he wins pretty much everything else.

It will be fun to see if Daukaus pulls out his jiu-jitsu to teach “Mr. Just Stand Up” a lesson and such a tactic could change the whole complexion of the fight. If he stays on his feet I think Lewis’s nose for the knockout earned him the W.

Take: Lewis

Stephen Thompson (5) vs. Belal Mohammed (13)

Constant pressure and endless cardio is the name of the game for Belal Muhammad. The problem is, none of these qualities have ever been a problem for “Wonderboy”.

Stephen Thompson thrives on taking down opponents technically inferior to him in the hitting department. Unless you can threaten with some serious power, he’s not going to deviate from his game plan, which involves masterful strikes from a distance, accurate counters, and sudden bursts of attack. I just don’t see what Muhammad has to offer that will put Thompson in danger.

Unless Muhammad is willing to take a big risk to close the distance and seek a knockout, it will be three long laps for him.

Thompson by decision.

Take: Thompson

Amanda Lemos (12) vs. Angela Hill (13)

Amanda Lemos has been a real star during her current winning streak, so thanks to Angela Hill for rushing in head first. That said, she may end up regretting this decision.

Similar to what I just wrote about Muhammad, Hill is a volume forward who often relies on outdoing her opponents as much as “overqualifying” them. She uses her reach well and can be mean with her kickboxing up close as well. Add his experience and there is the potential for a major upheaval here.

Lemos has faced some good competition in the UFC including Livinha Souza and Mizuki Inoue, but Hill is a cut above the best Lemos has beaten so far. If Lemos is serious about fighting for a title in 2022, she doesn’t just have to win tonight, she has to win by finish or by dominating decision. Lucky for her, she has the skills to do it either.

With the utmost respect for Hill, still on the line, Lemos is set to be in the spotlight and on her first appearance on the UFC main card, I expect her to hurt Hill early on and then win. a victory by submission.

Take: Lemos

Raphael Assuncao vs. Ricky Simon

I didn’t mention it in the opening blurb, but Ricky Simon is another fighter who could climb into the title photo with a win on Saturday. Bantamweight is the most frenetic of shark tanks right now and Simon could rise above those infested waters by toppling Raphael Assuncao and extending his current winning streak to four.

You hate to pick on a guy for his age, but Assuncao is falling apart and it’s no coincidence that he does so at seven months of his 40th birthday. In a division teeming with talent, the slightest dulling of the edge can cost you dearly and Assuncao wasn’t exactly a Hattori Hanzo blade recently.

Unfortunately for Assuncao, Simon is very much in the mold of the kind of fighters who have plagued him in recent years. Simon is quick, he hits hard and he can mix in with wrestling when he needs to. Assuncao’s fundamentals and grappling remain his strengths, but with his athleticism in decline, how effective can he still be?

I have Simon who survives in Assuncao and finds an arrival at the end of the second or the beginning of the third.

Take: Ricky simon

Diego Ferreira (11) v Mateusz Gamrot

With his weight issues under control (at least for now), look for Diego Ferreira to get back on track.

Ferreira is one of the most complete lightweight weights and he improved as his UFC career progressed. You have to worry about his gas tank and the possibility of Mateusz Gamrot going out of his way for teardowns early on, which would exhaust Ferreira. Wrestling has ridiculed many black jiu-jitsu belts, especially those who tend to burn off all their energy in the first round.

Still, Ferreira has shown he can bounce back from adversity – in this case losing back-to-back fights to Gregor Gillespie and Beneil Dariush – and he will be determined to avoid a 0-3 campaign. His game plan should be to force Gamrot to fight at his own pace rather than invite a brawl. As fun as it is to go hunting for bonuses, Ferreira has to focus on winning by any means at this point and I think he does on the scoreboards.

Take: Ferreira

Cub Swanson vs. Darren Elkins

Don’t expect Cub Swanson to be tripped up by Darren Elkins’ trap.

Elkins has a unique knack for falling behind in fights and then turning back to take advantage of his opponent’s reduced gas tank. He’ll give you the first ride, but after that he’ll drag you into deep water. Seek out Elkins to test the defense against Swanson’s withdrawal and his early struggle.

Swanson, who is entering his 40th professional fight, is vulnerable when fighting from the back, but he also has an active guard who could cause problems for Elkins. On the feet, Swanson has the advantage, as long as he doesn’t try to match Elkins haymaker for haymaker. His jab is a weapon he should set up to set up his heavier hooks later.

This one will go all the way and could see crazy fluctuations in live betting odds by the time Swanson and Elkins are done. I’m convinced Swanson gets the best out of the trades and also does more damage at the end of the fight. Swanson wins it on the scoreboards.

Take: Swanson


Gerald Meerschaert beats. Dustin Stoltzfus

Raoni Barcelos defeated Victor Henri

Harry Hunsucker defeated Justin Tafa

Sijara Eubanks (14) defeated. Melissa Gatto

Andre Ewell defeated Charles Jourdain

Raquel Pennington has beaten. Macy chiasson

Josh Parisien def. Don’Tale Mayes

Jordan Leavitt beat. Matt sayles

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