This Saturday (July 13, 2019), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) travels to Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., for UFC Fight Night 155. I’ll be fully honest with readers — if half of Team Alpha Male were not gracing the card, I would have an extremely low-level of interest in the event. It’s simply not the best in terms of main event or name value, but at least there should be some fun fights, so let’s take a closer look at these main card fights.
Remember: Later in the week, MMAmania.com’s Jesse Holland will preview and predict the main- and co-main events.
Featherweight: Josh Emmett vs. Mirsad Bektic
Best Win for Emmett? Ricardo Lamas For Bektic? Also Ricardo Lamas
Current Streak: Emmett won his last bout, Bektic his previous two
X-Factor: Bektic’s habit of pushing a pace he cannot maintain
How these two match up: This is the absolute best fight on the card.
Emmett is a brutal puncher, particularly at Featherweight. In addition to punching with massive power, Emmett is quite good at suddenly closing the distance with combinations, and he does have a collegiate wrestling background as well. On the other hand, Bektic is a well-rounded fighter with serious physical talent. Though Bektic is quite good everywhere, he tends to prefer to dump opponents to the mat, where he can really impose his will with some of the most ferocious ground strikes in the sport.
In short, this is very much a sprawl-and-brawl fighter vs. takedown artist. For all of Bektic’s skill on the feet, he does not want to trade with Emmett. There’s little doubt that he’s going to hang back and kick, then attempt to time a take down when Emmett closes the distance.
It’s very interesting, as there’s little room for error for either man. Bektic cannot afford to eat a flush right hand, but nor can Emmett accept a takedown and get walloped for a round. Ultimately, I’ll side with Emmett, who has proven that he carries his knockout power late into the fight. Meanwhile, Bektic has a habit of slowing down in the latter half of the fight, which could prove a disaster even after a promising start.
Prediction: Emmett via knockout
Middleweight: Karl Roberson vs. Wellington Turman
Best Win for Roberson? Darren Stewart For Turman? Marcio Alexandre Jr.
Current Streak: Roberson lost his last bout, whereas Turman rides a four-fight win streak into his debut
X-Factor: Roberson’s slick counter punching
How these two match up: This is likely to be another striker vs. grappler match up.
Roberson entered the Octagon with prior professional kickboxing experience, and he’s generally looked the part. “Baby K” does well on the outside, where he can rip hard kicks and make his opponents pay with counters when they attempt to close the distance. That said, he was submitted twice in his pair of UFC losses, admittedly to pretty slick grapplers in Glover Teixeira and Cezar Ferreira.
Turman already has a great deal of experience to his name despite being just 22 years old. The Brazilian is a bit rough around the edges technically, but he’s certainly tough and aggressive. All in all, Turman’s kickboxing is offensively dangerous (if open to counters), and his jiu-jitsu is solid if he can get it to the mat.
It really reads like a bad match up for “Fofao.” Roberson is slick and powerful from the kickboxing range, seemingly the perfect foil to Turman’s looping overhand. There’s an avenue to victory if Turman can somehow trip Roberson down to the mat, but his wrestling doesn’t seem developed enough to do so easily.
Even Teixeira was briefly unconscious before he managed to score a takedown, and he’s an extremely experienced Light Heavyweight.
Prediction: Roberson via knockout
Middleweight: Marvin Vettori vs. Cezar Ferreira
Best Win for Vettori? Vitor Miranda For Ferreira? Jack Hermansson
Current Streak: Both men enter this bout following a loss
X-Factor: Ferreira’s untrustworthy gas tank
How these two match up: Expect a fun, back-and-forth fight or absolutely brutal Middleweight ugliness. Those are the only options.
Italy’s Vettori is a talented young fighter. Already fairly well-rounded and athletic, he tends to succeed due to toughness and conditioning more than anything else. Vettori simply pushes a hard pace, and his opponents tend to wilt in the later half of the fight — he even took the final round from Israel Adesanya!
Ferreira is much, much more technical than Vettori. After realizing that his chin was not sturdy enough to be a brawler, Ferreira rebuilt his game around strength and jiu-jitsu, developing an excellent reactionary double leg in the process.
There’s little doubt in my mind that “Mutante” will be able to score a takedown in the first round. His timing on the double is quite nice, and his ability to run through it is genuinely very good. He might even submit Vettori once on the mat, but Antonio Carlos Junior failed to do so, so it’s hardly a guarantee.
Once again, things get questionable as the fight moves into the second round. Vettori’s throws harder and at a better pace, whereas Ferreira’s activity tends to drop off a cliff when forced to work hard. At the end of the day, it’s a question of whether or not Ferreira can win easily enough that he avoids gassing.
Vettori has yet to roll over for any of his foes, so I’ll side with the younger man.
Prediction: Vettori via decision
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC Fight Night 155 results on fight night, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Octagon, as well as what you’ve got riding on the sportsbook.
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