I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about UFC 212. Outside of the main event, there isn’t a whole lot in terms of quality. The Fight Pass prelims are a good example of that. The most experienced member fighting on the UFC’s online streaming service is Marco Beltran, veteran of four fights. It seems safe to say the UFC is done trying to push fights worth watching on Fight Pass. Remember when Dustin Poirier and Joe Duffy did the damn thing on Fight Pass? How about Aljamain Sterling and Bryan Caraway? Ah, those were the days…
To be completely fair, I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say that the action on Fight Pass should be good even if the names aren’t recognizable. Viviane Pereira and Jaime Moyle are both willing to throw down. So is Luan Chagas and Deivison Figueiredo. This could be a lot of fun.
The Fight Pass prelims begin at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT on Saturday.
Viviane Pereira (12-0) vs. Jaime Moyle (4-1), Women’s Strawweight
Even though both Pereira and Moyle won their UFC debuts, there is still plenty both need to work on if they hope to become mainstays on the roster, much less contenders. However, there is also reason to believe the chances are strong that both find a way to hang around for a long period of time.
Pereira didn’t look like herself in her debut as she came in on short notice. Typically an aggressive fighter, she struggled with Valerie Letourneau’s length as Pereira’s 5’1″ frame and 63″ reach seemed to dissuade her from pursuing a slugfest until the closing moments of the contest. Despite that, her activity in the clinch and on the ground got her the win anyway. Fortunately for her, Moyle is roughly the same size, coming in at the same height with only an additional two inches in reach. Look for the swarming style that defined Pereira on the Brazilian circuit to return not just because of Moyle’s size, but Pereira will get a full camp this time around.
Though Moyle is a similar-styled fighter to Pereira – particularly her willingness to stand and trade — there are a few subtle differences to note. While Moyle owns a bit less natural power, she is also a bit more technical. She also showed an improved wrestling game against Kailin Curran as well as a sound strategy by closing the distance against a longer competitor. While we’ve established size isn’t the factor for either Moyle or Pereira that it would be against most opponents, Moyle’s growing fight IQ is a factor to consider.
Neither fighter has done much to separate one from the other. Pereira has a deeper resume, though she hasn’t faced the same level of competition that Moyle has. I’ll pick Pereira as it can be intimidating to face a Brazilian crowd with minimal experience. It should be noted though that there is zero confidence in my pick as this is realistically too close to call with assurance. Pereira via decision
Luan Chagas (14-2-1) vs. Jim Wallhead (29-10), Welterweight
Hard to believe either Chagas or Wallhead will get another opportunity to stick around should they fall short in this contest. In particular, Chagas has to be on his last legs as he has been unable to pick up a win in two opportunities despite flooring each of his UFC opponents in the opening round. The problem is that Chagas tends to expend his energy early, looking for the kill only to fade down the stretch if he can’t end the contest in the opening round. Regardless, his rangy kicks and improving punching combinations make him extremely dangerous in the early part of any fight.
There isn’t anything that Wallhead hasn’t seen in his twelve years as a professional fighter. However, there is a reason it took the English veteran almost 40 fights before making it to the UFC as he doesn’t have much in terms of standout physical skills. That doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of pulling out a win, as he is very durable and can turn the tide on the Brazilian should he survive his early onslaught. Wallhead has enough power in his fists that he could surprise Chagas early, but look for Wallhead to use his judo background instead to take the fight to the ground and look to submit Chagas.
A very well-matched contest, it’s hard to pick a definitive favorite here. Chagas has proven to be VERY vulnerable after the first round. Then again, he’s also proven difficult to takedown…so long as he doesn’t look to take the fight to the ground himself. Chagas will have to learn from his past mistakes if he is unable to get an early finish, something I’m not sure I’m willing to bet on. However, I am willing to bet on him picking up an early finish. Wallhead is durable, but he has been finished and Chagas hits hard. Plus, how fights before your chin begins to erode? Chagas via KO, RD1
Marco Beltran (8-4) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (11-0), Flyweight
The UFC is digging everywhere for flyweight talent that could strike a chord with fans. Their latest potential find comes at us in the form of Figueiredo as the young Brazilian offers an exciting style that more often than not leads to a finish. The youngster has finished 10 of his 11 opponents. While that is impressive for any division, keep in mind that we’re talking about flyweights here, making that far more impressive. Then again, he hasn’t faced much in terms of quality competition. Aggression defines Figueiredo’s game, always looking for the finish. However, his defense is horrid, leaving his chin out there to be touched up. His accuracy and timing leave a lot to be desired too, but consequences are heavy when he does land.
Beltran is a reasonable step up for the youngster. Plying his craft at bantamweight for his first four UFC contests, Beltran is dropping to flyweight after suffering his first UFC loss at the hands of Joe Soto. He’ll be absolutely huge if successful in making the drop, clocking in at 5’8″ with a 69″ reach. Beltran has developed a more consistent jab to make his length a real factor, but he’s never been much of a wrestler, offensively or defensively. Given the quickness of fighters in the division, it’s hard to say whether his jab will matter all that much.
Beltran is tough and a hell of an opportunist. He also doesn’t throw a lot of volume and showed his vulnerability to submissions by falling to a heel hook against Soto. Not a good look. Figueiredo doesn’t have the discipline Soto possesses to expose Beltran the same way, but Beltran’s willingness to sit back and pick his spots would appear to be troublesome against a swarmer like Figueiredo. Figueiredo via TKO, RD2
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