UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2 – Early prelims preview

Bloody Elbow breaks down all the early prelim action for this week's UFC 287 fight card.

By: Dayne Fox | 2 months ago
UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2 – Early prelims preview
UFC Buenos Aires Magny vs Ponzinibbio BUENOS AIRES, AR - 16.11.2018: UFC BUENOS AIRES MAGNY VS PONZINIBBIO - On the balance Cynthia Calvillo during the weigh-in for UFC Buenos Aires - Magny vs. Ponzinibbio held at the Roca Arena Park. Buenos Aires, Ar. (Photo: Reinaldo Reginato/Fotoarena) x1642469x PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBRA ReinaldoxReginato

It’s nice to have a break from the UFC every now and then. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad MMA doesn’t have an official off-season in the way most major sports do, but a break does allow one to appreciate why MMA is such an enjoyable sport. What’s the phrase? “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I have agree wholeheartedly. 

How We Got to UFC 287

As of now, the early prelims for UFC 287 are a bit of a mystery in the sense that I’m not positive what contests will slide into that section of the card. It’s possible we’ll end up getting a fifth contest on the early prelims if the UFC is able to find a replacement for Li Jingliang, who was forced out of his contest with Michael Chiesa. For now, there’s the four assumed contests at UFC 287 that will be a part of the early prelims. Out of those, the fighter with their head laying heaviest on the chopping block is also the most well-known. It was only three years ago Cynthia Calvillo not only main evented a Fight Night card, but took the win. She hasn’t won a fight since, leading her to her present situation coming into UFC 287.

UFC 287 Prelims Preview

UFC Buenos Aires Magny vs Ponzinibbio BUENOS AIRES, AR – 18.11.2018: UFC BUENOS AIRES MAGNY VS PONZINIBBIO – Cynthia Calvillo Vs. Poliana Botelho during the UFC Buenos Aires – Magny vs. Ponzinibbio held at the Roca Arena Park. Buenos Aires, Ar. (Photo: Reinaldo Reginato/Fotoarena) x1643241x PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBRA ReinaldoxReginato

Cynthia Calvillo vs. Loopy Godinez, Women’s Strawweight

I can’t think of anyone who is excited to see Calvillo returning to the strawweight division. That’s mainly because no one is excited to see Calvillo return at all. While she once appeared to be the next big thing the UFC was pushing on everyone, she appears to be a shell of that fighter since she was bulldozed by Jessica Andrade. Any semblance of confidence had disappeared.

Perhaps fighting an opponent with less pop in their punches will help. Someone like Godinez here at UFC 287. Then again, while Godinez is improving her standup, she has a long way to go before she can consistently win fights based on what her fists have to offer. Where Godinez thrives is staying in her opponent’s face and pursuing takedown after takedown. It’s no sure thing Godinez’s wrestling will be effective against Calvillo, but I’m not convinced the cut to 115 will be good for Calvillo. After all, she missed weight pretty badly in two of her last three fights at strawweight. It can’t be easier now that she’s in her mid-30’s. I have a hard time seeing Calvillo responding well to Godinez being in her face the entirety of the fight. Godinez via decision

Loopy Godinez using her striking to set up a takedown.

Ignacio Bahamondes vs. Trey Ogden, Lightweight

Ogden is one of the most bland athletes in the division. He makes up for it by exemplifying what veteran savvy is all about. Knowing he isn’t going to out-athlete anyone on the roster, Ogden relies on being the smarter man in the cage and playing up what he’s best at: grappling. Unfortunately for him, it’s been a major struggle for him to do so in the UFC. It’s hard to see it being any easier against Bahamondes at UFC 287.

Not the classic quick-twitch athlete, Bahamondes is massive for the division, with a technical kickboxing game with an always improving understanding of how to use his length. Ogden may have outstruck Daniel Zellhuber, but the young Mexican appeared to have a bad case of stage fright in his UFC debut and Bahamondes has never been shy with his volume. Ogden may only need one takedown, but Bahamondes isn’t a sure thing to submit. Plus, while the contest was made a catchweight for Ogden’s sake, it may benefit the lanky Bahamondes even more. Ogden is durable, so I’ll guess he can go the distance. Bahamondes via decision

Ignacio Bahamondes demonstrating his explosiveness on Roosevelt Roberts.

Shayilan Nuerdanbieke vs. Steve Garcia, Featherweight

I’ll admit I haven’t been the biggest believer in Nuerdanbieke. Riding a three-fight win streak, the native of China has proven me wrong. Far from being a technical marvel anywhere, he is durable, strong as an ox, and doesn’t deter easily. Granted, Nuerdanbieke has benefited from opposition that has wilted under his pressure. It doesn’t appear it will be the case with his UFC 287 opponent in Garcia.

The Jackson-Wink product possesses the type of mean streak that won’t allow him to back down. Sure, he can held down for long stretches, but he won’t stop throwing if he can get back to his feet. Like Nuerdanbieke, Garcia isn’t a technical marvel, but he isn’t as clunky as Nuerdanbieke. That said, Garcia’s chin appears to have been compromised by years of extreme weight cutting and Nuerdanbieke has plenty of raw power. In the end, doing my best to be objective, I’m picking Garcia, fully aware there’s a good chance I’ll regret picking against Nuerdanbieke again. Garcia via TKO of RD2

Steve Garcia demonstrating just how mean he is.

Jaqueline Amorim vs. Sam Hughes, Women’s Strawweight

After six fights within the organization, it’s safe to say we have a good feel for what Hughes brings to the table. As well-conditioned and hard-nosed as they come, Hughes is going to steal away some victories from opponents who exceed her in terms of athletic gifts. Unfortunately for Hughes, most of her opposition falls into that category. That includes the the UFC 287 debutant in Amorim, the former LFA champion out of Brazil.

Amorim is a slick submission specialist with a bright future, but she hasn’t been seriously tested in any real way. The UFC sucks up the strawweight talent from LFA as quickly as possible, leaving the regional scene short of quality competition. In the process, Amorim has yet to leave the first round. That she has been able to finish her opposition so quickly is promising – that includes a finish in just 10 seconds – but how effective will she be if the fight extends beyond the first round? It’s almost a foregone conclusion Amorim wins the opening round, but Hughes’ constant pressure and activity will allow her to thrive down the stretch should she survive the opening round. I’m torn as Amorim’s talent is such that she’ll be running all over Hughes in about two years. Regardless, I’ll go with talent over experience in this case. Amorim via submission of RD2

Jaqueline Amorim securing an armbar in her last outing.
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About the author
Dayne Fox
Dayne Fox

Dayne Fox is a contributing writer and analyst for Bloody Elbow. He has been writing about combat sports since 2013 and a member of Bloody Elbow since 2016. Dayne primarily contributes opinion pieces and event coverage. Dayne’s specialties are putting together the preview articles for all the UFC events and post-fight analysis. Outside of writing on combat sports, Dayne works in the purchasing department of a construction company, formerly working as an analyst. He is also a proud husband and father. In what spare time he can find, he enjoys strategy games and is a movie enthusiast. He is based in Utah.

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