Noche UFC from the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will be Headlined by a rematch for the Women’s Flyweight title. Mexican-born champion Alexa Grasso will attempt to make the first defense of her title against Valentina Shevchenko. In their first fight, Grasso defeated the longtime Women’s champion by submission in the fourth round.
The Co-Main event will showcase entertaining strikers Kevin Holland and Jack Della Maddalena. Both are ranked contenders who like to stand and trade, so this matchup should be a fan-friendly striking affair. Also on the Noche UFC card talented teenage prospect Raul Rosas Jr. returns after his first professional loss. Rosas Jr. will be facing Terrance Mitchell who is seeking his first win inside the UFC.
(C) Alexa Grasso (16-3) vs. #1 Valentina Shevchenko (23-4)
In the Main Event, Valentina Shevchenko will try to reclaim her 125-pound Women’s title by defeating Champion Alexa Grasso. Schevchenko had held the Flyweight title for a record seven defenses before losing to Grasso in March. Schevchenko is now 35 years old and will need to be on top of her game to win her belt back this weekend. Grasso is on a five-fight winning streak and is five years younger than her opponent. Entering this title fight the challenger Schevchenko is a slight favorite at online sportsbooks (-165).
In the first fight, Grasso was able to hold her own on the feet out landing Schevchenko 182-167 in total strikes. Schevchenko held an advantage in significant strikes (87-59) and also found success on the ground securing four takedowns before getting submitted. Midway through the fourth round, Grasso was able to take control of Schevchenko’s back after a scramble. From there, Grasso locked in the Rear Naked Choke submission pulling off a massive upset.
Shevchenko seems determined to regain her title and stated in pre-fight interviews that this is the most important fight of her life. After Amanda Nunes was defeated by Juliana Pena in a title upset she reclaimed her championship winning by decision. I believe a similar outcome will happen this weekend at Flyweight.
Prediction: Schevchenko by Decision
#13 Kevin Holland (25-9) vs. #14 Jack Della Maddalena (15-2)
The Co-Main event of Noche UFC is a highly anticipated Welterweight fight between ranked contenders. Kevin Holland has gone 4-2 since moving back down to 170 pounds only losing to former title challenger Stephan Thompson and Undefeated Russian phenom Khamzat Chimaev. Maddalena is undefeated in his UFC career (5-0) and holds finish victories over Randy Brown, Pete Rodriguez, and Danny Roberts. This is going to be an entertaining fight that primarily takes place on the feet. When Holland faced Stephan Thompson he decided to stand and exchange with one of the best kickboxers in UFC history. If Holland implores a similar game plan against Maddalena there will be fireworks in this matchup.
Maddalena is a fantastic boxer from Australia who has found instant success inside the octagon. When facing a similar styled opponent in Randy Brown, Maddalena was able to get inside the length of “Rude Boy” and knock him down with massive power shots. Holland fights out of the southpaw stance and is an extremely explosive striker in his own right. Holland will have an eight-inch advantage in reach and will enter this contest as a slight betting underdog at online sportsbooks (+120).
If this fight takes place on the feet I favor Maddalena who has eleven wins by knockout in his career. Holland could hold an advantage on the ground where has eight wins by submission four of which came in the UFC. Holland is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu under Travis Lutter but very rarely takes the fight to the ground. Fight fans won’t want to miss this matchup as it has “Fight of the Night” written all over it.
Prediction: Jack Della Maddalena by KO/TKO
Raul Rosas Jr. (7-1) vs. Terrance Mitchell (14-3)
Opening the Main Card will be teenage sensation Raul Rosas Jr. After impressing Dana White on the Contender Series Rosas Jr. was signed as the youngest prospect on the UFC roster last year. Rosas Jr. submitted Jay Perrin in his debut but was then handed a loss by Roufusport product Christian Rodriguez. It will be interesting to see how Rosas Jr. responds after the first loss of his career. Alaska’s Terrance Mitchell will try and play spoiler as he enters this contest the largest betting underdog on the fight card (+550). Mitchell lost to Cody Saaiman in his debut and is looking to get his first win in the promotion this weekend.
On the ground Rosas Jr. is one of the most talented prospects in the division. Getting the fight to the floor is sometimes a problem for Rosas Jr., who still needs to show improvement in his wrestling and striking. At just 18 years old it is hard for Rosas Jr. to grow inside the cage, as he is constantly having to compete at the highest level. Every fighter in the UFC is dangerous and for a prospect that is so young it can be a risky game navigating the stacked Bantamweight division. Many prospects have been rushed into contention too early in their UFC careers, hopefully, that isn’t happening with Rosas Jr. Mitchell is 33 years old and also is a talented grappler with six submissions on his record.
Prediction: Raul Rosas Jr. by Decision
Noche UFC Prelims:
The Noche UFC prelims are stacked with top talent from Mexico. Juarez’s Fernando Padilla (15-4) faces Canada’s Kyle Nelson (14-5-1) in a compelling Featherweight fight. Padilla has tremendous length for the weight class at (6’1) and fights behind an impressive jab. In his last outing, Padilla quickly knocked out UFC veteran Julian Erosa in the first round. Nelson is a well-rounded competitor who has five knockouts and four submissions on his record. Nelson needs to take this fight to the ground or he will have problems with Padilla’s length.
Prediction: Fernando Padilla by KO/TKO
Also on the prelims, Russian striker Roman Kopylov (11-2) rides his three-fight KO streak into a contest with the always-game Josh Fremd (11-4). Kopylov is an extremely technical kickboxer who throws beautiful body kicks and fights out of the southpaw stance. Kopylov has struggled at times with grapple-heavy opponents but has recently gone on a winning streak. Fremd is a former standout in the LFA who has gone 2-2 in the UFC. Fremd will be best served to take this fight to the ground where he has four wins by submission. If Kopylov can keep the fight standing this could end inside the distance.
Prediction: Roman Kopylov by KO/TKO
The Noche UFC prelims will begin at 6 p.m. CST. The Main card will start at 9 p.m. CST.
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