UFC on ESPN+ 25 Betting Preview
This weekend’s UFC card may not be chock full of big name fighters but that doesn’t mean we won’t see some excellent fights. The main event is a key battle in the light heavyweight division as the winner may be next in line to take on Jon Jones. Other bouts include a number of fighters looking to put their name on the UFC map. Here are three of the biggest fights of the night.
Montana De La Rosa (10-5) -175 vs. Mara Romero Borella (12-6)
In a battle between two flyweights who are each coming off of a loss, Montana De La Rosa takes on Mara Romero Borella as each woman tries to climb their way back up their divisional rankings.
Borella has lost two of her last three fights with her only win of those three coming in a close split-decision victory against Taila Santos. Borella was knocked out last time she fought by Lauren Murphy in the third round despite being a -200 favorite. Age isn’t on Borella’s side as she is nine years the elder of De La Rosa. Borella can win a fight in any fashion as she has three by knockout, four by submission, and five by decision. She may only be the 19th-ranked fighter in her division but she can be dangerous in every aspect.
De La Rosa is coming off of a loss of her own after winning her previous four fights. The one thing De La Rosa doesn’t do is knock people out. She has 10 career wins and none of them via knockout. She is a ground fighter who has eight submission victories to her name. Clearly she loves to set up the arm bar as that is how she won five of her fights with the three other submissions being rear-naked chokes.
No doubt De La Rosa will be looking to take this fight to the ground. Borella on the other hand will be comfortable no matter where this fight goes. If Borella can keep this fight standing she can certainly take this one via knockout or decision. If the majority of this fight ends up on the ground then De La Rosa had the edge. The three-time All-American wrestler De La Rosa is the favorite here and her winning by submission seems like the most likely of outcomes.
Michel Pereira (23-10) -165 vs. Diego Sanchez (29-12)
In a bout between two unranked welterweights, Michel Pereira takes on Diego Sanchez. Sanchez, who is on the back end of his career is looking to get back on the winning path while Michel Pereira seeks to rebound from his decision loss to Tristan Connelly.
Sanchez is now 38 years old and has been around the MMA world for more than 15 years. The former Ultimate Fighter winner started his career 17-0 but has since gone 12-12. The majority of Sanchez’s fights have ended in decisions but he does have 10 knockouts and six submissions to his name. He has had some memorable fights in his career but age has certainly caught up to him. He also has a bit of a glass jaw by losing three of his last four via knockout. Sanchez was an excellent wrestler early in his career and will need to rely on that skill set this weekend if he wants to score the victory. Despite not wanting to end his career, his body isn’t able to last as long into fights as his heart does.
Pereira is a relatively unknown fighter looking to score a big win this weekend against a big name. Pereira is a flashy fighter who likes to be a crowd pleaser. After his shocking loss to Connelly, Pereira needs to worry more about fighting that exciting against Sanchez or the vet will certainly dispose of him. His own ego and flashy fighting style is his weakness. Pereira is the favorite here but if he is going to win this fight, he will have to do it early. If he tires himself out with his showmanship and unnecessary theatrics, even an aged Sanchez will wear him down in the end. Pereira is three inches taller but only holds a one-inch reach advantage. An experienced fighter who just needs to avoid an early knockout, Sanchez is a solid option here as an underdog.
Corey Anderson (13-4) -220 vs. Jan Blachowicz (25-8)
In the main event, two top six light heavyweights look to continue their climb up the rankings as Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz battle it out to move one step closer to Jon Jones and his title belt. This is the second bout between these two as Anderson defeated Blachowicz via decision at UFC 191.
Anderson lost three of four after starting his career 8-1. Since his UFC 217 loss, however, Anderson has now won his last four fights with his most recent being a knockout of Johnny Walker back in November. Eight of his victories came via decision with the other five were knockouts. The former Ultimate Fighter winner suffered knockouts in three of his last four losses. So while he likes to throw punches with people, his jaw doesn’t withstand hits as well as he would like.
After a rough stretch that saw him go 1-4, Blachowicz has won six of his last seven fights as he looks to add on to a current two-fight win streak. Blachowicz is capable of winning fights standing up or on the ground as he has six knockout victories and nine submissions. In 33 matches he has only been knocked out twice so if he can withstand Anderson’s sudden knockout power, Blachowicz may be able to find a counter jab capable of knocking Anderson out.
If the fight stays standing this is anyone’s contest. Anderson may be trying to take this fight to the ground and if he gets it there he has the advantage. If Blachowicz can defend the takedown he can pull the upset. Even if it stays standing, Blachowicz is capable of out boxing Anderson and scoring the knockout or out-pointing him.