UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Shahbazyan Preview and Picks

By: John Casale




Recap of Fight Night 174:

Robert Whittaker (-120) - WIN

Alexander Gustaffson via KO, TKO, or DQ (+100) - LOSS

Alex Oliveira (-175) - WIN Mosvar Evloev (-190) - WIN

Jai Herbert (+120) - LOSS


Weekly Result: 3-2

To Date Results: 4-4


Betting Picks

Joanne Calderwood v Jennifer Maia

Despite having been signed to fight Valentina Shevchenko for the Women’s Flyweight title, Joanne Calderwood steps into the Octagon on Saturday on short notice after Jennifer Maia’s previous opponent had to withdraw due to a positive CoVid-19 test. Jennifer Maia is coming off a disappointing loss in November to the most recent Women’s Flyweight title challenger, Katlyn Chookagian. This fight will most likely stay standing, where both fighters are more comfortable, which suits Calderwood as she is one of the most prolific strikers in the division.

Joanne Calderwood lands over 2 strikes per minute more than Maia, while boasting similar defensive numbers, both defending strikes at a 53% clip. Beyond Calderwood’s obvious advantages on the feet, she also lands nearly 2 takedowns every 15 minutes compared to Jennifer Maia only landing a single takedown throughout the duration of her UFC career. JoJo loves to pressure her opponent back into the fence then wear on them with vicious clinch strikes. With the UFC returning to Las Vegas and this event taking place in the UFC Performance Institute, the smaller octagon will be utilized. This works to Calderwood’s advantage, as there will be less space for her opponent to escape.

Joanne Calderwood -145


Quick Picks

Vicente Luque v Randy Brown

This matchup has fight of the night written all over it. 11 of Vicente Luque’s 12 UFC wins, and 4 of Randy Brown’s 6 UFC wins have come by way of stoppage, as both men enter the octagon with violence on their minds. Given the two men’s recent strength of schedule, I expect Luque’s superior striking and power to overwhelm Brown on his way to a stellar victory, as he lands over 2.5 more strikes per minute than Randy Brown. Neither man necessarily searches for takedowns, and as long as this fight is on the feet, it will be a long night for Randy Brown.

Vicente Luque -200


Ed Herman v Gerald Meerschaert

This fight is extremely interesting, as is the line. Gerald Meerschaert is moving up to Light Heavyweight from Middleweight on short notice, putting on 20 pounds to fight Ed Herman. Neither fighter has done anything too spectacular in their UFC careers, as Meerschaert has yet to string together 3 UFC wins, and Herman has only done it once, back in 2007. However, Herman has won 2 in a row and has proven time and time again that the UFC veteran with 26 fights under his belt is a tough out. On the other side, I think Meerschaert’s conditioning will suffer greatly given the circumstances, especially after a naturally heavier man in Herman puts his weight on him. Expect the size advantage and conditioning of Ed “Short Fuse” Herman to push this dog to victory.

Ed Herman +140


Jammall Emmers v Timur Valiev

As the reigning LFA Featherweight champion, Jammall Emmers entered the UFC in the spring with plenty of hype. However, his UFC debut did not go as planned, after dropping a tightly contested split decision against world champion kickboxer Giga Chikadze, an immensely difficult debut fight for the wrestling heavy attack of Emmers. This matchup is much better suited for Emmers, as Timur Valiev will definitely accept a fight on the ground. Valiev is a natural bantamweight who is fighting at 145, and Emmers possesses fantastic size for the division, standing 5’10. Expect Emmers to grind his way to a stellar first UFC victory.

Jammall Emmers +140




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