+205 Chris De La Rocha (4-1) vs -240 Adam Milstead (7-1)
Chris De La Rocha: Washington State correctional officer Chris De La Rocha had a tough outing in his UFC debut. De La Rocha lost to Muay Thai banger Daniel Omeilamczuk via first round knockout.
With only five professional fights De La Rocha lacks the experience that many in the UFC have, but his well rounded athletic style should keep him competitive in the sports elite promotion.
Adam Milstead: Milstead is a solid prospect out of the Pittsburgh area, he is 7-1 with all of his fights coming by way of stoppage. A former D-III football player Milstead has shown great athleticism and speed for a big man.
This will be Millstead’s octagon debut and toughest test to date, at only 28 Milstead has the physical tools to be a contender. We will see if he is able to put them together Sunday in Vegas.
The Fight: Both fighters are ready and willing to go toe to toe in the pocket. Milstead will have the speed advantage while De La Rocha will benefit from a slight power edge.
If it goes to the ground it will be Milstead initiating the take down and De La Rocha working off of his back.
However, this one will transpire mainly on the feet. Milstead will get the better of the early exchanges eventually dropping Del La Rocha where he will follow in and get the stoppage due to strikes on the ground. Milstead TKO 1st
-450 #4 Aljamain Sterling (12-0) vs. +325 #8 Bryan Caraway (20-8)
Aljamain Sterling: “Aljoe” has certainly solidified his top prospect status since joining the UFC. 4-0 in his first bouts, Sterling has been ultra impressive thus far scoring stoppage victories over vets Hugo Viana, Takeya Mizugaki and Johnny Eduardo.
“The Funk Master” has put in himself smack dab in the center of the title contender picture and a win against Caraway could very likely mean a title shot for the 26 year old Serra/Longo stud.
Bryan Caraway: Caraway has made a name for himself in the bantamweight division as a crafty vet who will get you out of there in a hurry if your skills are not on the elite level. 5-2 since his semi-finals showing on TUF: season 14, Caraway losses came to perennial contenders Raphael Assuancao and Takeya Mizugaki.His biggest win came in his last outing against former WEC champion Eddie Wineland.
Caraway will look to add a huge feather in his cap by taking out the number 4 ranked Sterling, which would almost certainly place him in the top 5 for the first time in his UFC career.
The Fight: Sterling is going to want to keep this one at a distance, he uses his kicks in a very unorthodox way to keep his opponents at bay until he’s ready for the shot.
Caraway will want to get in on Sterling and land shots in the pocket where “Aljoe” appears to be uncomfortable at times.
This is going to come down to Sterling’s BJJ and athleticism giving him the edge in scrambles. He wont get the finish on the 10 year vet but will do enough to win every round. Sterling Unanimous Decision
+145 Erik Koch (14-4) vs -170 Shane Campbell (12-4)
Erik Koch: Rofusport stand out Erik Koch has been relatively inactive due to injuries, fighting only three times in the last three years. Koch recently moved up to lightweight following back to back losses Ricardo Llamas and Dustin Poirier. His First fight back at lightweight was an impressive 1st round TKO over Rafaelo Oliviera.
A healthy Koch, not completely drained from cutting weight will defiantly be worth keeping an eye on at lightweight.
Shane Campbell:“Shaolin” is one of the most accomplished Muay Thai fighters to ever come out of Canada. His MMA career has not been quite as legendary, at 1-2 in the UFC Campbell will have to leave it all in the octagon to save his roster spot.
The Fight: The betting line on this one is interesting, I can only imagine Campbell is the favorite because of his Muay Thai credentials. Koch is the more well rounded MMA fighter and will be able to use his diverse striking arsenal to finish Campbell in the third.Koch TKO 3rd
+115 Jake Collier (9-2) vs. -135 Alberto Uda (9-0)
Jake Collier: Missouri based middleweight Jake Collier has faced he share of adversities in his three octagon performances. His 1-2 record is not a good indicator of his talent, he has been very competitive in all of his bouts, but tends to get a little sloppy and leave himself open for big shots.
Collier has the size, gas tank and all around skills to hang with MMA’s elite, but needs to tighten everything up to find consistent success in the octagon.
Alberto Uda: Alberto Uda earns his call to the big show following a impressive first round stoppage of TUF: Brazil vet Thiago Bodao. Uda is 9-0 in the Brazilian fight circuit and has finished all but one of his opponents.
Uda’s base is in Muay Thai, but his four submission victories will attest that he is no slouch on the ground. He is especially crafty off of his back and working to get scrambles.
The Fight: These two have many physical and fighting style similarities. Both are very tall for middleweight at 6 3″ and both are proficient at every position but not great at any one particular skill. Uda does his best work in the clinch and Collier will have a wrestling advantage.
Uda will test Collier’s chin in the clinch early and often, going on his recent outings Collier will eventually succumb to the Uda’s onslaught later in the fight. Uda TKO 3rd
-320 Abel Trujillo (14-6) vs. +260 Jordan Rinaldi
Abel Trujillo: Explosive Blackzilian Abel Trujillo has been one of the most exciting lightweights on the roster since his debut in 2012. But his all or nothing style has cost him victories when he wasn’t able to get the early stoppage.
In his last bout against Boxer Tony Sims, Trujillo paced himself much better and looked like a fighter prepared to go into later rounds. Fortunately for Trujillo he was able to submit Sims with a guillotine in the first and did not have to test out his more conservative style.
Jordan Rinaldi: Rinaldi will be debuting on short notice, filling in for Carlos Diego Ferreira who was pulled from the fight by USADA for a failed drug test.
Rinaldi’s home base is in Charlotte, but he also spends time in Vegas working his kick boxing with “One Kick” Nick. Rinaldi is mainly a wrestler that uses basic combos to close the distance and set up a take down.
His biggest wins have come against Dennis Bermudez and Clay Harvison.
The Fight: Trujillo’s losses have come to solid durable grapplers, which is what Rinaldi is. However Rinaldi does not posses the strength to take Trujillo down or the striking prowess to stand with him.
Expect Trujillo to not exert as much energy early and stuff multiple shots from Rinaldi while punishing him on the feet. Late second round should be long enough for the accumulation of hard shots to get Rinaldi out of there. Trujillo TKO 2nd
-160 #6 Sara McMann (8-3) vs. + 140 #7 Jessica Eye (11-4)
Sara McMann: McMann has lost 3 of her last 4 bouts in the octagon. But before you write off the Olympic Silver medalist, take a look at her losses to former champ Ronda Rousey, current champ Miesha Tate and current title challenger Amanda Nunes.
She may not have the all around MMA skills to compete with the top of the sport, but her wrestling alone is good enough to defeat the majority of women on the UFC roster.
Jessica Eye: “Evil” Eye has also dropped 3 of her last 4, but to a slightly lower caliber list of opponents. Her losses included Alexis Davis, Miesha Tate and Julianna Penna.
Eye is a dangerous striker who can make a serious run at a title shot if she can sure up her take down defense.
The Fight: McMann will take some punishment in this one, but her wrestling is going to be too strong for Eye, who has had trouble with dominante wrestlers in the past and they dont get much more dominante than Mcmann. McMann Unanimous Decision