Grant Emrick Previews UFC Fight Night

UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Rodriguez

July 16, 2022

Emrick’s UFC Fighter Pick Record (152-79) – 66% Correct

Prelim Predictions:

WSTRAW: Jessica Penne (14-6) vs. Emily Ducote (11-6)

  • Pick: Emily Ducote

MW: Dwight Grant (11-5) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (13-4)

  • Pick: Dwight Grant

LHW: Dustin Jacoby (17-5-1) vs. Da Un Jung (15-2-1)

  • Pick: Da Un Jung

FW: Bill Algeo (15-6) vs. Herbert Burns (11-3)

  • Pick: Bill Algeo

BW: Ricky Simon (19-3) vs. Jack Shore (16-0)

  • Pick: Jack Shore

MW: Punahele Soriano (8-2) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (11-4)

  • Pick: Punahele Soriano

Via @panteraufc on Instagram

Main Card Predictions:

WFLY: Lauren Murphy (15-5) vs. Miesha Tate (19-8) 

  • Pick: Miesha Tate (-220)
  • Quick Reasoning: Miesha Tate is the more well-rounded fighter by far. Not only is Tate very talented on the ground, but she also has solid hands that were able to outstrike the likes of Ketlen Vieira and Marion Renau. Her offensive skillset may be too much for Murphy, who was outstruck in 5 of her last 7 fights. Give me Tate pushing the pace for three rounds en route to a smooth UD.

FW: Shane Burgos (14-3) vs. Charles Jourdain (13-4-1)

  • Pick: Shane Burgos (-170)
  • Quick Reasoning: Fight of the Night potential is on the line in this matchup. While Burgos has taken a lot of damage in his last three fights against Josh Emmett, Edson Barboza, and Billy Quarantillo, he’s had the edge in experience and stiffer competition. Jourdain has a crazier, unorthodox, approach to his fight skills. I love watching Jourdain and believe he has a lot of potential to crack into a stacked top 15 division, but I think Burgos has a more crisp boxing advantage that should give Jourdain trouble. If Burgos can keep it on the feet and defend takedowns as he usually does, then I see Burgos getting a UD or late-round KO victory.

FLY: Matt Schnell (15-6, 1 NC) vs. Su Mudaerji (16-4)

  • Pick: Matt Schnell (+210)
  • Quick Reasoning: This is a super tough fight to call, especially considering the long layoff of Su Mudaerji and Schnell’s suspect chin. Mudaerji has pretty good hands, especially considering he beat a solid kickboxer in Zarrukh Adashev, who has since been released by the UFC. Schnell, on the other hand, has so much untapped potential. He took a tough loss – which has been overturned to a no contest – to Rogerio Bontorin via TKO, then was submitted by Brandon Royval after rocking him hard early in the first round. A minor lapse in judgment trying to get off the mat left Schnell submitted moments later by Royval, ruining a great moment of redemption and place in the flyweight division. Similar to Burgos, I believe Schnell has better experience and ability to work on the mat more effectively than Mudaerji, who has some submission loss issues of his own. As long as Schnell plays it smart, doesn’t get too aggressive, and mixes it up, Schnell will be able to pull this off. Although risky, give me the underdog here via UD. 

WW: Li Jingliang (18-7) vs. Muslim Salikhov (18-2)

  • Pick: Muslim Salikhov (-165)
  • Quick Reasoning: This pick isn’t made in overreaction to Chimaev having his way with Li Jingliang in their last fight, but out of the momentum Salikhov has built to this point. Salikhov does have a year-plus layoff since his last win, but his defensive abilities against strikes are nearly at a 70% clip. Salikhov is super accurate, but don’t expect crazy volume and look for a finish unless given a prime opportunity. Jingliang, on the other hand, is a killer. He’ll be looking to mix it up on the feet and mat while operating with power to shut the lights out of his opponents. However, he has struggled against super-technical Neil Magny and Jake Matthews. We will have to see if Salikhov belongs in the welterweight ranking discussions, but I feel like the technical aspects – especially on defense – provides him with some solid advantages over Jingliang. This fight could shift momentum at any time, but I have to side with Salikhov in a UD win.

WSTRAW: Michelle Waterson (18-9) vs. Amanda Lemos (11-2-1) 

  • Pick: Amanda Lemos (-340)
  • Quick Reasoning: Although Lemos does get tired as the fight goes on, her striking and overall strength places her in a position for an early finish or a dominant 29-28 victory at least. Yes, Lemos did get submitted in a standing arm triangle against Jessica Andrade, but there are a small number of UFC fighters that can put up a decent fight against that caliber of opponent. With crazy KO power, great takedown defense at 88%, and a reach advantage of 3”, I’d feel wrong to pick against Lemos. Waterson has been outstruck in her last four fights, which she’s gone 1-3 in, along with carrying worse fight metrics than Lemos. I do believe Waterson’s opponents are better, but Lemos does have the better odds to enter the title picture once again with a few more big wins. Give me Lemos by early TKO or a 29-28 UD. 

FW: Brian Ortega (15-2, 1 NC) vs. Yair Rodriguez (14-3, 1 NC)

  • Pick: Yair Rodriguez (+145)
  • Quick Reasoning: Although Rodriguez put up a 1-4 or 2-3 performance against Max Holloway, he sure as hell looked a lot better than Ortega did, and that was coming after his first fight following a two-year layoff. In the spotlight, Ortega has fallen in love too much with his hands, often avoiding the grappling advantages that got him near championship-level status throughout his career. If he chooses to stand-and-bang with Yair, this fight could be over before the championship rounds. But if Ortega goes to the mat, it could be a very close matchup that is likely to go the distance. Personally, I believe the last performance by Rodriguez gives me a lot of hope in his second fight back from his absence. He went up against the – currently – clear number two guy in the featherweight division and pushed Holloway into a fairly competitive matchup. Overall, I have to side with the hands and better-roundedness Rodriguez has to bounce back for his first win since 2019. Give me Yair by a TKO in the third, or a 4-1 UD. 

Emrick’s Combat Sports Betting (-1.182u):

  • Straight Bets:
    • Dawg of the Week (2-1): Yair Rodriguez ML
      • 1u to win 1.4u
    • Da Un Jung ML
      • 0.5u to win 0.55u
    • Jack Shore ML
      • 1.5u to win 0.909u
  • Parlay Bets:
    • Lemos ML and Ortega/Rodriguez to start Round 2
      • 2u to win 1.040u
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