Bellator 292 and UFC Vegas 71

UFC Vegas 71 + Bellator 292 + Weekly MMA Report

UFC 285 was one of the craziest cards of the year. Two belts changed their owners. After many dominant title defenses in a row, Valentina Shevchenko was finally dethroned. She missed Alexa Grasso with a left spinning back kick, and the Mexican jumped on her back and finished her with a nasty rear-naked choke.

The UFC heavyweight belt has a new owner, and his name is Jon Jones. Francis Ngannou vacated the belt after his win over Ciryl Gane, and Jones defeated the same opponent via guillotine choke from a cage seated position. Right off the bat, Jones initiated a takedown and stopped the dangerous French Muay Thai striker after only 2 minutes in the first round.

There were many top-notch combats in T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada. The Performance of the Night awards was given to the new title owners, Alexa Grasso and Jon Jones. The third POTN award went into the hands of wrestling hype train Bo Nickal, who successfully finished Jamie Pickett with a lovely arm-triangle choke in the first round.

The Fight of the Night award was given to Shavkat Rakhmonov and Geoff Neal. The two participated in an open brawl for ten minutes. In the third, Shavkat changed his strategy, clinched up with his opponent, took the back, and finished Neal with a standing rear-naked choke against the fence.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will not travel this weekend. The promotion stays in Las Vegas, Nevada, the United States of America, for the UFC Vegas 71 event. The whole event airs on ESPN+ for USA-based fans and on UFC on Fight Pass for fans outside the USA.

Photo: @UFCBrasil Twitter

The combat headlines the event between the most technical chain wrestler at 135, Merab Dvalishvili, and the greatest bantamweight boxer with great defensive scrambles, Petr Yan.

Merab is known for its great chin, cage control, constant pressure, and unique ability to survive the most excellent bombs. Yan’s hands are a huge threat; he is mighty, plus his reaction time rocks. The former UFC champ is looking to bounce back after a questionable split decision loss to Sean O’Malley, and this is to be or not to be for him.

Prediction: the Fight goes the distance

The match between Alexander Volkov and Alexandr Romanov is a typical example of a clash of styles. Romanov is a top-notch grappler with excellent takedown offense, cage control, and a top game. At the same time, Volkov is a black belt in Karate with one of the most excellent takedown defenses in the UFC heavyweight division.

It is hard to expect this Fight to go the distance. Suppose it stays standing, Volkov via KO. But Romanov could easily drag it to the ground and finish with a submission or a violent barrage of ground-and-pound bombs.

Prediction: the Fight will not go the distance

Here is the full lineup for the upcoming UFC Vegas 71 event. You can check the topology link because last-minute changes are possible.

Main Card (ESPN+, UFC On Fight Pass, 6 PM ET, midnight CET)

Bantamweight (135 pounds): Petr Yan (16-4-0) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (15-4-0)

Heavyweight (265 pounds): Alexander Volkov (35-10-0) vs. Alexandr Romanov (16-1-0)

Light Heavyweight (205 pounds): Nikita Krylov (29-9-0) vs. Ryan Spann (21-7-0)

Featherweight (145 pounds): Ricardo Ramos (16-4-0) vs. Austin Lingo (9-1-0)

Bantamweight (135 pounds): Said Nurmagomedov (17-2-0) vs. Jonathan Martinez (17-4-0)

Light Heavyweight (205 pounds): Vitor Petrino (7-0-0) vs. Anton Turkalj (8-1-0)

Preliminary Card (ESPN+, UFC On Fight Pass, 3 PM ET, 9 PM UK CET)

Heavyweight (265 pounds): Łukasz Brzeski (8-2-1) vs. Karl Williams (7-1-0)

Bantamweight (135 pounds): Raphael Assunção (27-9-0) vs. Davey Grant (12-6-0)

Middleweight (185 pounds): Sedriques Dumas (7-0-0) vs. Josh Fremd (9-4-0)

Bantamweight (135 pounds): Mario Bautista (11-2-0) vs. Guido Cannetti (10-6-0)

Flyweight (125 pounds): JJ Aldrich (11-5-0) vs. Ariane Lipski (14-8-0)

Bantamweight (135 pounds): Tony Gravely (23-8-0) vs. Victor Henry (22-6-0)

Flyweight (125 pounds): Tyson Nam (21-12-1) vs. Bruno Silva (12-5-2)

Welterweight (170 pounds): Carlston Harris (17-5-0) vs. Abubakar Nurmagomedov (17-3-1)

Here are my picks for UFC Vegas 71 card.

But another top-notch event will go down this weekend – Bellator 292! The preliminary card is available on YouTube, while you can look at the main card on Showtime.

Photo: @BellatorMMA Twitter

An undefeated striker with excellent wrestling, Usman Nurmagomedov, will square off against very dangerous former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson in the main event of the evening. Prime Henderson could give Usman a hard time, but Nurmagomedov currently has better cardio, so this should be his win.

Prediction: Usman to win 

The co-main event of the evening is pretty interesting. Tofiq Musaev’s chain wrestling will be tested versus an all-around fighter Alexander Shabliy. Musaev is an aggressive pressure grappler with great angles and superb cage control, but Shabliy’s counters rock. He should be fine as long as Shabliy keeps the bout on the feet. But it is tough to stuff Musaev’s takedown attempts.

Please check my Bellator main card predictions below. We’ve got two unique back-to-back events this weekend. Bellator MMA takes place on Friday, and UFC Vegas 71 kicks off at 3 PM ET on Saturday. It is an appropriate time for European fans too. Relax, sit next to your watching device, and enjoy fantastic nights of combats!

Vladimir Vladisavljevic has been training in the art of kickboxing for over seven years, holds a Taekwondo black belt, and has a master's degree in sports and physical education. He's also a huge mixed martial arts fan. He's a big deal in Bulgaria as a mixed martial arts commentator, analyst, and podcaster.
Article by

Vladimir Vladisavljevic

Vladimir Vladisavljevic has a master's degree in sports and physical education. He has been training in kickboxing for over seven years and holds a Taekwondo black belt. He's also a huge mixed martial arts fan. Vladimir is a big deal in Bulgaria as a mixed martial arts commentator, analyst, and podcaster. He was known as The Bulgarian Cowboy in the Western world. In addition, he has a YouTube channel where he talks about his love of esports, one of the fastest-growing fields in the world. Our testing and reviewing method.
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