Octagon’s most dominant champion faces his most dangerous challenge this weekend (Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020) at the UFC 254 when Kabib Noormagomedov takes on the knockout machine Justin Keidev. The Flash Forum on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates will host a clash between Jared Canonier and Robert Whittaker, as well as Bill Howes against Aussie Jacob Malcoun.
There are three UFC 254 “Prelims” undercard matches to preview and predict (see first set here), so let’s fix that …
265 lbs.: Stephen Stroove Against. This is Tuwasa
Stephen Stroove (29-12) embraced a three-fight defeat by re-submitting Marcos Rogerio de Lima in February last year and then announced his intention to leave the game on a high note. Unable to stay away, he faced Ben Rothwell in December 2019, who used heavy punches and a series of low blows.
Of his 29 professional wins, 27 have come within walking distance, 18 of them through submission.
Mark Hunt’s Azolite – Toy Duasa (10-3) started his Octagon career right (3-0), just like the UFC’s next big Australian thing. He has since equaled his record with three consecutive defeats, most recently hitting a Sergei Spivak hand triangle a year ago.
He leaves 10 inches high and 9.5 inches wide for the “skyscraper”.
As you can see it is binary compatible. If Struve gets it on the ground, he should have a little trouble tapping the cropping-incompetent “bom bom” in the short row. If the pair spend any time on the legs, Duavasa will tap Strue’s base knee in the fifth row.
Just as Tuavasa’s recent attempts have been disappointing, Struve’s had as deep success as ever, and if there’s one thing Duavasa does not have, it’s killer instinct. Until he gets involved in the clinic and opens himself up to Straw’s cunning throws, Duavasa expects Strau to support the fence and repeat Hunt’s efforts with a series of punches.
Prediction: Tuasa via first round technical knockout
170 lbs.: Alex Oliveira Against. Shavkat Rakhmonov
Following a major event loss to Donald Seron in 2016, Alex Oliveira (22-8-1) went 6-1 (1 N.C.) in his next eight, taking home three post-war bonuses in the process. Then came three fight skids, from which he returned earlier this year with results on Max Griffin and Peter Sopota.
“Cowboy” is about 2.5 weeks in the making and Elysee Jalezki is stepping into Santos.
Kazakhstan’s Shavkat Rakhmonov (12-0) never saw the judges as a professional, finishing all but one of his 12 matches in two rounds. In his 2019 campaign he knocked out Daniel Pricasa for the M-1 belt and defended it three months later with the first round ending of Diego Varejo.
This will be his first fight in almost 16 months, as he has dropped both scheduled introductions in March and July.
The outcome of this fight depends on how long it lasts. Rakhmonov became the flash code at the start of the 2018 victory over Faridun Odilo, which should give some hope to the more powerful Oliveira. The Kazakh survived, but we continued to see Olivera fall by midway point in the second round. Both Rockmonov provide the wrestler with enough skill to keep Olivera from successfully sailing and some fantastic turf and pounds, meaning that Olivera will not be able to catch up with his back if the gas tank is empty.
I have always supported Rakmono, who has shown some improved strikes of late, and can completely destroy Olivera if he fails to find an early end. In short, Rakhmonov escapes the early storm to wipe out the Brazilians late.
Prediction: Rakmonov via third-round technical knockout
205 lbs.: Da Ann Jung Against. Sam Alvey
Don Ann Jung (13-2) stumbled from a professional gate with a loss to Jun Soo Lim and future UFC rival Rock Martinez, but won 10 straight and took a place in the Octagon last year. Khadis started his UFC campaign with Ibrahimovic’s guillotine finish, then took 64 seconds to knock out Mike Rodriguez in December 2019.
He has knocked out 10 professional opponents and submitted two.
Sam Alvey (33-14) successfully kicked off his UFC Light Heavyweight campaign by knocking down Markin Bruscio and Gian Villande, extending his consecutive run to 7-2 in the process. He did not taste victory and entered the cage after four fight defeats this Saturday.
He faces a two-inch height shortfall and a three-inch achievable disadvantage.
Here’s an interesting factor for you: Bad Power-Puncher Alvi, who has only scored one knockout since 2016. It was an 11-fight period in which he was only able to stop Markin Prasnio, who first charged face to face with Alvie’s counter. It would not seem prudent to expect that he would set aside the naturally big man Jung, who is long enough to avoid Alvi’s hackers.
The question is whether Jung will win, and whether he will get knocked out is low; Alvi’s chin trembled a bit recently, so he says. Heavy punches knocked the Korean slugger out 3-0 at Octagon.
Prediction: Jung via first round technical knockout
It is difficult to argue that the UFC 254 admission price is not worth it. Saturday, maniac.
Note that MMAmania.com offers live round-by-round, blow-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card Here, Starting early ESPN + Online “prelims” apply, scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m., then the remaining undercard balance ESPN 2 /ESPN + ET at 12 noon, ET at 2 pm before the BPV Main Card start time ESPN +.
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