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UFC Vegas 51

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 51 Preview

UFC Vegas 51
(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 51 Preview

UFC Vegas 51 is an interesting card that has seen a lot of fighters pull out for various reasons leading to fights on shorter notice. The 14-fight card is capped off by a top 6 battle in the welterweight division. Outside of the main event, there is only one other fight involving ranked fighters, but a viral sensation will step into the octagon for his third fight. UFC Vegas 51 takes place on Saturday, April 16 with the prelims starting at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN+ and the main card beginning at 8:30 PM ET on ESPN.

Main Card

Vicente Luque (5) vs Belal Muhammad (6) – Welterweight

A rematch five and a half years in the making will solidify one welterweight’s place in the top five. When Vicente Luque and Belal Muhammad faced off at UFC 205 it was Luque who came out the victor. In that fight, it took Luque just over a minute to knock out Muhammad with a flurry of punches. In the 24 fights between the two since, they have combined for only three losses, two for Luque and one for Muhammad.

Luque enters UFC Vegas 51 riding a four-fight winning streak with all four wins coming by stoppage. The last two times Luque stepped in the octagon he won with a first-round submission via D’Arce choke. First, he beat former UFC welterweight champion Tyrone Woodley and then most recently he beat Michael Chiesa. His last loss came against Stephen Thompson by unanimous decision.

Thompson was also the last person that Muhammad fought. Unlike Luque, he beat Thompson by unanimous decision. With the win, Muhammad extended his unbeaten streak to seven. The only blemish for Muhammad in that streak was a fight with Leon Edwards that was called a no-contest after Muhammad was poked in the eye and unable to continue. Following the injury, he won back-to-back fights by unanimous decision beating Demain Maia and Thompson. Muhammad looked extremely good in the fight with Thompson and gained more confidence from beating the former title challenger.

Following last week’s UFC 273 both Luque and Muhammad moved one spot down the rankings due to Khamzat Chimaev jumping to the #3 spot. This Saturday is a chance for both Luque and Muhammad to move into the title conversation.


This fight should be very interesting with two different styles going at it. Unlike the first fight, I do not see this being finished in the first round, especially with 17 of Muhammad’s 24 fights going to a decision. I have Muhammad winning this fight by decision.

Caio Borralho vs Gadzhi Omargadzhiev – Middleweight

Two fighters making their UFC debuts square off in the penultimate fight of UFC Vegas 51. Brazil’s Caio Borralho holds a record of 10-1 with one no contest. Both of Borralho’s last two fights came in the Dana White Contender Series (DWCS), but he needed a first-round knockout of Jesse Murray to win a UFC contract after not being awarded one for beating Aaron Jeffery by decision previously. The win over Murray extended Borralho’s winning streak to seven and his unbeaten streak to 10. The lone loss of his career came in his second fight to Joao Carvalho.

Standing across from Borralho will be Gadzhi Omargadzhiev. The Russian also competed in the DWCS in his last fight and won with a first-round submission. The win extended Omargadzhiev’s perfect record to 13-0 and granted him a shot in the UFC. What is more impressive is that only two of those wins came by decision while the 29-year-old has eight knockout wins and three submission wins. 


These two debutants will be looking to make a name for themselves in the UFC with a win. I have Omargadzhiev winning by knockout.

Miguel Baeza vs Andre Fialho – Welterweight

After going 10-0 to start his MMA career, Miguel Baeza lost both of his fights in 2021 and now looks to end the losing streak when he faces Andre Fialho. Baeza lost to Khaos Williams by TKO last November after losing by decision to Santiago Ponzinibbio in June. Prior to the losses the Florida native had finished all three of his UFC opponents, he beat Hector Aldana and Matt Brown by TKO before beating Takashi Sato by submission.

Fialho also comes into UFC Vegas 51 after a loss last time out. In January at UFC 270, Fialho stepped in on short notice to fight Michel Pereira and fell on the wrong side of the judges’ scorecards. That fight was his UFC debut and ended a four-fight win streak. All four fights on that streak ended by knockout including an 18-second finish of Sang Hoon Yoo. Only the first fight of the streak went into a second round and even then he finished James Vick.

The chances that this fight ends with a knockout are pretty high as Baeza has seven of his ten wins coming by knockout while Fialho has 11 of 14 wins being knockouts.


A stand-up battle will likely go down and while both are more than capable of putting the other’s lights out only one will get back in the win column. I have Fialho winning by knockout.

Mayra Bueno Silva vs Wu Yanan – Women’s Bantamweight

Both Mayra Bueno Silva and Wu Yanan are looking to get back to winning ways at UFC Vegas 51. Silva has only one win in her last four fights to go with a draw and two losses but began 6-0 before recent struggles. Her last fight was against Manon Fiorot and ended with a unanimous decision loss. She has not won a fight since 2020 when she submitted Mara Romero Borella with an armbar in the first round. Both losses in Silva’s career came by decision which is fortunate as her opponent, Yanan, has only one decision win in the octagon. She is moving back up to bantamweight after spending her five-fight UFC career in the flyweight division.

Yanan has had little success as of late losing two straight fights and three of her last four. The three losses all came by decision. However, her last fight was 15 months ago so a lot may have changed. Last time out she faced Joselyne Edwards and lost by unanimous decision. At 25 years of age, Yanan is in the biggest slump of her career after starting 11-1 before moving to the UFC. So far her only win in the UFC came in her second fight against Lauren Mueller.


Two fighters that have not fared too well in fights going the distance will be looking to get a finish and keep the fight under 15 minutes. I have Yanan winning by submission.

Pat Sabatini vs TJ Laramie – Featherweight

Pat Sabatini made his UFC debut just under a year ago and won all three fights in 2021. The wins extended his win streak to five. In his last fight, Sabatini needed to go to the scorecards to get a unanimous decision win over Tucker Lutz. That was his second UFC win that came by decision with a submission of Jamall Emmers splitting the two. Sabatini has three losses in his career and each time he responded with a winning streak. His last loss came against James Gonzales after a gruesome armbar that dislocated Sabatini’s shoulder and elbow. What was incredible in that loss was that despite his arm being destroyed, Sabatini did not tap therefore losing by TKO.

Facing the tough Sabatini at UFC Vegas 51 will be TJ Laramie who is looking to redeem himself after losing his UFC debut last time out. In that fight, Laramie was submitted in under a minute by Darrick Minner. That fight was 18 months ago and after a year full of injuries the Canadian will be back in the octagon. Laramie is now 24 years old and has been fighting in professional MMA since 2015 which means he has a lot of experience for being such a young fighter. This could come in handy against a tough opponent like Sabatini. 

This fight is a clash of styles since Sabatini is a far superior grappler having 10 of his 16 wins coming by submission. On the other hand, Laramie has only two submission wins but makes up for it with seven knockout victories. 


This fight could go either way, but a lot depends on how comfortable Laramie is in the cage after such a long time out of action. I have Sabatini winning by submission.

Mounir Lazzez vs Ange Loosa – Welterweight

Another fighter that will be making his UFC debut at UFC Vegas 51 is Switzerland’s Ange Loosa. After starting his career 6-0 Loosa has gone 2-2 in his last four fights with all four going to a decision. Loosa last fought two weeks ago when he beat John Howard by unanimous decision and is taking this fight with Mounir Lazzez on just four days’ notice.

Lazzez was originally scheduled to face Elizeu Zaleski who withdrew this week for personal reasons. Coming off a TKO loss in his last fight against Warlley Alves, Lazzez will be looking to get back to winning ways and start a new winning streak. Prior to the loss, Lazzez had won three straight including his UFC debut by decision against Abdul Razak Alhassan.


Loosa has been inconsistent in his last four fights and that is not ideal against a lethal finisher in Lazzez. The Tunisian has an 80% knockout rate in his 10 wins. I have Lazzez getting back in the win column and winning by knockout.

Prelims to Watch

Lina Lansberg (11) vs Pannie Kianzad (12) – Women’s Bantamweight

Two ranked Swedish bantamweights will face off when Lina Lansberg and Pannie Kianzad step into the octagon at UFC Vegas 51. This will be the first time that Lansberg has fought in over two years. You need to go back to January 2020 for her last fight in which she had a unanimous decision loss to Sara McMann. She gets a chance to return to winning ways against the person she made her MMA debut against in Kianzad.

In December 2012, the two faced off in Sweden and it was Kianzad who came out victorious with a TKO finish seconds before the closing bell. Kianzad was riding a four-fight win streak before losing to Raquel Pennington by decision last time out. Going to a decision has been a trend in her career as she has had 15 of 21 fights going the distance.


On the line for the #11 and #12 fighters is a shot at a top 10 opponent next time out and a chance to return to winning ways. I have Lansberg getting revenge in the rematch and winning by decision.

Chris Barnett vs Martin Buday – Heavyweight

Chris Barnett may look like a heavyweight, but there are not many fighters in any division that move as smoothly as him. His UFC debut did not go his way as he was submitted by Ben Rothwell. However, Barnett became a star in his next fight where he knocked down Gian Villante with a spinning wheel kick before finishing him with some punches. Following the finish, Barnett did an Earth-shaking frontflip that put the crowd into a frenzy. Barnett enters UFC Vegas 51 having won seven of his last eight fights with five knockouts.

Now the lovable heavyweight will face Martin Buday. Buday has won eight straight and will be stepping into the UFC octagon for the first time. The Slovakian is 9-1 overall and beat Lorenzo Hood on the DWCS by knockout in his last fight to secure the move to the UFC. Buday has a significant height advantage as he stands eight inches taller than Barnett. It will be interesting to see if he uses that size advantage to keep Barnett at distance.


I want to pick Barnett because there are not many more entertaining fighters on the UFC roster, but Buday’s size and skill will be too much. I have Buday winning by knockout.

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