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UFC Vegas 58 Preview And Predictions 

UFC Vegas 58
(Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 58 Preview And Predictions 

After International Fight Week, the UFC will be back at the UFC Apex for UFC Vegas 58 on Saturday, July 9. We will have a six-fight main card that includes a solid contrast of prospects and veterans. This creates some interesting matchups that will affect how several divisions play out in the future. I am joined by Garrett Burroughs to provide a preview and prediction for each fight on the main card.

Michael Johnson vs Jamie Mullarkey- Lightweight

James: Michael Johnson and Jamie Mullarkey will open the UFC Vegas 58 main card. This should be a very good fight between two exciting strikers. Michael Johnson is a great boxer that has beat some of the biggest names in the UFC including Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, and more. However, overall, he has accrued an MMA record of 20-17. He did look better in his last fight against Alan Patrick, but Mullarkey is a large step-up in competition. Mullarkey is only 2-3 in the UFC, but he looked really good in his wins against Devonte Smith and Khama Worthey. 

This fight should take place on the feet. However, Johnson in not a great grappler and Mullarkey may look to take advantage of that. I think the biggest question is the durability of each fighter. Johnson has not been durable lately, but Mullarkey is making a quick return after a bad knockout loss against Jalin Turner. Overall, I think Mullarkey is better and will be durable at this stage of his career. This will result in Mullarkey winning by knockout in the second round.

Garrett: Mullarkey by submission.

Cynthia Calvillo vs Nina Nunes – Women’s Flyweight

James: Cynthia Calvillo and Nina Nunes will square off in a matchup between two veterans. Calvillo is 34 and has lost three of her last four. On the other hand, Nunes is 36 and has dropped her last two fights. In addition, Nunes is moving up to flyweight for the first time in her UFC career. This matchup allows one veteran to get back in the win column. 

This fight is hard to predict. The reason for that is I think this fight comes down to both fighters’ mentality. In this scenario, I think the fighter that wants it more will get it done. In all honesty, both fighters are closer to retirement than title contention. For a prediction, I think Nunes will be a step ahead. I think the jump up in weight class will serve her well. I will take Nunes by decision.

Garrett: Calvillo by decision.

Jared Vanderaa vs Chase Sherman- Heavyweight

James: This fight between Jared Vanderaa and Chase Sherman is not the best UFC fight you’ll see. Vanderra is 12-8 and 1-4 in his last five. Sherman is on his second UFC run and has lost his last four fights. It seems like the loser of this fight gets cut from the UFC. I am unsure why this is on the main card, but it is. 

For a prediction, this fight is cut and dry. Sherman is a good boxer and a much better striker. Vanderaa is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and is a much better grappler. In these scenarios, I prefer to pick the grappler. I will take Vanderaa by submission in round two.

Garrett: Sherman by decision.

Douglas Silva de Andrade vs Said Nurmagomedov- Bantamweight

James: Despite carrying the last name Nurmagomedov, Said is not related to UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov. However, he does train with Khabib. Nurmagomeodv is one of the best prospects in the bantamweight division. He is 15-2 and has displayed a lot of great skills. This is led by his grappling. In his last fight, he submitted Cody Stamann in less than one minute. He has also displayed some great striking during his time in the UFC. Silva de Andrade is a 37-year-old veteran that is on a 2 fight win streak. He does have a handful of losses, but these have come against elite competition. 

Silva de Andrade is very well-rounded. He has great submissions with knockout power. His power will be his biggest advantage in this fight. However, Nurmagomedov is probably better in all other areas of the fight. I think Nurmagomedov plays it safe as he stays away from Silva de Andrade’s power. He can do this by landing strikes from a distance and getting takedowns. I think this results in Nurmagomedov winning by decision.

Garrett: Nurmagomedov by submission.

Caio Borralho vs Armen Petrosyan- Middleweight

James: Caio Borralho and Armen Petrosyan are two of the best-unranked prospects in the middleweight division. Previously, I ranked Borralho as the division’s best prospect, and I listed Petrosyan as an honorable mention. If that doesn’t tell you enough, I think very highly of both fighters and their skill sets. 

Borralho and Petrosyan are in similar stages in their career. Both fighters are 1-0 in the UFC after earning UFC contracts on Dana White’s Contender Series. Borralho is a well-rounded fighter, but excels in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He uses his Jiu-Jitsu to control position on top while hunting submissions. On the feet, he has power striking that includes a lot of straight attacks. Petrosyan will be the better striker in this one. If he wants to win, he will have to keep this fight on the feet for as long as possible. In terms of predictions, Borralho is more well-rounded and is the better grappler. That combination usually leads to success. If he can get this fight to the ground, he will have a heavy advantage. I think he is able to survive while the fight is standing and eventually land some takedowns. I will take Borralho by decision.

Garrett: Borralho by decision.

#7 Rafael dos Anjos vs Rafael Fiziev- Lightweight

James: The main event of UFC Vegas 58 is a great matchup between Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev. This is an opportunity for Fiziev to prove that he is a legit contender at lightweight. Fiziev is 11-1 and has wins over Brad Riddell, Bobby Green, and Renato Moicano. This matchup against dos Anjos will be an opportunity for him to take out a legend and break into the elite tier of fighters at lightweight. 

This is dos Anjos’ third fight at 155 since returning to the division in 2020. In this time, dos Anjos has gone 2-0 with wins over Paul Felder and Moicano. Dos Anjos is a very well-balanced fighter who comes in with a good game plan. This well-rounded skill set and experience will make dos Anjos a tough opponent for Fiziev. 

This fight is difficult to predict. Each fighter has a couple of strengths that they can utilize to win this fight. For Fiziev, he is going to be a better striker by a mile. He has great Muay Thai. Not only is he super technical, but he has a lot of speed and power. If he can land early, he may be able to finish dos Anjos. On the other hand, dos Anjos has a large grappling and cardio advantage. Plus, he beat Felder by utilizing grappling and cage control. Seeing him employ that game plan against Felder makes me more confident that he can implement that strategy in this fight. In turn, that would also help him wear on Fiziev’s gas tank as he looks to pull away in the later rounds. Overall, I think this fight is going to be incredibly competitive. With that being said, I trust that a young Fiziev has made improvements in the grappling and cardio departments, while dos Anjos’ striking has already peaked. For that reason, I will take Fiziev by knockout in round three.

Garrett: Fiziev by decision.

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