UFC Vegas 60 Preview and Predictions
The UFC is returning to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC Vegas 60. You can tell this is a Fight Night at the Apex as we only have two ranked fighters on the main card — Cory Sandhagen and Song Yadong — and they will square off in the main event. This will be Sandhagen’s return to the UFC octagon after losing to Petr Yan in an interim title fight. On the other hand, Yadong is looking to break into the bantamweight top five. I am joined by Vendetta Sports Media’s preview team which includes Garrett Burroughs and Chris Chick to break down and predict each fight on the main card. Jerry Walker is also joining in on his first preview since returning to Vendetta. Here are our predictions records thus far.
- James: 28-22
- Garrett: 32-18
- Chris: 7-6
- Jerry: 0-0
Anthony Hernandez vs Marc-Andre Barriault- Middleweight
James: Anthony Hernandez and Marc-Andre Barriault are set to open the main card of UFC Vegas 60. Hernandez has gone 3-2 in the UFC, but he has done some good work in the promotion. His most notable accomplishment was his submission victory over Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Rodolfo Vieira. Barriault struggled upon entry to the UFC as he began his UFC career with three straight losses. However, he turned things around as he went 3-1 with one no contest in his next five fights.
Hernandez and Barriault are two very different fighters. Hernandez strikes from a distance and does so with power. On the ground, he utilizes his strong Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. On the other hand, Barriault will look to get inside and land strikes from the clinch. This should be a very close fight. Whichever fighter can implement their preferred game plan will walk away victorious. If Hernandez can land on the outside and threaten submissions when the fight is close, he should win. I will take Hernandez by decision.
Garrett: Hernandez via decision
Chris: Hernandez via second-round TKO
Jerry: Hernandez via decision
Tanner Boser vs Rodrigo Nascimento Ferreira- Heavyweight
James: Tanner Boser and Rodrigo Nascimento Ferreira will square off in the only heavyweight matchup on the UFC Vegas 60 main card. Boser is an established member of the UFC heavyweight division boasting a 4-3 record in the promotion. His UFC record is slightly misleading as one of his losses came against Ciryl Gane — no shame there. He also lost to Andrei Arlovski in a close fight that could have been scored in his favor. On the other hand, Ferreira has less experience in the UFC, but he has shown promise. He is 1-1 with one no contest in the UFC — the one loss was against Chris Daukaus.
Yet again we have two fighters with varying styles. Boser is a solid boxer that has very quick hands for the heavyweight division. He also throws at a high volume. Ferreira’s game is far more grappling based. His submissions are impressive, and he has good transitions on the ground. I think Ferreira can find a submission if he is able to get the fight to the ground. I will take Ferreira by submission in round two.
Garrett: Ferreira via TKO
Chris: Ferreira via thrid-round submission
Jerry: Boser via KO/TKO
Joe Pyfer vs Alen Amedovski- Middleweight
James: Joe Pyfer is making his UFC debut after an impressive knockout victory on Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) that led Dana White to say, “Be Joe Pyfer.” Clearly, White is rewarding Pyfer for his showing on DWCS. Alen Amedovski should be the preferred opponent for any fighter making their UFC debut in the middleweight division, as he is currently 0-3 in the UFC. The worst of these losses came against John Phillips. Phillips knocked Amedovski out in just 13 seconds. Phillips did not win another fight in the organization and has since been cut.
Amedovski is a great stylistic matchup for Pyfer. He comes forward and looks to trade heavy strikes with his opponent. Pyfer should be able to capitalize on that by utilizing his great counterstriking. If needed, he could probably outwrestle Amedovski too. I will take Pyfer by first-round knockout.
Garrett: Pyfer via submission
Chris: Pyfer via second-round TKO
Jerry: Pyfer via KO/TKO
Andre Fili vs Bill Algeo- Featherweight
James: Andre Fili and Bill Algeo could be a sleeper pick for fight of the night. The main event is the most likely candidate for that award, but we will talk more about that later. Fili is an established UFC veteran as he has tallied 18 fights in the promotion. His record in these 18 fights is 9-8 with one no contest. Once again, this record may not seem impressive at first glance. When you take a deeper look at his resume you can see that five of his losses have come against fighters that are currently ranked. Algeo is on a two-fight win streak which has raised his UFC record to 3-2. His last fight was an impressive victory against Herbert Burns in July at UFC Long Island.
Fili and Algeo have quite a few shared traits. They are both lengthy strikers that love to fight on the outside. The biggest differences between the two are that Algeo has better cardio while Fili has better offensive takedowns. This fight will be another close fight. In a close fight, Fili should be able to land a couple of takedowns that can help swing close rounds in his favor. I will take Fili by decision.
Garrett: Algeo via decision
Chris: Algeo via first-round KO
Jerry: Algeo via decision
Chidi Njokuani vs Gregory Rodrigues- Middleweight
James: Chidi Njokuani is in the midst of the best stretch of his MMA career. He is currently on a four-fight win streak that includes two first-round finishes in the UFC. The other two fighters were knockout finishes, one was on DWCS and the other was on the regional scene. The highlight of this stretch was his finish of Dusko Todorovic at UFC Vegas 55 which proved that he is a talented middleweight. Njokuani’s opponent will be Gregory Rodrigues. Rodrigues is also on a hot streak as he is 5-1 in his last six. Both of these fighters are on the upswing and the winner will fight themselves just outside the top 15.
This fight is an interesting matchup. Njokuani and Rodrigues are both great strikers. Njokuani is more technical, and he has a good variety of tools. He throws great kicks, has solid boxing, and mixes in knees and elbows. Rodrigues focuses mostly on boxing while he moves forward. Both guys are also very underrated grapplers. The difference in grappling is that Njokuani has great submissions, but he struggles against strong wrestlers while Rodrigues is far more balanced and can grapple from multiple positions. Rodrigues could find success if he looks to take Njokuani down and hold him down. I am not convinced that he will do that as he has shown that he prefers to strike. When he does strike, he tends to leave his opponent opportunities as his striking defense is flawed. I think Njokuani takes advantage of that. I will take Njokuani by knockout in round one.
Garrett: Njokuani via TKO
Chris: Njokuani via first-round KO
Jerry: Njokuani via KO/TKO
No. 3 Cory Sandhagen vs No. 10 Song Yadong- Bantamweight
James: In the main event of UFC Vegas 60, Cory Sandhagen will return to the UFC octagon after his loss to interim title loss to Petr Yan at UFC 267. If you were to solely look at Sandhagen’s 2-3 record over his last five fights you would probably not be impressed. However, all three losses have come from elite competition. The most recent was the previously mentioned title bout against Yan. The other two came against current champion Aljamain Sterling and former champion TJ Dillashaw. In fairness, the loss to Dillashaw came by way of a razor-thin decision loss that could have gone either way. His opponent, Yadong, entered the UFC at the age of 19. Now 24, Yadong is preparing for his first fight against the bantamweight division’s elite. Yadong has earned this opportunity by going 8-1-1 in the UFC with wins over Marlon Moraes, Marlon Vera, and more.
It is rare that we see a fighter in Sandhagen’s position take a fight against an up-and-coming fighter like Yadong. As Sandhagen sits with the No. 3 ranking, he likely could have waited for a higher-ranked opponent as Yadong is currently ranked No. 10. The stark difference in ranking means each fighter has something different on the line. Sandhagen is currently under much more pressure as looks to prove that he deserves his place in the top five. A loss with cause a significant slide in his current status among the bantamweight contenders. In the case of Yadong, if he is able to defeat Sandhagen, he would catapult into the top five at bantamweight and he would immediately be involved in title talks. Even if he lost, it would be chalked up as, too much too soon, and his stock would not drop.
This fight screams fight of the night. Sandhagen and Yadong are two of the best strikers in the bantamweight division. They each have strengths and weaknesses on the ground, but I doubt we see either fighter mix in a lot of wrestling. As far as striking goes, Sandhagen is a prime example of a fighter that utilizes every possible tool. He has a wide range of punches, elbows, knees, and kicks that he will use in a fight. In addition, he has strong footwork that helps him avoid strikes while he attacks from various angles. Yadong’s striking is mostly done through boxing. He has fight-ending power in both hands, and he puts it on display often. Yadong’s hand speed is off the charts. This, along with feints, helps him land massive power strikes. Plus, he strikes to the body.
I really have a hard time predicting this fight. Both fighters do a handful of things that make them elite and I have a difficult time picking between their skill sets. Ultimately, I think we leave this fight saying, “Yadong is good, but Sandhagen was just too much for him.” Sandhagen’s experience in five-round fights against Yan and Dillashaw will come in handy and could be the difference maker here. I will take Sandhagen by decision.
Garrett: Sandhagen via submission
Chris: Sandhagen via second-round KO
Jerry: Sandhagen via decision