UFC 259

UFC 259 Prelims Summary and Picks

UFC 259 presents fans with a highly anticipated night of fights. With three belts on the line, the excitement is truly something else. From top contenders to potential fight of the nights, the UFC 259 prelims are jam packed with action. Certainly not to missed for fight fans.  Here, we’re going to run through the prelims, so you can be up to speed on Saturday. 

 

Dominick Cruz (22-3) Vs Casey Kenny (16-2-1 NC) – Bantamweight

 

In their last 5:

Cruz: LLWWW

Kenny: WWWLW

 

Betting odds: 

Cruz: +115

Kenny: -135

 

Cruz background: UFC legend Dominick Cruz returned to the octagon after three years to fight Henry Cejudo for the belt last May. He now faces up and coming Casey Kenny after a disappointing TKO loss. Cruz has 7 fights in the UFC, 6 of which have been title bouts. 

Cruz has notoriously good footwork. His unorthodox movement helps him open up angles to land strikes and create spaces. He has fantastic cardio and will push at a huge pace for the duration of the fight.   

Kenny background: Casey Kenny is 5-1 in his UFC career and is currently on a three fight win streak. Last time out Kenny overcame Nathaniel Wood on the judges scorecards after a close contest. He has 5 wins by submission and has never been stopped as a professional MMA fighter. 

Kenny throws his punches in combinations and omits a very fast pace. He is excellent both on the front foot and striking on the counter. He has excellent Jiu-Jitsu and will threaten submissions on the floor.  

 

My pick: Cruz

 

Song Yadong (16-4-1) Vs Kyler Phillips (8-1) – Bantamweight 

 

In their last 5:

Yadong: WDWWW

Phillips: WWWLW

 

Betting odds: 

Yadong: -160

Phillips: +135

 

Yadong background: Yadong at the youthful age of 23 is undefeated in his 6 UFC outings. Marlon Vera was his last opponent who he beat via unanimous decision back in May 2020. He is currently the number 14th ranked bantamweight. 

Yadong is an excellent, powerful striker. He tends to dart in and out of the range keeping pressure on his opponents. Yadong has never been finished in his professional MMA career. 

 

Phillips background: Phillips is a relatively new face in the UFC. He is 2-0 in since making his debut last February. Last time Phillips stepped into the cage he got a KO victory over Cameron Else. He has five wins by knockout and one by submission. His only loss came as a split decision. 

Phillips is a very unpredictable and unorthodox fighter. He carries great power in his hands and kicks. He is also an excellent wrestler and stays very active on the ground. He has a great pace and cardio to match it. 

 

My pick:  Phillips 

 

Joseph Benavidez (28-7) Vs Askar Askarov (12-0-1 NC) – Flyweight

 

In their last 5:

Benavidez: LLWWW

Askarov: WWDWW

 

Betting odds: 

Benavidez: +105

Askarov: -125

 

Benavidez background: Benavidez has been an ever-present force in the UFC flyweight division. Since making his debut just under 10 years ago, Benavidez has been involved in four title shots for the flyweight strap. With 35 professional MMA fights, he is truly a veteran of the sport. He is currently the number 2 flyweight in the world. 

His experience benefits him greatly as Benavidez has a fantastic fight IQ. An excellent wrestler who can get himself out of seemingly any situation, as well great BJJ. He likes to rush into the range and throw his punches in bunches. He has fantastic cardio

Askarov background: Russian Askarov has made a rapid ascent up the flyweight rankings since his introduction in 2019. He now finds himself the number 3 contender after a decision win over Alexandre Pantoja in July 2020. He has 10 finishes in his undefeated career. 

Askarov is a very well balanced fighter. He picks his shots on the feet and has great timing on takedowns. He has a suffocating wrestling style and will not given his opponents a moment’s peace. 

 

My pick: Benavidez

 

Rogerio Bontorin (16-2) Vs Kai Kara-France(21-9) – Flyweight 

 

In their last 5:

Bontorin: LWWWW

Kara-France: LWLWW

 

Betting odds: 

Bontorin: +115

Kara-France: -135

 

Bontorin background: With 14 finishes in 16 wins, Brazilian Bontorin is not one who likes to leave it to the judges. It’s been over a year since we last saw him inside the octagon. Last time out, we saw Ray Borg claim the victory after the pair went the distance. He is currently the number 8th ranked flyweight contender. 

 

Bontorin is a powerful flyweight. He possesses great power making him a threat on the feet. But his strength in the grappling exchanges are a major danger for anyone in the division.

Kara-France background: City Kickboxing’s Kara-France is currently the number 9th ranked UFC flyweight. Since his introduction to the organization in late 2018, he has a record of 4-2. He’ll be looking to bounce back after a submission loss to Brandon Royval at UFC 253. 

Kara-France has excellent striking and is very active on the feet. His cardio allows him to push the pace over the course of the 15 minutes. He is very good at keeping the fight standing thanks to his takedown defense. 

 

My pick: Kara-France

 

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