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UFC 197 predictions: FOX Sports 1 'Prelims' undercard preview, Pt. 2

More fights are coming to Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., April 23, 2016) when UFC 197: “Jones vs. Saint Preux” kicks off from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.'s Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC 197 "Prelims" party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part undercard preview series.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Interim titles ... so hot right now!

With current Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier on the mend, former 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones squares off with Ovince Saint Preux this Saturday evening (April 23, 2016) in the main event of UFC 197 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Immediately prior, Demetrious Johnson will throw down with former Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler, Henry Cejudo, in a bid to further stretch his ridiculous streak of title defenses.

Elsewhere on the pay-per-view (PPV) card, Anthony Pettis and Edson Barboza duke it out for a much-needed victory and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Smashes" winner Robert Whittaker faces Rafael Natal.

We've four UFC 197 "Prelims" undercard matches left to look at (check out the first batch here), so let's get down to it with Saturday's FOX Sports 1 line up:

125 lbs.: Sergio Pettis vs. Chris Kelades

Sergio Pettis (13-2) returned to Flyweight following a 3-1 start to his UFC career, only to suffer a knockout loss to Ryan Benoit. "The Phenom" righted the ship in Oct. 2015 with a decision over former title challenger Chris Cariaso.

He has stopped six opponents overall, although his last four wins have all come by decision.

Following his debut win over Patty Holohan, Chris Kelades (9-2) stepped right into the deep end for a clash with top prospect Ray Borg that saw "The Greek Assassin" tap to a third-round keylock. He returned to action in July 2015 with a split decision over The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 competitor Chris Beal, his third win in four fights.

He has stopped five opponents overall, three via submission.

Pettis’ ceiling might be determined by his chin -- he’s an excellent striker, terrific grappler and an underrated wrestler. He has also been dropped repeatedly throughout his time in UFC, including against middling punchers in Alex Caceres and Matt Hobar.

Luckily, Pettis has Kelades fairly well outclassed in every area. Barring another unfortunate chin-checking, he should be able to soundly dominate whether he wishes to strike or grapple.

Prediction: Pettis via unanimous decision

115 lbs.: Carla Esparza vs. Juliana Lima

Carla Esparza (10-3) -- who left Invicta as their Strawweight champion -- ran through the competition on TUF 20 before submitting Rose Namajunas on the Finale to earn the UFC title. Her first title defense pitted her against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who battered her from pillar to post en route to a second-round knockout.

"Cookie Monster" replaces Jessica Aguilar on less than one month’s notice.

Juliana Lima (8-2) opened her UFC career against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who handed the Brazilian her second loss in three fights. "Ju Thai" has won twice since and was booked to face Jessica Penne at UFC Fight Night 67 before the latter stepped up for a short-notice title fight.

She stands four inches taller than Esparza at 5’5".

This is one of those fights that’s interesting in theory, but will likely suck to watch. Both women are primarily wrestlers without significant striking skills. There’s a good chance we’ll wind up with protracted clinch exchanges interspersed with inconsequential stand up.

Esparza’s the more experienced of the two against high-level competition and likely has the overall grappling edge. "Cookie Monster" should win enough striking exchanges and spend enough time in favorable positions to edge the decision.

Prediction: Esparza via unanimous decision

170 lbs.: Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele

A five-fight win streak, capped off by a brutal knockout of veteran Jim Wallhead, brought Danny Roberts (12-1) to UFC, where he debuted against American Top Team’s Nathan Coy. Though a striker by trade, Roberts demonstrated his grappling chops with a first-round submission of "Soulforce."

He has knocked out and submitted five opponents apiece.

Dominique Steele (14-6) -- who has fought in Strikeforce and Bellator MMA in the past -- joined UFC as a late-notice replacement for Antonio Braga Neto and promptly got his block knocked off by Zak Cummings. Things went a little better for "Non-Stop Action Packed" in Nov. 2015, when he scored a knockout slam on Dong Hyun "No, Not That One" Kim.

He will give up two inches of height to the 5’10" Roberts.

This should be fun while it lasts, which isn’t going to be very long. Steele’s aggressive and entertaining, but nowhere near durable enough to withstand the kind of punishment that Roberts can dish out. "Non-Stop Action Packed" has already been knocked out four times as a professional.

You can be game all day, but it doesn’t matter if your body doesn’t hold up. Expect a fun few minutes of action before Roberts clips Steele with something nasty for the early finish.

Prediction: Roberts via first-round technical knockout

155 lbs.: James Vick vs. Glaico Franca

The run for James Vick (8-0) on TUF: 15 came to a halt at the hands of Michael Chiesa, who stopped the lanky Texan with ground-and-pound in the semifinals. He’s since won four straight in UFC, most recently submitting top Aussie prospect Jake Matthews in May 2015.

He stands three inches taller than the 6’0" Glaico Franca (13-3).

As Team Shogun’s second Lightweight pick, "Nego" submitted his way through TUF: "Brazil 4" to face Fernando Bruno at UFC 190. Though it wasn’t the most entertaining fight, Franco ultimately locked up his favored rear-naked choke in the last 30 seconds for his tenth win in 11 fights.

He’s stopped 10 opponents overall, five each by knockout and submission.

I’d still like to see Vick against a powerhouse striker before I tab him as a future contender, but he’s acquitted himself quite well against other grapplers. Franca, though young and strong, ostensibly doesn’t present any difficulties that Vick didn’t already overcome against Matthews.

On the feet, Vick’s sheer length ought to be enough to keep him out of trouble even considering his general lack of stopping power. Depending on how desperate Franca gets for the takedown, expect Vick to either sprawl-and-brawl his way to a decision or lock up that guillotine he’s fond of.

Prediction: Vick via unanimous decision

UFC 197 features a championship double dip, as well as a dynamic Lightweight scrap between Pettis vs. Barboza -- not bad at all!

See you Saturday, Maniacs. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 197 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

Current UFC "Prelims" Prediction Record 2016: 41-30-1

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