Rise and shine, Maniacs!
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hits Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore, this Saturday morning (June 17, 2017) with a potentially entertaining four-fight main card. Former women’s Bantamweight champion Holly Holm takes on Bethe Correia in the Fight Pass main event, while Marcin Tybura squares off with Andrei Arlovski and Dong-Hun Kim looks to halt the rise of Colby Covington.
We’ll also get to see final Strikeforce Welterweight champion, Tarec Saffiedine, welcome former UFC Lightweight kingpin, Rafael dos Anjos, to the 170-pound ranks.
UFC Fight Night 11 will feature eight “Prelims” undercard matches for those of you willing to get up at 4:30 a.m. ET. Here’s the early bird special:
170 lbs.: Li Jingliang vs. Frank Camacho
Li Jingliang (12-4) — thankfully re-signed after a brief scare — has established himself as China’s top mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter with three brutal knockouts in his last four fights. His last fight in particular was one for the ages, an absolute slugfest with Bobby Nash that Li ended violently in the waning seconds of the second round.
“The Leech” has knocked out and submitted four opponents apiece.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu standout Frank Camacho (20-4) returned to the Pacific circuit after his unsuccessful bid on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16, winning eight of his last 10 bouts. The run includes five knockouts, two submissions and a decision over UFC vet Keita Nakamura.
Redditor Frank “The Crank” steps in for the injured Jonathan Meunier on less than two weeks’ notice.
This could wind up being a whole lot of fun. Both men are capable on the ground, but completely down to brawl. I’ve got Li winning this, and it’s not just because of the short notice.
Camacho appeared to gas early in an intense brawl with Gun Hwan Park last month, while Li proved he could slug it out well into the second round against Nash. Further, Li’s enormously strong and a skilled enough wrestler to dictate the ground engagements, an advantage buoyed by the fact that Camacho is small enough to regularly make Lightweight. Li trades bombs with him until Camacho’s gas tank starts to empty, then polishes him off with ground-and-pound.
Prediction: Li by second-round technical knockout
135 lbs.: Kwan Ho Kwak vs. Russell Doane
During his run on the Asian and Pacific circuits, Kwan Ho Kwak (9-1) picked up both the Top FC and PXC Bantamweight belts, defending the former with a decision over former UFC fighter Alptekin Ozkilic. This set up a UFC debut against fellow prospect Brett Johns, who defeated Kwak by decision in a terrific fight.
Six of his nine wins have come by knockout.
Russell Doane (14-7) — who won the Tachi Palace Fights Bantamweight belt with a knockout of Jared Papazian — started his UFC career strong with wins over Leandro Issa and Marcus Brimage. He’s since lost four straight, including first-round submission losses to Mirsad Bektic and Pedro Munhoz in his last two fights.
He has knocked out six professional opponents and submitted another five.
Doane’s current stretch isn’t as bad as it looks on paper considering that two of those losses came against the aforementioned Bektic and Munhoz and a third was a close defeat against Iuri Alcantara. Still, I think Kwak’s got this. He’s got the heavier hands of the two and excels at beating up opponentswhile they pursue takedowns or try to disengage.
The big issue is that Kwak doesn’t pace himself well, but Doane doesn’t offer the sort of suffocating pressure that Brett Johns does. Kwak is a strong enough scrambler to avoid submission threats and the power differential gives him the edge in a ranged striking battle. He wears down Doane on the inside before putting him away with punches.
Prediction: Kwak by second-round technical knockout
125 lbs.: Naoki Inoue vs. Carls John de Tomas
Naoki Inoue (10-0) — brother of Invicta standout Mizuki — has emerged as one of Japan’s brightest young talents at the age of just 19. His run in the venerable DEEP promotion has seen him score seven submission wins, six of them in the first round.
He stands an inch taller than Carls John de Tomas (8-0) at 5’8.”
CJ “The Golden Boy” de Tomas has spent his entire professional career in his native Philippines, seven of his eight fights taking place under the URCC promotion. He won its Flyweight title in 2016 with a decision over champion Hideo Morikawa, then defeated Alvin Ramirez in his first title defense.
He has submitted at least three opponents as a professional, depending on which site you take as gospel.
The only footage I could find of Inoue came from his quick finishes, which doesn’t tell me all that much. I do like what I saw, though — he’s got solid movement, a crisp jab and a heavy right hand behind it to complement his powerful grappling. The takedown defense is still a question mark, though, and that could cost him here.
Meanwhile, de Tomas, I have a better idea of. He fights cautiously, engaging with the occasional roundhouse or straight left until his opponent gives him an opening for the takedown. From there, he works from guard until they either slip out or the referee stands them up, at which point he repeats. It’s not a style that’ll win many fans, but it’s one that could trouble Inoue if he gets too comfortable off of his back.
In the end, though. I’m leaning toward Inoue’s submission prowess. He locks up something from the triangle series early on.
Prediction: Inoue via first-round submission
135 lbs.: Lucie Pudilova vs. Ji Yeon Kim
Lucie Pudilova (6-2) put her 2015 loss to Lina Lansberg behind her with three straight wins, two of them by submission. When Veronica Macedo pulled out of a fight with Lansberg on short notice, Pudilova stepped up and very nearly beat the Swedish striker, inducing some grotesque swelling with sharp punches.
At 5’8,” she is two inches taller than the debuting Ji Yeon Kim (6-0-2).
Kim faced 10-3 Shizuka Sugiyama and 14-4 Takayo Hashi in her first two professional bouts, fighting both of them to draws. She has since won six straight, including a decision over Hashi to become the DEEP Jewels Bantamweight champion.
She’s submitted three professional opponents and (T)KO’d another.
This fight reminds me a lot of last Saturday’s J.J. Aldrich vs. Chan-Mi Jeon fight ... and not just because of the debutant’s nationality. Kim has that same sort of deliberate, gritty striking style and she’s going up against an experienced striker with the tools to exploit the holes in her game.
Pudilova showed that she can handle herself against a top-tier Muay Thai fighter in the Lansberg rematch. She ought to have even more success against Kim, whose lack of speed and fluidity will doom her to a decision loss.
Prediction: Pudilova via unanimous decision
We’ve got four more UFC Fight Night 111 undercard matches on the docket tomorrow, including a Heavyweight showdown between Cyril Asker and Walt Harris. See you then, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 111’s fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 4:30 a.m. ET before the Fight Pass main card start time at 8 a.m. ET.