Five rounds? Where we’re going, we don’t need five rounds!
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) packs its bags for Auckland, New Zealand, this Saturday evening (June 10, 2017) with plenty of local talent in tow. Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis puts his six-fight win streak on the line against Mark Hunt in UFC Fight Night 110’s main event, while Australian Olympian Dan Kelly looks to continue his unexpected rise in FOX Sports 1’s co-featured bout.
The six-fight main card airs on FOX Sports 1, as do four of the “Prelims” undercard matches. Before all that, though, Fight Pass will host a pair of fights.
115 lbs.: J.J. Aldrich vs. Chan-Mi Jeon
J.J. Aldrich (4-2) impressed Joanna Jedrzejczyk enough to be her first pick on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 23, but fell to Team Claudia top pick and eventual tournament winner, Tatiana Suarez, in the quarterfinals. After two wins outside the organization, one of them in Invicta, she stepped up on short notice to face Juliana Lima in Albany and suffered a decision loss.
She will give up two inches of reach and five inches of leg reach to Chan-Mi Jeon (5-0).
Jeon is the youngest member of UFC’s Flyweight division at just 19, but has been anything but childish during her run on the Korean scene. Four of her five wins have come via first-round (technical) knockout, including three in less than one minute apiece.
She replaces Nadia Kassem on less than two weeks’ notice.
I finally found Jeon’s fight footage after searching on YouTube for her name in Korean instead of the Anglicization. What I saw was … well ... let’s call it untapped potential. She’s got power and a legitimate mean streak, packing strong elbows and knees as well as heavy ground-and-pound, but she’s a raw talent. She’s flat-footed and slow on the feet and, while her defense held up, she walked into several deep submission attempts against the debuting Na-Young Song last July.
Jeon basically needs to get Aldrich to the mat consistently; however, considering she’s still enamored with the head-and-arm throw, that’s unlikely. Aldrich pieces her up at range for a decision win.
Prediction: Aldrich via unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Thibault Gouti
Dong Hyun “No, Not That One” Kim (14-8-3) returned to the Lightweight division after his knockout loss to Dominique Steele and went to war with Polo Reyes, trading massive punches for two rounds before Reyes put him away. His next time out, he showcased his grappling in a decision over TUF: “Nations” veteran Brendan O’Reilly.
He will give up two inches of reach to Thibault Gouti (11-3).
Gouti came up short against David Teymur in TUF 22’s elimination round, but knocked out UFC veteran Anton Kuivanen to earn a shot in the Octagon. He’s yet to taste victory in the promotion, suffering stoppage losses to Teemu Packalen, Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Chad Laprise.
He owns six wins by form of choke.
When Kim isn’t fighting a Welterweight or desperately trading hands with a bigger puncher, he’s a capable Judo artist, adept with both takedowns and top control. Neither skill is world-beating, of course, but he’s definitely UFC-worthy.
Is Gouti? I’m not convinced.
Gouti’s durability and submission defense have been sorely lacking during his time with the world’s largest fight promotion. Though Kim isn’t the hitter that Laprise is or the overpowering takedown artist Aubin-Mercier is, he packs a punch and has the skills to overwhelm Gouti on the mat. Expect him to lock up a rear-naked choke after either rocking Gouti or dragging him to the mat.
Prediction: Kim via first-round submission
Tomorrow’s UFC Fight Night 110 “Prelims” line up includes two Octagon debutants, one from New Zealand and one from Oz. Don’t miss it, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 110’s fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 a.m. ET, before the FOX Sports 1 main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.