One of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight division’s most tantalizing mixed martial arts (MMA) match ups hits the FOX Sports 1 airwaves this Sunday (May 27, 2018) as Muay Thai machine Darren Till faces karateka supreme Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in Till’s native Liverpool, England. The card, which will emanate from inside Echo Arena, also features Neil Magny against UFC newcomer Craig White, Arnold Allen against Mads Burnell in a clash of top Featherweight grapplers, and the return of “Mr. Finland,” Makwan Amirkhani, against the ever-entertaining Jason Knight. UFC Fight Night 130 features six “Prelims” undercard bouts this time around, two on Fight Pass and the others on FOX Sports 1. Let’s start with the online duo:
185 lbs.: Elias Theodorou vs. Trevor Smith
Elias Theodorou (14-2) has put together a 6-2 UFC record overall since first stepping into the Octagon four years ago for his The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): “Nations” fight with countryman Sheldon Westcott. He was last seen beating Dan Kelly by decision to rebound from a loss to Brad Tavares.
He is two inches shorter than “Hot Sauce,” though their reaches are identical.
Trevor Smith (15-7) put a 2-3 UFC start behind him to win three of his last four fights, including upsets of Joe Gigliotti and Chris Camozzi. Injury scrapped a planned bout with Ramazan Emeev, making this his first fight in 364 days.
Nine of his 15 wins have come by submission, though he hasn’t stopped an opponent since 2012.
Theodorou is a handsome devil, but God damn is he a chore to watch. His kicks have no power, his boxing is underwhelming, and he has zero inclination to push himself in pursuit of a finish. I doubt this fight will be any more entertaining than “The Spartan’s” other efforts, which actually works against him, as Smith is a big, relentless wrestler who will keep advancing as long as he stays conscious.
Smith is the sort of gritty bastard who can royally frustrate anyone without the pop to crack his chin, a category that includes Theodorou. I’ll bite the bullet and say Smith scrapes by him in a grindfest.
Prediction: Smith via split decision
135 lbs.: Gina Mazany vs. Lina Lansberg
Gina Mazany (5-1) made her first bit at UFC stardom on TUF 18, where she lost to Julianna Pena in the elimination round. Despite splitting her next two bouts, including a rapid submission loss to Sara McMann in UFC, she got another shot in the Octagon, defeating Wu Yanan in Shanghai.
“Danger” will have three inches of reach on Lansberg.
Lina Lansberg (7-3) had the unenviable task of facing “Cyborg” Santos in her UFC debut and ultimately succumbed to her foe’s power in the second round. She got back on track with a decision over Lucie Pudilova, fighting through grotesque eye swelling to do so, but suffered a ground-and-pound stoppage loss to Aspen Ladd in Oct. 2017.
She has stopped four professional opponents with strikes, two of them in the first round.
I’ll admit to being a tad underwhelmed by “The Elbow Princess” in UFC, but I think this is a winnable fight for her. Mazany isn’t a great takedown artist and doesn’t have the tightest top control, meaning they’ll spend a significant portion of this fight in the clinch.
As you might have guessed from her nickname, Lansberg is pretty good there.
At 36, Lansberg doesn’t have enough time to make a real run at the division elite. Luckily for her, Mazany doesn’t number among them. Lansberg punishes her with knees and elbows inside to take the decision
Prediction: Lansberg via unanimous decision
Four more UFC Fight Night 130 “Prelims” undercard bouts to preview and predict, including two Octagon debuts and the return of Tom Breese. Same time as always, Maniacs!
Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 130 fight card this weekend, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” undercard bouts at 10 a.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” undercard bouts at 11 a.m. ET, before the main card start time at 1 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.