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UFC Fight Night 132 predictions: ‘Cerrone vs Edwards’ Fight Pass ‘Prelims’ undercard preview - Pt. 1

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing a bevy of “Prelims” fights to UFC Fight Pass this weekend (Sat., June 23, 2018) when UFC Fight Night 132: “Cerrone vs. Edwards” storms Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.’s Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC Fight Night 132 “Prelims” party with the first installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

Grab some coffee and the controlled substance of your choice, because we’ve got an early morning ahead of us.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads back to Kallang, Singapore, this Saturday for an action-packed “Fight Night”-branded event that will be headlined by Welterweight finishers Donald Cerrone and Leon Edwards. Earlier on, Ovince Saint Preux looks to bounce back from his submission loss to Ilir Latifi against Tyson Pedro, Jessica-Rose Clark throws down with Jessica Eye at Flyweight, and all-action sluggers Li Jingliang and Daichi Abe duke it out at 170 pounds.

UFC Fight Night 132 features eight “Prelims” undercard matches this time around, starting at 4:30 a.m. ET. Let’s get cracking!

170 lbs.: Jake Matthews vs. Shinsho Anzai

Jake Matthews (13-3) made the move back to Welterweight after consecutive losses to Kevin Lee and Andrew Holbrook. The move has paid dividends thus far, as he defeated Bojan Velickovic and Li Jingliang while earning a “Fight of the Night” bonus against the latter.

He is four inches taller than Shinsho Anzai (10-2) and will have a three-inch reach advantage.

“The Animal” lived up to his nickname in his Octagon debut, a one-round slugfest with Alberto Mina that saw Anzai knocked out for the first time in his career. After stopping Roger Zapata, Anzai returned from a two-year layoff to upset Luke Jumeau in Saitama in Sept. 2017.

He owns seven wins by first-round knockout.

Anzai is good at two things and two things only: Throwing haymakers and attempting double-digit numbers of takedowns. It’s not the most versatile style in the world, but it generally gets the job done. Matthews had some issues with grapplers Holbrook and Velickovic, so an upset isn’t totally out of the question.

It’s a little bit out of the question, though. Matthews did serious damage to the iron-tough Li Jingliang and Anzai doesn’t have the striking to properly set up his takedowns. Though Anzai could theoretically grind down Matthews, but he’d have to withstand a boatload of damage to do it and I’m not convinced he can. Matthews finds his chin late in the first.

Prediction: Matthews via first-round technical knockout

115 lbs.: Yan Xiaonan vs. Viviane Pereira

Yan Xiaonan (8-1) suffered her lone professional mixed martial arts (MMA) loss in her third fight, then knocked out four of her next six opponents to earn a spot in UFC. In her debut, she outstruck Kailin Curran to take home a unanimous decision win.

She stands five inches taller than Viviane Pereira (13-1) at 5’5.”

Pereira brought several regional titles with her when she joined UFC, where she started strong with decisions over Valerie Letourneau and Jamie Moyle. She was no match for Tatiana Suarez, however, and lost a wide decision in Norfolk in Nov. 2017.

“Sucuri” steps in for the injured Nadia Kassem in little more than one month’s notice.

Yan is loads of fun and packs serious heat in her hands, which — combined with her height and reach advantages — initially had me picking her to win. On closer examination, though, her record is completely empty outside of her UFC debut and she had issues when the notoriously mediocre Curran put her against the cage. Pereira proved she could deal with taller, longer strikers against Letourneau and has a strong clinch game to support her boxing.

Yan’s “all power, all the time” approach to punching and kicking is always welcome on my screen, but not always the most effective strategy. Pereira pressures her way inside those long arms and does damage with tight punches and clinchwork to secure the win.

Prediction: Pereira def. Yan via unanimous decision

125 lbs.: Matt Schnell vs. Naoki Inoue

Matt Schnell’s (11-4) interim Legacy FC title earned him the No. 6 seed on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 24, where he submitted Matt Rizzo before falling to Tim Elliott in the quarterfinals. Knockout losses to Rob Font and Hector Sandoval followed, though he managed to salvage his UFC career with a decision over Marco Antonio Beltran in Oct. 2017.

Schnell went 10-2 as an amateur before debuting professionally in 2012.

Naoki Inoue (11-0) — younger brother of Invicta standout Mizuki Inoue — submitted seven of his first 10 opponents en route to UFC. He demonstrated his elite grappling in his debut with a dominant decision over C.J. de Tomas in Singapore.

This will be his first fight in a year because of a shoulder injury.

Inoue is a beast grappler at just 20 years old and this is exactly the sort of fight he needs. Schnell is a capable wrestler — an area Inoue has yet to show standout talent in — but he’s chinny enough to keep things interesting on the feet.

I really think that wrestling is going to be the deciding factor, though. Inoue got multiple advantageous positions against de Tomas by virtue of the Filipino’s repeated subpar takedown attempts. Schnell is going to do quite a bit more to set up his own shots and has the hips to shut down Inoue’s attempts to bring it to the ground. Unless Inoue can catch him with a right hand, which is certainly feasible considering Schnell’s lack of durability, expect a learning experience for Inoue as Schnell controls the striking for all 15 minutes.

Prediction: Schnell via unanimous decision

125 lbs.: Jenel Lausa vs. Yuta Sasaki

Jenel Lausa (7-4) defeated Crisanto Pitpitunge for the PXC Flyweight title in his final pre-UFC bout, then beat up Yao Zhikui in his Octagon debut. He didn’t have quite as much luck against Magomed Bibulatov and Eric Shelton, who used repeated takedowns to secure decision victories.

The former professional boxer is five inches shorter than “Ulka.”

Stoppage losses to Leandro Issa and Taylor Lapilus sent Yuta Sasaki (20-5-2) to Flyweight, where he has gone 2-2. After scoring a bonus-winning submission of Justin Scoggins, Sasaki faced Jussier Formiga and suffered the second submission loss of his career.

He replaces Ashkan Mokhtarian on short notice.

Sasaki is clearly a step or two below the Flyweight elite, but he’s still deceptively tricky and dangerous, a combination that’s more than sufficient to down Lausa. Despite his pedigree, “Demolition Man” tends to rely on big swings rather than crisp combinations and has yet to develop the wrestling necessary to consistently bring his power to bear.

And if Sasaki can put you on your back, you’re either staying there for a while or losing blood flow to your brain.

We’ve seen Sasaki succumb to strikes in the past, but it’s likelier that he grabs an early clinch, trips Lausa to the mat, and wraps those noodly limbs around his neck in short order.

Prediction: Sasaki via first-round submission

Four more UFC Fight Night 132 “Prelims” undercard matches to preview and predict, including the biggest Bantamweight signing of the year. See you tomorrow, Maniacs!

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 132 fight card this weekend, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” undercard bouts at 4:30 a.m. ET, before the main card start time at 8 a.m. ET, also on Fight Pass.

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