Two of Brazil’s fiercest finishers duke it out this Saturday (Nov. 7, 2020) when Glover Teixeira puts his four-fight win streak on the line against Thiago Santos, who makes his return after some nasty knee injuries. UFC Vegas 13 also features a Heavyweight crossroads bout between Andrei Arlovski and Tanner Boser and a Middleweight tussle pitting the resurgent Ian Heinisch against top prospect Brendan Allen.
Three more UFC Vegas 13 “Prelims” undercard bouts remain to preview and predict (check out the first batch here), so let’s get crackin’ ...
185 lbs.: Trevin Giles vs. Bevon Lewis
Trevin Giles (12-2) handily dispatched James Bochnovic and Antonio Braga Neto in his first two Octagon appearances to establish himself as a top prospect, only to leave the cage for 17 months to pursue police officer training. He hasn’t been quite as successful since, tapping to Zak Cummings and Gerald Meerschaert before narrowly scraping past James Krause this past February.
He has knocked out and submitted five professional foes apiece.
It took two tries, but Bevon Lewis (7-2) finally secured a UFC contract on “Contender Series,” knocking out Alton Cunningham in 2018. Upset losses to Uriah Hall and Darren Stewart followed, though he returned to the win column last January with a decision over Dequan Townsend in Raleigh.
He stands three inches taller than Giles and will have a five-inch reach advantage.
It’s always interesting when two underachievers lock horns. Giles has looked utterly flat since returning from his hiatus, while Lewis has struggled to get his striking and wrestling to work against UFC-caliber opposition. I have to say, though, barely beating a natural Welterweight is more damning to me than getting caught by Hall or having issues with Stewart.
Between Lewis’ considerable physical advantages and Giles’ tendency to play into his opponents’ strengths, I have to favor Lewis. Giles could very possibly regain the form that let him crush Bochnovic and Neto, but expect Lewis to cruise at range and in the clinch for a comfortable win.
Prediction: Lewis via unanimous decision
170 lbs.: Max Griffin vs. Ramiz Brahimaj
Max Griffin (15-8) has struggled to find his footing in the Octagon, going 3-6 overall and 1-4 in his last five. He’s lost two straight since winning a grudge match against Zelim Imadaev, dropping competitive decisions to Alex Morono and Alex Oliveira.
“Pain” will enjoy a three-inch reach advantage over Ramiz Brahimaj (8-2).
Brahimaj — fighting out of Fortis MMA — cut his teeth in XKO and LFA, amassing eight submissions in eight pro victories. His most recent effort saw him choke out Carlos Martinez in a mere 55 seconds.
This will be his first fight since March 2019, as his cornerman tested positive for COVID before a planned June debut opposite Takashi Sato.
While there’s plenty of footage of Brahimaj’s lethal ground game, it’s hard to get a bead on his wrestling skills from the available data. That’s unfortunate, as those skills will be the difference here. Griffin boasts a notable striking edge and has thus far proven extremely difficult to finish; therefore, if Brahimaj can’t consistently take him down, he’s in for a rough night.
Knowing Griffin, this will end up closer than it needs to be, but he ostensibly has the tools to sprawl-and-brawl his way to a much-needed victory. Superior stand up and reasonably stout wrestling carry the day.
Prediction: Griffin via unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Darren Elkins vs. Eduardo Garagorri
From 2015 to 2018, Darren Elkins (24-9) put together a six-fight win streak over several highly dangerous fighters. The momentum wasn’t to last, and he enters the cage this Saturday on the heels of four consecutive losses.
“The Damage” will have an inch of height and reach on Eduardo Garagorri (13-1).
Uruguay’s Garagorri entered the world’s largest fight promotion with six consecutive first-round finishes under his belt, and though he failed to make it seven against Humberto Bandenay, he nonetheless walked away with a clear decision. He couldn’t do the same to Ricardo Ramos, who knocked Garagorri from the ranks of the unbeaten with a first-round rear naked choke.
His 10 stoppage wins include six by submission.
This is a pretty forgiving matchup for Elkins on paper, probably his easiest assignment in years. Garagorri, though respectably dangerous on the feet, showed his vulnerability to grappling specialists against Ramos. “The Damage’s” customary gameplan, walking through fire until he can impose his wrestling, looks like a promising way to shut down the Uruguayan.
That’s assuming, of course, that Elkins still has enough left in the tank to properly execute. He took massive, well, damage in six of his last seven fights, and he definitely looked slower than normal against Landwehr. Still, even a thoroughly diminished Elkins should be able to capitalize on such a favorable style matchup. He grinds Garagorri into the dirt for a wide decision win.
Prediction: Elkins via unanimous decision
The potentially insane main event and some quality prospects make this a card worth watching. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 13 fight card this weekend right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN2 / ESPN+ 10 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 13: “Santos vs. Teixeira” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.