With Glover Teixeira out of commission (details), Angela Hill and Michelle Waterson take center stage at UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, this Saturday night (Sept. 12, 2020), headlining the promotion’s latest card on ESPN+. Elsewhere that evening, Khama Worthy looks for his third consecutive Octagon victory against fellow knockout artist Ottman Azaitar and Ed Herman attempts to continue his improbable resurgence against late replacement Mike Rodriguez.
Three more UFC Vegas 10 “Prelims” undercard bouts to go (check out the first batch here) and no time to waste ...
125 lbs.: Matt Schnell vs. Tyson Nam
Things didn’t get much better for Matt Schnell after his submission loss to Tim Elliott on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), suffering stoppage defeats to Rob Font and Hector Sandoval in his first two Octagon appearances. Undaunted, he went on to win four straight and pick up a “Performance of the Night” bonus before running afoul of division standout Alexandre Pantoja in Dec. 2019.
Nine of his professional wins have come by submission.
Seven years after his breakout knockout of Eduardo Dantas, Tyson Nam (19-11-1) finally entered the Octagon, only to lose consecutive decisions to Sergio Pettis and Kai Kara-France. With his back against the wall, he faced kickboxing veteran Zarrukh Adashev in June and flattened him in just 32 seconds, improving his recent record to 7-3-1.
He faces a 4.5-inch reach disadvantage.
I’ve consistently underestimated Schnell during his Octagon tenure, particularly the potency of his ground game. That said, this looks like an extremely toxic match up for him. In addition to being extremely difficult to take down and entirely free of submission losses in more than 30 professional fights, Nam’s one of the hardest punchers in the division, and Schnell’s shaky chin is well-documented. It would only take one clean right hand for Nam to end Schnell’s night, and his defensive grappling should give him plenty of opportunities to land it.
As with any Nam fight, though, he has to overcome his own passivity if he wants the wants the win. Many of Nam’s struggles result from his unwillingness to let his hands go, making it very possible that Schnell simply outworks him for a decision. Considering the countering opportunities Schnell will present and the fact that even a glancing blow should be enough, I’m willing to pick the Hawaiian anyway. Ultimately, he lamps Schnell before too long.
Prediction: Nam via first-round knockout
155 lbs.: Frank Camacho vs. Brok Weaver
It’s been a rough few years for Guam’s Frank Camacho (22-9), who started his Octagon career with three consecutive “Fight of the Night” awards. He currently finds himself in a 1-4 hole, three of those losses coming by stoppage and the most recent one lasting just 41 seconds.
“Crank” has knocked out 16 professional opponents and submitted three others.
Brok Weaver (15-5) failed to find the finish, but his upset decision over Devin Smyth on “Contender Series” was enough to earn him a UFC contract. After a disqualification win in his debut, he took on fellow series veteran Roosevelt Roberts in May, ultimately tapping to a rear-naked choke for his first loss since 2016.
“Chata Tuska” stands two inches taller than Camacho at 6’0.”
Camacho has definitely hit the point of diminishing returns for his brawling style. His only win since 2017 came against Nick Hein, who insists on neglecting his judo prowess in favor of trying to slug it out with Lobov-esque arms. Weaver can absolutely hang with him in a firefight, boasting faster, cleaner hands and more proven durability.
“The Crank” will need to lean on his ground game if he wants do dig his way out of the hole in which he’s found himself, and that actually might be a feasible strategy. That’s because Weaver’s generally decent defensive wrestling is offset by his willingness to jump guard on guillotines, which won’t work against a jiu-jitsu player this experienced. Still, if the Geoff Neal debacle wasn’t enough to turn Camacho off of brawling, I’m not sure what will. He tries to trade hands and gets leveled in the opening minutes.
Prediction: Weaver via first-round technical knockout
170 lbs.: Bryan Barberena vs. Anthony Ivy
Bryan Barberena (14-7) made his name with three upset wins in his first four Octagon appearances, including a submission of Sage Northcutt and decision over the then-unbeaten Warlley Alves. He’s won just two of four since, his most recent losses coming by (technical) knockout against Vicente Luque and Randy Brown.
“Bam Bam” will give up two inches of height and reach to “Aquaman.”
San Antonio’s Anthony Ivy (8-3) brought a five-fight win streak into his Octagon debut, which featured two successful defenses of the Fury FC Welterweight belt and a win over Willis Black for the WXC title. His accomplishments were enough to make him a favorite, only for Christian Aguilera to batter him into submission in just 59 seconds.
All of his wins have come inside the distance, five of them by form of knockout.
I knew going into the Aguilera fight that Ivy was profoundly uncomfortable on the feet, but I expected him to at least try a takedown before Aguilera got a chance to open up. He’d better go all-in on his wrestling this time, as Barberena’s relentless aggression is the perfect means with which to exploit Ivy’s tendency to shell up under pressure.
If Ivy manages to secure top control early and often, he could conceivably grind out a decision, as “Bam Bam” has not historically been difficult to take down. Between Barberena’s persistence and power, though, expect him to land a blow telling enough to make Ivy wilt and follow up for the finish.
Prediction: Barberena via first-round technical knockout
UFC Vegas 10 features a “meh” main event, but everything else? Just teeming with the potential for ultra-violence. See you Saturday, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 10 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+ 8 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 10: “Waterson vs. Hill” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.