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UFC Vegas 64 predictions: Late ‘Prelims’ undercard preview | Rodriguez vs. Lemos

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing more “Prelims” fights to ESPN+ this weekend (Sat., Nov. 5, 2022) when UFC Vegas 64: “Rodriguez vs. Lemos” returns to UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. MMAmania.com’s Patrick Stumberg continues the UFC Vegas 64 “Prelims” party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

MMA: NOV 06 UFC 268 Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Dangerous women’s Strawweight strikers go from co-feature to main event when Marina Rodriguez battles Amanda Lemos this Saturday (Nov. 5, 2022) inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. Neil Magny will also be in action against Daniel Rodriguez, while Tagir Ulanbekov welcomes Nathan Maness to the Flyweight division.

There are three UFC Vegas 64 “Prelims” undercard bouts that remain to preview and predict (check out first batch here), so let’s dig in before they get cold ...

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EXCITING WELTERWEIGHT TILT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., for the first time in more than four years with an intriguing Welterweight scrap that will see No. 7-ranked contender, Stephen Thompson, battle Kevin Holland. In UFC Orlando’s co-main event, Heavyweight knockout artists collide when No. 4-seeded contender, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with No. 5-ranked Sergei Pavlovich.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

145 lbs.: Darrick Minner vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke

Darrick Minner (26-13) rebounded from a UFC debut loss to Grant Dawson with consecutive victories over T.J. Laramie and Charles Rosa. He’s since dropped two straight to Darren Elkins and Ryan Hall, the latter in Dec. 2021.

He’s ended 22 pro fights by submission and one other via (technical) knockout.

Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (38-10) suffered his second professional loss in four appearances when he fell to Joshua Culibao in his UFC debut. Two straight upsets have bumped his UFC record over .500, the most recent coming over T.J. Brown in June 2022.

He stands one inch taller than Minner, but gives up two inches of reach.

“Wolverine” will want to do his best Elkins impression here. Persistent as he is, he’s not a particularly adept offensive or defensive wrestler, which is a bad issue to have against a grappler of Minner’s caliber. A man who surrendered two takedowns to Sean Soriano of all people is not going to have fun with Minner, who’s taken down four of his five UFC foes at least once and submitted the other.

As with the Elkins fight, of course, there’s a chance that Minner’s ultra-eager submission blitz saps his gas tank and allows Nuerdanbieke to do his usual grind. Assuming Minner’s learned something, though, he should have the goods to overcome Nuerdanbieke’s one-note offense and polish him off on the mat.

Prediction: Minner via first round submission

125 lbs.: Miranda Maverick vs. Shanna Young

These two were supposed to fight in August before Young botched her weight cut. My thoughts haven’t changed, so I’ll go ahead and re-use what I had ...

Miranda Maverick (12-4) started her UFC career 2-0 before dropping a robbery decision to Maycee Barber and a far more justifiable one to fast-rising Erin Blanchfield. She last saw action in March 2022, choking out Sabina Mazo for her second finish in the Octagon.

That win marked her seventh by submission and eighth overall by stoppage.

Shanna Young (9-5) fell short on Contender Series against Sarah Alpar before losing her first two UFC bouts to Macy Chiasson and Stephanie Egger. With her back against the wall, “The Shanimal” successfully pounded out Gina Mazany to notch her first Octagon victory.

She gives up a half-inch of reach despite being the taller of the two by four inches.

With all due respect to Young, it’s hard to picture a scenario where she wins this. Every single UFC fighter who’s attempted to take her down has done so, and it wasn’t just because of Young’s poor takedown defense; she willingly clinched up with a judo expert in Egger, which ended about as well as you’d think. Maverick’s going to get plenty of opportunities to get her ground game going and is well-equipped to capitalize.

The big question here isn’t whether Maverick will win, but how long she’ll humor Young on the feet before dragging her down and going to work. Maverick finds her way to Young’s back and squeezes her way to another UFC victory.

Prediction: Maverick via second round submission

135 lbs.: Mario Bautista vs. Benito Lopez

The UFC debut of Mario Bautista (10-2) saw him step up on short notice to face Cory Sandhagen, who finished him with an armbar late in the first round. He now sits at 4-2 in the Octagon, including a first-round submission of Brian Kelleher last time out.

He gives up one inch of height and four inches of reach to Lopez.

Benito Lopez (10-1) followed his Contender Series decision over Steven Peterson by edging out Albert Morales, only to spend one year on the sidelines and suffer a decision loss to Manny Bermudez upon his return. He returned to the win column his next time out, claiming a third questionable decision over Vince Morales.

He fights for the first time in more than three years.

There’s an argument to be made that Lopez should be on a four-fight losing streak, and the theme is pretty consistent: when his athleticism and flying knees aren’t sufficient to find an early finish, his toolbox isn’t deep enough to carry him through the later rounds. On top of that, those controversial decisions came over opponents who’ve failed to post winning records in the Octagon, which bodes ill for his chances against a genuine threat like Bautista.

To be fair, Lopez has had years to fix the holes in his game, but we weren’t privy to those hypothetical adjustments. I can only work with the data I’m given, and that data says Bautista weathers an early blitz to break down Lopez over the full 15 minutes.

Prediction: Bautista via unanimous decision

Well, at least we’re getting closer to UFC 281. See you Saturday, Maniacs.

Prediction Record for 2022: 154-78-2


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 64 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 64: “Rodriguez vs. Lemos” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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