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UFC Vegas 78 predictions: Early ‘Prelims’ undercard preview | dos Anjos vs. Luque

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing more “Prelims” fights to ESPN/ESPN+ this weekend (Sat., Aug. 12, 2023) when UFC Vegas 78: “dos Anjos vs. Luque” returns to UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.’s Patrick Stumberg kicks of the UFC Vegas 78 “Prelims” party with the first installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

After two weeks away, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to its APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, this weekend (Sat., Aug. 12, 2023) for an ESPN/ESPN+-streamed show headlined by all-action Brazilian sluggers Rafael dos Anjos vs. Vicente Luque. UFC Vegas 78 also sees Cub Swanson return to Featherweight to battle Hakeem Dawodu and Khalil Rountree Jr. welcome Chris Daukaus to the Light Heavyweight division.

UFC Vegas 78 features six “Prelims” undercard bouts at time of writing and we’ve got the first three prepared for you below ...

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 79 On ESPN+

HIGH STAKES LIGHTWEIGHT MATCHUP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to UFC APEX on Sat., Sept. 23, 2023, with a high stakes 155-pound showdown as No. 6-ranked contender, Rafael Fiziev, takes on No. 7-seeded Mateusz Gamrot. In UFC Vegas 79’s co-main event, No. 12-ranked Featherweight contender, Bryce Mitchell, steps back into the Octagon against No. 13-seeded Dan Ige.

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

265 lbs.: Josh Parisian vs. Martin Buday

Josh Parisian (15-6) capped off a six-fight knockout streak by finishing Chad Johnson in his second Contender Series appearance. He’s since alternated losses and wins in the world’s largest fight promotion, including a decision defeat to Jamal Pogues in Feb. 2023.

His professional finishes are split 11:2 between knockouts and submissions.

Martin Buday (12-1) — whose sole professional loss came to Juan Espino in 2013 — extended his win streak to eight with a Contender Series knockout of Lorenzo Hood. He currently sits at 3-0 in the Octagon, racking up controversial decisions over Chris Barnett, Lukasz Brzeski and Jake Collier.

He faces a two-inch reach disadvantage.

Weird as this is to say about two men with such different UFC records, I see this as a battle of underachievers. Parisian really should be 1-4 in the Octagon and Buday failed to impress against Brzeski and Collier.

Between them, though, I still favor Buday. That’s because Parisian’s been taken down 11 times in his last three fights and was getting smashed by Alan Baudot before the Frenchman’s predictable collapse. While Parisian is by far the more nimble of the two, his fight with Pogues suggests that Buday won’t have trouble finding his preferred clinch. In the end, Buday out-muscles Parisian to win an ugly decision.

Prediction: Buday via split decision

115 lbs.: Jaqueline Amorim vs. Montserrat Ruiz

Jaqueline Amorim (6-1) capped off her four-fight stint in Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) by tapping Ashley Nichols in her inaugural Strawweight title defense. She started strong in her UFC debut against Sam Hughes, but severe cardio issues allowed “Sampage” to claim the last two rounds and a unanimous decision.

All of her professional wins have come in the first round, five of them in the first two minutes.

The wrestling attack of Montserrat Ruiz (10-2) carried her past Janaisa Morandin in her second Invicta bout, then past Cheyanne Vlismas in her UFC debut. “Conejo” wasn’t quite as successful against Amanda Lemos, who stopped her with strikes 35 seconds into their fight (watch it).

Saturday’s bout ends a two-year layoff.

If Amorim has fixed her cardio, it’s hard to imagine her losing here. Ruiz is one of the most one-dimensional fighters in modern UFC history and her only move — the head-and-arm throw — basically gives Amorim free access to Ruiz’s back. On paper, this shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

Ruiz is definitely physically strong and can do some damage on the feet, so she has the skills to turn things around if she survives long enough for Amorim’s gas tank to empty. More likely, though, she gets too eager chasing the clinch and allows Amorim to slither into back mount before choking her out.

Prediction: Amorim via first round submission

125 lbs.: Juliana Miller vs. Luana Santos

Juliana Miller (3-2) ran the table on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 30, ultimately pounding out Team Nunes’ last hope in Brogan Walker to win the tournament. Her UFC debut pitted her against Veronica Hardy, who defied three years of cage rust to author a massive upset.

“Killer” stands two inches taller than Luana Santos (5-1), but gives up one inch of reach.

Santos followed her undefeated amateur career with a perfect (3-0) professiojnal start, only to fall short against no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, Jena Bishop. Undeterred, she returned to form with a pair of dominant wins, including a club-and-sub of unbeaten Bartira Rodrigues in March 2023.

Her three professional submission wins include two by scarf hold armlock.

Things went poorly for Santos the last time she faced a high-level jiu-jitsu player, but this looks a lot more like revenge than repeat. Miller’s wrestling proved horribly underdeveloped against Hardy, so the only way she gets on top is if Santos, a decorated Judoka, commits the unforced errors she did against Bishop. Based on Santos’ recent bouts, she’s much more likely to score double-legs of her own, and that’s if she doesn’t just batter Miller on the feet.

The one thing Santos hasn’t proven is her ability to maintain a hard pace for three rounds, but with the ability to take Miller down as needed to slow the pace, that doesn’t look like an issue. In short, she out-classes “Killer” for a wide decision win.

Prediction: Santos via unanimous decision

Three more UFC Vegas 78 “Prelims” undercard bouts remain to preview and predict, including the debut of an undefeated Featherweight who’s never left the first round. Same time tomorrow, Maniacs.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 78 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN/ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 78: “dos Anjos vs. Luque” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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