Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its way to Montevideo, Uruguay this Saturday evening (Aug. 10, 2019) for another dose of streaming mixed martial arts (MMA) action on the ESPN+ digital network.
As it turns out, I already predicted most of the main card action earlier in the week (read it here), but as I’ve been called in to pull double duty on the top-two bouts of the card as well. In the main event, Flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko will look to continue dominating the field against an old rival in Liz Carmouche. In addition, a pair of knockout artists in Mike Perry and Vicente Luque will go toe-to-toe in a fight almost guaranteed to pick up a bonus of some kind.
You can check out the UFC Uruguay “Prelims” analysis here and here, plus some odds tinkering here.
Valentina Shevchenko is the champion because she’s better than most everyone in her division as just about everything. “Bullet” has been training martial arts — including Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Judo — since she was five years old, and she spent many of her teen years competing at a high-level in Muay Thai.
Shevchenko was born and raised to fight.
Carmouche, meanwhile, is a former United States Marine who started training in 2009. To her credit, Carmouche capitalized on her physical strength and toughness to pick up some legit grappling skill and become a two-time title challenger.
I don’t see how that wins her the fight though. Realistically, there’s a chance Carmouche manages to score top position thanks to her powerful clinch and Shevchenko’s own clinch offense, but then what? Carmouche is unlikely to submit Shevchenko or do a ton of damage with her top control time.
Any time Shevchenko is on the feet, she’ll be in her wheelhouse, slamming kicks and stinging Carmouche with counter punches. Even if Carmouche finds more success with her wrestling than expected, it’s hard to see her maintaining that success over five rounds while Shevchenko picks her apart and controls range with expert precision.
Based on recent results, this is something of a mismatch. Luque has been largely destroying his competition, making the most of his aggressive counter striking game to place overhands and left hooks directly on the jaws of his opponents with great consistency — he’s won nine of his previous 10 fights, only losing to an elite contender in Leon Edwards.
Perry is not Leon Edwards. The brawler has done well to turn a corner and develop some method to his madness, but “Platinum” has still found mixed success as of late against a higher level of competition.
Yet, I still feel compelled to pick Perry.
As a fan of “Platinum, this may be a case of my emotions getting the better of me, yet many argued the same last time when Perry pulled through as the underdog against Alex Oliveira. Once more, the match up is what’s most important: no one has been able to out-brawl Mike Perry. Each of the men who defeated him adopted a strategy of distance control and patience, which sounds absolutely nothing like Luque, who steps into the pocket with menace and is ready to trade at any time.
The Brazilian may be able to time his left hook inside a wide Perry swing early and put him down easy. If he doesn’t, however, there will be lots of exchanges in the pocket, and I must favor the heavier hitter.
Prediction: Perry via decision