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Guide to UFC on ESPN+ 53: Ladd vs. Dumont

Getting prepared for UFC action this coming Saturday? Here is everything you need to know about the event with our Guide to UFC on ESPN+ 53.


UFC on ESPN+ 53

Date: October 16, 2021

Location: UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada

Main Card

Start Time: 7:00 p.m. ET, 4:00 p.m. PT

Where to watch: ESPN+

Women’s Featherweights: Aspen Ladd vs. Norma Dumont

Overall Records: Ladd 9-1, Dumont 6-1

UFC Records: Ladd 4-1, Dumont 2-1

Last Fight: Ladd def. Kunitskaya–R3 TKO–UFC On ESPN 7 (12/7/19), Dumont def. Spencer–SpDec–UFC On ESPN+ 46 (5/22/21)

Last Five Fights: Ladd 4-1, Dumont 4-1

Rankings: Ladd #3 WBW

Betting Odds: Ladd -150, Dumont +125

Preview: It’s not the most high-profile main event in UFC history, and it is a late replacement main event, but a bout that could provide a challenger to Amanda Nunes for the UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship sees Ladd move up to fight Dumont. Dumont was originally slated to fight Holly Holm in this bout, but Holm suffered a knee injury, and Ladd steps in on just over a week’s notice. Ladd is coming off a scary situation about two weeks ago when she missed weight for a scheduled fight against Macy Chiasson. She was very shaky on the scale, nearly falling off of it, and looked in horrible condition, like she was about to pass out from a horrible weight cut. It’s been a common theme for her, but she’ll move up a weight class here. There is some concern about her getting back so quickly after that situation, as she will have to cut weight again, although not as much as she likely didn’t gain her full weight back, plus she goes up to the weight class ten pounds up. She wants to fight, as she’s been out of action since a December 2019 win over Yana Kunitskaya. She’s won nine of her ten career fights, with seven wins coming via a finish.

Like Ladd, Dumont was forced to move up to 145 lbs. after having issues making weight at bantamweight. There were two straight fights she missed weight by significant margins, which prompted a move to 145 lbs. in her last fight. She scored a split decision win over Felicia Spencer in that fight in May, which was her second straight win, and she’s already talking about deserving a title shot, which, let’s be honest, is a little far-fetched at the moment. She’s only had seven career fights, and though she’s won six of them, she hasn’t shown to be ready for that, but this is a fight that could change that with an impressive win.

As skilled as Dumont has shown to be, Ladd is clearly the better fighter of the two. Ladd is outstanding everywhere, she just hasn’t had a lot of action to show it. She has power in her hands, mixes everything well, and has a strong wrestling game. You can say that Ladd taking this on short notice and being up a weight class means she hasn’t had time to adjust to the weight, and it would be a real thing in normal fights, but Dumont is also someone who is trying to find a way to get herself ready to go back to 135 lbs. She is going to have the physical edge over Dumont.

Dumont has been preparing for a five-round fight, so that may give her an edge, but Ladd is also a completely different fighter than Holly Holm is. Ladd is someone who will come forward, hit you hard, and throw you on the ground and pound away. Ladd is just too talented to win this fight, and unless she has some real health concerns from everything that has happened and happened two weeks ago. I see Ladd getting the fight down and pounding away.

PICK: LADD

Heavyweights: Andrei Arlovski vs. Carlos Felipe

Overall Records: Arlovski 31-20 2 NC, Felipe 11-1

UFC Records: Arlovski 20-14 1 NC, Felipe 3-1

Last Fight: Arlovski def. Sherman–UDec–UFC On ESPN 22 (4/17/21), Felipe def. Collier–SpDec–UFC 263 (6/12/21)

Last Five Fights: Arlovski 3-2, Felipe 4-1

Betting Odds: Arlovski -120, Felipe +100

Preview: A long-time veteran and former UFC Heavyweight Champion keeps his career rolling along at age 42 as Arlovski continues to battle the young blood of the division as he takes on 26-year-old Felipe in an interesting co-main event. Arlovski’s second run has been a roller coaster to say the least, as he’s gone through win streaks, losing streaks, scoring finishes and being finished, but he’s still hanging out and competing well, and has won three of his last four fights. His early days mirrored a lot of what you would see in the heavyweight division- it was mostly finishes, whether it was a win or a loss. As he’s gotten to the latter stages of his career, he’s found a way to survive to the end, as eleven of his last 13 fights have gone the distance. He still has something he wants to prove, and he gets that chance against a surging Felipe. Felipe comes into this fight having won three straight fights, and he has just one loss in his 12-fight career. His look might not be the most intimidating, especially compared to the likes of the top heavyweights like Francis Ngannou or Ciryl Gane, but he’s been plenty effective. He’s still in search of his first finish in the UFC, as his three wins have been by decision, but he’s also had some entertaining battles in his last two fights.

Arlovski has really mastered the art of becoming a point-fighter as he does enough on the feet to remain effective, doesn’t take a lot of risks, and acts more gun-shy than anything. I don’t know if it’s all the wars he’s been in has made him afraid to blitz and throw bombs while also taking some, but he’s become effective at what he does. He likes to land the jab and leg kick, but won’t do much outside of that on offense. Felipe will give him the type of fight he’s looking for, but also the type of fight he doesn’t want to get into. Felipe can be sloppy on the feet as he’ll rush in and throw sloppy combinations where he’ll land, but also eat a lot of shots at the same time. Felipe will also get cocky on the feet and taunt his opponents to attack, and those kind of mind games won’t really work on a veteran like Arlovski. Felipe is surprisingly fast on the feet, but he has yet to knock out an opponent in the UFC. I don’t see him doing that to Arlovski. This feels like a fight that will be really close, and Arlovski could mix it up and take the fight down, where Felipe has trouble. I think Arlovski is the better fighter of the two, and I think he wins a decision here in a close fight.

PICK: ARLOVSKI

Lightweights: Jim Miller vs. Erick Gonzalez

Overall Records: Miller 32-16 1 NC, Gonzalez 14-5

UFC Records: Miller 21-15 1 NC, Gonzalez 0-0

Last Fight: Solecki def. Miller–UDec–UFC On ABC 2 (4/10/21), Gonzalez def. Alvarez–UDec–LXF 5 (8/7/21)

Last Five Fights: Miller 2-3, Gonzalez 4-1

Betting Odds: Miller -225, Gonzalez +185

Preview: It’s a match-up that looks weird on paper, as the all-time leader in career UFC fights battles an opponent making his UFC debut, but that is what we got here as Miller fights for the 38th time in the UFC, taking back sole possession of first place from his tie with Donald Cerrone, and he’s out to prove he still has a lot to give, as he’s said he’s not quite ready for retirement. He’s looking to get some momentum going, as he’s dropped two straight and three of his last four. He’s coming off a decision loss to Joe Solecki in April, but you can never count Miller out, as he’s still out there rattling off post-fight bonus awards. A win would be his 22nd in the UFC, which would tie him for second all-time, and a finish would be his 14th, tying him for third all-time.

All of those stats have to be intimidating for Gonzalez, who makes his debut on short-notice, as Miller was on the card without an opponent. Imagine getting that phone call from your manager that he got you a UFC contract and a fight, but you have to fight the guy with the most UFC fights all-time. He debuts having won two straight, and four of his last five, but if you look at the records of those four he’s beaten, it’s not saying a whole lot as those four have a combined 23-17-1 record, which accounts for 41 total fights, or just four more than Miller has had just in the UFC. Gonzalez does have nine finishes in his career.

If Gonzalez doesn’t crack under the enormous pressure he may be under when it comes to this fight, he has a lot of opportunities to win this one. Miller is clearly fading as a fighter, but he still brings a lot to the table. Miller does still have a solid chin, and his wrestling and submissions are still at a very high level. He might not be able to match the physicality of some of the younger UFC opposition, but Gonzalez doesn’t look to be a plus-athlete like Solecki is. Miller will likely be able to get the fight on the mat, and Gonzalez is positionally good, but he still has issues in defending takedowns and defending on the mat. I see Miller’s experience being too overwhelming for Gonzalez, and it’s going to be some veteran savvy taking this one, as I see Miller getting Gonzalez down and submitting him in the first.

PICK: MILLER

Women’s Flyweights: Manon Fiorot vs. Mayra Bueno Silva

Overall Records: Fiorot 7-1, Silva 7-1-1

UFC Records: Fiorot 2-0, Silva 2-1-1

Last Fight: Fiorot def. Ricci–R2 TKO–UFC On ESPN+ 47 (6/5/21), Silva DRAW De La Rosa–UFC On ESPN+ 44 (2/27/21)

Last Five Fights: Fiorot 5-0, Silva 3-1-1

Betting Odds: Fiorot -250, Silva +200

Preview: A flyweight bout in the women’s division sees a pair of potential future title challengers for Valentina Shevchenko meet as both work their way up the rankings as Fiorot takes on Silva in a fight that was delayed a few weeks due to COVID-19. Fiorot has made a splash in 2021, her first year with the UFC, as she’s won both of her fights since joining the company in impressive fashion, scoring finishes over Victoria Leonardo in January, and Tabatha Ricci in June. She’s won seven straight since her professional debut loss to Leah McCourt, who fights in the Bellator 145-pound division, while Fiorot is a natural flyweight. Six of her seven wins have been by knockout, and she’s on the short list of young prospects who could challenge Shevchenko within the next few years. Silva is fighting for the first time since February, and she’s looking to bounce back from a draw with Montana De La Rosa in that bout. Silva would’ve won the fight had she not been deducted a point due to fence grabbing. She had won seven of her eight career fights prior to that, with six wins coming by a finish, and she has shown the makings of being a potential title contender in the future.

Fiorot has shown to be dangerous on her feet, as she lands eight significant strikes per minute, and she mixes her punches and kicks well. She’s also a heavy pressure fighter with excellent footwork. Silva isn’t going to scare anyone on the feet, especially Fiorot, with her just coming forward but not being effective. Silva does have a good takedown game, but Fiorot is no slouch there. Fiorot is the one who has scored takedowns in the UFC, but Silva does hunt for submissions on the mat. Fiorot just looks better everywhere, whether on the feet or with the wrestling, and Silva’s only hope is to find a slick submission. Fiorot should win and keep moving up the ladder here.

PICK: FIOROT

Middleweights: Julian Marquez vs. Jordan Wright

Overall Records: Marquez 9-2, Wright 12-1 1 NC

UFC Records: Marquez 3-1, Wright 2-1

Last Fight: Marquez def. Alvey–R2 SUB–UFC On ABC 2 (4/10/21), Wright def. Pickett–R1 TKO–UFC 262 (5/15/21)

Last Five Fights: Marquez 4-1, Wright 3-1 1 NC

Betting Odds: Marquez -250, Wright +200

Preview: A battle of middleweight prospects kicks off the main card when hardcore fan favorite Marquez looks to continue his win streak against a young-and-tough opponent in Wright. Marquez, who is known for his fun personality and for calling out Miley Cyrus for a Valentine’s Day date, has shown his goofiness outside of the cage translates into a quality fighter, as he’s looking to extend his two-fight win streak. After injuries and fight cancellations kept him out of action for two-and-a-half-years, Marquez has had an impressive return in 2021, scoring submission wins over Maki Pitolo and Sam Alvey, and picking up two post-fight bonuses along the way. In fact, all three of his UFC wins have seen him get a performance bonus, and he’s won by submission in all of them, with all nine of his professional wins coming by stoppage. He’s also never been finished, as his two losses were the only two times he’s been the distance.

Wright comes into this one looking to grow momentum after scoring a 64-second knockout win over Jamie Pickett at UFC 262 in May. He looked impressive in that, and, like Marquez, all of his career wins have come by stoppage, with seven knockouts and five submissions. However, unlike Marquez, both of his “losses” (one was overturned to a no contest due to a failed marijuana test) have seen him be finished. Wright has been in quick fights, as he’s only gone to the second round twice in his career, and he’s never been past the six-minute mark in a fight. He has not faced the level of competition that Marquez has outside of the UFC, however. The eight fighters Wright beat during his pre-UFC days (he fought one opponent twice and doesn’t include his Contender Series fight) have a combined 22-61 record, and he fought two opponents that have an 0-22 record and an 0-14 record.

Marquez should be looking to pressure early as Wright has trouble getting adjusted when opponents are right in his face. Marquez isn’t the most adept striker, and Wright will have a five-inch reach advantage. Wright does land a lot, but he also gets hit a lot as well. His striking defense also isn’t all that great. Wright likes to end fights early, as evidenced by his record, and the longer the fight goes, the more it favors Marquez. Marquez is a grinding fighter with some good wrestling and really good submissions. He’s unlike anyone Wright has fought in his career, and he’ll likely put Wright in positions he has yet to be in. Marquez has become a more well-rounded fighter since moving back to Kansas City to work under James Krause, and his improvements will continue to show here. I see Marquez getting the fight down and grinding it out and finding the finish on the mat.

PICK: MARQUEZ


Preliminary Card

Start Time: 4:00 p.m. ET, 1:00 p.m. PT

Where to watch: ESPN+

Middleweights: Andrew Sanchez vs. Bruno Silva

Overall Records: Sanchez 12-6, Silva 20-6

UFC Records: Sanchez 5-4, Silva 1-0

Last Fight: Muradov def. Sanchez–R3 TKO–UFC 257 (1/23/21), Silva def. Turman–R1 KO–UFC On ESPN 25 (6/19/21)

Last Five Fights: Sanchez 3-2, Silva 5-0

Betting Odds: Sanchez +125, Silva -155

Preview: A former TUF winner battles a dangerous striker in this featured prelim as Sanchez takes on Silva in what could be an explosive battle. Sanchez was the winner of season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter, winning as a light heavyweight, and he started his UFC run with two straight wins after moving back to middleweight after the show. He’s since gone just 3-4 over his last seven fights. He’s looking to get back into the win column after being finished by Makhmud Muradov at UFC 257 in January. Silva comes into this fight riding a five-fight win streak. He made his long-awaited UFC debut after serving a USADA suspension in June, and scored a brutal first-round knockout of Wellington Turman, finishing with hard shots from the guard. Silva has scored an impressive 17 knockout wins in his 20 career wins, but five of his six career losses have seen him be finished, so he’s the definition of a kill-or-be-killed fighter.

Even with all of his knockout wins, Silva is a sloppy striker. He just has a ton of power and that often makes up for how bad he sometimes looks on the feet. Sanchez is a more crisp striker, but he won’t intimidate opponents like Silva will. Sanchez is a well-rounded fighter who could control this with the wrestling, as Silva has some very bad takedown defense. Sanchez will need to be active on the mat if he takes it down, because becoming lackadaisical on the mat could see Silva knocking him out from a crazy position on the ground. Sanchez is going to need to get his wrestling going early-and-often, as any time on the feet presents a danger for Silva to find the weak chin of Sanchez and end it with one punch. It will be interesting if the fight goes past the first, as Sanchez generally gets worse the longer a fight goes, and Silva is a big middleweight who could gas easily. This fight could get ugly, in many ways, but Silva’s power and the danger he presents on the feet will be the difference maker, and I see him finishing Sanchez any time he wishes.

PICK: SILVA

Welterweights: Danny Roberts vs. Ramazan Emeev

Overall Records: Roberts 17-5, Emeev 20-4

UFC Records: Roberts 6-4, Emeev 5-1

Last Fight: Roberts def. Imadaev–R2 KO–UFC On ESPN+ 21 (11/9/19), Emeev def. Zawada–SpDec–UFC On ABC 1 (1/16/21)

Last Five Fights: Roberts 3-2, Emeev 4-1

Betting Odds: Roberts +260, Emeev -350

Preview: An interesting welterweight bout takes place here as Roberts returns from a long layoff to battle the ever-tough Emeev as both look to march up the 170-pound ladder. Roberts is fighting for the first time in almost two years, as he looks for his second straight win after a knockout win over Zelim Imadaev in November 2019. He’s had a couple of fights scrapped due to the pandemic and injuries, but he’s fully healthy for the first time in a while he says, and he’s looking to improve on his 76% career finish rate. Emeev is coming into this fight riding a two-fight win streak, and he’s looking to go 2-0 in 2021 after a split decision win over David Zawada in January. He’s won nine of his last ten fights overall, including five of six in the UFC. He’s still in search of his first finish inside the Octagon, as all six of his bouts have gone the distance, and he hasn’t gotten a finish in well over five years.

This is a cliché type of fight, as it will be a striker against a wrestler. Emeev is one of the most boring fighters to watch on the roster, as he is effective in what he does, but he just doesn’t do much. He isn’t scaring opponents on the feet, but he has a takedown-and-grind style that isn’t pleasing to the crowd or a viewer, as he does just enough to keep it on the mat, but he doesn’t get his opponents in too much trouble often. Roberts is a solid boxer with some knockout power, and he is decent on the ground. When it comes to being well-rounded, Roberts might be the better of the two even though Emeev has the results. Roberts has to know that Emeev is going to want to take him down, so his takedown defense is going to need to be on point.

Roberts is going to have the output advantage on the feet, and he should mix everything up and keep Emeev at bay. Emeev is heavy on his front foot, so the calf kick could be a difference maker for Roberts, especially considering Emeev tends to not check kicks. Emeev also tends to telegraph when he’s going to start wrestling, so Roberts should be on the look out for it. Roberts is coming off the long layoff, and this fight is closer than the odds might dictate. I think Roberts is the better fighter overall, and I see him scoring an upset in this one, winning a decision.

PICK: ROBERTS

Women’s Flyweights: Lupita Godinez vs. Luana Carolina

Overall Records: Godinez 6-1, Carolina 7-2

UFC Records: Godinez 1-1, Carolina 2-1

Last Fight: Godinez def. Juarez–R1 SUB–UFC On ESPN+ 52 (10/9/21), Carolina def. Botelho–SpDec–UFC On ESPN 23 (5/1/21)

Last Five Fights: Godinez 4-1, Carolina 4-1

Betting Odds: Godinez -225, Carolina +185

Preview: Didn’t we just see Godinez a few days ago? If you’re asking yourself that question, the answer is yes, as Godinez makes a historic quick turnaround to fight for the second straight week as she steps in on late notice to battle Carolina in a flyweight bout. Godinez replaces Sijara Eubanks, who was pulled from the fight due to COVID-19 protocols. She’s moving up a weight class for this one, going up to 125 lbs., and is coming off a dominant first-round submission of Silvana Gomez Juarez on last week’s UFC card. It was the second finish of her young career. Carolina is on her third different opponent for this bout, as she was originally slated to fight Maryna Moroz, but that doesn’t make a difference to her as she looks for her second consecutive win. She’s coming in off a split decision win over Poliana Botelho in May. She’s won two of her three UFC bouts, but is in search of her first finish since July 2016.

Godinez is going to give up a good amount of size in this one, as Carolina is four inches taller than her and will have an eight-inch reach advantage. Carolina is a rangy striker, and really isn’t all that great on the feet, at least compared to Godinez. Godinez has great kickboxing, and she showed off a strong wrestling game last week, which changes how you can look at this match-up. Godinez is a heavy pressure fighter, as she’ll come forward and look to take it down quickly if an opening is there. Carolina doesn’t have much of a ground game, and Godinez looked fairly good and comfortable on the mat last week, especially for someone who is primarily a boxer. The win last week should give Godinez a ton of confidence, and even with the quick turnaround, this is a winnable fight for her, especially considering she took no damage last week. Godinez is more talented, and I see her doubling down in a history-making week, with a history-making win.

PICK: GODINEZ

Featherweights: Nate Landwehr vs. Ludovit Klein

Overall Records: Landwehr 14-4, Klein 17-3

UFC Records: Landwehr 1-2, Klein 1-1

Last Fight: Erosa def. Landwehr–R1 TKO–UFC On ESPN+ 43 (2/20/21), Trizano def. Klein–UDec–UFC On ESPN 24 (5/8/21)

Last Five Fights: Landwehr 3-2, Klein 4-1

Betting Odds: Landwehr +300, Klein -400

Preview: A battle of exciting featherweights looking to get back into the win column takes place here as Landwehr and Klein both look to rebound from recent losses. Landwehr made a splash during one of the first pandemic shows in May 2020 in Jacksonville, when he scored a win over Darren Elkins and showed a lot of craziness inside the cage, including talking to Dana White during a lot of the fight, and yelling and screaming as well. He’s fought just once since then, suffering a 56-second knockout loss via a flying knee from Julian Erosa. Overall, he’s dropped two of his three UFC bouts, with both being by knockout, so he’s in a must-win position here. Klein is making his third appearance inside the Octagon, and he’s looking to get back into the win column after dropping a decision to Mike Trizano in May. That ended an eight-fight win streak, which included a UFC debut win over Shane Young at UFC 253 in October 2020. Klein has been an impressive finisher, as 16 of his 17 wins have seen him knock out or submit his opponent.

Landwehr lands a lot, as he’s scored seven significant strikes per minute as a UFC roster member. However, he eats nearly eight significant strikes per minute, and he’s shown recently that his chin hasn’t been quite able to hold up. Klein is a knockout artist and he’s going to have plenty of openings to test the chin of Landwehr if Landwehr continues to fight like he has during his UFC run. If Landwehr can avoid getting hit, he is a durable fighter who knows how to push the fight to the distance. He definitely has the ability to wear Klein down, take him down and do damage from the top. Klein should be looking to come forward and attack with the head kick, as that will be his best weapon in this fight. Landwehr has to avoid getting hit, and if he can turn this fight into a grind, he stands a chance of wearing Klein down to a decision. I just don’t trust his chin, and maybe he shouldn’t as well. I see this ending much like Landwehr’s other two UFC losses, and that is with Klein getting a knockout.

PICK: KLEIN

Bantamweights: Danaa Batgerel vs. Brandon Davis

Overall Records: Batgerel 8-2, Davis 14-8

UFC Records: Batgerel 2-1, Davis 2-5

Last Fight: Batgerel def. Natividad–R1 TKO–UFC 261 (4/24/21), Davis def. Huber–R1 TKO–Gulf Coast MMA 11 (8/14/21)

Last Five Fights: Batgerel 4-1, Davis 4-1

Betting Odds: Batgerel -175, Davis +145

Preview: A Mongolian prospect battling an opponent returning to the UFC goes down here as Batgerel welcomes Davis back to the UFC in this bantamweight bout. Batgerel makes his fourth walk to the Octagon in this one, and he’s looking to extend his two-fight win streak. He is coming off a 50-second knockout of Kevin Natividad at UFC 261 in April. Training in New Mexico in Greg Jackson’s gym, Batgerel is looking to score his eighth win by stoppage. Davis is doing something that hasn’t been happening as much of late in recent times with the UFC, and that is coming back after being cut. Davis’ first stint with the UFC was a tough one, as he went just 2-5 in his seven fights. However, two of those losses came to top opposition, as he lost to Zabit Magomedshapirov on short notice, and his last UFC bout saw him lose a close split decision to Giga Chikadze, also in a fight he took on short notice. He was cut after that bout, but won four straight fights on the regional scene over the past year, which led to a call to return to the promotion here. He’s looking to make a fresh run as a bantamweight here, and score his ninth win by stoppage in this one.

Davis did fight twice as a bantamweight during his first UFC stint, splitting the two, but he looked comfortable at that weight. He has some size on Batgerel, standing three inches taller and having a two-inch reach advantage. Davis comes forward a lot in fights, but with a straightforward approach, and he leaves himself open to being countered quite often. Batgerel has some good power in his hands and has knocked out his last two opponents quickly. Davis might need to show off his solid durability in this one, and he’s going to need to keep himself from getting touched up too much on the feet. Davis’ wrestling has improved during his time away from the UFC, something that he’ll need to rely on as Batgerel has an underrated and often underutilized wrestling attack. I do think this fight is closer than the odds say, and Davis has been in there with some extremely tough opposition. I’m going to go with the upset this one and say Davis has a successful return to the UFC.

PICK: DAVIS

Women’s Strawweights: Istela Nunes vs. Ariane Carnelossi

Overall Records: Nunes 7-1 1 NC, Carnelossi 13-2

UFC Records: Nunes 0-0, Carnelossi 1-1

Last Fight: Nunes def. Iniong–UDec–ONE Championship (7/17/18), Carnelossi def. Liang–R2 TKO–UFC 261 (4/24/21)

Last Five Fights: Nunes 4-1, Carnelossi 4-1

Betting Odds: Nunes +145, Carnelossi -175

Preview: The opening bout on the card is a strawweight bout featuring a fighter that has been signed for years, but is just now making her debut, as Nunes fights for the first time in the UFC when she takes on Carnelossi. Nunes is making her debut after signing with the UFC in 2019. She was slated to debut against Angela Hill in September 2019, but she pulled out with what was said to be an injury at the time. However, it was later announced that she had failed a drug test for steroids, and she began serving a two-year suspension in July 2019. Her time is up, and now she makes her debut, looking for her second straight win after scoring a decision over Gina Iniong in October 2018. Even with the suspension, she’s fought just twice in the past five years, so she needs to shake off some rust. Carnelossi is looking for her second straight win, as she rebounded nicely from her UFC debut loss to score a second-round finish of Na Liang at UFC 261 in April in an exciting bout. She’s scored ten of her 13 wins by stoppage, with nine wins by knockout.

It’s been so long since Nunes fought that it is hard to know what she brings to the table at the moment, and she’s moving up a weight class. She’s generally a slow-paced fighter who wants to fight on the outside, whereas Carnelossi is someone who constantly comes forward and is willing to take a shot to get her offense going. Carnelossi does land a solid amount of significant strikes per minute, but she also tends to get hit quite often. Nunes is going to have a five-inch reach advantage, and she’s going to need to use that to keep Carnelossi from closing the distance. Nunes might look to mix in the wrestling, but Carnelossi fights good off the mat and has great durability. I’m not sure Nunes is going to be able to shake off the rust in this one, and Carnelossi is a tough opponent to come back against. I see Carnelossi scoring a decision in this one.

PICK: CARNELOSSI

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