Pyfer’s Power Needs to Test Other Top Contenders

February 6, 2024
5 months

Joe Pyfer is in the position many prospects have found themselves in during their UFC careers. Pyfer has picked up three straight dominant wins on the main roster at middleweight after earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. Finishing fights helps build a fanbase around a fighter.

With the fanbase in place, the UFC has decided to reward Pyfer for his effort with a bout against No. 11 ranked Jack Hermansson. Pyfer is a heavy favorite against Hermansson despite having much less experience. Hermansson is coming off a knockout loss to Roman Dolidze.

However, Hermansson is 10-6 in the UFC and has fought some of the toughest opponents the division can offer. Hermansson has decision losses to former champion Sean Strickland and former title challenger Marvin Vettori. This will be a challenging fight for Pyfer, who is looking to crack the rankings with a win.

But Hermansson is well-rounded and savvy enough that he won’t make life easy for Pyfer. While Hermansson does have three knockout losses in his career, he has also shown he can avoid damage and move well, like during his decision win over Chris Curtis, according to MMA breaking news.

Pyfer is a -260 favorite to win on the moneyline and is +140 to win by knockout/TKO/DQ. Hermansson is +550 to win by decision and +196. With this being a big step up for Pyfer, it may be better to stay away from the moneyline or method of win props for either fighter.

Bets to consider: Either fighter to by KO -115

50K Ige Seeks Another Bonus

Dan Ige is one of the fighters the UFC can count on to create striking-heavy matchups. While Ige struggled last time out against a wrestler, Bryce Mitchell, he should have more potential for fireworks with Andre Fili. Fili likes to create chaos in fights and get the bout stopped before it reaches the cards.

Fili won his last fight against Lucas Almeida by first-round KO, which was the 10th of his career. Fili also suffered a knockout loss to Joanderson Brito in 41 seconds in April 2022. Ige only has five knockout wins in his career but has been in a lot of firefights.

Ige’s handiwork has resulted in him earning three performance-of-the-night bonuses from the UFC. This will be another fight where both men will look to keep things standing, according to MMA latest updates.

Bets to consider: Ige -175, Over 1.5 rounds

Tavares Hopes to Stop Rodriguez

Gregory Rodrigues isn’t a fighter many middleweights want to be locked in a cage with. Rodrigues hits with tremendous power and has a strong chin. Brad Tavares is coming off a dominant decision win over Chris Weidman.

However, while Tavares’ win over the former champion was never in doubt, there was a feeling he could have done more to finish the fight. Tavares focused heavily on using leg kicks against Weidman, who had previously suffered a horrific knee injury in a loss to Uriah Hall.

Tavares has taken four knockout losses in his career, while Rodrigues has seen his last four fights end with knockouts. Rodrigues is 3-1 during that stretch. Keep an eye out for the props on either man by KO as the week goes long.

Bets to consider: Under 1.5, Rodrigues by KO/TKO/DQ

Johnson Needs to Bounce Back

Michael Johnson’s continued presence in the UFC is remarkable. He is 2-6 over his past eight fights and 21-19 in his career. But Johnson has always been a tricky gatekeeper during his career. He will be in the same situation Saturday against Darrius Flowers.

Flowers made his UFC debut with a submission loss to Jake Matthews. Now, Flowers, who is 12-6-1 as a professional, will try to take down the veteran fighter. Despite Johnson’s massive edge in experience, this fight is viewed as a coin flip.

Flowers took his first UFC fight on short notice and should be more prepared this time. Johnson has shown he can be chinny at times during his career. Still, I prefer to back the veteran in a fight that should end inside the distance.

Bets to consider: Johnson -125

Vieira Looks for Win No. 10

The best MMA news sites show Rodolfo Vieira is always desperate to avoid the scorecards. Vieira is 9-2 in his career, with all nine of his victories coming by finish. Armen Petrosyan is more comfortable with things going the distance.

Petrosyan’s last four fights have all gone to a decision. In all four of those bouts, Petrosyan has gotten his hand raised as the winner. This will be a tough test for Vieira, who is much more comfortable on the ground. Petrosyan has never been submitted before. Unless Vieira can implement his game plan better, Petrosyan should be able to grind out a decision due to his activity on his feet.

Bets to consider: Petrosyan even money

Giles Set to Welcome Newcomer

Carlos Prates is preparing for his first MMA fight after stringing together a solid run on the regional circuit. Prates impressed in the 2023 Contender Series, knocking out Mitch Ramirez in the second round to earn a UFC contract. Now, Prates will take a six-fight winning streak into a match with Trevin Giles in the featured prelim.

Giles has lost three of his past five fights but has picked up a few solid wins at the UFC level. This will be a solid test for Prates.

Here’s a look at the other fights on the preliminary card and some quick picks:

  • Welterweight, Giles (+215) vs Prates (-265)
  • Lightweight, Damir Hadžović (+250) vs Bolaji Oki (-310)
  • Women’s strawweight, Loma Lookboonmee (-270) vs Bruna Brasil (+220)
  • Light heavyweight, Devin Clark (-218) vs Marcin Prachnio (+180)
  • Welterweight, Max Griffin (+124) vs Jeremiah Wells (-148)
  • Light heavyweight, Zac Pauga (-125) vs Bogdan Guskov (+105)
  • Featherweight, Fernie Garcia (+164)  vs Hyder Amil (-198)
  • Bantamweight, Daniel Marcos (-245) vs Aori Qileng (+200)

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By Dean McHugh.