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Will “The Assassin Baby” continue his unlikely rise to the top of the Flyweight Division.


It was not too long ago that we saw Brandon Moreno fighting on The Ultimate Fighter season 24. Most likely due to his youth, Moreno was given the No. 16 seed out of 16 flyweights and he ended up losing to current UFC Flyweight Alexandre Pantoja in a rather exciting opening battle. Moreno will be taking on young Sergio Pettis in the main event of this Mexico City melee, and the winner will most likely receive a title shot.

Flyweight: Brandon Moreno (-170) Vs. Sergio Pettis (+150)

Brandon Moreno has had a very eventful year. He was a +400 underdog back in October against the surging Louis Smolka and pulled off a guillotine choke to upset the hottest thing in the flyweight division at the time. Then he defeated Ryan Benoit and Dustin Ortiz to set him up where he is right now, main-eventing a UFC Fight Night in his home country against another surging Flyweight in Sergio Pettis. Pettis has mixed martial artists in the family with his older brother being the former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis. The Roufusport athlete has wins in his last three fights against Chris Cariaso, Chris Kelades and John Moraga. The most surprising thing about this fight to me is the fact that these two fighters are both only 23 years old. Unless your name is Jon Jones you don’t see that type of success in the UFC as a 23 year old. From the UFC point of view, if either of these two win, they have the ability to market them in different ways. Pettis from a bloodlines standpoint and Moreno from the standpoint of the face of Mexican MMA. I personally think that Brandon Moreno will take the victory in this fight. He has really benefited from the training that he has been getting at Entram and his competitive ceiling is so high. Brandon Moreno Def. Sergio Pettis

Women’s Strawweight: Alexa Grasso (-150) Vs. Randa Markos (+130)

In a Canada vs. Mexico tilt, Canada’s Markos will look to build upon her win over former UFC Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza by challenging Grasso. The latter has a lot of hype behind her since she is a very easily marketable fighter due to her looks and viciousness inside the cage. The UFC tried to push that marketability in January but looked foolish when she ran into the resurgent Felice Herrig. This fight really offers nothing to the immediate future of the UFC Strawweight division, neither of them are going to challenge Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title anytime soon. I think Grasso will take it in her home country. Alexa Grasso Def. Randa Markos

Welterweight: Alan Jouban (-160) Vs. Niko Price (+140)

Jouban asked for a step up in competition after his December win against Mike Perry and ended up running into the Icelandic brawler Gunnar Nelson and getting destroyed. Niko Price is 2-0 (really 1-0 with 1 NC because he likes pot) since he made his UFC debut and has finished Brandon Thatch and Alex Morono in the process. Jouban hasn’t fought since his loss but before then he won five of his last six against quality opponents such as Belal Muhammad, Matt Dwyer and the aforementioned Mike Perry. Jouban, being a versace model, should not in any way, shape or form be fighting professionally and should only be doing modeling and making boatloads of money, but I respect his drive to compete and I believe it will help him win in Mexico City on Saturday. Alan Jouban Def. Niko Price

Featherweight: Martin Bravo (-300) Vs. Humberto Bandenay (+250)

Honestly, I don’t know who this Bandenay guy is. Martin Bravo Def. Humberto Bandenay

Middleweight: Sam Alvey (-150) Vs. Rashad Evans (+130)

In his long and illustrious career, Rashad Evans has been a constant in the UFC Light Heavyweight ladder and at one point took the UFC Title. But all is not well with Evans anymore, this fight should be Rashad Evans’ Swan Song. Evans hasn’t won a fight since 2013 and has taken some beatings since then from Glover Teixeira and Ryan Bader. In his most recent fight he made his Middleweight debut against judo specialist Dan Kelly and lost a split decision. While things are looking bleak to Evans, Alvey has been doing much better as of late. Even though he lost his last fight to Thales Leites, He won his prior four against Eric Spicely, Kevin Casey, Alex Nicholson and Nate Marquardt. Alvey seems poised to take this victory and possibly retire Evans. Sam Alvey Def. Rashad Evans

Other Picks:

Bantamweight: Alejandro Perez Def. Andre Soukhamthath

Middleweight: Jack Hermansson Def. Brad Scott

Flyweight: Hector Sandoval Def. Dustin Ortiz

Bantamweight: Rani Yahya Def. Henry Briones

Bantamweight: Diego Rivas Def. Jose Quinonez

Flyweight: Joseph Morales Def. Roberto Sanchez

Lightweight: Jordan Rinaldi Def. Alvaro Herrera

PS: This is Diego Rivas’ first fight since he recovered from cancer. In his last fight he won by Flying Knee and still has that explosiveness. Expect an emotional Chilean Bantamweight in the cage on Saturday’s prelims.

Follow The Sports Tank‘s resident UFC guy on Twitter: @foleypz16

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