UFC Fight Night 139 - Denver Breakdown
When is UFC Fight Night 139? Sunday 11th November, 2018 - 01:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC Fight Night 139? Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
What channel is UFC Fight Night 139 on? BT Sport 2
Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 139? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
Chan Sung Jung vs Yair Rodriguez
UFC Fight Night 139 marks the return of The Korean Zombie – Chan Sung Jung. We have been deprived of seeing one of the most exhilarating fighters on the roster due to a plethora of injuries and a mandatory stint in the military which has seen him fight only three times in seven years.
He was scheduled to fight the legend Frankie Edgar but he suffered an injury only two weeks out. Thankfully, Yair Rodriguez has stepped up on short notice which, to be honest, is one of the most exciting stylistic match-ups you can make in the division.
On paper, this should be absolute fireworks. The stand-up arsenal of Rodriguez is something out of a Bruce Lee movie. From a Taekwondo background, he has every kick and spinning attack in the book which provides a spectacle as long as he isn’t fighting a wrestler.
Although Jung is a tremendous grappler, he is not a wrestler and instead will go toe-to-toe with Rodriguez and prove he has the striking edge. He is also a black belt in Taekwondo and has the heart to slug it out with anyone which, should provide an elegant war for fans.
A stand-up battle will be a spectacle and if there is not an early knockout, The Korean Zombie can call upon his grappling skills but he may need to resort to them sooner rather than later.
Winner: Chan Sung Jung via Submission
Donald Cerrone vs Mike Perry
If Chan Sung Jung vs Yair Rodriguez wasn’t exciting enough, we have Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Mike ‘Platinum’ Perry gracing the co-main to light up the Pepsi Center in Denver. Despite the respect between these two, they cannot wait to get their hands on each other and put on a show.
This is the biggest fight of Perry’s career so far and Cerrone is an important name to have on his record en route to the top of the stacked welterweight division. Cerrone on the other hand, has only won one of his last five fights so even though he has little to prove at this stage of his career, he is desperate to put Perry away.
Expect an intense and ferocious stand-up battle and considering their power, it can end at any time. Perry’s Boxing is brutal and he will look to pressure, close the distance, clinch and dirty box.
Cowboy will not be deterred by Perry’s weaponry because he is so confident in his own stand-up skills. He has everything but needs to keep the distance where he can deliver fight-ending combinations and approach this fight like he did with Rick Story and Mike Brown. Platinum needs to approach this like Darren Till did and walk Cerrone down and overwhelm him on the feet.
This will be a very close contest on the feet but Cerrone is in a different league when it comes to ground skills, and depending on how much he wants that win, he will finish the fight on the mat.
Winner: Cerrone via Submission
Raquel Pennington vs Germaine de Randamie
Germaine de Randamie makes her return after 21 months. After claiming the inaugural featherweight championship after a controversial win over Holly Holm, she then added more controversy after having to relinquish her belt as she was deemed unable to defend it against Cris Cyborg. A troublesome hand injury has kept her out all of this time but now she is ready to perform back at bantamweight.
She takes on Raquel Pennington who is coming off her brutal loss against Amanda Nunes which was her first fight in 18 months. So, both fighters are looking to regain some form and much-needed cage time.
This isn’t a good match-up for de Randamie. Her striking is on a different level to Pennington as a multiple time world Kickboxing champion but Pennington is a powerful, dogged wrestler and will look to take de Randamie down and keep her there.
De Randamie has great takedown defence but it will have to be perfect to keep the fight on the feet and if she succeeds, she will pepper Pennington but whether she will for three rounds is a different story.
Winner: Pennington via Decision
Joseph Benavidez vs Ray Borg
Two of the best flyweights in the world feature at UFC Fight Night 139 but Ray Borg arrives in Colorado with very hindered preparations. After having to withdraw from his fight against Brandon Moreno at UFC 223 after being on the wrong end of the dolly attack by Conor McGregor, he has then had to endure a life-threatening illness of his new born son.
After going through the wringer he now has to fight Joseph Benavidez who, despite his recent loss to Sergio Pettis, is one of the best flyweights of all time. This was his first fight in two years but Borg is now carrying a bit of ring-rust after not fighting since his title bout against Demetrious Johnson over a year ago.
Borg is a phenomenal grappler and this has to be his plan A. Benavidez is also a great wrestler but that is just one string to his bow as he is incredibly well-rounded. He is dangerous on the feet with lightening quick hands and level-changes.
Borg is going to have to win the grappling contest and hope he can control Benavidez. However, considering what Borg has been through and the calibre of Benavidez, this fight may have come at the wrong time.
Winner: Benavidez via Decision
Maycee Barber vs Hannah Cifers
Two debutants head to Denver in the shape of Maycee Barber and Hannah Cifers. The talent in the UFC strawweight division continues to grow with these additions and these young guns have full intentions of climbing the rankings.
Barber arrives into the UFC unbeaten and on the back of an impressive TKO over Jamie Colleen on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and was rewarded with a fight against Maia Stevenson. However, Stevenson withdrew with injury and meanwhile, on the cusp of signing for Invicta, the UFC snapped up Cifers when they realised her potential in the division.
These women improve with every fight so we should expect to see them further evolved and as they are natural finishers we should be in for a great fight. Cifers packs one hell of a punch and is very experienced for her age but her cardio will be tested fighting at elevation.
Barber, on the other hand, will be on home soil in Colorado so will be used to the altitude as well as having the fans behind her but she will have to weather the early storm. Barber has the height and reach advantage but Cifers is deceptively strong and thrives in the clinch with a Muay Thai background and she may just have the power to cause the upset.
Winner: Cifers via KO/TKO
Mike Trizano vs Luis Peña
The main card kicks off in style between fellow Ultimate Fighter 27 contestants Mike Trizano and Luis Peña. Trizano claimed the prize after defeating Joe Giannetti in the finale. This was a close decision but Trizano looked brilliant throughout the series.
However, Peña’s hopes of winning the tournament were cut short after sustaining an injury which ruled him out after one fight. This was very unfortunate as he was one of the favourites but he was given the opportunity to fight in the finale against Richie Smullen which he dominated. So, this is an intriguing fight as Peña is looking to prove he is the unofficial winner of the series.
Both men are unbeaten and extremely well-rounded. Although Peña has only had three professional fights, he is worthy of his place in the UFC and will look to dictate the fight against the more experienced Trizano.
The key factor in this fight will be Peña’s height and reach advantage which is embedded in his style. He throws punches and kicks from range whilst keeping a suffocating pressure. Trizano has the speed and power to stifle the flow but may look to take the fight to the ground. Take their stats with a pinch of salt as it is only based on one fight.
Winner: Peña via Decision
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.