UFC Fight Night 148 - Tennessee Breakdown & Predictions
When is UFC Fight Night 148? Sunday 24th March, 2019 - 01:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC Fight Night 148? Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
What channel is UFC Fight Night 148 on? BT Sport 1
Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 148? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
For viewers in the United States, the game will be shown live and you can take advantage of a free trial with ESPN+ and subscribe now by clicking here!
Are tickets still available for UFC Fight Night 148? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets
Stephen Thompson vs Anthony Pettis
Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis is at the stage of his career where he just wants to fight, put on shows and display his electrifying talent and has subsequently called out arguably the best striker in the weight class above – Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. Pettis is a former lightweight champion and has even competed in the featherweight division and his incredible war with Tony Ferguson in his last fight seems to have given him a thirst for more exciting battles, even if that means stepping up to 170 lbs.
‘Wonderboy’ is coming off a controversial decision loss to Darren Till and a knee injury that has kept him on the sidelines for nearly a year. He is a true gent and proud icon of his art and instead of complaining and demanding big fights, he has focused on his teaching and rehab. Now, he has made his recovery and can’t wait to partner Pettis in an exhibition of skill.
On paper, this is a mouth-watering match-up. Thompson is a decorated, unbeaten kickboxer who has transitioned his skills over to MMA brilliantly. He can grapple but he is expected to go about his business as usual by conducting the range with masterful movement and peppering Pettis from range with an array of technical strikes.
Pettis has the talent to match ‘Wonderboy’ on the feet but as he is stepping up to welterweight, he will be giving up reach and weight. Thompson will only have a three-inch advantage but that is hugely significant for the kickboxer, who will utlitise it to the max.
If Pettis struggles to land on Thompson he may try and make the fight ugly by closing the distance and offloading unorthodox strikes. Ideally he will want the fight on the floor where his Jiu-Jitsu is on a different level but Thompson’s takedown defence and general ellusiveness will be key to nullifying Pettis’ attacks and, as it will be five rounds, Thompson has the conditioning to pull off a late finish.
Winner: Thompson via KO/TKO
Curtis Blaydes vs Justin Willis
Curtis Blaydes’ surge up the heavyweight rankings has been interrupted twice by a Francis Ngannou shaped obstacle, feeling the wrath of his bludgeoning hands. These are the only two losses on his record but in between he looked exceptional, showing off his dominant wrestling and adding dangerous ground-and-pound as we saw when he brutally knocked out the legend Alistair Overeem, and he hopes to do the same to the up-and-coming Justin Willis.
After losing the first fight of his career, Willis has gone on to win his next eight fights. He won his first three UFC fights easily but has no stand-out names on his record, although he did earn a valuable decision over Mark Hunt in his last fight. This wasn’t an eye-catching display but he has the skill to seriously trouble Blaydes.
The heavyweight division is shallow but a win for either man will set up a big-name fight. Blaydes will be the favourite and his wrestling will be the deciding factor. Willis is a problem on the feet with heavy hands and Blaydes’ two losses have been knockouts.
However, Willis is not Ngannou so we are not sure how durable Blaydes’ chin is but he will be determined for it not to be tested and judging by his average number of takedowns, we can assume Willis will spend a lot of time on the mat and he will do well to take the fight to the bell.
Winner: Blaydes via Decision
John Makdessi vs Jesus Pinedo
John Makdessi was originally scheduled to fight Nasrat Haqparast and Jesus Pinedo was expected to fight Chris Gruetzemacher but their dance partners both pulled out with injuries. Fortunately though, they have agreed to square-off against each other.
Makdessi walks out for his 16th UFC fight and is hoping for his 10th UFC win. After getting wheel-kicked into orbit by Lando Vannata, he has responded with with two well-earned decisions over Abel Trujillo and Ross Pearson.
Pinedo makes only his second UFC appearance after arriving to the octagon on a six-fight winning streak, which he then extended to seven with a unanimous decision win over Devin Powell.
Although they have virtually the same amount of professional fights, there is a sizeable difference in the level of experience. Makdessi has fought at the top level for years and needs to call upon this experience.
Pinedo is aggressive and very well-rounded and utilises his long limbs to wrap up submissions and cause fight-ending damage on the feet. The Peruvian’s reach advantage will be his best ally against the stockier Canadian and he is always capable of a finish but Makdessi will use his experience to weather the storm and grind out a decision.
Winner: Makdessi via Decision
Jussier Formiga vs Deiveson Figueredo
The #1 ranked flyweight contender is gunning for a shot at Henry Cejudo’s belt and avenge his loss to him back in 2015. However, a title shot is far from a certainty as the only people who seem interested in the division are the flyweights themselves, which is unfortunate as there are some hugely talented fighters floating around. Formiga is looking for a fourth win in a row to stake a claim for that title shot.
Formiga has a huge task in the shape of Deiveson Figueredo, who is unbeaten and blazing through the division. He has impressively won all four of his UFC fights – none more so than his last two where he knocked out established fighters Joseph Morales and John Moraga.
This is a fanatastic match-up between two of the most in-form flyweights. The experienced Formiga is one of the best grapplers in the division as a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo which has given his ten submission wins.
Then, we have Figueiredo who is a ferocious striker and yet to taste significant adversity. He can also grapple but not quite on the level of Formiga so it will be a case Figueiredo trying to keep the fight on the feet and Formiga attempting to take the fight to the floor.
If Formiga can time his takedowns to avoid the knockout power of Figueiredo, he can control the fight but he will need a perfect performance to find a finish.
Winner: Formiga via Decision
Luis Pena vs Steven Peterson
Luis Pena returns after suffering the first loss of his career against Mike Trizano. It was the unofficial final of The Ultimate Fighter as Pena suffered a tournament-ending injury while Trizano went on to beat Joe Giannetti in the finale. Only 25 years old and six fights in the bank, he has his whole future ahead of him and has decided to try his hand down in the featherweight division. Standing at 6’3”, it will be quite an achievement to even make the 145 lb limit.
The experienced Steven Peterson welcomes Pena to the division who is desperate for a consistent run. He has lost three of his last six but is coming off a hard-fought split decision over Matt Bessette.
Don’t read too much into Pena’s fight stats as they are only based off his fight with Trizano. His game is all about a high output of Muay Thai strikes and using his long limbs to wrap up submissions.
Peterson is dangerous everywhere – he is also slick on the ground with a terrific submission game and aggressive on the feet. With the difference in size and reach, you would back Pena to control the distance and dictate the fight but you have to question how he will fair with his weight cut.
Providing he has a smooth cut, his dimensions will be enough to overpower Peterson but any issues and Peterson will have too much in the tank and come into his own in the third round.
Winner: Pena via Decision
Maycee Barber vs JJ Aldrich
Maycee Barber is only 20 years old with six fights to her name but is already making noise. She is unbeaten as a strawweight but has decided to move up to flyweight as her weight cut was getting harder and harder. She has finished all but one of her fights and is coming off a TKO in her UFC debut over Hannah Cifers who is incredibly tough and hard to put away.
The experienced JJ Aldrich also steps up to flyweight on the back of three straight wins. These were all unanimous decisions over Chan-Mi Jeon, Danielle Taylor and Polyana Viana in her last fight.
Aldrich is a huge test for Barber who is a fantastic striker as an elite Taekwondo practitioner. She has also got a good submission game but will want to keep the fight on the feet where she is most comfortable.
However, Barber has a suffocating pace and closes the distance effortlessly with powerful wrestling. She is very strong and despite the stand-up skills of Aldrich, Barber has the ability to stifle them by clinching and taking the fight to the ground.
Winner: Barber via Decision
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.