UFC Fight Night 152 - New York Breakdown & Predictions
When is UFC Fight Night 152? Saturday 18th May, 2019 - 23:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC Fight Night 152? Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, New York
What channel is UFC Fight Night 152 on? BT Sport 2
Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 152? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
For viewers in the United States, the event 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 152? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets
Rafael dos Anjos vs Kevin Lee
UFC Fight Night 152 is headlined by Rafael dos Anjos and Kevin Lee in a fascinating match-up between two former lightweights. Dos Anjos has experienced the highs and lows in his welterweight chapter whereas Lee makes his first step in the division and predicts a smooth road to the title.
Even though Dos Anjos won the lightweight title, the cut was too gruelling and he decided to move up a class back in 2017. It looked like a great decision as he dominated Tarec Saffiedine, mauled Neil Magny and outpointed former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. However, he landed in the deep waters of the welterweight division when he came up against Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman. The latter man-handled Dos Anjos which has alerted Lee, himself another athletic wrestler.
Lee has promised so much in his UFC career but he just hasn’t quite cut it at the very top level. There is no doubting his talent but like Dos Anjos, his performance has always been restricted by the cut to 155 lbs.
After finishing a host of lightweight animals including Jake Matthews, Magomed Mustafaev, Francisco Trinaldo and Michael Chiesa, Lee met Tony Ferguson and got a taste of his own medicine in getting wrapped up in a choke. He bounced back by just about nullifying the striking of Edson Barboza but failed again in trying to get past a top contender in Al Iaquinta.
Dos Anjos looks great at welterweight but the size difference was clear in his fights with Covington and Usman. Lee will back himself to dominate in similar fashion but it will all come down to how he performs at 170 lbs.
This is a great match-up for Lee. Dos Anjos is a big name and has come unstuck against high-calibre wrestlers. We know Lee is an incredible athlete; strong, confident and most importantly a talented wrestler and not cutting those extra 15 lbs could unveil the next top contender in the division.
Dos Anjos also has excellent cardio and will have the advantage on the feet but the wrestling of an energised Lee is likely to nullify his striking and Jiu-Jitsu. If Covington and Usman can’t finish Dos Anjos, it is hard to see Lee pulling one off but he has the tools to subdue the Brazilian for five rounds.
Winner: Lee via Decision
Neil Magny vs Vicente Luque
Neil Magny heads back home to New York to take on the surging slugger Vicente Luque who has been blazing up the welterweight rankings but winning streaks count for nothing if he can’t get past seasoned pros such as Magny.
Luque has only lost once in nine fights with five knockouts and three submissions. His loss was to Leon Edwards via a decision but since, he submitted Niko Price, knocked out Chad Laprise and Jalin Turner and was the first man to knock out Bryan Barberena after a three-round war.
Magny is not quite experiencing the same form but he has been competing with the best welterweights for four years. After getting humbled by Rafael dos Anjos, he won a decision over Carlos Condit and knocked out Craig White who he took on late notice but he got beat up on the feet by Santiago Ponzinibbio before getting slept by a glancing right hand.
What was interesting in Magny’s fight with Ponzinibbio was that his seven-inch reach advantage was completely ineffective and Luque will be giving up two inches less. Ponzinibbio closed the distance and crippled Magny with leg kicks and jabs before eventually knocking him out.
If Luque can adopt the same strategy to get inside he can enjoy the same success. He is not quite on the same level as Ponzinibbio yet but he has the power and killer instinct that makes him dangerous in every round. Magny has the experience and attributes to bounce back with a win but if he can’t utilise that reach advantage he may be in for another painful night.
Winner: Luque via KO/TKO
Aspen Ladd vs Sijara Eubanks
Aspen Ladd and Sijara Eubanks meet again after their 2017 encounter when Ladd earned a unanimous decision. Eubanks steps back up to bantamweight desperate for vengeance and a place in line for the title.
Both fighters have only had two fights since but they have come on leaps and bounds. Ladd is still unbeaten and has looked phenomenal in her recent fights. Eubanks was her only fight that went to a decision and she went on to pull off her two best performances to date by dominating and finishing experienced veterans Lina Lansberg and Tonya Evinger.
Despite Eubanks’ unflattering record of 4-2, she has also looked impressive. She blitzed her way to the final of The Ultimate Fighter, dominating Maia Stevenson, DeAnna Bennett and Roxanne Modafferi. However, her hardest fight was trying to make weight after suffering kidney failure before the finale.
Eubanks still got her opportunity in the UFC and earned a decision over Lauren Murphy and another one over Modafferi but failed to make weight, forcing this move up to bantamweight.
This is a fantastic match-up. Ladd is a prolific finisher and has so much potential in the division. She is incredibly powerful and will leverage these attributes to try and earn another finish.
Eubanks is also very strong and at bantamweight she also has a ton of potential. She will be more energised and dangerous with ten less pounds to cut. She is slick on the feet with great technique where she will have the advantage but despite no submission wins on her record, her main strength is her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a high-level black belt.
This rematch will be a fascinating contest especially if it goes to the floor. It is hard to back against Eubanks but Ladd’s size and power will be crucial to controlling the fight and considering their toughness, a decision is most likely.
Winner: Ladd via Decision
Antonio Carlos Junior vs Ian Heinisch
Antonio Carlos Junior has not fought for over a year due injury that scuppered his fight with Elias Theodorou. Fortunately, he is back and ready to compete and string together a sixth win in a row. In his last three fights so far, he has truly stuck to his strengths by submitting Eric Spicely, Jack Marshman and Tim Boetsch with ease and he will be eyeing up the neck and limbs of his next opponent, Ian Heinisch.
Heinisch is also on an impressive winning streak. He outpointed the experienced Cezar Ferreira on his UFC debut which was earned by knocking out Justin Sumter with nasty elbows on Dana White’s Contender Series. This was after two more vintage knockouts for the Legacy Fighting Alliance.
Heinisch is a good wrestler but the only contact he will want to make will be his right hand on Carlos Junior’s chin. The Brazilian is one of the best submission artists in the UFC and if the fight goes to the floor it is only a matter of time before Heinisch taps.
Heinisch has very short arms but he is incredibly explosive and closes the distance in a flash. He will look to stalk Junior from range and explode in with punches looking for the knockout. However, the Brazilian will prepare for this threat and has the experience to weather the storm and patiently wait for an opportunity to tie Heinisch up and squeeze out a win.
Winner: Carlos Junior via Submission
Charles Oliveira vs Nik Lentz
Charles Oliveira and Nik Lentz meet for a third time at UFC Fight Night 152. Oliveira submitted Lentz both times but their first scrap in 2011 was overturned into a ‘no contest’ as Oliveira hit Lentz with an illegal knee leading to the submission but he convincingly won their rematch in 2015.
Oliveira is still in his 20s but he travels to New York for his 24th UFC fight. When fighting in the UFC for that long, losses are inevitable but he is in superb form after winning his last four fights (Clay Guida, Christos Giagos, Jim Miller and David Teymur) and stretching his record of UFC submissions to 13. He also earned the ‘performance of the night’ bonus in these bouts and has looked as sharp as he as ever looked in his career.
Nik Lentz makes his 23rd UFC appearance hoping for a third win in a row but more importantly redemption over his familiar foe. He is coming off the back of a brilliant TKO over Gray Maynard and a dominant decision over Scott Holtzman.
Let’s hope there is no controversy in this one. Despite Oliveira’s illegal knee in their first fight, both bouts were competitive with Lentz utilising his wrestling to subdue the Brazilian for as long as he could.
They are both even better fighters now and it will be fascinating to see the contest between Lentz’ wrestling and Olveira’s Jiu-Jitsu. However, the difference may come down to the striking of Oliveira. Lentz’ stand-up has also improved but the Brazilian has looked incredibly sharp on the feet and with that reach advantage, he has the ability to find the finish whether that be a knockout or strikes leading to yet another submission.
Winner: Oliveira via Submission
Davi Ramos vs Austin Hubbard
The Jiu-Jitsu wizard Davi Ramos heads to New York for his fifth UFC fight looking for a fourth win in a row. He has lived up to the hype so far in transitioning from the grappling world and although he lost a decision to Sergio Moraes on his UFC debut, he strung together three submissions and three rear-naked chokes over Chris Gruetzemacher, Nick Hein and John Gunther.
Austin Hubbard makes his UFC debut sitting proudly on a 10-2 record. He has won his last three and comes off one of his most impressive performances for the Legacy Fighting Alliance. He weathered the storm of Killys Mota in a violent exchange on the feet and finished him with devastating elbows and knees to the body.
Hubbard will hope to repeat his recent performances and impress on his UFC debut but this will be a completely different fight. Even though Ramos is a dangerous striker with powerful leg kicks in his locker, Hubbard will still want to keep the fight on the feet as the Brazilian is in a different stratosphere when it comes to ground skills.
Ramos is a decorated Jiu-Jitsu champion and will require just one opportunity to get Hubbard to the ground and find a submission. Hubbard’s only chance is an early knockout but Ramos is growing quickly in his MMA career and will be confident wherever the fight goes.
Winner: Ramos via Submission
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.