UFC Fight Night 154 - South Carolina Breakdown & Predictions
When is UFC Fight Night 154? Saturday 22nd June, 2019 - 22:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC Fight Night 154? Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, South Carolina
What channel is UFC Fight Night 154 on? BT Sport 1
Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 154? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
For viewers in the United States, you can watch the fight live if you subscribe to ESPN+ now by clicking here!
Are tickets still available for UFC Fight Night 154? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets
Renato Moicano vs The Korean Zombie
We fully expect a spectacle for the main event in South Carolina as ‘The Korean Zombie’ is back in action and takes on the super talented Brazilian Renato Moicano.
Moicano is coming off the second loss of his career but he has only come up short against two elite featherweights. The submission wizard Brian Ortega wrapped up a late guillotine to hand him his first loss and after getting back to winnings ways against Calvin Kattar and Cub Swanson, he could not quite last two rounds against one of the greatest featherweights of all time in Jose Aldo.
Chan Sung Jung is also coming off a knockout loss in one of the best fights of 2018. He took on Yair Rodriguez in a back-and-fourth stand-up battle he was arguably winning until the final second of the five rounder where Rodriguez caught Jung with one of the most incredible elbows we have seen in the octagon.
This will be Jung’s third fight in nearly six years and despite his inactivity due to injuries and military service, he is surprisingly consistent and will have to be to get past Moicano.
Moicano is phenomenal on the ground but Jung is also an incredible grappler which should force the majority of this fight on the feet. Moicano’s striking looks more dangerous each time he re-enters the cage and his leg kicks and strong jab will be crucial to disrupting the flow of Jung and breaking him down in the later rounds.
However, ‘The Korean Zombie’ is made for five-round wars and has the technique and power to at least earn the points or secure a late finish.
Winner: Chan Sung Jung via KO/TKO
John Lineker vs Rob Font
John Lineker steps in for Cody Stamann to rematch Rob Font as he is desperate to ramp up his activity in 2019 but he will have to respect the skills and evolution of Font to pick up another win and gain momentum.
After suffering only one loss in nine fights which was to the former champion TJ Dillashaw, Lineker was on the wrong end of a close split decision against the rising star Cory Sandhagen and hopes to get back on track and go 2-0 against Font.
Font was disappointed to not fight Stamann but this is a bigger opportunity for #12 ranked bantamweight. He takes on the perennial top contender knowing a win will hugely boost his stock but he will also gain sweet vengeance after losing a decision to Lineker back in 2016.
Both fighters are superb finishers but their durability and experience of sharing three rounds together already is likely to drag this into a decision. Font will be well-aware of the stand-up threat of Lineker. The Brazilian is arguably the hardest hitter in the division with legitimate one-punch knockout power and Font will have a strategy of movement to avoid getting caught.
Lineker will also prepare for Font’s weapons with the power and reach to find a knockout of his own. Lineker will also be wary of his ground skills but will back himself to control the grappling exchanges.
This is likely to be another stand-up battle, perhaps more tentative than usual, with Lineker’s experience helping him sway the judges.
Winner: Lineker via Decision
Bryan Barberena vs Randy Brown
Bryan Barberena and Randy Brown have been struggling to string some wins together in the UFC but it is a sign of how stacked and competitive the welterweight division is. Both fighters are looking to bounce back from a loss but that won’t stop them from putting on a show.
Barberena is coming off a brutal battle with Vicente Luque where his chin finally gave way in the last round to suffer the first knockout loss of his career. Brown is also coming off a brutal knockout and bizarre finish. He was tied up on top of Niko Price but left his jaw exposed to explosive hammer fists to render him unconscious.
Brown is a big welterweight but he will have to use his reach advantage intelligently. He has a significant five-and-a-half arm reach and six-and-a-half inch leg reach advantage and will have to control the distance with jabs and kicks.
Although Barberena was finished in his last fight, he is one of the most durable fighters in the division and Brown cannot rely on finding a knockout so will need to pace himself. If Brown can implement a strategy he will have a great chance but Barberena’s experience will be crucial. Although he takes a lot of damage, he dishes it out and does not need many significant strikes to find the knockout.
Winner: Barberena via KO/TKO
Andrea Lee vs Montana De La Rosa
The women’s flyweight division continues to grow in talent and UFC Fight Night 154 will see two of the division’s dark horses. Andrea Lee and Montana De La Rosa have buckets of potential and hope to stretch their winning streak and force themselves into the title picture.
It is easy to envision Lee fighting for a UFC title at some point in her career. She is the former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion and is currently on a six-fight winning streak after earning dominant decisions in her first two UFC fights against Veronica Macedo and Ashlee Evans-Smith.
De La Rosa is on a four-fight winning streak of her own, racking up four more submissions. She got her opportunity in the UFC after impressing on The Ultimate Fighter and since had two UFC fights where she submitted Rachael Ostovich and and Nadia Kassem.
De La Rosa has improved drastically in each fight and looked dominant in her last two, out-wrestling talented grapplers before finding the submission. Now, she is coming up against the most skilled and well-rounded opponent she has fought so far.
Lee is an exceptional grappler herself but she is also a technician on the feet with a full pallet of strikes and has a clear advantage in this area. De La Rosa will hunt the takedown and hope to keep Lee on the ground but the longer the fight stays on the feet, the more success Lee will have.
Winner: Lee via Decision
Kevin Holland vs Alessio Di Chirico
A fascinating middleweight showdown takes place in Greenville, South Carolina with Kevin Holland and Alessio Di Chirico both on a two-fight winning streak.
Holland is coming off a dominant win, submitting John Phillips and then a much closer yet thrilling contest with Gerald Meerschaert where two of the judges gave Holland the nod.
The multi-talented Italian responded to the second loss of his career in the best possible way. After getting submitted by Eric Spicely, Di Chirico overcame Oluwale Bamgbose with a devastating kneww. After this emphatic win, he also went on to earn a hard-fought split decision over Julian Marquez.
Holland has all of the attributes to be a top contender in the middleweight division. He is a powerful striker with ferocious hand speed and standing at 6’3” with an 81-inch reach, he is a threat to anyone on the feet and is also very dangerous on the mat.
However, Di Chirico also deserves respect in the division and will not back down from the stand-up battle. The former linebacker is explosive and a dangerous striker himself, especially at close range. He has brutal ground-and-pound and will try and force the fight to the floor to inflict damage while negating the reach advantage.
They are both extremely well-rounded and aggressive and is why they are natural finishers but this has the making of a three-round scrap. As long as Di Chirico can control the distance to time his shots and be wary of Holland’s tricky submission attempts when trying to take him down, he has the technique and attrition to earn he points
Winner: Di Chirico via Decision
Ashley Yoder vs Syuri Kondo
Ashley Yoder welcomes the combat personality Syuri Kondo to America for UFC Fight Night 154 as she looks to bounce back from two losses and prove she can also be a hit in MMA.
Kondo has had a storied career already at the age of 30. Grown up training various martial arts, she has had successful stints as a kickboxer, shoot boxer as well as a professional wrestler. She has now had eight MMA fights and it looked like another sport she was born for. However, after winning her first six fights, she met Poliana Botelho, a powerful and experienced striker who handed her her first loss via TKO. She then went on to lose a decision against Xiaonan Yan.
Now, Yoder is hoping to pile on more misery by handing her a third loss in a row. Yoder has also struggled against UFC competition and lost her first three UFC fights – all decisions against Justin Kish, Angela Hill and Mackenzie Dern. She bounced back in another decision against Amanda Cooper in her last fight and now she is desperate to make it two-in-a-row.
Kondo will try and keep the fight on the feet where she will have a clear advantage. Yoder is no slouch when it comes to striking but she will be more comfortable on the floor. Kondo has not been taken down so far in the UFC and if she keeps that up she should cruise to victory.
Winner: Kondo via Decision
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.