UFC Fight Night 156 - Uruguay Breakdown & Predictions
When is UFC Fight Night 156? Saturday 10th August, 2019 - 23:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC Fight Night 156? Antel Arena, Montevideo, Uruguay
What channel is UFC Fight Night 156? BT Sport 2
Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 156? 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 on ESPN+ which can you sign up to here!
Are tickets still available for UFC Fight Night 156? https://www.ufc.com/tickets
Valentina Shevchenko vs Liz Carmouche
Valentina Shevchenko and Liz Carmouche headline the very first UFC event in Uruguay as Shevchenko avenges her first MMA loss and continues her quest to clean out the flyweight division.
Shevchenko suffered her first loss after seven wins when she met Carmouche back in 2010 under the C3 Fights banner. Carmouche finished her via TKO in the second round but she has since become one of the best female fighters in MMA only losing to Amanda Nunes. She rose up the bantamweight ranks despite always being undersized and now in her natural class she looks unstoppable, dominating Priscila Cachoeira and finishing her with a rear-naked choke, outclassing Joanna Jedrzejczyk on the feet and obliterating Jessica Eye with a head kick in her last fight.
Carmouche has also applied most of her trade in the bantamweight division with a UFC record of 3-3 and although she is also a natural flyweight she is one of the strongest women on the roster which has made her a formidable threat in the division. However, she lost her debut at 125 to Alexis Davis, losing a decision for a second time to the Canadian, but she has found her feet winning dominant decisions over Jennifer Maia and Lucie Pudilova.
Their first fight is irrelevant as they have evolved considerably since, especially Shevchenko who has become one of the most well-rounded MMA fighters in the world. Her grappling is phenomenal, and her striking is in a different class, but one advantage Carmouche has is her brute strength and wrestling.
So, Carmouche will look to take Shevchenko down and keep her there. She will look for submissions but settle for ground-and-pound. However, Shevchenko is deceptively strong and she has the technique to tangle with anyone as we saw when she submitted grappling-specialist Juiliana Pena.
The grappling will be a fascinatingly even battle, that is if Shevchenko’s striking and movement does not dictate the majority of the fight. Wherever the fight goes, Shevchenko will have her way but it will have to be another performance of the night to finish the former Marine.
Winner: Shevchenko via Decision
Vicente Luque vs Mike Perry
The Uruguayan fans are treated to a swashbuckling co-main even in the form of Vicente Luque and Mike Perry in a match-up destined for glorious violence.
Luque is one of the most in-form welterweights right now losing only once in his last 10 fights. Leon Edwards snapped a four-fight winning streak but he has gone on to finish five fights on the bounce. After submitting Niko Price, he knocked out Chad Laprise, Jalin Turner, Bryan Barberena and Derrick Krantz.
Perry is cut from the same cloth as an ultra-aggressive striker. He has been more inconsistent, going 4-4 in his last eight, but that includes losses to the likes of Santiago Ponzinibbio and Donald Cerrone. He has, however, picked up big decision wins over Paul Felder, and Alex Oliveira in his last fight.
This has all the makings of a war. They can both grapple, but prefer to let their fists and feet do the talking and never back down from a brawl which will be nerve racking for the cornermen.
With the power they possess the victor is likely to have the best defence and take the least damage. They are very even in the striking department but Luque has the reach advantage and importantly is more likely to keep his composure in the wild exchanges. It is easy to predict a knockout when two strikers of this calibre clash but they are so tough and durable a decision is a good bet.
Winner: Luque via Decision
Luiz Eduardo Garagorri vs Humberto Bandenay
The loudest cheers on the night will be reserved for Uruguay’s Luiz Eduardo Garagorri who makes his UFC debut against the second Peruvian on the main card, Humberto Bandenay.
Garragorri finally gets his shot in the big leagues, sitting pretty on an unbeaten record with 12 wins, but the true litmus test of a fighter is fighting UFC competition and he has the perfect stage of the first UFC event on Uruguayan soil.
Bandenay makes the trip from Peru to spoil the show. He got his shot in the UFC after an impressive five-fight winning streak and won his debut with a spectacular knee to put Martin Bravo to sleep. However, he has lost his last two – a slam knockout to Gabriel Benitez and a decision to Austin Arnett.
Garragorri is an aggressive striker and will be filled with adrenaline so expect him to come out the gate fast looking to land but he will have to be cautious as Bandenay is an excellent counter-striker.
Garragorri is also a solid grappler but the Peruvian is also very slick on the ground so he is likely to try and keep the fight standing and we may even see his spinning back kick. Garragorri will be spurred on to throw everything but Bandenay will throw it all back which may create a brawl, with either man susceptible to waking up to a flashlight. This should be a ferocious encounter with Garragorri’s power giving him the edge.
Winner: Garragorri via KO/TKO
Volkan Oezdemir vs Ilir Latifi
This exciting scrap fell through at UFC Fight Night 153 due to Ilir Latifi suffering a back injury just two days prior, much to Volkan Oezdemir’s disappointment. Fortunately, it has been rescheduled but, instead of Sweden, they head to Uruguay for the UFC’s first visit.
Oezdemir is under a mountain of pressure at the moment and hoping to prevent a four-fight skid. On his rapid rise to the top of the division he earned a title shot against Daniel Cormier and got a taste of championship level fighting and wrestling. This loss wasn’t a surprise but he went on to get submitted by Anthony Smith and then miss out on a close decision to Dominick Reyes. These fights were closer, especially Reyes where many believed Oezdemir did enough to earn the points himself and now he has another test in a tough stylistic match-up.
Latifi is coming off a decision loss of his own to Corey Anderson after two impressive wins over Tyson Pedro and Ovince Saint Preux. This was a disappointing performance as he had all the tools to beat Anderson but gassed out, leaving the door open for the cardio machine to control the last two rounds.
Latifi is a devastating striker but will have to be cautious standing in front of Oezdemir who will look to use his reach advantage and remind everyone of his one-punch knockout power.
Latifi will be wise to enforce his grappling and look at Oezdemir’s fight with Daniel Cormier as a blueprint to find a finish. He may try and chop him down with leg kicks but ultimately close the distance and exploit Oezdemir’s weakness on the floor.
However, Oezdemir only needs one opportunity to end the fight and if it goes past the first round he will be even more dangerous as Latifi begins to fade. Latifi is durable but if his defence begins to slack, Oezdemir will capitalize in devastating fashion.
Winner: Oezdemir via KO/TKO
Rodolfo Vieira vs Oskar Piechota
Rodolfo ‘The Black Belt Hunter’ Vieira makes his UFC debut after just five fights but he enters the octagon as one of the very best Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the world and Oskar Piechota is the black belt assigned to escape his clutches.
Vieira is incredibly decorated with a house full of World Championship and World Cup gold medals. He is jacked, and in his five previous fights he choked out four opponents and knocked out the other. However, he is in the UFC now and up against his toughest foe to date.
Piechota is a black belt but his skills pale in comparison to the multiple world champion. However, the Pole is also an excellent striker and only suffered the first lost of his career in his last fight against Gerald Meerschaert. He was submitted, but this was due to him being severely concussed.
On paper, this looks like a great match-up. However, Vieira only needs one opportunity to display his higher class of grappling. Piechota needs to keep the fight on the feet at all costs as he has the clear striking advantage but Vieira’s explosiveness will enable him to get Piechota to the mat where he will mercilessly find a submission.
Winner: Vieira via Submission
Enrique Barzola vs Bobby Moffett
Two grappling wizards kick off the main card at the Antel Arena in Uruguay. Peru’s own Enrique Barzola welcomes Bobby Moffett to South America.
Barzola had his four-fight winning streak snapped in his last fight by Kevin Aguilar who won a unanimous decision – an outcome he has become used to with his last seven fights ending in the judges' hands.
Conveniently, Moffett also had a four-fight winning streak snapped in his last outing. He lost a decision to Bryce Mitchell after winning his UFC debut with the ninth submission win of his career.
As exceptional grapplers, both men are most comfortable on the mat and it will be a fascinating battle between Barzola’s wrestling and Moffett’s jiu-jitsu. They are at such a high-level that it will require a big mistake to get submitted, making a decision most likely, with Barzola’s wrestling giving him a slight advantage.
Winner: Barzola via Decision
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.