The ageless Holly Holm looks to turn aside another would-be contender this Saturday (May 21, 2022) when she squares off with Ketlen Vieira inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also in store are a Welterweight war pitting Michel Pereira against Santiago Ponzinibbio and a women’s Strawweight grappling clash between Polyana Viana and Tabatha Ricci.
Three more UFC Vegas 55 “Prelims: undercard bouts remain to preview and predict (check out the first batch here). You all know the drill at this point, so let’s not dally …
185 lbs.: Joseph Holmes vs. Alen Amedovski
Three months after tapping Shonte Barnes on Contender Series, Joseph Holmes (7-2) stepped up on short notice to face fellow alumnus Jamie Pickett. Though he started strong, “Ugly Man Joe” ultimately faded down the stretch en route to his first loss since his professional debut.
All of his professional victories have come inside the distance, five by submission.
Alen Amedovski’s (8-2) short-notice Octagon debut against Krzysztof Jotko didn’t work out for him, as the Pole’s wrestling prowess condemned Amedovski to a decision loss. Then came John Phillips, who knocked Amedovski cold just 17 seconds into the first round.
He fights for the first time in almost 33 months.
Yes, Holmes fell well short in a very winnable match up with Pickett. Yes, he showed some worrying red flags in the process. No, I’m not going to pick him to lose to a guy who only managed to land eight significant strikes in two UFC appearances. Amedovski doesn’t have the stand up skills to deal with Holmes height, reach and clinch abilities; nor does he have the ground chops to either keep it there or get anything going off of his back.
Amedovski could have improved during his three years away, of course, but the guy willingly slugged it out in the pocket with Phillips, one of the most comically one-note fighters in UFC history. And I’m not sure there’s any fixing that — Holmes strangles him inside the first five minutes.
Prediction: Holmes via first round submission
265 lbs.: Jailton Almeida vs. Parker Porter
Jailton Almeida (15-2) — undefeated since a 5-2 start — flipped the script on Contender Series by dominating wrestling specialist, Nasrudin Nasrudinov, on the mat. “Malhadinho” was similarly dominant in his UFC debut, mauling fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu artist Danilo Marques for a first-round ground-and-pound finish.
His finishes are split 9/6 between submissions and knockouts.
Parker Porter (13-6) had the unenviable task of making his UFC debut against Chris Daukaus, who battered him into submission late in the first round. He’s since put together a three-fight win streak, most recently edging out Alan Baudot in Feb. 2022.
He steps in for Maxim Grishin on one month’s notice.
I’m definitely a fan of Porter’s — we haven’t had many six-foot, bowling ball-type Heavyweight competitors of late, and he fits that bill nicely. I’m also extremely aware that he’s boned here, as there is no size advantage large enough to make up for Almeida’s edge on the mat. The ease with which “Malhadinho” has tossed people around suggests that he’ll get Porter to the mat without too much trouble, and from there it’s just a question of whether the Brazilian decides to pound him out or choke him out.
The only way Porter wins this is if Almeida mismanages his energy. Otherwise, expect another quick wipeout on the ground.
Prediction: Almeida by first round technical knockout
155 lbs.: Omar Morales vs. Uros Medic
Omar Morales (11-2) went from brutally upsetting Harvey Park on Contender Series to claiming victory in his first two UFC appearances. He then elected to drop to Featherweight, where he went 1-2.
He’ll have a three-inch reach advantage over Uros Medic (7-1) despite being two inches shorter.
“The Doctor” kept his first-round finishing streak alive by thrashing Mikey Gonzalez on the Contender Series, then needed even less time to put away Aalon Cruz in his Octagon debut. His second UFC appearance pitted him against fellow Contender Series alum, Jalin Turner, who put an end to Medic’s unbeaten record via first-round club-and-sub.
Five of his seven wins have come via knockout.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about Medic. Indeed, all we learned in his UFC debut is that he isn’t great off of his back, which is a bit worrying, and that he’ll go down if Turner hits him clean, which is true for virtually the entire Lightweight division. He’s ostensibly got a higher upside than Morales just thanks to his speed and stopping power, so the question is whether he’s far enough along in his development to deal with Morales’ simple-but-effective offense.
A career full of smashing inadequate competition and a UFC victory over a long-time Featherweight aren’t enough to convince me that he’s there yet. Only Giga Chikadze has managed to hurt Morales in the Octagon, so I like him to weather the early storm, then feed Medic a steady diet of one-two combinations and low kicks en route to a decision win.
Prediction: Morales via unanimous decision
Yeah, I’m not even going to try to defend this line up. See you Saturday, Maniacs … maybe?
Current UFC “Prelims” Prediction Record for 2022: 74-34
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 55 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 55: “Holm vs. Vieira” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.