The UFC heads to the nation’s capital for UFC on ESPN 7 on Saturday night at the Capital One Arena. Former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair “Reem” Overeem meets Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the headliner bout of the event. Rozenstruik is taking the fight on short notice after Overeem’s original foe, Walt Harris, backed out due to the search for his missing stepdaughter.

In the prelims, four equally-exciting bouts are on deck this Saturday night led by the veteran showdown between Thiago Alves and Tim Means. Let’s take a look at the preliminary undercard bouts for UFC on ESPN 7:

“Fighting" Thiago Alves vs Tim Means

Thiago Alves has been a staple in the UFC since 2005. But after earning a reputation as one of the promotion’s best strikers, he has aged and has declined. Alves is just 2-5 in his last seven fights and he is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Laureano Staropoli at UFC 237 last May. The 36-year old Pitbull stands 5-9 with a reach of 68 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance. He has a record of 23-14 with 13 knockouts and one win by submission.

Tim Means is a former King of Cage lightweight and junior welterweight champion. Known as the Dirty Bird, the 35-year old from Albuquerque has a record of 28-11 with 19 knockouts and 4 wins via submission. He stands 6-2 tall with a reach of 75 inches while fighting out of the Power MMA gym. Means is also in a funk right now with just two wins in his last six bouts. In his last bout, Means suffered the first true knockout loss of his career when he was stopped by Nico Price in the first round of their March 9, 2019 bout.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 11/14/19

If this was prime Thiago Alves, he would have roughed up Tim Means in this matchup. However, this is a fading Alves who has lost five out of his last seven bouts. His feared striking is gone and the wrestling game he developed since his decline began hasn’t been seen recently. Without his takedowns, he is at the mercy of Dirty Bird who is five inches taller and longer than him. Of course, Means is coming off his first true knockout loss and he may no longer be the same fighter. But between that and the chances that Means outstrikes Alves from a distance, I like the latter.

Prediction: Tim Means

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“Fighting" Billy Quarantillo vs Jacob Kilburn

Billy Quarantillo earned his UFC contract after going 5-1 in Dana White’s Contender Series last July. Before that, he was a participant at The Ultimate Fighter 22 where he earned a spot at Urijah Faber’s team. Quarantillo ran into eventual finalist Saul Rogers in the Round of 16 and was eliminated. Quarantillo has a record of 12-2 with five knockouts and four submission victories. He stands 5-10 with a reach of 70 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.

Jacob Kilburn is taking this fight on short notice, replacing Chris Fishgold two weeks before fight night. Kilburn was a competitor in the 2018 Contender Series but after failing to make noise there, he fought for the Island Fight promotion where he picked up a pair of knockout wins. He is 5-9 tall with a reach of 72 inches and is also an orthodox fighter. Kilburn has a record of 8-2 with 4 knockouts and 2 wins by submission.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 12/05/19

No question Kilburn is a killer with his last two wins coming by way of knockout. But remember that in his fight against Elvin Brito in 2018, he faded after one and a half rounds of war. I think that Kilburn has a problem with his motor and that is going to be crucial against Quarantillo who seems to get better as the fight progresses. There is always that chance that Kilburn catches Quarantillo with a punch that ends the night but I think that the latter is going to take this fight deep and stop Kilburn late in the bout.

Prediction: Billy Quarantillo

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“Fighting" Bryce Mitchell vs Matt Sayles

Nasty Thug Bryce Mitchell heads to this fight unbeaten in 11 bouts with 8 wins by submission. Mitchell was Daniel Cormier’s second pick at The Ultimate Fighter 27 and he made it to the semis where he was submitted by eventual winner Brad Katona. He went on to beat Tyler Diamond at the Finale. Mitchell stands 5-10 tall with a reach of 70 inches while fighting out of the southpaw stance.

Matt Sayles earned a spot in the UFC roster following his knockout win over Yazan Hajeh at the Contender Series. Sayles lost his UFC debut against Sheymon Moraes but he bounced back with a submission win over Kyle Nelson last May. Sayles is 8-2 with six knockouts and one submission win. He stands 5-7 tall and has a reach of 68 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 12/05/19

Sayles is a good prospect who packs power in his punches but he does have suspect wrestling. That is going to be a problem against Mitchell who is built like a tank. If Sayles can’t floor Mitchell, then the latter is going to drag him to an ugly grappling battle. With his wrestling issues, there is no way he is going to out-grapple Mitchell and win this bout. I think Bryce Mitchell is going to walk through Matt Sayles’ punches and force him to fight on the ground.

Prediction: Bryce Mitchell

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“Fighting" Matt Wiman vs Joe Solecki

Matt Wiman has been with the UFC since 2006 but he will be making his second octagon appearance since 2014. Wiman is the winner of five post-fight bonuses in the UFC and he has a record of 16-8 with four knockouts and five wins by submission. He stands 5-10 with a reach of 68 inches while fighting as an orthodox fighter. He is 3-3 in his last six bouts and is coming off a TKO loss against Luis Pena.

Joe Solecki heads to this fight with three straight wins and the owner of an 8-2 record with one knockout and six wins by submission. The 26-year-old stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 70 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. Strong runs at the Cage of Fury and Ring of Honor promotions led to an appearance at the Contender Series last July. He debuted in the octagon last July by choking out James Wallace.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 12/05/19

In his last bout, Wiman was dominated on the ground by Luis Pena in his most recent bout. When you compare Pena and Solecki, there is no question that Solecki is the better wrestler which means that this older version of Wiman could struggle against a human backpack like Solecki. I think that Solecki is going to turn this fight to a grappling contest where Wiman will spend most of the fight trying to get his opponent off his back.

Prediction: Joe Solecki

Place Your Bet Here

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