Another weekend, another loaded day of fight sports in store for fight fans.

In Canada, the WBC light heavyweight title is on the line, while the IBF featherweight championship will be disputed in England. Meanwhile, the UFC makes its first trip to Chile with UFC Fight Night 129 also scheduled for May 19th.

Check out the fights, the odds, and our preview and picks for May 19th, 2018:

Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou Jack
12 rounds, WBC Light Heavyweight Championship
Odds: Stevenson -165, Jack +135

Adonis Stevenson defends the WBC light heavyweight title against former two-division champion Badou Jack at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Stevenson’s Toughest Challenge

Stevenson has held the WBC belt since defeating Chad Dawson in 2014. He’s made eight consecutive successful title defenses to date. In six of those defenses, Stevenson has won via stoppage. Despite being one of the sport’s oldest champions, he’s never looked his age.

This will only be Jack’s second fight at 175 pounds, and he won the WBA title in his light heavyweight debut by knocking out Nathan Cleverly in five rounds. Prior to his campaign at this weight class, Jack also captured the WBC super middleweight title against Andre Dirrell. Without question, Jack is going to be Stevenson’s toughest challenger to date.

Issues with Southpaws

Stevenson is the favorite here at -165, while Jack was pegged at +135. Although Stevenson has campaigned at light heavyweight much longer, Jack is the physically bigger fighter, as we saw in their face-offs. Jack the Ripper is two inches taller, although Superman has a four-inch reach advantage.

One of Jack’s main weaknesses is that he has the tendency to lunge forward, making him susceptible to counterpunches. Against someone like Adonis Stevenson who possesses a thunderous left hand, that is a death sentence. Jack has also had issues with southpaws, as shown in his title bouts with Bute and DeGale.

Leaving It to the Judges

Another Issue with Badou Jack is that in some of his recent fights, he has left his fate in the hands of the judges, and that has left him with two close majority draws which he could’ve easily lost. With the Stevenson fight to be held at Montreal’s Bell Centre, Jack cannot leave this one in the hands of the judges. If he does, though, he must finish strong and win decisively knowing that he’s in Stevenson’s backyard.

Stevenson doesn’t exactly have the best defense, so that’s where Jack can take advantage. However, Superman has a proven chin and can take body punches without wearing down too much. The concern, though, is whether he still has these attributes given his advanced age.

Advanced Age

At 40, he may not be the same Superman we have been accustomed to. And considering that he’s fought just four times in the last three years, including one each in the last two years, you’ve got to think about ring rust, too. Other than those, Superman has looked solid and doesn’t have too many weaknesses.

This one’s going to be fought in Canada, Stevenson’s home country and where Superman has fought most of his bouts. Although Jack won his two world titles on hostile ground, this is his first bout in Canada. Stevenson not only has home court advantage, but he also has the power to end this with one punch. And knowing that he has a four-inch reach advantage, you bet Stevenson will be going for the kill.

Our Pick

We’re picking Adonis Stevenson to beat Badou Jack.

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Lee Selby vs. Josh Warrington
12 rounds, IBF Featherweight Championship
Odds: Selby -400, Warrington +270

Lee Selby defends his IBF featherweight title against domestic rival Josh Warrington at the Elland Road football ground in Leeds, England.

Mandatory Challenger

Selby won the IBF featherweight title in 2015 when he handed Evgeny Gradovich the first loss of his career. Lightning Lee masterfully outboxed Gradovich and won via decision to join boxing’s elites. He has since defended the belt four times. In his most recent bout, Selby knocked out the previously-unbeaten Eduardo Ramirez.

Josh Warrington burst into the picture with a big win over former world champion Kiko Martinez in 2017. Last October, Warrington gave Dennis Ceylan his first professional loss and secured a title shot with the victory. Warrington is Selby’s mandatory challenger, and there is no love lost between the two. The local rivals engaged in boasts and trash talk leading to this fight. Now that it’s on, Warrington hopes to silence Selby, put an end to his reign, and win his first-ever world title.

Welsh Mayweather

Selby is favored here at -400, while Warrington is the underdog at +270. Selby has established himself as one of the best featherweights in the world during his title reign. Known as the Welsh Mayweather, Selby is a very high-IQ fighter who also has an excellent defense.

Lightning Lee isn’t flashy, nor does he have that one-punch knockout power, but he gets things done inside the boxing ring. Selby is an excellent ring tactician who forces his opponents to make mistakes and capitalizes well on them. He isn’t really as dominating as some champions are, but he knows what it takes to win rounds and always gets the job done.

Ready for a Title Fight

Warrington has been building up his resume in the last couple of years, and with what he has accomplished, he does appear ready to take the next step and fight for a world title. He’s been calling out Selby for quite some time now, and he couldn’t be happier to finally settle their beef in this grudge match.

Like Selby, he has a solid defense. He also has quick hands and great head movement. Warrington is an entertaining fighter who always brings the fight to his opponents. He enters the ring with tons of confidence, and for some opponents, that can be very intimidating.

Aggressiveness Could Be Key

Warrington won his last bout by knockout, but with just 6 knockouts in 26 wins, he is no power puncher. So given that this is a fight between two fighters who don’t possess that one-punch knockout power, his aggressive fighting style is going to be key in this bout.

If Warrington takes the fight to Selby early on and dictates the pace of the fight, Lightning Lee could be in for a long night. But Selby is the much more complete fighter who has the better skill set. We’re going to learn a lot about Warrington in this fight, but he’s not fought someone as polished as Lee Selby. It’s going to be entertaining, but in the end, the better boxer wins a fight without knockdowns.

Our Pick

We’re picking Lee Selby to successfully defend his title.

Place Your Bet Here

Demian Maia vs. Kamaru Usman
5 rounds, UFC Fight Night 129 Main Event
Odds: Maia +300, Usman -400

Kamaru Usman faces Demian Maia in the main event of UFC Fight Night 129 at the Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile, on May 19, 2018.

Adding a Big Name

The UFC’s first-ever trip to Chile took a big hit when Usman’s original opponent, Santiago Ponzinibbio, got hurt, and the co-main event bout between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Volkan Oezdemir was moved to the July 22 event in Hamburg. But the UFC made up for those losses by putting in a big name to replace Ponzinibbio. And for Usman, it couldn’t have been a better name.

Usman had been calling out Maia several times in the past. Now he finally gets his crack at the man known as the human backpack for his ability to ride his opponents’ back en route to submitting them. Without doubt, Maia is the best opponent that Usman has ever been matched up with. And he may also be the most dangerous to date.

Greatest Submission Artist

Maia is considered one of the greatest grapplers to ever grace the sport of MMA. With 12 submission wins in his resume, he is one of the most dangerous submission artists in the UFC today. Maia is known to ride his opponent’s back and go for the choke. All but one of his submission victories have come via some variation of a choke.

But Maia is right up there in age at 40. And the older he’s become, the more his younger and much stronger opponents have been able to stuff his takedown attempts. If Maia doesn’t put you down, he can’t do his thing. That’s why Maia lost his last two bouts against current top contender Colby Covington and current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

On a Roll

Usman is the favorite here at -400, while Maia has been pegged at +300. The Nigerian won the TUF: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians tournament in 2015 and has been on a roll since winning seven consecutive fights in the UFC and 11 overall in his MMA career. Now he’s looking for that signature win over a big name that gets him to the elite level.

Usman is a dynamic striker who has power in his fists. Not only that, but he is also a polished wrestler who has excellent grappling. He has 28 takedowns in 7 UFC fights, and 8 of these takedowns were recorded in his most recent unanimous decision win against Emil Weber Meek.

A Grappling Affair

This one could turn out to be a tactical grappling affair because as we know, Demian Maia’s game begins and ends with takedowns. During his 7-fight win streak, Maia had 19 takedowns landed, but in his last two bouts (which he lost), he didn’t land a single takedown.

If Maia gets to Usman’s back, then the human backpack can win this fight. But given that Usman is younger, stronger, and faster, I doubt if Maia can force a submission on the Nigerian Nightmare. Usman, meanwhile, has the ability to grapple with Maia and has the edge standing up. On the ground, he may not have Maia’s submission skills, but his ground and pound can be dominating.

This may turn out to be a boring affair, but only because it’s gonna be fought on the ground. Maia’s ground game has been terrific, but Usman is going to challenge it and win this fight by knockout or decision.

Our Pick

We’re picking Kamaru Usman to beat Demian Maia.

Place Your Bet Here

Alexa Grasso vs. Tatiana Suarez
3 rounds, UFC Fight Night 129 Co-Main Event
Odds: Grasso +165, Suarez -190

Alexa Grasso takes on the undefeated Tatiana Suarez in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 129 at the Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile.

Undefeated Newcomer

The Ultimate Fighter season 23 winner Tatiana Suarez is slowly climbing up the rankings ladder with five straight wins to begin her MMA career. After Suarez defeated Amanda Cooper via D’Arce choke in the TUF 23 Finale, she went on to record a unanimous decision win over Viviane Pereira. Now she’s looking at her first Top-10 foe to date in the 9th-ranked Alexa Grasso.

Grasso was an undefeated 8-0 fighter when she signed with the UFC in 2016. Since coming over, she’s fought thrice and has won twice under the UFC banner. Grasso beat Heather Clark in her UFC debut but lost to Felice Herrig in her next bout. She is coming off a split decision win over Randa Markos in a fight that was fought at a catchweight of 119 pounds because Grasso missed weight.

Brawler vs. Striker

Grasso has the heart of a brawler, and she’s at her best when she’s throwing big punches. She’s also showed decent grappling, but as we saw in her previous fights, she’d prefer to fight in the stand up where she has one-punch knockout power. Grasso has four wins by knockout due to punches.

Tatiana Suarez is the opposite. She likes to go for the takedowns because she is a beast when she secures top position. Suarez has good submission skills, with two of her last four wins coming after her opponents tapped. Suarez has landed four takedowns in two UFC fights.

Stealing the Show

This could be one of the sleeper fights on the card with the potential of stealing the show in Chile. Grasso is the favorite at -170, while Suarez came back as the underdog at +145. Both fighters are young, hungry, and eager to prove themselves. And when you have those, you have a recipe for a classic. On the negative end, this fight could also turn out very sloppy with both fighters not that experienced in the sport.

Having said that, this one could go either way, really, as you can make a case for both fighters. This should go down to who could dictate the fight with her style of fighting. Grasso will prefer to fight this on her feet, while Suarez is going to try and force this to the ground. So where this fight goes most probably determines the winner.

Advantage in Experience

But as they say in MMA, every fight starts on their feet. Having said that, Grasso will always have her chance to land her big punches on Suarez. Suarez has the edge on the ground, but Grasso has a decent 68% takedown defense, so she won’t be taken to the ground that easily.

Statistics-wise, their significant strikes landed per minute are almost identical, with Suarez having the slight edge at 4.65 vs. 4.64. But most of Suarez’s strikes are from the ground. Both are physically almost identical, too, both in height and reach, and when you have almost everything even, the fight goes down to striking ability, and Grasso has that plus the experience over Suarez.

Give me Alexa Grasso to teach Tatiana Suarez a lesson in striking. Suarez is going to have her moments on the ground, but once they get back up, it’s going to be Grasso piling up points from punches. If she doesn’t get a quick KO, she’s going to win this fight by decision.

Our Pick

We’re picking Alexa Grasso to beat Tatiana Suarez.

Place Your Bet Here

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