The UFC returns to its APEX Facility this weekend after going to Jacksonville for UFC 261 last week.

Headlining Saturday’s event in Vegas is a light heavyweight showdown between Top 5 fighters Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka. A slugfest between hard-hitting featherweights Cub Swanson and Giga Chikadze will serve as the co-main event of the evening.

But before the main card takes place, an exciting prelims undercard featuring up-and-coming fighters and veterans will open the show. Let’s take a look at these supporting bouts and make our predictions:

“Fighting" Randa Markos vs Luana Pinheiro

Randa Markos is a former PFC strawweight champion. The 35-year old Canadian has been with the UFC since 2014 and is just 6-9 inside the Octagon. Quiet Storm heads to this bout with four losses in her last five bouts, including her last three. Markos is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-4 tall with a reach of 63 inches. His record is 10-10 with four submission wins.

Luana Pinheiro won three straight bouts at Brave FC before appearing in the Contender Series where she knocked out Stephanie Frausto. Pinheiro will be making her UFC debut in this bout and the 27-year old Brazilian has a record of 8-1 with two knockouts and five submission wins. She stands 5-2 tall with a reach of 62 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 04/29/2021

Markos is 2-5-1 in her last eight bouts and has lost her last three fights. But she’s not a bad fighter really. It’s just that she has been against better opposition. Pinheiro’s resume suggests that she’s good but this is her UFC debut so we don’t know if she really is special. But given her judo pedigree and her newly discovered right hand, she’s one of the fighters to watch in this weight class.

Prediction: Luana Pinheiro

“Fighting" Kai Kamaka III vs T.J. Brown

Hawaii’s Kai Kamaka III fought for Bellator and LFA before joining the UFC in 2020. After winning his Octagon debut against Tony Kelley, he suffered a TKO loss against Jonathan Pearce in November 2020. The loss was the first after six straight wins for the 26-year old who has a record of 8-3 with one submission win. Kamaka is 5-7 tall with a reach of 69 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.

T.J. Brown defeated Dylan Lockard in the Contender Series to earn a UFC contract. But Downtown has gone 0-2 inside the Octagon with losses to Jordan Griffin and Danny Chavez. The 30-year old from Little Rock, Arkansas has a record of 14-8 with four knockouts and nine submission wins. He stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 72 inches and is a switch hitter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 04/29/2021

Kamaka hits harder than what his resume says but he may not have the volume to hurt Brown whose durability has been a question mark. Meanwhile, Brown is a terrific scrambler who is relentless with his takedown attempts. I think Downtown will try to engage and when he finds out the Kamaka is better on the feet, Brown will fight on the mat for as long as he needs to. This is an even fight but if Brown racks up takedowns, Kamaka’s cardio suffers.

Prediction: T.J. Brown

“Fighting" Gabriel Benitez vs Jonathan Pearce

Gabriel Benitez was a competitor at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 1 where he lost in the semifinals. The 32-year old Mexican is a former Xtreme Combat Featherweight champion who started his UFC career with a 5-2 record but has lost two out of his last three bouts. Benitez is a southpaw who stands 5-8 tall with a reach of 71 inches. His record is 22-8 with 8 knockouts and 10 submission wins.

Jonathan Pearce fought for Bellator, Valor Fights, and Warrior FC before earning his UFC contract in the Contender Series. The 28-year old known as JSP snapped a two-fight skid by defeating Justin Jaymes last December. Pearce has a record of 10-4 with eight knockouts and one submission win. He is a switch hitter who stands six feet tall with a reach of 71 inches.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 04/29/2021

Pearce beat an excellent wrestler on the mat in his last bout using his persistence more than anything else. He’s going to need that quality in this bout. Benitez has a kick-heavy offense and he is easily backed up against the fence which works to the advantage of Pearce. Benitez has a significant advantage on the feet but Pearce is a durable fighter. I think Pearce beats Benitez with takedowns and top control.

Prediction: Jonathan Pearce

“Fighting" Loma Lookboonmee vs Sam Hughes

Loma Lookboonmee is the first Thai fighter to appear in the UFC. The 25-year old former Muay Thai fighter and kickboxer is 2-1 inside the UFC Octagon and is coming off a win over Jinh Yu Frey. Lookboonmee has an MMA record of 5-2 with one knockout. She is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-1 tall with a reach of 61 inches.

Sam Hughes is a former South Carolina state mixed martial arts champion. The 28-year old from Everett, Washington lost to Tecia Torres in her UFC debut and is looking to get her first Octagon victory in this fight. Hughes is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-5 tall with a reach of 64 inches. She has a record of 5-2 with one knockout and three submission victories.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 04/29/2021

Sam Hughes has a four-inch reach and two-and-a-half reach advantage over Lookboonmee. She is a capable boxer but is limited on her feet as she relies on her jabs, crosses, and low kicks almost exclusively. If she can keep Lookboonmee at the end of her jab, she can win this fight on points. But Lookboonmee has the skills to get inside Hughes longer strikes and force her to fight in the clinch where Lookboonmee has the big edge. I like the latter to happen here.

Prediction: Loma Lookboonmee

“Fighting" Felipe Colares vs Luke Sanders

Felipe Colares won his first eight MMA bouts and the featherweight title at Jungle Fight. The 27-year old Brazilian is 1-2 inside the Octagon and heads to this fight coming off a loss to Montel Jackson in January 2020. Colares is 9-2 with two knockouts and five submission victories. He is 5-8 tall with a reach of 69 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

Luke Sanders fought for Strikeforce and RFA. The 35-year old from Brenham, Texas is a former RFA bantamweight champion who has a 3-4 Octagon record. He was submitted by Nate Maness in his last bout and is 13-4 with seven knockouts. Sanders is 5-6 tall with a reach of 67 inches and fights out of the southpaw stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 04/29/2021

Sanders should be better than what his record says. Of his four losses three came via stoppage in a fight where he was winning. If he can keep his focus for the full 15-minutes, I think he beats Colares rather easily. Colares doesn’t have the punching power of the opponents who knocked out Sanders and between these two fighters, it’s Sanders who figures to have more pop in his punches. For as long as he keeps on moving forward and avoids getting taken down, I’ll take Sanders and his power punching to win him this fight.

Prediction: Luke Sanders

“Fighting" Andreas Michailidis vs K.B. Bhullar

Andreas Michailidis fought for Titan FC and Global Legion FC before joining the UFC in 2020. The 32-year old from Athens, Greece has an MMA record of 12-4 with seven knockouts and four submission victories. He is an orthodox fighter who stands six feet tall with a reach of 76 inches.

K.B Bhullar fought in the AFC and Unified MMA before joining the UFC last year. Bhullar was knocked out by Tom Breese in his UFC debut and he has a record of 8-1 with four knockouts and two submission wins. He stands 6-4 tall with a reach of 78 inches and is a switch hitter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 04/29/2021

Bhullar is four inches taller and has a three-inch reach advantage over Michailidis. Aside from his size, he also looks like the one with the better gas tank. Michailidis is a heavy hitter and there’s a chance he catches Bhullar flash and knocks him out. But the Greek tends to slow down after the first round and if Bhullar survives the initial flurry, he’s going to watch Michailidis tire after the opening round. Bhullar takes advantage and gets the late stoppage.

Prediction: K.B. Bhullar

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