The UFC returns to the APEX Facility in Las Vegas for UFC Vegas 33: Hall vs Strickland on Saturday night.

Former The Ultimate Fighter 17 runner-up Uriah Hall will take on former King of Cage middleweight champion Sean Strickland in the headliner of Saturday’s affair. Both these fighters are on a roll right now with four straight victories each. Only one of them will leave the APEX with his streak intact. Who will it be?

Let’s take a look at that fight and the rest of the main card.

“Fighting" Uriah Hall vs Sean Strickland

Uriah Hall is a former Ring of Combat middleweight champion who was the runner-up of The Ultimate Fighter 17 tournament. The 36-year old Jamaican-American is currently the no. 8 ranked middleweight in the UFC. Hall is 10-7 inside the UFC Octagon but has won five out of his last six bouts including his last four.

Hall is six feet tall with a reach of 79 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance. He has a record of 17-9 with 13 knockouts and one submission loss.

Sean Strickland is the former King of Cage middleweight champion. The 30-year old from New Bern, California is the no. 11 ranked middleweight in the UFC. Strickland joined the UFC in 2014 and started his UFC carer with a 6-3 record but like Hall, he has won his last four bouts.

Strickland is 23-3 with 10 knockouts and four submission wins. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-1 tall with a 76-inch reach.

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Hall has good takedown defense and Strickland isn’t one of the best wrestlers in the division so this fight will likely be decided on the feet.

Strickland is a very technical striker. He does things by the book, up to his head movement. He works behind a stiff jab and has this workman-like approach when he fights on the feet. However, he isn’t the quickest fighter at 185 pounds that leaves him open to getting caught with something big.

Hall meanwhile is explosive and he can suddenly burst into an offensive barrage without warning. Given that ability to explode, Hall should make like miserable for Strickland. At the same time, Hall’s quickness will help him catch Strickland with something big that changes the complexion of the bout.

But then again Hall isn’t the most durable fighter out there. He’s been stopped too many times to figure out he doesn’t have the best chin out there. I think this fight could go either way but given that Strickland struggled with an unorthodox striker in Zaleski, I think Hall’s explosiveness will be the key to winning this fight.

Prediction: Uriah Hall

“Fighting" Cheyanne Buys vs Gloria de Paula

Cheyanne Buys fought under LFA and Invicta FC before appearing in the Contender Series where a win over Hilarie Rose earned her a trip to the UFC. Buys, however, lost to Monserrat Ruiz last March in her UFC debut.

She has a record of 5-2 with one knockout. This 26-year old from Clearwater, Florida is a switch hitter who is 5-3 tall with a 63-inch reach.

Gloria de Paula is a veteran of the Standout Fighting Tournament and MMA Experience. The 26-year old from Sau Paulo in Brazil joined the Contender Series last year and earned a UFC contract by defeating Pauline Macias. She lost to Jihn Yu Frey in her UFC debut last March 13th.

De Paula is 5-3 with three knockouts to her credit. She is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-5 tall with a reach of 67 inches.

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de Paula


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Buys is always aggressive and looking to march forward. She has good footwork and does a great job keeping her hands high. The Warriors Princess throws crisp and accurate counters and she also has terrific punch combinations that land with force.

De Paula has been inconsistent and she has not won more than two consecutive bouts. She doesn’t land too many punches but isn’t hit by that much either, absorbing just 1.2 significant strikes per minute with a 70% strikings defense.

Both women prefer to strike rather than grapple. When it comes to a striking contest, I think this is a fairly event bout. However, Buys’ output is going to beat de Paula’s low production.

Prediction: Cheyanne Buys

“Fighting" Kyung Ho Kang vs Rani Yahya

Kyung Ho Kang is a former Road FC bantamweight tournament winner and bantamweight champion. This 33-year old from Busan, South Korea who is known as Mr. Perfect was winless in his first two UFC bouts but since then, he has won six out of seven fights. He is coming off a split decision win over Liu Pingyuan.

Kyung Ho Kang is 5-9 tall with a reach of 73 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance. He has a record of 18-8 with 2 knockouts and 11 submission wins.

Rani Yahya is a former ADCC world submission wrestling champion. The 36-year old from Brazil fought under the WEC and was one of the holdovers after the UFC takeover. Yahya is 8-2-1 in his last 11 bouts and is coming off a submission win over Ray Rodriguez last March 13, 2021.

Yahya has a record of 27-10 with 21 knockouts. He is 5-6 tall with a reach of 67 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

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Kang is a very aggressive fighter and he is on a three-fight winning streak heading to this bout. He is fast on the feet and throws a lot of unorthodox strikes. On the ground, he is dangerous with his submission skills and he also has a nasty ground and pound attack.

Yahya is coming off his first win in three years but given his age, he is starting to slow down. He completes close to three takedowns per 15 minutes and is dangerous on the mat. He possesses a dominant top control that overwhelms his opponents but is more dangerous in scrambles if he can get to his opponent’s neck.

One error by Kang and Yahya will jump into him right away. If Kang uses his hyperactive style correctly, he should be able to keep Yahya at bay and win this fight on points.

Prediction: Kyung Ho Kang

“Fighting" Bryan Barberena vs Jason Witt

Brian Barberena fought for the King of Cage promotion and Dakota FC before joining the UFC in 2014. The 32-year old from Montclair California is 5-4 in his last nine UFC bouts but three of his losses during that span were to Colby Covington, Leon Edwards, and Vicente Luque. Barberena defeated Anthony Ivy in his most recent bout last September 12, 2020.

He has a record of 5-7 with 10 knockouts and two submission wins. Barberena is six feet tall with a reach of 72 inches and is a southpaw fighter.

Jason Witt is the former Kansas City Alliance welterweight champion who made four successful title defenses. The 34-year old from Kansas City, Missouri joined the UFC last year but is just 1-2 inside the Octagon with TKO losses to Takashi Sato and Matthew Semelsberger.

Witt is 18-7 with three knockouts and eight submission victories. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-10 tall with a 70-inch reach.

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Barberena is a tough as nails scrapper. He likes to turn his fights into an ugly war where he and his opponent are exchanging heavy bombs. However, he can be compromised on the mat as we’ve seen him get grounded before.

Witt is a submission specialist who has tapped out his last eight wins. However, he isn’t the same kind of grappler as Leon Edwards or Colby Covington who manhandled Barberena on the ground. He also has two knockout losses in three appearances inside the UFC octagon so, there’s a good chance Barberena catches him here.

Even without the knockout, I think Barberena is the move proven fighter. Before Witt can take him down, if he can, Witt is going to eat a lot of big shots from Barberena. One of those should end this fight early.

Prediction: Bryan Barberena

“Fighting" Ryan Benoit vs Zarrukh Adashev

Ryan Benoit is a former competitor from Shark Fights and MFC. The 31-year old from San Diego, California also fought under Legacy FC before joining the UFC in 2013. Benoit has lost three out of his last four bouts and heads to this contest after back-to-back losses to Alateng Heili and Tim Elliot.

Benoit is 10-7 with eight knockouts and one submission win. He is 5-5 tall with a 68-inch reach and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Zarrukh Adashev is a former kickboxer who fought under Ring of Combat and Bellator before jumping ship to the UFC. The 28-year old from Uzbekistan is also a former international and Asian hand-to-hand combat champion. Adashev is winless in two UFC appearances.

He has a record of 3-3 with two knockouts Adashev is a southpaw who stands 5-5 tall with a 65-inch reach.

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Benoit has some serious pop in his punches. However, he has not improved his striking game such that he can land his big shots cleanly. Benoit also doesn’t have the kind of offensive wrestling that will ground the former kickboxer Adashev.

Given his background, Adashev clearly outperforms Benoit in a striking affair. With Benoit not possessing a takedown offense that will slow down Adashev, he isn’t going to win in a fast-paced striking battle.

Adashev will land the cleaner and more telling punches to get the judges’ nod here.

Prediction: Zarrukh Adashev

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