UFC action returns to the APEX Facility this weekend with an exciting fight card headlined by two of the most exciting strikers at the featherweight division.

Former champion Max Holloway continues his quest to reclaim his belts and on Saturday, he will face one of the best strikers in the division in Yair Rodriguez in a five-round bout that is a must-see for UFC fans who love to see toe-to-toe action.

In the co-main event, 40-year old Ben Rothwell looks to continue his recent string of success in the heavyweight division. Big Ben has won three out of his last four bouts and he will be looking to add another win when he faces Marcos Rogerio de Lima in a three-round heavyweight scrap.

Former UFC women’s featherweight title challenger Felicia Spencer will also be in the undercard against TUF alumnus Leah Letson.

Let’s take a look at the fights and make our predictions.

“Fighting" Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez

Max Holloway is a former UFC featherweight champion and the current no. 1 ranked featherweight contender in the UFC. Blessed defeated Jose Aldo at UFC 212 to become the undisputed UFC featherweight champion.

After three successful title defenses, Holloway lost the belt to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 245. It looked as if he did enough to reclaim the belt from Volkanovski in a rematch at UFC 251 but the judges awarded Volkanovski the win via split decision. In his last bout, Holloway set multiple striking records in a one-sided beatdown of Calvin Kattar.

Holloway has a record of 22-6 with 10 knockouts and six submission wins. He stands 5-11 tall with a 69-inch reach and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Yair Rodriguez is the no. 3 ranked featherweight contender in the UFC. Pantera has been with the UFC since 2014 when he won The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America tournament by defeating Leonardo Morales via unanimous decision. Rodriguez won his first five UFC bouts before suffering his first Octagon defeat to Frankie Edgar at UFC 211.

He bounced back by beating the Korean Zombie via TKO at UFC Fight Night 139. His next fight ended in a no-contest due to an accidental eye poke. However, he went on to beat Jeremy Stephens in a rematch one month later.

Rodriguez has a record of 13-2 with four knockouts and three submission wins. He is 5-11 tall with a reach of 71 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 11/12/2021

When it comes to the best in the division, there’s no question Max Holloway can lay claim to that. Holloway could have easily won his rematch against Alexander Volkanovski had it been judged by a different set of judges. But that’s another story. Holloway bounced back from that loss by setting several UFC striking records in a one-sided beat down of Calvin Kattar.

Rodriguez is an exciting fighter and has unorthodox striking that can catch his opponents off guard. Rodriguez has not gone five rounds since beating the Korean Zombie in 2018 and if how he tired at the end of that bout is any indication, he’s going to struggle with Holloway’s pace, pressure, and volume.

I think Rodriguez will have his moments here. But overall, Holloway is just the much better fighter. I mean things can change between one fight to another but I think Max is still in his prime and is going to win the belt again. The pressure and volume will be too much.

Prediction: Max Holloway

“Fighting" Ben Rothwell vs Marcos Rogerio de Lima

Ben Rothwell was a competitor for the IFL’s Quad Cities Silverbacks where he posted a 9-0 record before leaving due to a promotional dispute. Big Ben also appeared in Affliction, M-1 Global, and King of the Cage before finally stepping foot in the UFC in 2009.

After losing to Cain Velasquez in his UFC debut, Rothwell won six out of his next eight bouts and entered the UFC rankings. However, consecutive losses to Junior Dos Santos, Blagoy Ivanov, and Andrei Arlovski put him in trouble. Rothwell has recovered and has won three out of his last four bouts including a submission win over Chris Barnett in his last outing.

Big Ben has a record of 39-13 with 28 knockouts and seven submission losses. He stands 6-4 tall with a reach of 78 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima is a veteran of Shooto and Strikeforce who appeared in The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 tournament. The 36-year old lost in the semifinals to Antonio Carlos Junior but was able to secure a UFC contract. De Lima defeated Richardson Moreira and Igor Pokrajac in his first two UFC bouts but since then, he has gone 5-5 alternating between wins and losses.

De Lima challenged for the Shooto light heavyweight title but lost to Carlos Eduardo at Shooto Brazil 29. He started his UFC career at heavyweight but moved to 205-pounds until 2017. He is 3-2 in his last five bouts at heavyweight and is coming off a win over Maurice Greene.

The Brazilian has a record of 18-7 with 13 knockouts and two submission wins. He is 6-1 tall with a reach of 75 inches and fights as an orthodox fighter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?




de Lima


Odds from BetOnline as of 11/12/2021

It would be easy to fade a 40-year old fighter who has 52 pro fights under his belt. Ben Rothwell isn’t just getting too old but he’s got plenty of mileage in that engine as well. However, Rothwell has looked great in his recent bouts, losing just once in his last four. During that stretch, he’s picked up a KO win and his last victory was via submission.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima is a pretty decent fighter but we haven’t seen him win two straight fights in his last 10 bouts. He’s only four years younger than Rothwell but is way more inconsistent than the elder statesman. De Lima is also susceptible to getting submitted.

We saw Big Ben choke out Chris Barnett the last time out. We might get another one right here. If Rothwell isn’t going to get the submission, he’s going to win this on points as he has the more polished striking than de Lima. I think Big Ben is durable enough to take de Lima’s punches and walk him down on the feet.

Prediction: Ben Rothwell

“Fighting" Felicia Spencer vs Leah Letson

Felicia Spencer is the former Invicta FC featherweight champion. The 30-year old from Montreal, Canada joined the UFC in 2019 and defeated Megan Anderson in her UFC debut. After a 2-1 start in the Octagon, she earned a featherweight title shot against Amanda Nunes but lost to the Lioness via decision at UFC 250. In her last bout, Spencer lost via split decision to Norma Dumont last May 22nd.

Spencer has a record of 8-3 with two knockouts and four submission victories. She is 5-6 tall with a reach of 68 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Leah Letson had short stints with KOTC, Pure FC, Premier FC, and Invicta FC before joining the UFC in 2018. The 29-year old from Janesville, Wisconsin defeated Julija Storialienko in the TUF 28 Finale in 2018 but left the scene for almost three years due to health issues. Now cleared, she looks to add to her four-bout winning streak.

Letson has a record of 5-1 with three knockouts. She is 5-7 tall and has a reach of 71 inches.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 11/12/2021

Spencer heads to this bout with back-to-back losses in her resume but those were against Amanda Nunes and Norma Dumont. Letson isn’t on that level and while she has faced good competition being a product of the TUF show, she isn’t on the same level as Spencer is right now.

The Canadian is tough and is a decent striker. But it’s when she is able to use her BJJ prowess that she’s dangerous. This is a classic grappler vs striker matchup and in this one, I think that the grappler takes it. Spencer should be able to impose her game on Letson and win a bout that will be fought mostly on the ground.

Securing takedowns has been a recent issue for Spencer but don’t forget she fought the best in the division during that span. While Letson is legit, I think Spencer should be able to put her on her back.

Prediction: Felicia Spencer

“Fighting" Song Yadong vs Julio Arce

Song Yadong was a former provincial Sanda champion and Muay Thai competitor before transitioning to mixed martial arts. The 23-year old from Harbin, China amassed an 11-4 MMA record in her native county before setting foot in the United States to join the UFC. He went unbeaten in his first six UFC bouts with one draw before succumbing to Kyler Phillips at UFC 259. Song Yadong bounced back with a split decision win over Casey Kenney at UFC 265 last August 7th.

Song has a record of 17-5 with six knockouts and three submission wins. He is 5-8 tall with a reach of 67 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Julio Arce is a former Ring of Combat featherweight and bantamweight champion. The 32-year old from Miami, Florida is a former 2011 Golden Gloves champion. Arce joined the Contender Series 5 and picked up a win over Peter Petties which earned him a UFC contract. He is 4-2 inside the UFC Octagon and heads to this fight coming off a TKO win over Andre Ewell at UFC Vegas 32 last July 24th in his bantamweight debut.

Arce is 17-4 with five knockouts and five submission wins. He is a southpaw fighter who stands 5-7 tall and has a reach of 70 inches.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 11/12/2021

Song has very fast hands and also boasts of legit punching power. But recently, he’s proved himself as a well-rounded fighter who can get the finish everywhere. He has faced good competition in his last four bouts and has been able to get results.

Acre is a very good technical boxer and moving to 135 is a good move for him as size isn’t that much a factor here. He has good takedown defense which helps his fight to stay on the feet. Arce has looked more comfortable in this weight class and his UFC losses have come via split decisions.

I see a very competitive kickboxing battle between these two fighters. However, I like Song’s speed and athleticism against Arce. I think those two will be the difference in this bout. If he fights smart and mixes his shots well, he should be able to take a points win.

Prediction: Song Yadong

“Fighting" Thiago Moises vs Joel Alvarez

Thiago Moises competed for LFA and RFA. He was the lightweight champion at RFA and also challenged for the LFA lightweight belt He joined the UFC via the Contender Series Brazil 3 show and after going 1-2 in his first three UFC bouts, Moises has won three out of his last four bouts. He is, however, coming off a loss against Islam Makhachev in his first headliner last July 17th.

Moises has a record of 15-5 with three knockouts and six submission victories. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-9 tall with a 70-inch reach.

Joel Alvarez is a former AFL lightweight champion in Spain who fought most of his early career in Europe. Alvarez joined the UFC in 2019 but lost in his debut against Damir Ismagulov. The 28-year old from Asturias, Spain has since won his last three bouts and heads to this contest after submitting Alexander Yakovlev at UFC 254 last October 24, 2020.

Alvarez has a record of 18-2 with two knockouts and 16 submission wins. He is 6-3 tall with a reach of 77 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 11/12/2021

Alvarez possesses great length at lightweight. He utilizes that edge by fighting at range, mixing his punches with kicks. However, he struggles when opponents cut the cage and get close to him. On the ground, he is good off his back and he’s won his last two games via submission while grappling from his back.

Moises however is levels better than Alvarez in almost every department. He’s going to get takedowns here and with the better BJJ pedigree, he won’t be in danger of getting submitted. Instead, Moises should be able to dominate from the top position or he could work his way to a submission win. Should he choose to fight on the feet, Moises has the ability to get inside and hut Alvarez with his combination.

With due respect, this is a step-down in the level of opposition for Moises. He should be able to impose his class against Alvarez in a one-sided bout.

Prediction: Thiago Moises

Place Your Bets Now!

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *