UFC action returns for the first time in 2022 with UFC Vegas 36 at the company’s APEX Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

Top 10 featherweights Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze will top bill the event. The no. 5 ranked Kattar saw a two-fight winning streak end against Max Holloway in his last bout. Meanwhile, the 8th ranked Chikadze is red hot with a nine-fight winning streak that includes seven wins inside the UFC Octagon.

In the co-main event no. 2 female flyweight, Katlyn Chookagian takes on no. 4 ranked Jennifer Maia in a bout that will determine which of them will return to the title picture.

But before the main card hits the cage, an interesting prelims undercard filled with newcomers and young fighters will open the show.

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

“Fighting" Court McGee vs Ramiz Brahimaj

Court McGee won Spike TV’s 11th season of the Ultimate Fighter. The 37-year old from Ogden, Utah, began his career in the regional circuits before joining the UFC in 2010 after winning TUF 11. McGee won four out of his first six UFC bouts but since then, he’s just 4-7 and is just 1-3 in his last four bouts.

McGee is 20-10 with five knockouts and five submission victories He stands 5-11 tall with a reach of 75 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Ramiz Brahimaj fought at XKO and LFA before joining the UFC in 2020. He was knocked out by Max Griffin in his UFC debut but bounced back to submit Sasha Palatnikov in his second Octagon outing. The 29-year old from Bronx, New York represents Fortis MMA.

Brahimaj has a record of 9-3 with 9 submission victories. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-10 tall with a reach of 72 inches.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 01/13/2022

McGee has that impressive gas tank but he’s never maximized it because of his indecisiveness to use his takedowns and his lack of a body attack. However, if he can put the pressure on his opponent for three rounds, he may be able to grind out a win. However, McGee’s lost too many winnable fights for me to put money on him. In short, he isn’t so reliable right now.

However, Brahimaj is the younger fighter and looks to be the more stronger one between the two. He possesses solid wrestling skills that could neutralize McGee’s come-forward style. I don’t think that Brahimaj can submit McGee here but I’m more than certain he can out grapple him from start to finish.

Prediction: Ramiz Brahimaj

“Fighting" Charles Rosa vs TJ Brown

Charles Rosa is a veteran of the sport who has been fighting since 2012. Rosa began his career in the regional circuits in the Northeastern part of the United States before joining the UFC in 2014. The 35-year old from Peabody, Massachusetts has alternated losses and wins in the UFC and has an Octagon record of 5-6, and is coming off a loss to Damon Jackson last October 8th.

Rosa is a switch hitter who stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 69 inches. He has a record of 14-6 with 3 knockouts and 8 submission wins.

TJ Brown fought under RFA, LFA, and 360 Fight Club before making an appearance at the Contender Series in 2019 where he recorded a submission of Dylan Lockard. That win earned him a UFC contract. However, Brown lost his first two UFC bouts against Jordan Griffin and Danny Chavez, both in 2020. In his only bout last year, he defeated Kai Kamaka III via split decision.

Brown is 5-8 with four knockouts and nine submission wins. He is also a switch hitter who is 6-9 tall with a reach of 72 inches.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 01/13/2022

The change in opponent has seen TJ Brown go from a fight where he had a significant advantage on the ground to one where he faces an equally impressive fighter on the mat. Rosa is one of the best BJJ practitioners in the UFC and if he gets an opportunity to submit, this one could be over before the final horn.

However, with Brown able to match Rosa on the ground, he should be able to get this fight back on the feet where he has better striking than Rosa. If Rosa keeps this fight down, this will be a battle of submission fighters and while Rosa has more experience, I like Brown being the more active fighter.

Prediction: TJ Brown

“Fighting" Jamie Pickett vs Joseph Holmes

Jamie Pickett is a former Next Level Fight Club middleweight champion who made two successful title defenses. The 33-year old from Jacksonville, Florida made three appearances in the Contender Series. After losing his first two bouts there, Pickett scored a TKO win over Jhonoven Pati in a victory that opened the doors to enter the UFC. After opening his UFC career with back-to-back losses, Pickett defeated Laureano Staropoli last October to pick up his first UFC win.

Pickett is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-2 tall with a reach of 80 inches. He has a record of 12-6 with 8 knockouts and one win via submission.

Joseph Holmes fought under Bellator, LFA, and XKO before heading to the Contender Series where he submitted Shonte Barnes. Despite the win, he was not immediately signed by the UFC but after returning to Fury FC where he defeated Jhonoven Pati, he finally got the call and will be making his UFC debut here.

Holmes is 7-1 with two knockouts and five submission wins. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-4 tall with a reach of 80 inches.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 01/13/2022

This is a more winnable fight for Pickett than Borralho but that doesn’t mean he gets the win here. Holmes is one of the toughest fighters in the division and he is one of few opponents who can match Pickett’s reach and uses it better.

Between these two, Holmes manages the distance better, is much consistent with his output, and owns the crispier and sharper punch combos. Holmes also looks to be the better grappler, if the fight goes in that direction. Either way, Holmes should find a way to win.

Prediction: Joseph Holmes

“Fighting" Dakota Bush vs Viacheslav Borshchev

Dakota Bush spent most of his career at LFA but also made appearances at Shamrock FC and Gateway Fighting Series. The 27-year old from St. Clair, Missouri lost to Austin Hubbard in his UFC debut and will be getting another opportunity to pick up a win inside the Octagon.

Bush 8-3 with two knockouts and four submission victories. He stands 5-10 tall with a reach of 73 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Viacheslav Borshchev is a newcomer who started fighting only in 2019. Borshchev appeared in Gladiator Challenge, LFA, and Titan FC, before joining the Contender Series where he knocked out Chris Duncan to earn his UFC contract. He will be making his UFC debut against Bush.

Borshchev is 5-1 with four knockout wins. He stands 5-11 tall with a reach of 69 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 01/13/2022

Bush has the wrestling pedigree to test Borshchev’s takedown defense. But although he can’t stuff all takedown attempts, Borshchev is good at scrambling to his feet. Because of that, Bush won’t be able to take him down too long and won’t be able to dish out damage, if at all.

Meanwhile, Bush’s striking relies more on his athleticism than his technical ability. That should enable Borschev to showcase his trademark striking offense. I think it will be the body shots that slow down Bush. Once he gets compromised, Borschev lands something big that ends this fight.

Prediction: Viacheslav Boschev

“Fighting" Brian Kelleher vs Kevin Croom

Brian Kelleher is the former Ring of Combat bantamweight champion. The 35-year old from Selden, New York is also a veteran of Bellator and CES MMA. Kelleher joined the UFC in 2017 and has put up a decent 7-5 record under the promotion. He is coming off a win over Domingo Pilarte last August.

Kelleher is a switch hitter who stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 66 inches. He has a record of 23-12 with 8 knockouts and 10 submission victories.

Kevin Croom is a former Shamrock FC bantamweight champion. The 34-year old from Columbia, Missouri also fought for LFA and Bellator. He joined the UFC in 2020 and won his UFC debut against Roosevelt Roberts. The victory got overturned to an NC after he failed a drug test. Coom lost to Alex Caceres in his last bout

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 01/13/2022

Kelleher likes to put the pressure and not only does he possess punching power, but he also has a good submission game. Meanwhile, Croom also has pop in his punches and is also an adept submission artist.

I think that the key here is the pace that Kelleher likes to dictate and if Croom can match it, this should be a good bout. However, Croom was outgunned by an equipped striker in Alex Caceres and should find Kelleher’s pace too much to handle. I think that Kelleher outpoints Croom on the feet. He also out grapples him if this fight goes to the ground.

Prediction: Brian Kelleher

“Fighting" Silvana Gomez Juarez vs Vanessa Demopoulos

Silvana Gomez Juarez is a veteran of XFCI, KSW, and Combate Americas. The 37-year old from Tucuman, Argentina got signed by the UFC last year after winning three consecutive bouts. Juarez lost to Lupita Godinez via submission in her UFC debut.

Juarez is 10-3 with six knockouts and two submission victories. She stands 5-3 tall with an undisclosed reach and is an orthodox fighter.

Vanessa Demopoulos spent most of her career fighting at LFA. She appeared at the Contender Series where she lost to Cory McKenna. She returned to LFA where she went 1-1 before finally making it to the UFC. Demopoulos lost to J.J. Aldrich in her promotional debut at UFC on ESPN 30 last August.

Demopoulos is 6-4 with one knockout and 3 submission wins. She stands 5-6 tall with an undisclosed reach.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 01/13/2022

Demopoulos is a very skilled fighter on the ground and has good aggression on the feet. However, her utter lack of wrestling skills has forced her to fight to her opponent’s strengths. Juarez is susceptible to takedowns but Demopoulos lacks the skills to keep her down and score points on the ground. Because f that, Demopoulos will likely take her chances on the feet.

Unfortunately for her, Juarez has faster hands and quicker feet. The Argentinian also has more striking power and overall, her advantages on the feet will be too much for Demopoulos.

Prediction: Silvana Gomez Juarez

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