A featherweight title eliminator headlines the latest offer that the UFC has made as ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung takes on Dan Ige.
Supported by a motherboard that has the potential for many victories to stop, and the UFC on ESPN 25 can be a fun watch, albeit one without huge consequences at the top end of the weight classes.
Chan Sung Jung (16-6) vs. Dan Ige (15-3)
Chan Sung Jung has been one of the best contenders throughout his UFC tenure, but his final performance against Brian Ortega may well be a crucial moment in his career.
Through his well-rounded skill set, Jung’s speed and power have kept him competitive and then some against the best of the best, but Ortega would beat him from pillar to post for 25 minutes.
Maintaining such damage has proven to be a turning point for many warriors over the years, and it can be a problem to come up against a big hitter in Dan Ige.
Ige, who operates with a similar output as Jung, can keep up with ‘TKZ’ and is even more comfortable starting the ground when it suits him.
It’s a tough choice, as I think both warriors match well, but the damage that Jung has absorbed over the years may well take its toll.
Select: Dan Ige
Aleksei Oleinik (59-15-1) vs. Serghei Spivac (12-2)
While it’s clear that Oleinik’s age and experience count against him at this point, his threat of submission is as potent as anyone on the UFC’s list.
Spivac, meanwhile, is not the biggest punch in heavyweight, and Oleinik will be by far the best opponent he has had so far.
That said, Spivac is durable and can keep a solid pace for at least 15 minutes.
Due to Oleinik’s lack of a gas tank beyond round one, I will sit with Spivac to grind out a win.
Select: Serghei Spivac
Marlon Vera (18-7-1) vs. Davey Grant (11-4)
Both warriors have evolved quite a bit since their first meeting in 2016.
While Grant would defeat Vera through control on the mat back when, Grant has recently become a bit of a power puncher, while Vera has added many more tools to her belt.
With the form edge with Grant here, his momentum and confidence could well see him take advantage of Vera’s battles with the clinch game, but I feel like Vera has become the better fighter over five years.
Thanks to his speed, pressure and kicking, I think Vera gets a nod on the referees’ scorecards.
Select: Marlon Vera
Julian Erosa (25-8) vs. Seungwoo Choi (9-3)
Choi will no doubt look to dictate this fight through his range, but Erosa’s high output and awkward style are a problem for many warriors.
While Choi has the power to stab Erosa, ‘Juicy J’ is a tough opponent, and his well-rounded approach can see him gather rounds as he mixes up his offense.
Select: Julian Erosa
Wellington Turman (16-4) vs. Bruno Silva (19-6)
Turman vs. Silva seems to be a classic matchmaker against striker.
With Silva an aggressive striker, Turman could well counter takedowns and control from there, but Turman’s dubious durability is a big red flag in this match.
Admittedly, Silva’s two-year absence from the cage is another question mark surrounding this fight, but if Silva can return to the performances he put on during his time with M-1, he should land some punishing blows on the feet.
Election: Bruno Silva
Matt Brown (22-18) vs. Dhiego Lima (15-8)
Brown’s penchant for violence will always be a factor in his fights, as the wise veteran is as wild as they come.
However, Lima is far less worn out by fighting games, and as long as he fights for a smart game plan, his cardio and work in clinch should paint Brown down during the fight.
Select: Dhiego Lima
(Last predictions: 3/5, total: 56/102, 55% success rate)
(Success rate: 2016: 61%, ’17: 60%, ’18: 58%, 19 ′: 57%, 20 ′: 67%)