UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris preview

The last card of this three event week comes to an end Saturday night headlined by a heavyweight clash between contenders Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris. Here is my preview for the main event and key fights for the card.

Alistair Overeem(45-18, 1 NC) vs. Walt Harris(13-7, 1 NC)

Harris comes in as the fan favorite, and fights for the first time since the loss of his stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard. Harris still hasn’t been able to find is footing in the UFC as he is 7-6 with one no contest in his time with the premier organization, However, he is a winner in three of his last four fights, and can pick up the biggest win of his career by taking out Overeem.

Unfortunately for Overeem, his legendary career has turned him into a gatekeeper for upcoming heavyweights. If he isn’t the winner, he is brutally knocked out by guys like Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. I don’t like his chances versus another ferocious striker.

Prediction: Walt Harris via KO

Claudia Gadelha(17-4) vs. Angela Hill(12-7)

After three straight wins, Angela Hill has the opportunity of a lifetime taking on top strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha. While Hill can produce entertaining fights, like the fight against Jessica Andrade back in 2017, Gadelha will assert her strength and dominance over Hill easily.

Prediction: Claudia Gadelha via submission

Dan Ige(13-2) vs. Edson Barboza(20-8)

Barboza drops to featherweight to take on a rising contender in Dan Ige, and while I expect Barboza to dominate this fight, the weight cut could play an issue in terms of his cardio. While it is only a three-round fight, Barboza throws everything with 110 percent effort, and can gas immediately if he isn’t patient. That is where Ige can take advantage and get the fight to the ground. However, this is not a fight that Barboza usually loses, and I expect him to be at his best after dropping four of his last five fights.

Prediction: Edson Barboza via decision

Eryk Anders(13-4) vs. Krzysztof Jotko(21-4)

This is a “Litmus test” type of fight for Anders. He’s shown great potential to hang with ranked middleweights, and will have his opportunity to crack the top-15 with a win over Jotko.

For Jotko, he needs to have a good performance. Two-thirds of his wins have come by decision, and he’s never been able to show the rest of the division anything that would scare them. He hasn’t garnered any momentum no matter how much he wins, and if you are Dana White, you kinda want Anders to take this one, and that is where I’m leaning.

Prediction: Eryk Anders via decision

Song Yadong(15-4-1, 1 NC) vs. Marlon Vera(15-5-1)

My pick for Fight of the Night as both of these men love to stand and trade. Vera is on a five-fight win streak where all of those wins have come by stoppage. Yadong has won seven of his last eight fights, and drew in his last fight against Cody Stamann. Look for both of these men to show their power throughout the fight, I really don’t know who to pick, but one thing is for sure, this fight will not go to the judges.

Prediction: Marlon Vera via submission

Prelim picks:

Miguel Baeza via TKO

Kevin Holland via decision

Giga Chikdaze via TKO

Darren Elkins via decision

Cortney Casey via decision

Rodrigo Nascimento via submission

You can watch the entire card on ESPN beginning at 6:00 p.m. EST. The main card begins at 9:00 p.m. EST.

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