It, you got it.

Since Justin Gaethje first signed on the dotted line to compete in the UFC, it’s like he had been destined to cross paths with Edson Barboza and that’s exactly what’s moving down in the lightweight primary event of UFC Philadelphia this Saturday. Both men are known for their violent brawls, killer knockouts, and leg strikes that will shred steel. So far as free struggles gothey don’t come much more intriguing than this.

Middleweights David Branch and Jack Hermansson may be entering the co-headliner with less hype behind them, however, their bout may have competition implications down the road. Branch is just a former World collection of penalizing two-division winner with a new first-round KO of Thiago Santos, who just so happens to be ambitious Jon Jones to its light heavyweight title next. Opposite Branch is now Hermansson, a former Cage Warriors winner who’s won four of the past five and also is searching for a trademark win to vault him into the top 15.

In other main card activity, featherweight Josh Emmett looks to rebound back by a brutal weight loss loss when he assumes veteran Michael Johnson, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Michelle Waterson jockey for position from the strawweight contenders’ lineup, Paul Craig struggles for his UFC life against Contender Series signee Kennedy Nzechukwu in a light heavyweight bout, also Sodiq Yusuff faces the toughest test of his child when he struggles Sheymon Moraes in 145 lbs.

What’s UFC on ESPN two

Where: Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia

After: Saturday, March 30. The three-fight ESPN+ ancient preliminaries begin at 3:30 p.m. ET, followed by a four-fight preliminary card on ESPN in 5 p.m. ET. The six-fight main card will also broadcast on ESPN, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

Edson Barboza vs. Justin Gaethje

This ’s no one guarantee: A person is going to have hurt.

Yesfor those craving an off-beat bloodbath, there is reason to worry that Justin Gaethje will put his wrestling foundation to good use and earth Edson Barboza, a tactic that has worked to the last two men who beat Barboza, Kevin Lee and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Gaethje’s take downs probably aren’t on that degree, however they could well not must be if all he wants to do is slow Barboza down.

Where’s the pleasure in that though?

When it comes to Gaethje being a diverse, tactical fighter, you’ve got to take a “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach. For the time being, assume he’s planning to match Barboza skill-for-skill on the feet. One can already picture him waving Barboza on after having a spinning heel kick his mouth.

The anxiety which Gaethje attracts is nightmarish, so Barboza will have to be in his most agile to avoid being backed against the fence by “The high-light ”; on the flipside, even Gaethje with his legendary pliers should move with care, lest he walk directly into a Barboza counter. And Barboza doesn’t counter just to back you off, Barboza counters into.

I still have faith in Gaethje’s reputation for a hurt nozzle, so I visit him accepting punishment early on and eventually wearing Barboza out together with his constant attitude before completing in the third or fourth round.

Pick: Gaethje

In 37, this may possibly be a make-or-break struggle for David Branch. As wellrounded as he’s, he’s always been missing that extra gear to vault himself into turning into a significant UFC contender. He’ll need to think it is if he wishes to find beyond Jack Hermansson.

Hermansson’s 5-2 UFC run was characterized by his dogged determination and openness to take a struggle anywhere. Sometimes it pays off, such as in his gusty triumph against Thales Leites so when he gave submission specialist Gerald Meerschaert a taste of their own medicine. Other times, like if he had to endure with Thiago Santos… not so much.

This is going to be a struggle of extremes, with all the 2 measuring each other from long range before beginning to acquire an advantage in the clinch. Branch is just a good filthy fighter and Hermansson is also busy in close, so this will be a grueling 15 minutes to both men.

It may not be the statement victory Hermansson is searching for, however he should do enough to eke out a close decision triumph.

Josh Emmett vs. Michael Johnson

This is a entertaining match up between two stand up fighters who use a lot of movement to set up their more damaging shots. I’d provide Josh Emmett the ability advantage and Michael Johnson the bonus in volume and speed. Though Emmett shows himself to have quick hands also.

Johnson comes with a top-shelf jab that may make Emmett have to work beyond if he wishes to get in close where he could start hunting for somewhere to land his or her hooks. It is possible to get Johnson to use punches to score into the mind and human body, while Emmett attempts to cut off the cage and confine Johnson’s options.

If this would go to a decision, Johnson’s even more measured striking may have him ahead on the scorecards, however I think Emmett is going to have the ability to enroll a knock down or 2 to influence the judges and also get the triumph.

Pick: Emmett

Michelle Waterson vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

These two will put on a striking clinic on Saturday and selecting a winner won’t be easy. Do you lean to the more dynamic Michelle Waterson or even the stable, calculating Muay Thai command of Karolina Kowalkiewicz?

1 aspect of this struggle to watch on will be to observe when Waterson uses her ground game to fully take Kowalkiewicz out of the part. That’s much easier said than done of course, because outside of being siphoned by Claudia Gadelha a couple of years ago, Kowalkiewicz shows stout takedown defense. If Waterson wants to find this one to the mat, it’ll have to be with a visit or throw away from the clinch. To get there, she’ll have to wade through the crisp spectacular of Kowalkiewicz, so getting sliced by the Polish stand-out ’s elbows and knees.

In the distance, both of these are evenly matched, with Waterson always happy to show off her arsenal of kisses and Kowalkiewicz additionally able to exude competitive competitors with kicks to the legs and body. I provide Kowalkiewicz the slight advantage in a clean, straightforward kickboxing match.

And that’s the way I feel this match will unfold, so that it ’s Kowalkiewicz by decision.

Pick: Kowalkiewicz

All it takes is just a look into Kennedy Nzechukwu to understand why the 26-year-old Nigerian is such an intriguing prospect. Listed at 6-foot-5, Nzechukwu attracts a remarkable 83-inch reach in to the Octagon and ’s going to be a serious problem for Paul Craig.

Whether Nzechukwu can effortlessly utilize his reach advantage remains to be observed. He had been impressive in his second Contender Series appearance, however he was still relying on his physical abilities to get ahead rather than making distinct technical improvements. That won’t fly against the battle-tested Craig.

Craig has fought to assert himself in the UFC, winning one time in four appearances for its promotion and also one triumph came with a miraculous triangle choke with one minute remaining in a bout in which he had been being thoroughly dominated. His experience can help him here, but will it be enough to over come his shoddy defensive capabilities?

He’ll have a tough time getting this one towards the ground and also as long as Nzechukwu’s takedown defense supports, he should finish this one standing.

Pick: Nzechukwu

Before the headliners throw , Sheymon Moraes and also Sodiq Yusuff are likely going to put in their particular bid to the Fight of the evening award.

Blessed with fast, true hands, Moraes is going to test the hard hitting Yusuff’s technological acumen and make him work to land those bombs that he could be really keen on throwing. There’s not much more to this match up than that. Moraes needs to engage in the matador into the hard-charging Yusuff of course, if he isn’unable to keep out of this way in which he’will become flattened.

Moraes doesn’t only have to win on things here . He could easily catch an over eager Yusuff with a direct shot flurrying to get a fight-ending combination. We’ll have to determine if Yusuff is significantly more older than his two-and-a-half years of pro experience would suggest.

Let’s say Moraes by knockout here.

Marina Rodriguez def.

Ross Pearson

Kevin Aguilar def. Enrique Barzola

Kevin Holland def. Gerald Meerschaert

Ray Borg def. Casey Kenney

Sabina Mazo def. Maryna Moroz

Alex Perez de. Mark De La Rosa


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