The UFC is once again visiting our friendly neighbors to the north for UFC 174. On June 14 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will defend his belt against dangerous Russian sambo master Ali Bagautinov.

Flyweight king “Mighty Mouse” is coming off his sensational knockout victory over rival Joseph Benavidez. Bagautinov, however, presents a formidable challenge. The sambo specialist hasn’t lost in 11 fights, and he has scored three of those wins in the UFC’s Octagon.

The co-main event features two of the welterweight division’s top contenders, Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley. The two could be fighting for a possible title shot, although it’s anyone’s guess if it will actually materialize with the Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Brown match-up happening soon. Still, MacDonald and Woodley have a lot to lose if they can’t get their hand raised on fight night.

Also worth mentioning, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski is making his return to the Octagon at the ripe old age of 35. “The Pit Bull” won’t have an easy time against his opponent, Brendan Schaub, but Arlovski can still knock people out in an instant.

The action starts on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. ET, then moves to FX—yes, that’s right, FX—at 8 p.m. ET for the remainder of the preliminary card. At 10 p.m. ET, it’s off to pay-per-view for the five-fight main card.

The MMA Corner’s Vince Carey, Eric Reinert and Zach Miller look at each match-up and give their predictions in this edition of the Round Table.

LHW: Ryan Jimmo (19-3) vs. Ovince St. Preux (15-5)

Carey: This fight between Ryan Jimmo and Ovince St. Preux should serve as a great test to see where both of these men stand in the somewhat shallow light heavyweight division.

Jimmo has had an up-and-down UFC career thus far, but his highs have definitely found a way to outshine his lows. His best outings in the UFC have ended in quick knockout wins, but he’s much more than just a typical power puncher at 205 pounds. Prior to entering the Octagon, Jimmo made a career out of stifling his opponents in Canada’s MFC promotion through the use of his wrestling skills, but he’s yet to truly showcase that part of his arsenal inside the Octagon. That may change against St Preux, who is one of the more explosive fighters in the division and an opponent who could give Jimmo a lot of trouble.

St Preux has slowly become very good in all aspects of the game. His raw athleticism is able to help him get out of tough spots on occasion. That will be a key against Jimmo, who is known to put the pressure on no matter where the fight is taking place, and if OSP is able to keep “Big Deal” off of him, then the Strikeforce veteran should cruise to a victory.

Undefeated since entering the Octagon, OSP finally seems like he’s putting all of his talent together and becoming a legit threat at 205 pounds. I just can’t see Jimmo interrupting his rise right now. As we saw last year against Cody Donovan, OSP’s top game can be absolutely murderous. He’ll utilize that top game to get the finish here, as he uses Jimmo’s aggression against him to get the fight to the floor, where he can unleash some ground-and-pound.

Reinert: St. Preux is, at 31 years old, in his athletic prime. He’s undefeated in his three-fight UFC career and has lost precisely one time since 2010—a decision against the highly regarded Gegard Mousasi in 2011. Since that loss, St. Preux has not only defeated all four of his opponents, he’s finished three of them.

Jimmo arrived in the UFC in 2012 with a stellar 17-1 record. Since stepping foot into the Octagon, however, he’s had more mixed results. Jimmo is coming off a win over Sean O’Connell, but his 3-2 UFC career does leave something to be desired. This is a must-win for Jimmo if he hopes to contend at light heavyweight.

In the end, I have to agree with Vince on this one. Although both light heavyweight fighters have shown flashes of talent we usually see among title contenders, St. Preux has been the more consistent performer. Aside from the challenge that St. Preux will present, I worry about Jimmo’s relatively short layoff (he just fought in mid-April) and the fact that he’s coming off a fairly recent leg injury. For these reasons, I see St. Preux dominating the striking portion of the fight en route to a TKO victory.

Miller: St. Preux is one of the only fighters that I can recall who has had success crossing over from football to mixed martial arts. I mean, there have been plenty of those crossovers who have had some success, but OSP’s four-fight winning streak with three of those wins coming in the UFC is damn impressive. Frankly, OSP deserves to be fighting a top-10 guy here. That’s not to disrespect Jimmo, who is always one punch away from turning out someone’s lights, but when a fighter’s only loss in the past four years is to Mousasi, well, that fighter deserves to start cashing some bigger checks.

That said, Jimmo is a tough match-up, and OSP can’t sleep on him. He’s not just good at doing the robot dance. He’s a second degree black belt in karate, and he’s figured out how to use it effectively in the Octagon. Normally, with his college ball background, OSP is usually the more physical guy, but Jimmo is a monstrously big dude himself at 205 pounds.

The real difference here will come down to speed and endurance. I just don’t see St. Preux stepping off the gas pedal. Of course, Jimmo can always kiai punch a foe right in the face, as he’s done to Anthony Perosh and Sean O’Connell, but he may never get the chance in this contest. If OSP is smart, he’ll drag his opponent down to the mat, where it wouldn’t be surprising to see him pick up another submission victory.

HW: Andrei Arlovski (21-10) vs. Brendan Schaub (10-3)

Reinert: On paper, one might think that trying to analyze a fight between the 13th-ranked UFC heavyweight and a 35-year-old man making his return to the Octagon after a lengthy sojourn would be pretty easy. For me, though, this one is actually sort of difficult to predict, if only because of the immense power possessed by both of these heavyweights and the fact that both have been prone to knockout losses.

Brendan Schaub entered the UFC as the sort of “new breed” of heavyweight that was becoming so popular in 2009. He is a former fullback in professional football and has the sort of super-athlete physique that made him stand out from his fellow young big men. Schaub’s recent wins over Matt Mitrione and Lavar Johnson have given a second life to a man whose signature victory came over MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, but the Colorado native has suffered a trio of knockout defeats in his nine UFC bouts.

Hoping to add his name to the list of fighters to put Schaub to sleep is former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. “The Pit Bull” returns to the Octagon for the first time since 2008—a period in which he went 8-5 with one no-contest—hoping for the sort of late-career renaissance we’ve seen from fighters like Dan Henderson. Arlovski, like Schaub, is in the midst of a two-fight winning streak, but might best be remembered recently for his four consecutive losses between January 2009 and February 2011.

One fact about Arlovski that could be the difference-maker: he’s the only man to knock out Roy Nelson, which is no small feat. If he can employ his boxing effectively (particularly the head-movement part) and avoid Schaub’s own powerful strikes, Arlovski could capitalize on a tremendous opportunity and put Schaub away. Stranger things have happened. Arlovski by knockout.

Miller: I don’t know about Arlovski making any ripples in the heavyweight division. Hell, I don’t even know if he’ll be around after this one fight, but I’m pretty positive it will be an entertaining scrap. Schaub is always physically intense, and there’s no way in the world that Arlovski is going to be hesitant. At 35, Arlovski really has nothing to lose, so expect him to come out like the true pit bull that he is.

Let’s just be perfectly reasonable: Schaub should win. He is supposed to win. He’s younger, faster, stronger, has the better ground game and has faced tougher competition as of late. A name like Arlovski would certainly not hurt his resume in any efforts to build himself up as a pay-per-view draw in a future contender fight. Don’t forget that Arlovski was a UFC champion, and that alone makes him a target for rising prospects.

Schaub does present his own weaknesses that Arlovski could get lucky and exploit. Schaub’s chin has always been a tad suspect. He only has three losses in a career that has been spent mostly inside the Octagon, but all of those defeats came via knockout. Arlovski may not have the speed he once did, but if Schaub isn’t careful he could find himself taking a power nap and waking up with the ringside physician shining a flashlight in his face.

Still, those odds are slim. Schaub might have to weather an early storm, but he’ll get Arlovski to the mat and tap him out with something nasty.

Carey: I’ll be honest, I never thought I’d see Arlovski fighting inside the Octagon again. However, the former UFC heavyweight champion resurrected his career recently after he initially struggled following his UFC departure. Although he hasn’t beaten the best competition as of late, he’s been impressive overall and has only one loss in his last eight bouts. His shot at UFC redemption is going to make for a hell of a story on Saturday, and an impressive win could propel him right into a fight with a top-10 heavyweight.

Schaub is going to make a storybook weekend extremely difficult for Arlovski, however, and there’s a very real chance that “The Pit Bull’s” UFC return is over before it really gets a chance to start. The former NFL player has become a competent fighter both on the feet and on the mat, and it would serve him well to mix things up and hit Arlovski with everything in his arsenal.

If this fight remains standing, it could go either way. Schaub has to have realized that his chin is the only part of his game that has failed him thus far in his career. “The Hybrid” has shown off some solid grappling skills in his last two wins over Johnson and Mitrione. If he sticks to that game plan, he can eventually land a few shots and finish Arlovski off with some punches from the top position. Schaub gets the TKO via ground-and-pound, and he may even turn a few heads with his performance.

LHW: Ryan Bader (16-4) vs. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante (12-4)

Miller: Here, we have battle for relevancy. When they’re on, Ryan Bader and Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante have the potential to give anyone a run for their money in the light heavyweight division. However, they’re not always on. Both men are lacking in the consistency department.

Bader started off his UFC career by winning The Ultimate Fighter 8. He went on to a 5-0 mark in the promotion before meeting a fellow named Jon Jones. Bader’s record, at 16-4, isn’t that bad, and his loss to Jones is excusable—everyone seems to be losing to Jones these days—but he has a couple embarrassing blemishes on his record as well. Bader was choked out by Tito Ortiz, and he was demolished by Lyoto Machida and Glover Teixeira. These aren’t slouches he’s losing to, so there’s not necessarily that risk of getting cut by the promotion, but the clock is ticking for him to make another run at contendership.

Feijao, meanwhile, has had his own series of inconsistencies. He has beat up some really great fighters, including Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and Yoel Romero, but he also fell victim to a “Hendo” H-Bomb, failed a drug test in his win over Mike Kyle and got knocked out by Thiago Silva. At 34 years old, Feijao has even less time to work with if he wants to be a UFC champion.

It’s no surprise that the oddsmakers have it at about even odds. This really is anyone’s guess. If Cavalcante came out and clobbered Bader into oblivion, it would be exciting, but partially expected. The same is true for Bader. However, I expect to see something like Bader’s fight with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Bader doesn’t want any part of the stand-up game with Feijao, so he’ll fall back on his wrestling roots to grind out a decision victory.

Carey: You have to believe that Bader is going to do everything in his power to get this fight to the ground, and whether or not he can do that is likely going to decide the fight.

Feijao has some ridiculous power and his overall striking game can be scary when he gets going, as evidenced by his shellacking of Igor Pokrajac in under two minutes the last time he was inside the Octagon. However, he likes to finish guys quickly. When he doesn’t do so, he can run into some serious problems with his cardio. That spells major trouble against a wrestler like Bader, who only needs a single takedown to get out of harm’s way and change the complexion of this fight.

There’s a chance that Bader is able to mix it up and duke it out on the feet with Cavalcante if he needs to, but the former The Ultimate Fighter winner doesn’t want to play with fire for too long. Luckily for Bader, he won’t have to.

When Bader decides to go with his wrestling, he’s had some pretty good results against quality competition, including shutting down Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Rampage with his top game. That bodes well for the former Arizona State All-American, who should be able to get the fight to the mat relatively early. Once he does, expect Bader to put the pressure on for a round or two before an exhausted Feijao makes a mistake and hands Bader a stoppage win.

Reinert: There was a time not so long ago when Bader was viewed in the same light as the aforementioned current light heavyweight king, Jones. After his stint on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter, Bader rattled off four straight victories and seemed to be poised to take a run at the title. Unfortunately, Bader ran into Jones at UFC 126, and he ended up being just another stepping stone on Jones’ path to the championship. Since then, Bader has gone a respectable 4-3, dropping fights to title challengers Machida and Teixeira (and that infamous submission defeat at the hands of Ortiz), and most recently topped Anthony Perosh by decision.

Feijao has had a similar up-and-down career trajectory over the last few years, putting together a few wins in a row in Strikeforce and capturing the promotion’s light heavyweight title before dropping it in his first defense against Dan Henderson. Since arriving in the UFC, Cavalcante has gone 1-1, winning his most recent fight over Pokrajac. Feijao might have a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but all 12 of his professional wins have come by knockout or TKO, so we can probably expect him to keep it standing.

Bader possesses comparable power, but would do well to use his wrestling to put Cavalcante on his back, despite the latter’s grappling acumen. It’s certainly possible that Feijao could earn his first submission victory in this scenario, but it’s more likely that Bader would be able to control his opponent for the duration of the fight. If I’m Bader’s camp, we’re working on setting up takedowns with strikes, and if he’s able to use his considerable wrestling ability in this way, Bader should notch a decision victory.

WW: Rory MacDonald (16-2) vs. Tyron Woodley (13-2)

Reinert: Like Arlovski vs. Schaub, on paper this one might seem easy to call, with Rory MacDonald having been a welterweight contender for some time and Tyron Woodley only recently joining the pack (and by a win via injury, no less). But as with the heavyweight fight that will precede it, the co-main event of UFC 174 will be more difficult to predict than it might seem. Unlike Arlovski vs. Schaub, the winner of this welterweight contest will likely secure himself a title shot in the near future.

MacDonald has nearly reached the pinnacle of the 170-pound division, only to twice be knocked down by another contender. First, after going 10-0 to start his professional career, his momentum was halted by Carlos Condit. Then, after amassing five consecutive UFC welterweight victories (including wins over Jake Ellenberger, Nate Diaz and B.J. Penn), he was removed temporarily from title contention by Robbie Lawler, who defeated MacDonald in November. “Ares” rebounded in impressive fashion, though, defeating Demian Maia to remain in the hunt for a championship opportunity.

Newer to the title picture is Woodley, who gets the fight with MacDonald after an impressive showing against Condit in March. Woodley technically won that fight after Condit was injured, but few would argue that he wasn’t handedly winning the battle prior to Condit’s knee giving out. Both of Woodley’s other UFC wins have come by knockout, and it’s Woodley’s power that I believe is the difference-maker here.

Thus far in his career, MacDonald has entered most of his fights as the larger, stronger athlete. This will not be the case against Woodley. So, unless MacDonald can keep Woodley at bay with his range, Woodley will either put his hands on MacDonald or take him down and keep him there. It’s tough to bet against MacDonald, but I think Woodley gets the better of him at UFC 174, winning by decision and securing a future title opportunity.

Carey: MacDonald is definitely the superior fighter here, at least on paper, but he may be running into Woodley at the absolute worst time possible. Ever since “Ares” beat down Penn almost two years ago, he has looked a little too timid inside the cage. Getting upset by Lawler was a huge blow to MacDonald’s hype train late last year, and his previous win over Ellenberger left so much to be desired that it’s honestly surprising MacDonald has gotten back into title contention so quickly.

MacDonald may have a hard time with Woodley, as there’s no doubt that the former Strikeforce contender turned some heads in his win over Condit. Woodley was well ahead of Condit on the scorecards before the knee injury, and he looked extremely impressive against the former interim champion. Although MacDonald isn’t quite as aggressive as Condit is on the feet, it’s a good sign for Woodley that he just went toe-to-toe with one of the better strikers at 170 pounds prior to fighting an extremely technical MacDonald.

Eric was dead on when he said that MacDonald either has to keep Woodley glued to the mat or keep him at range, but I have a feeling he’s going to struggle against Woodley. The wrestler is so aggressive that MacDonald is going to need to throw his jab at Diaz brother output levels just to keep Woodley off of him. After fighting so tentatively recently, it’s tough to see MacDonald pulling that off.

MacDonald may be able to surprise with his wrestling and score a decision win that way, but Woodley is too strong for that. He is going to give the Canadian a lot of problems. MacDonald may counterstrike and win himself a round, but he won’t win anything else. Woodley will take this one by decision, but, unlike Eric, I think he’s going to have to score another win before he gets a title shot.

Miller: This is another tough fight to call, with the betting lines about even. You have to question how these fighters’ mentalities are after they basically found out they’re not getting a title shot anymore. No doubt they’ll be prepared, but at this high level, something as devastating as not getting promised the No. 1 contender spot might affect someone’s performance.

If this were a five-round fight, I would definitely pick MacDonald, as Woodley has shown that he slows down in the later rounds. However, that’s not the case, so it’s anyone’s guess. Although Woodley might be the slight favorite, MacDonald has so many more skills that he can employ to win.

Woodley certainly has a chance to knock out his opponent, but MacDonald should be able to use his jab and kicks to keep Woodley away. Woodley is fast, aggressive and powerful, but he is not a high-volume striker like Lawler or Condit, the men who we’ve seen MacDonald struggle against.

I’m going to pick against my colleagues here, and say MacDonald claims the win via decision.

FlyW Championship: Demetrious Johnson (19-2-1) vs. Ali Bagautinov (13-2)

Carey: For the first time ever, the flyweights are set to headline a pay-per-view event, and this one is going to be a barnburner. I’ll get my pick out of the way early and take Demetrious Johnson by a finish in the latter rounds, but even though I expect “Mighty Mouse” to outgun Ali Bagautinov at every turn, this contest still has “Fight of the Night” potential.

Make no mistake, Bagautinov has looked like an incredibly talented fighter in his few UFC fights. However, he hasn’t fought anyone even near the level of Johnson yet. That will become obvious pretty early on. The Dagestani fighter loves to run forward and attack, but he’s going to have a nightmare of a time against Johnson and his ridiculous speed and footwork. Throw in Johnson’s top-notch takedown defense since dropping to 125 pounds, and it feels like “Puncher King” is going to be more of a punching bag than anything.

The good thing for Bagautinov is that Johnson’s vast array of skills doesn’t include one-punch knockout power. Bagautinov may be able to blitz the champion over and over again until he finds some success. He may end up eating punches in bunches as the champion counters, but there’s always the chance he can land a shot of his own and take home the title.

Still, the more likely scenario is Bagautinov rushing in and creating action with his aggression, while Johnson sits back and creates points with his accuracy. This one may end up being a one-sided affair, but it’s still going to be exciting and allow one of the UFC’s most talented champions to showcase his skills on the main stage.

Miller: I’m with Vince. There’s just no way a sensible person could pick Bagautinov. Don’t get me wrong, he has tons of potential and a very bright future, but this is simply not his time. “Mighty Mouse” is just too good.

Bagautinov has a lot of skills he brings to the match-up. His wrestling is nothing short of outstanding. He has trained in sambo and pankration, as well as freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. Good luck getting his hands on Johnson, though.

The flyweight champ has always looked great, but his most recent knockout win over rival Joseph Benavidez sent shockwaves through the flyweight division. Before that win, there was Johnson’s domination of John Moraga, capped off with an armbar in the fifth round. Of course, anyone is beatable. But as dominant champions go, Johnson is up there.

Bagautinov might give him a couple tough rounds, but Johnson’s ability to make adjustments is unmatched. I see him winning by decision in an exciting “Fight of the Night” performance.

Reinert: In the UFC 173 round table, I stated unequivocally that Renan Barao would defeat T.J. Dillashaw, and that it wouldn’t be hard for him to do so. It seemed to be the sort of no-brainer that was easier to predict than to write about. Saturday’s flyweight title fight has a similar feel, where I’m tempted to just say Johnson is going to put it on Bagautinov en route to his fourth successful defense. Dillashaw’s dominant performance has me second-guessing that prediction.

Of course, Johnson has been one of the most dominant fighters the UFC has seen in the last five years. He was 14-1 as a bantamweight when he challenged former champion Dominick Cruz in 2011. His loss to Cruz coincided perfectly with the UFC’s introduction of the flyweight division, though, and “Mighty Mouse” captured the 125-pound title with little issue. Since then, Johnson has somehow gotten even better, and has finished his last two opponents inside the distance.

Bagautinov has a very impressive professional record himself, and he is thus far undefeated in his three-fight UFC campaign. The Dagestani fighter has displayed a wide variety of skills in his 13 pro wins (finishing five opponents with strikes and four by submission) and has yet to be finished. Certainly, he presents a formidable challenge for Johnson.

Even with the surprises that Dillashaw brought against Barao, I still can’t pick against Johnson. Johnson is one of the three best fighters in any weight class, and I just don’t see a way, other than a flash knockout, for Bagautinov to emerge victorious. I like Johnson to stun his challenger with a punch and then cinch up a choke for the submission win.

Preliminary Card
LW: Jason Saggo (9-1) vs. Josh Shockley (11-2)

Miller: Jason Saggo and Josh Shockley have impressive records coming into this fight. Even though Shockley’s losses both came by way of submission, he also acquired the majority of his wins by tapping people out. Live by the sword, die by the sword. I’ll take the more experienced fighter. Saggo by decision.

Reinert: Couple of impressive lightweight prospects here. Shockley has the slightly more extensive record, and he is entering his first UFC bout on a two-fight winning streak. That being said, there are those aforementioned two professional losses by submission. Saggo has won eight of his 10 pro fights via submission. Look for Saggo to emerge victorious in his own UFC debut with a submission over Shockley before the third round.

Carey: Shockley’s submission losses seem to fall right in line with Saggo’s strength as a submission specialist, don’t they? Yet, Shockley has a handful of wins by tapout as well, and one of his submission losses came against former “Submission of the Year” winner Toby Imada under the Bellator banner. Unless Saggo is on a completely different level than Shockley on the mat, I’m going to say Shockley uses his big-show experience with Bellator to get over the Octagon jitters a bit faster and leave with a TKO victory.

BW: Roland Delorme (9-2) vs. Michinori Tanaka (9-0)

Carey: Undefeated Japanese prospect Michinori Tanaka makes his UFC debut in this one, and he has a deceptively tough test ahead of him in Roland Delorme. Delorme has gone 3-1-1 since entering the Octagon following a stint on The Ultimate Fighter 14, and he’s shown a knack for giving fighters all sorts of trouble on the mat. Tanaka can definitely hold his own on the ground, as evidenced by his five submission wins, but he also gets a bit sloppy on the mat from time to time, which could cost him against Delorme. Tanaka is extremely young and has a lot of potential, but Delorme is going to be a bit too much for him. The Canadian is going to earn a submission win at home.

Reinert: Tanaka’s record is certainly impressive, and those five submission wins make me wonder if it will be as easy as Vince says for Delorme to tap him out. The big difference here is going to be the quality of opposition. Tanaka does have nine wins, but none have come in the UFC. Meanwhile, Saturday will be Delorme’s fifth UFC fight, of which he has won three. The Octagon jitters will be too much for Tanaka. I see Delorme cruising to a decision win.

Miller: Experience is obviously important, but Tanaka also started his career when he was 19 years old. The logical move is to pick Delorme. You can’t replace that experience in the UFC. Maybe Tanaka can come out with a bang—and I don’t see why he can’t be successful in the future—but this is a tough first match-up.

LW: Kajan Johnson (19-10-1) vs. Tae Hyun Bang (16-8)

Reinert: Fans of The Ultimate Fighter: Nations will recognize the officially debuting Kajan Johnson from his time on Team Canada. No doubt there are a few Australian fans who would like to see him take a loss here. Those fans will be rooting for Tae Hyun Bang, a lightweight striker with eight wins by knockout or TKO. This is probably “loser-leaves-town” territory for both fighters, and if Johnson is smart, he’ll try to get Bang to the ground as soon as possible. If he’s able to do that, then Johnson wins his first official UFC fight by submission.

Miller: Records can be deceiving. Bang might appear to have the slightly better mark, but in their more recent fights, Johnson has won seven of his last eight, whereas Bang has been far less consistent with a 2-4 record since August 2008. There’s also the jet-lag problem for Asian fighters, which is very real. So, I’ll pick the Tristar fighter. Johnson by submission.

Carey: Bang looked outgunned by Mairbek Taisumov earlier this year, and he’s not going to have an easier time against Johnson. The Canadian is pretty creative on the feet, and he’s proven to be an absolute handful on the mat, where he has picked up 11 wins by submission. It’s difficult to imagine a way in which Bang is able to stick around in this one. The Korean fighter is tough, but that won’t save him if he gets caught on the floor, which is exactly what I expect will happen to him against Johnson.

BW: Mike Easton (13-4) vs. Yves Jabouin (19-9)

Miller: It’s crazy that Mike Easton is on this big of a skid. Yes, his losses came against top competition, but losing three in a row in the UFC is not a good way to maintain a roster spot. Easton needs a bounce-back performance against Yves Jabouin. Easton definitely has the skills to look good against his older opponent. Jabouin hasn’t finished anybody since 2008, and that isn’t going to change here. Easton by knockout.

Carey: Easton is in a weird position right now. He’s still considered one of the top-10 bantamweights in the world despite his recent losing streak. He is definitely an active fighter who has had his moments inside the Octagon, but he’s also struggled to finish or even put his opponents in danger during his UFC run, which has cost him as he’s tried to move up the ladder. Jabouin should create a really fun fight with “The Hulk,” however, and it’s easy to envision these two earning a “Fight of the Night” check if Easton decides to go for broke in his attempt to avoid the chopping block. I don’t see either man getting the finish, but Easton should be able to outland his opponent and get a decision in front of Jabouin’s many Canadian supporters.

Reinert: It’s probably win-or-go-home time for Easton, an exciting bantamweight fighter who went 13-1 before losing his last three fights. That said, those three fights have all been against formidable opponents (Raphael Assuncao, Brad Pickett and current champion T.J. Dillashaw). Jabouin is still trying to find his place among the UFC’s 135ers, and he dropped two of his last three fights. I, too, don’t expect this one to end inside the distance. With the fighters’ records, we could see both try to play it safe en route to a scorecard victory. In the end, I like Easton to win the fight and salvage his job for the time being.

Women’s BW: Elizabeth Phillips (4-1) vs. Valerie Letourneau (5-3)

Reinert: It’s always great to see the UFC offering opportunities to new female fighters, and it’s doing just that for this preliminary fight between two debuting bantamweights, Elizabeth Phillips and Valerie Letourneau. Both fighters seem to prefer things remain standing, with six of their nine combined professional wins coming via TKO. For this reason, I expect we could see some major “Fight of the Night”-quality fireworks from these two women. With Letourneau’s more extensive professional record, combined with her Tristar Gym training regimen, I have to give the advantage to her. Letourneau by decision.

Carey: Indeed, this fight has fireworks written all over it, but I’ve got to disagree with Eric on the winner. Letourneau has definitely fought better competition—all three of her losses have come against UFC-caliber fighters—but she’s also moving back up from 125 pounds after struggling at that weight to start her career. Phillips has been a force of nature over the last 12 months. She’s earned all four of her MMA wins since last July. That momentum, along with her size advantage, is going to make a huge difference against Letourneau. The Washington native pulls off a decision win.

Miller: This is a really hard fight to predict. Phillips hasn’t faced as tough competition as Letourneau, and she’s coming into hostile territory, but I’m going to go with the American here. You can’t knock a four-fight winning streak. Phillips by TKO.

WW: Kiichi Kunimoto (16-5-2) vs. Daniel Sarafian (8-4)

Carey: Kiichi Kunimoto was gifted a win in his UFC debut earlier this year when Luis Dutra became overly anxious and landed a handful of illegal elbows to get himself disqualified. However, the Japanese fighter was starting to get picked apart a bit before Dutra’s misstep, and it’s still up in the air as to whether he’s a UFC-quality fighter. Daniel Sarafian may only be 1-2 inside the Octagon, but he’s fought solid competition in his losses to C.B. Dollaway and Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira. The Brazilian was especially competitive against the recently resurgent Dollaway, and that experience makes all of the difference. Sarafian will walk away with a quick win.

Miller: Kunimoto trains at Cobra Kai. He’s on a five-fight winning streak, albeit his last win was that disqualification. That being said, if he gets a hold of a limb, he’s going to try to rip it off of Sarafian. Kunimoto by submission.

Reinert: Both of these fighters have shown a preference for grappling, so I don’t expect too much in the way of a back-and-forth stand-up battle in this one. Sarafian is making his welterweight debut, which might be an advantage in terms of his strength, but it might also present Sarafian with a risk of gassing out early. If he’s able to control the pace and keep his endurance in check, the Brazilian will likely exit the Octagon with a decision win.

About The Author

Zach Miller
Staff Writer

Zach is a Boston native and has had a fascination with martial arts since playing Mortal Kombat at five years old. He was introduced to MMA after watching The Ultimate Fighter 5: Team Pulver vs. Team Penn. A recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Zach seeks to one day become a full-time MMA journalist. In addition to watching the sport, he has also trained in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and tae kwon do. Zach has also written for NortheastMMA.