The UFC train continues this weekend as we arrive back at the UFC Apex complex for UFC Vegas 6. Over the past two articles I’ve done, I’ve previewed every single one of the 7 prelim fights and this time around it’s a look at what the main card has in store for us.
#14 Beneil Dariush vs Scott Holtzman – Lightweight Bout
We have a lightweight bout kicking off the main card as #14 ranked lightweight contender Beneil Dariush takes on Scott Holtzman.
Beneil Dariush has been in the UFC since 2014 and has impressed massively in his time with the company, grabbing wins against fighters like James Vick, Michael Johnson and Drew Dober. Dariush enters the fight on a 4 fight win streak and a real chance to further increase his rise in a stacked lightweight division. With a record of 18-4, Dariush possesses the skills to really take over fights, whether that’s on the feet like his most recent fight against Drakkar Klose or, his more preferred method via submission.
Scott Holtzman has been with the UFC since 2015 has fought a fair few of the same fighters as his opponent. Scott has always looked promising but hasn’t truly hit his potential, struggling to win the bigger fights of his career. Scott’s standing game is really well put together and he knows how to grind out a decision win, but doesn’t struggle to put his opponents to sleep either. Scott finds himself in a huge fight in the latter stages of his career and a win tonight would be huge for a late surge into the lightweight rankings.
This fight is surely going to be a good contest, with both guys being very experienced both in MMA and the UFC. Both guys are coming into the fight with win streaks and I think Dariush will be the one who will continue his, as I just see more potential with him, he’s more skillful than Holtzman.
#8 Yana Kunitskaya vs Julija Stoliarenko – Women’s Bantamweight Bout
Next up is the first, and only women’s fight of the night as #8 ranked women’s bantamweight Yana Kunitskaya takes on Julija Stoliarenko. Yana has shown some real potential in the UFC as a bantamweight contender since her debut loss against Cristiane Justino, she added two wins to her record when she beat Lina Lansberg and Marion Reneau. However, in her most recent fight she lost in the 3rd round to Aspen Ladd. Yana has brilliant striking and boxing skills, having 7 KO/TKO wins to her name, she isn’t afraid of throwing down with anyone. She needs a win here in this one to restart her rise on the ladder.
Julija Stoliarenko makes her proper UFC debut in this bout after massively impressing across a number of promotions. She’s currently 9-3 in her career with an astonishing 8 submission wins to her name. UFC fans have seen her in the company before, when she lost in The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale against Leah Letson. Stoliarenko will be looking to make a name for herself on the UFC stage with a huge win against a ranked fighter like Yana.
This fight is set to be a really entertaining matchup of two completely different styles of fighting. Yana will be looking to do her best to keep the fight on the feet as Julija will be looking to get the fight on the ground. Personally, I think we are in for an upset and Julija will pick up the win via submission.
Maki Pitolo vs Darren Stewart – Middleweight Bout
We move back up to the middleweight for the next fight of the main card as Maki Pitolo takes on Darren Stewart. Maki Pitolo made his name on Dana White’s Contender’s Series where he earnt his UFC contract after beating Justin Michael Sumter in the first round. Pitolo made his UFC debut back in later 2019, losing to Callan Potter but he bounced back with a TKO win back in June against Charles Byrd. Pitolo is a great striker and will be looking to add yet another KO/TKO win to his record in this one.
Darren Stewart is making his return to the UFC in this fight after he had a stint in the company from 2016 to late 2019. Stewart really struggled for consistency in the UFC, losing 3 of his first 4 fights but he found his feet a little before making a surprisng appearance in Cage Warriors back in March of this year. Stewart is a complete striker, constantly keeping the fight on the feet and punishing his opponents with his variety of striking methods.
This fight is set to be a very intriguing one for the futures of both fighters. Darren will be looking to find even more success in the UFC this time around and Pitolo will be desperate to put Darren away and keep the ball rolling in his UFC career. Personally, I think Darren will win this one but this is a tough one to call.
#11 Omari Akhmedov vs Chris Weidman – Middleweight Bout
We stay in the middleweight division as 11th ranked contender Omari Akhmedov takes on UFC veteran Chris Weidman. Omari Akhmedov has made quite a name for himself in recent times, finding himself last losing back in 2016. Omari has knocked off some great prospects in the division and is coming off a win in his most recent fight against Ian Heinisch. Omari is a really well-rounded fighter and will offer some huge threats to Weidman in this one.
Chris Weidman is a UFC legend, being with the company since 2011 and fighting some of the best to ever do it like Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Gegard Mousasi and many more. Weidman has been a champion in the UFC and has two wins over one of the greatest to ever do it in Anderson Silva. In recent times, however, Weidman has struggled losing 5 of his last 6 fights. On his day, Weidman is a threat to anyone but he really hasn’t shown anything recently.
If this fight took place a few years back, I’d be backing Chris Weidman but he’s not been anywhere near what he used to be and I think Omari will find it easy against him.
#4 Derrick Lewis vs #10 Aleksei Oleinik – Heavyweight Bout
In the main event of the evening, we move up to the heavyweight division to see two huge names and ranked fighters take eachother on as Derrick Lewis battles Aleksei Oleinik. Derrick Lewis has been with the UFC since 2014 and has always been in the top ranked contenders in the divison. Lewis has taken on some of the best of the best in the world and even challenged for the title back in 2018. Lewis has one gameplan, knock the guy out infront of him, his power is seriously scary and even when you think he’s gassed and out of the fight he hits one punch and sleeps his opponents.
Aleksei Oleinik will go down as an MMA legend and one of the best to step in the octagon. Aleksei has 73 professional bouts to his name, winning 59 of them with 48 of them coming via submission, something that seems otherworldly. Aleksei has taken on the best of the best in every generation and era and is currently on a 2 fight win streak after beating Maurice Greene and Fabricio Werdum in 2020. With a win against Lewis in this one, Aleksei can out his name into close title contention at the age of 43.
This fight is going to be really interesting; I think may are thinking the same as me and that is if Lewis lands on Aleksei, Aleksei will instantly go to sleep. However, if Aleksei gets Lewis to the ground the fight will be over seriously quickly. I’m siding with Aleksei in this one, I think Aleksei will find it easier to take Lewis to the floor than Lewis will find landing on Aleksei.
Mandatory Photo Credit: USA TODAY via Imagn Content Services, LLC