UFC

UFC 252: Previewing the Preliminary Rounds Pt. 1

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The next PPV event for the UFC is coming up on Saturday, as UFC 252 takes place, headlined by a fight that not only decides the UFC heavyweight champion but the winner will go down as the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. Before we reach that fight, we have the prelims and in this piece, I’ll be previewing 3 of the 6 UFC 252 prelim bouts. 

Kai Kamaka III vs Tony Kelley – Featherweight Bout 

Starting the UFC 252 prelim card off is a featherweight bout between two UFC newcomers Kai Kamaka III and Tony Kelley. Kamaka has impressed over the past two years in promotions such as KOTC, Bellator, and most recently in LFA. Kamaka is only 25 years of age and has an impressive 7-2 record to his name. Six of those seven wins have come via decision as he has shown multiple times the amount of stamina he has when fighting. Kamaka has a great stage to make his name in this one, finding himself on the prelim card of a huge PPV. 

Tony Kelley is also making his UFC debut in this bout as he looks to make a late surge in life as an MMA fighter. The 33-year-old made his debut back in 2013 and went unbeaten in his first four fights. He lost in 2016 when he decided to take a 3-year break from the sport until returning in May 2019 in a fight he won. Kelley has impressed in the limited amount of fights he’s had and has shown great submission skills, winning three of his five fights via submission.  

This one is a really intriguing fight given both guys haven’t performed at this level of competition before. Kelley will be an interesting watch given it’s only his second fight in four years, and Kamaka has been really active for a guy his age. I’m going with Kamaka in this one though. I just think he’s in a better stage of his career. 

Chris Daukaus vs Parker Porter – Heavyweight Bout 

In this next prelim fight we move up to the heavyweight division as two more UFC newcomers make their debut in this one. Chris Daukaus takes on Parker Porter. Daukaus has been a standout in the CFFC promotion ever since he made his debut in 2015. He’s made his name as a knockout artist with seven of his eight wins coming via KO/TKO. Daukaus is a Philly native and will be looking to make a name for himself on this prelim card as he looks to secure a future with the UFC. 

Parker Porter is also making his UFC debut tonight after bouncing around multiple promotions such as Bellator, and more recently CES. Porter has impressed in his time as an MMA fighter, and whilst he hasn’t enjoyed a great deal of consistency over the years, he’s shown that he’s a very scary wrestler at heavyweight. Porter is a threat with submissions or knocking out his opponents with some nasty ground and pound. 

Just like the opening fight, this one will be interesting to see if we have a new prospect in the UFC. Daukaus has the upper hand if the fight is contested on the feet, but Porter will thrive when the fight gets to the ground. The clash of styles makes this fight a hard one to predict, but I feel like Daukaus will win the fight as I’m not sure Porter will be able to close the distance and take Daukaus down safely. 

Ashley Yoder vs Livinha Souza – Women’s Strawweight Bout 

The next fight on the prelims sees us switch to women’s fighting, specifically the strawweight division as Ashley Yoder takes on Livinha Souza. Yoder has been with the UFC since 2016 and has really struggled to impress in her time with the promotion. Three losses in her first three fights wasn’t the best of starts for her, but losing to the likes of Angela Hill and Mackenzie Dern isn’t really embarrassing. Her last bout was against Randa Markos, a fight she lost via split decision and that’s been the story of her career, close wins or close losses. She’s never been finished in her pro career, which is an interesting stat given her record is 7-5. 

Livinha Souza has been with the UFC since 2018 and enjoyed two wins in her first two fights against Alex Chambers and Sarah Frota. She lost in her last fight against Brianna Van Buren via decision, but she’s shown some real promise in her career so far. 13-2 is her current professional record and has 8 submission wins, if she can get Yoder to the ground, she’ll easily win the fight. 

Personally, I think Souza will win this fight, Yoder hasn’t really impressed me throughout her career and although she’s been unlucky to lose some of her fights, I think Souza will take her to the ground and finish her. 

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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