Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 73, a promising middleweight contender is dropping down to a new weight class. Joaquin Buckley (15-6) is moving down to welterweight and waiting for him in his first fight is Andre Fialho (16-6).
Let’s start with Andre Fialho. He enters this bout really needing a win. Fialho has lost his last two fights leading up to UFC Vegas 73 and he’s been knocked out in both of those fights. Those losses came on the heels of a stretch where he went 6-1 in seven fights. He’s hoping to get back to that level of success.
Joaquin Buckley was knocked out by Kevin Holland at middleweight in his UFC debut. However, after that loss, he won back-to-back fights by knockout. He had a bump in the road against Alessio Di Chirico, but then he won three straight again.
That said, the last two fights haven’t gone his way. He was game, but ultimately lost a decision to Nassourdine Imavov. Then, he was knocked out by Chris Curtis. Following these two fights, Buckley decided to make the move to 170.
UFC Vegas 73 Prediction
Buckley said that he made the move down to 170 jokingly because he wanted to stop getting knocked out. Well, hopefully the weight cut doesn’t impact his ability to take a punch like it does with some fighters. That said, he did look good at the UFC Vegas 73 weigh-ins.
This fight is going to be about Fialho’s volume and Buckley’s power/defense. Buckley moves very well and he’s normally very fast compared to his opponents. It’ll be interesting to see how that speed is against someone from a lighter weight class in Fialho.
Fialho does really well when he gets his combinations going and starts throwing downhill. Once he lands a couple, you could have a lot being thrown back your way. I’m expecting him to be methodical and throw a lot of straight combinations. Meanwhile, I expect Buckley to be very fluid with throwing a lot of heat.
I see Fialho actually having some success in the first at UFC Vegas 73. However, in the second round, something big for Buckley is going to land and he will hand Andre Fialho his third straight knockout loss.
Prediction: Joaquin Buckley by TKO – Round 2