Tomorrow night, the UFC is back at it for their seventh event at the APEX since returning earlier this summer. In the main event of the evening, Frankie Edgar (23-8-1) will be making his bantamweight debut against Pedro Munhoz (18-4). Let’s take a dive into the main card for tomorrow night.
Munhoz welcomes Edgar to the UFC’s bantamweight division
At 38 years old, Frankie Edgar is going to be competing in his third weight class inside the UFC. He might be competing in the weight class that has been best suited for him this whole time. Pedro Munhoz is the perfect guy to test that theory.
Edgar comes down to bantamweight after losing his last two fights at featherweight although one was a short notice loss to Chan Sung Jung back in December. Edgar bailed the UFC out by taking the last minute fight to preserve a main event. He got finished for his efforts.
Before that, Edgar fought to a decision loss with then champion, Max Holloway. It was Edgar’s third featherweight title shot and he went 0-3 in those shots. Edgar is the former UFC lightweight champion and one of the better fighters of this last era.
Edgar is known for his speed, his footwork, his cardio, and his wrestling. While always being the smallest guy at lightweight and many times at featherweight, he would have an advantage in most of those categories. It’ll be interesting to see if it translates to bantamweight.
Pedro Munhoz really blew up when he knocked out former bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt, back at UFC 235. Munhoz was always considered a very solid contender, but that was the first time people really got to see him on a championship level.
Munhoz is coming off of a decision loss to top contender, Aljamain Sterling. Had Munhoz won that fight, he might have fought for the title. Munhoz has good striking with good power. He also has very good submissions with his signature being his guillotine.
This is such an interesting matchup. While you’d think the guy coming down would have the strength/power advantage, that’s not the case. I would give those advantages to the guy who’s competed at bantamweight, Munhoz.
To me, the fight comes down to how it ends. If there’s a stoppage whether it be submission or knockout, Pedro Munhoz will win this fight. If it goes the distance, Edgar’s activity will be enough. I believe Edgar is still durable enough to make it five rounds, and I think he’s going to have a close but successful debut at bantamweight tomorrow night.
Prediction: Frankie Edgar by Unanimous Decision
Ovince St. Preux vs Alonzo Menifield
OSP has been a consistent light heavyweight contender over the years. He’s got good power, good submissions, and good wrestling. He’s used those tools to get wins over guys like Corey Anderson, Shogun Rua, and Yushin Okami.
OSP most notably stepped in for Daniel Cormier to fight Jon Jones at UFC 197 for the interim light heavyweight title. While Jones won the fight, OSP at least proved that he could stand in there with the greatest of all time.
St. Preux made the choice to try to move up to heavyweight in his last fight back in May against Ben Rothwell. While OSP had moments, his lack of activity led to his split decision loss. After one attempt, it’s back to the 205 well for OSP.
Heading into UFC 250, Alonzo Menifield was 9-0 with all nine wins coming via stoppage. Six of those wins came in the first round and he never saw a third round. That all changed that night.
Devin Clark was able to withstand the power and drag Menifield into a decision fight. We saw that Menifield does not have a style that carries well over three rounds and Clark got the decision victory.
With Menifield, you know what you’re going to get. He’s a world beater in the first round and even early in the second, but if you can survive that, you should be okay. The opening minutes will say a lot about the outcome.
Can Menifield catch OSP and put him away or can St. Preux drag Menifield into some deep water. St. Preux has only been finished twice in his UFC career with the last one coming in 2016 to Jimi Manuwa.
I keep going back and forth because I can see both men winning. I can easily see Menifield getting the knockout, and I can also see OSP surviving to get a decision. With no confidence at all, I’m going to say OSP gets dropped early, but is able to survive and win the final two rounds to edge Menifield in the co-main event.
Prediction: Ovince St. Preux by Unanimous Decision
Mike Rodriguez vs Marcin Prachnio
This is the first fight in two years for Prachnio. Prachnio made his UFC debut back in February of 2018 with a decent amount of hype. He came over from One Championship and was riding a eight fight winning streak.
In those eight fights, he had two decision wins and six first round knockouts. Many people were excited to see him, but he completely failed to deliver in his first two UFC fights.
The karate black belt was knocked out twice in the first round by Sam Alvey and Magomed Ankalaev. After that, he disappeared for a couple of years. Those fights were atrocious, but Prachnio does have good skills and striking. We just don’t know what were going to get with him.
Rodriguez got a contract after a flying knee knockout on Dana White’s Contender Series. However, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for him inside the promotion. He’s really gone 1-3, but one of the losses was overturned to a no contest.
Rodriguez has good size and pretty good power for the division. He fights very long and will come at you with a variety of strikes on the feet. He’s awkward to fight, but he’s very effective when he’s on.
This is such a weird fight for the main card, and a difficult one to predict. Prachnio is not as bad as he looked in his first two fights, but I’m also not sold that he’s very good. Frankly, I’m not sure what to expect, but I think we see a finish in the second round in this one.
Prediction: Mike Rodriguez by TKO – Round 2
Takashi Sato vs Daniel Rodriguez
A popular fight of the night pick comes your way in the second fight of the evening as exciting UFC prospects Takashi Sato (16-3) and Daniel Rodriguez (12-1) go head-to-head.
In his last fight in June, Sato showed just how dangerous and clean his striking was. Taking on UFC newcomer, Jason Witt, Sato got the win in just 48 seconds. It was Sato’s second win by TKO since joining the promotion.
In three fights since making the jump from Pancrase, Sato is 2-1 with his one loss being to Belal Muhammad. In that fight, Muhammad dominated with his wrestling and got the submission. Sato should thrive in a matchup that is contested on the feet.
Daniel Rodriguez wasn’t given a UFC contract after his Contender Series appearance, but that didn’t slow him down. He went out and got a quick second round finish in his next fight to get the call up to the big leagues.
In two fights, Rodriguez has a submission over Tim Means and a decision of Gabriel Green. Rodriguez has tremendous power and very good striking. He also has good submission skills if the fight hits the mat.
In analyzing this fight, I keep thinking about striking technique. This fight should be a stand up war, and I like Sato’s technique more. I also believe that he has a little more diversity in his attack. This is another close matchup, but I like Sato in this one.
Prediction: Takashi Sato by Unanimous Decision
Mariya Agapova vs Shana Dobson
At just 23 years old, Agapova is one of the brightest prospects in women’s MMA. She’s good on the feet, she’s good on the ground, she’s honestly good everywhere. Agapova is the true total package.
In her UFC debut back in June, she absolutely stormed through Hannah Cifers. It was her third straight first round finish (two by submission). Agapova looks to be the real deal in the flyweight division.
Dobson comes into this fight on a three fight losing streak. She’s a veteran of the Ultimate Fighter, but if you count her stint on the show, she’s just 1-4 in her last five fights. That one win wasn’t very impressive either.
There is really not an area of this fight where I believe Dobson has an advantage. In a way she’s playing the role of sacrificial lamb. Her only chance is really to land a flukey punch. I don’t foresee this fight going very long.
Prediction: Mariya Agapova by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 1
UFC Vegas 7 Outlook
This is such a fun fight card when you break it down. UFC on Vegas 7 has five main card fights, and four of them could truly go either way. I’m very curious to see how Frankie Edgar looks in his bantamweight debut. If Munhoz can spoil the party, it’ll be the biggest win of his career.