UFC Vegas 20 Preview: Pedro Munhoz – Jimmie Rivera 2

Pedro Munhoz, UFC

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 20, we will see a very important fight in the bantamweight division. Top ten contenders will go head-to-head for the second time as Pedro Munhoz (18-5,1 NC) takes on Jimmie Rivera (23-4).

Originally, this fight was supposed to take place on the UFC 258 main card, however, a positive COVID test scrapped the fight. The matchup was pushed back a couple of weeks and now fight fans will get to see this rematch tomorrow night.

In their first fight, Jimmie Rivera was able to pickup the split decision victory. Their first matchup took place way back in 2015. Rivera will be looking to pickup his second consecutive win tomorrow night.

Rivera has only lost three fights inside the UFC. Those losses came against Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling, and Marlon Moraes. Needless to say, whenever Rivera has been bested inside the octagon, it’s only been against the best.

Pedro Munhoz will have his chance at redemption tomorrow night. However, it’s not just going to be redemption from his first matchup with Rivera. Munhoz will also be looking for redemption after his last loss which was by a razor thin split decision.

Pedro Munhoz has some very solid wins which have made him a top contender. Most notably his knockout win over former UFC champion, Cody Garbrandt. Munhoz is much improved from the first fight, but are his improvements enough?

UFC Vegas 20 Prediction

This is such a fun matchup and a big one for the bantamweight division. These two are ranked eighth and ninth in the UFC’s bantamweight division and whoever wins is likely to get someone in the top five in their next fight.

With Jimmie Rivera, things that stick out in this matchup are his defensive wrestling and his good boxing. Rivera is a very good wrestler, but his boxing to me is where he shines in the octagon. He also should have the strength advantage tomorrow night in the grappling.

Now when it comes to power shots, you have to favor Pedro Munhoz. I’ve been very impressed with the improved striking of Munhoz and his ability to mix things up inside the octagon. These two are so evenly matched that it’s really tough to pick a winner.

One weapon I want to watch for at UFC Vegas 20 is the leg kicks of Munhoz. If he can work those early, I believe he can get the decision. However, if he lets Rivera get too comfortable, I think the fight is there for Rivera to take. Expect another razor close decision and I’m going to go with Munhoz to get redemption here.

Prediction: Pedro Munhoz by Split Decision

UFC Vegas 20 Preview: Jairzinho Rozenstruik – Ciryl Gane

Tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 20, the heavyweights will once again take the center stage. In the main event of the evening, we will see a clash of strikers as Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-1) takes on the undefeated prospect, Ciryl Gane (7-0).

Both men will make the walk tomorrow ranked inside of the top seven of the UFC‘s heavyweight division. For Ciryl Gane, this fight marks a big step up in competition. Gane will make his fifth UFC appearance and so far it’s been flawless.

In his last fight, Gane was able to stop former champion, Junior Dos Santos. Prior to that, he’s had impressive victories over Raphael Pessoa, Don’Tale Mayes, and Tanner Boser. While known for his striking background, it’s been Gane’s overall MMA game that has impressed me so far.

That said, he has a very tall mountain to climb at UFC Vegas 20. Entering 2020, there was a lot of buzz behind “Bigi Boy” Jairzinho Rozenstruik. That buzz was completely warranted when you considered what Rozenstruik had done in the division.

Rozenstruik made his debut with the promotion back in 2019. During 2019. Rozenstruik had four knockout victories including a last second knockout over Alistair Overeem. For his efforts, the UFC gave him Francis Ngannou.

That is where things went off the tracks a bit. Rozenstruik was blitzed by Ngannou and got knocked out in 20 seconds for his first professional loss. However, he bounced back nicely at UFC 252 with a knockout win over Junior Dos Santos.

UFC Vegas 20 Prediction

I am both incredibly excited for as well as intrigued by this heavyweight matchup. Both men have professional striking backgrounds, but they use their striking in such different ways. Rozenstruik is very calculated and powerful when he strikes. Nothing seems incredibly urgent.

Gane is someone who moves like a man much lighter than he actually is. While he doesn’t have the power of Rozenstruik, Gane has great speed and has the ability to get in and out of range before the big shots land.

One thing I really like about Ciryl Gane is his ability to mix it up. We’ve seen him go for and land takedowns in the UFC. His first two wins with the promotion were by submission. His overall game seems much more advanced to me than Rozenstruik’s.

Again, Rozenstruik is going to have the power advantage. We’ve seen him behind in fights and score a late knockout before. However, I think that’s going to be his only way of winning this one. I’m buying into the Gane hype and I believe he gets it done tomorrow. It’ll either be a submission or decision at UFC Vegas 20.

Prediction: Ciryl Gane by decision