Unfortunately for MMA fans, there won’t be a UFC event this upcoming weekend on October 8th. That means the next card will be Grasso vs Araujo the following weekend on October 15th in Vegas.
The bout order will still likely change (probably multiple times), but here is the current card for the event:
UFC Stats and ESPN still haven’t listed very many of the fights for the event on their respective sites, so I haven’t had the chance to dive too deeply into the full card yet.
However, I did want to give some quick hit, early previews for the fights that they do already have listed and available with enough information to have some early thoughts.
Quick Note: Baghdasaryan vs Brito was cancelled due to Melsik Baghdasaryan suffering a broken hand recently while preparing for the fight. No word yet whether Joanderson Brito will be rebooked against a new opponent or not.
Grasso vs Araujo – This will be the first time either of these women have been in a 5-round UFC main event in their respective careers, so it’s hard to say how they will do if the fight past the first three rounds. Both fighters are on a fairly similar level in their careers at the moment, although I think Grasso definitely has more upside moving forward. Neither is particularly known for their finishing ability, with a large number of their recent fights going the distance. Grasso has a positive striking differential, while Araujo’s numbers are in the negative. However, Araujo does have a pretty decent advantage in the takedown numbers to level things out. I really don’t have a hard early lean either way in this one and will probably avoid betting a winner altogether. However, I do have a pretty good feeling this one will make it into the later rounds, so I definitely want to have a look at the odds for those props whenever they are released.
Cirkunov vs Menifield – Cirkunov has been in the midst of an absolutely abysmal stretch recently, having lost three straight fights and six of his last eight overall. Of those six losses, he was stopped in five of them. After his last two fights were at middleweight, Cirkunov is going back up to light heavyweight to face Menifield, who has stopped 11 of the 12 wins in his career with 9 of them by knockout. I don’t think Cirkunov will want to stand and trade in this one, so expect him to try to get this one on the ground quickly. He averages 4.25 takedowns per 15 minutes in the UFC, but Menifield has an 83% takedown defense so far during his time in the UFC. If Cirkunov can get this down on the ground, he will be live for a submission. However, if he has trouble getting it down there, lookout for Menifield to turn out the lights, and possibly sooner than later. I’m leaning pretty comfortably with the Menifield side, as I just can’t trust Cirkunov as badly as he looked recently and coming back up in weight. Once the prop market opens up, I want to see what the odds look like for Menifield by KO.
Vergara vs Taira – Both of these guys are solid prospects that are still early in their UFC careers, however, Taira is the one who stands out for me. He is 11-0 in his career, and unlike some international fighters, he has faced a respectable level of competition to get to where he is now. Taira has 7 first round stops and has stopped 8 of 11 wins overall in his career with 3 KO/ 5 sub. Vergara has the power to stand and trade in this fight and has a solid 80% takedown defense during his limited time in the UFC. That will definitely be tested here against Tiara, as I expect he will try to work this fight to the ground and try to end up as early and often as possible. Vergara has been pretty durable in his career so far; however, he has been subbed once, and seeing another submission loss here wouldn’t be shocking. I expect Taira to win this one fairly easily, either by an early submission or by a pretty comfortable decision on the scorecards.
Assuncao vs Henry – Assuncao is another fighter on this card who has been in a pretty rough spot as of late having lost 4 straight fights and being stopped in 3 of them. Henry only has one fight in the UFC so far, but it was a dominant decision win in his debut where he showed an incredible amount of striking volume by landing 181 strikes in 15 minutes. Assuncao unquestionably has a sizeable advantage in competition level here, however, he has just looked too terrible in his recent fights to believe there is much chance for him to turn it back around at age 40. While Henry isn’t exactly a young prospect himself at 35 years old, that age difference could play a huge role in allowing Henry to pick up the pace and volume to a level that Assuncao will have trouble maintaining as the fight wears on. Henry has 6 knockouts and 8 submissions in his career, and I think there’s a pretty good chance he can add to one of those totals here. As the minutes start to tick away in this one, I have trouble seeing Assuncao keeping pace and with only 38% takedown accuracy against the 83% takedown defense of Henry, he might not have much choice but to stand and trade. I like Henry in this one and definitely want to have a look at the various props for a finish.
With the Baghdasaryan/Brito cancellation, that leaves 12 fights left on the card. I’ll have some early information on the remaining 8 fights once UFC Stats gets them posted and will also post an update if Brito is added back to the card with a new opponent.
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