Welcome, fight fans, to another thrilling evening of Ultimate Fighting Championship action! Taking center stage this Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, is an epic Lightweight clash between the formidable Beneil Dariush and the relentless Arman Tsarukyan. This main event is a chess match of strategy and skill, guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat.
But that’s not all. UFC Austin has rounded up an impressive undercard featuring Rob Font’s warm welcome to Deiveson Figueiredo into the Bantamweight division. We’ll also be witnessing the return of Kelvin Gastelum to the Welterweight ring as he squares off with Sean Brady.
Strap in, folks—it will be a night of high-octane, world-class MMA action. So, without further ado, let’s dive into our prelims undercard predictions and analysis.
Steve Garcia vs. Melquizael Costa
Garcia, famously known as “Mean Machine,” is stepping into the octagon with an impressive record, showcasing his tenacity and knockout power. On the other hand, we have Costa, or “Melk,” who is a technical marvel inside the cage despite being slightly shorter and having a smaller reach. Garcia’s aggressive approach might prove a double-edged sword, as Costa is known to feed off his opponent’s aggression and counter with precision.
While Garcia’s knockout power cannot be underestimated, Costa’s durability and technical superiority make him a formidable opponent. It’s a classic clash of raw power against technical finesse. This match-up promises a fireworks display, sure to captivate the fans.
Rodolfo Bellato vs. Ihor Potieria (20-4)
Bellato, coming off an impressive run in the LFA, is all set to take on Potieria, who aims to bounce back from a couple of knockout losses in the Octagon. Bellato’s diverse skill set, proficiency in knockouts and submissions, and superior cardio make him a tough contender. Conversely, Potieria, known as the “Duelist,” is no stranger to early finishes, with most of his victories coming in the first round. However, he faces a significant threat in Bellato’s grappling skills and striking game, which could potentially exploit Potieria’s takedown defense.
One cannot disregard Potieria’s one-shot power, but Bellato has more tools and the stamina to push Potieria to his limits. The sports betting odds seem to be in Bellato’s favor, with the prospect of him wearing down Potieria before unleashing a violent finish. However, in the world of MMA, one punch can change everything. This matchup will keep sports betting enthusiasts guessing, adding to the thrill of this exciting fight night.
Wellington Turman vs. Jared Gooden
Next, we have Wellington Turman squaring off against Jared Gooden in what promises to be a clash of wills and skills. Turman, known as “The Prodigy,” has shown a remarkable ability to bounce back from defeat, winning against Sam Alvey and Misha Cirkunov following a 1-3 slump. However, his UFC Welterweight debut didn’t go as planned, with losses to Andre Petroski and Randy Brown. Despite being identical in height to Gooden, Turman has to overcome a five-inch reach disadvantage.
On the other side of the Octagon, we have Jared Gooden, who is looking to redeem himself following a shaky return to the UFC after a 1-3 record and issues with weight control. Despite these setbacks, Gooden boasts an impressive record of finishing 18 professional fights inside the distance, of which 11 were knockouts.
While the matchup might seem like a routine culling, there’s more to it. Gooden’s tendency to take hits and struggle with takedowns could prove costly against Turman, who is expected to hold his own on the feet and bank on takedowns for a decisive win. But remember, in the UFC, one well-placed strike can turn the tide. This fight will likely test Gooden’s punching prowess against Turman’s strategic gameplay, offering fans a thrilling spectacle.
Veronica Hardy vs. Jamey-Lyn Horth
Stepping onto the canvas, next are the flyweight women warriors Veronica Hardy and Jamey-Lyn Horth. Hardy returns to the Octagon with renewed vigor following her convincing victory over Juliana Miller after a three-year hiatus. Despite giving up a bit on height and reaching the undefeated Horth, Hardy’s quick footwork and sharpened hands are her standout assets.
On the other hand, Jamey-Lyn Horth is the larger fighter and knows how to use her kicking skills to exploit her height and reach advantages. Horth will try to maintain the distance and inflict damage with her kicks, while Hardy will look to close the gap and bring the fight to the ground. This is a classic matchup of speed versus size, promising to keep fight fans riveted.