Preview and picks for UFC Fight Night 133

A breakdown of the fights on the main card of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 133 card at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, with picks from the Review-Journal’s Adam Hill and Heidi Fang:

Junior dos Santos (18-5) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (16-1-1)

Class: Heavyweight

Line: Dos Santos -175

Storyline: Dos Santos, the former heavyweight champion, returns after a year away from the cage as he served a USADA suspension for a positive drug test he later successfully argued was the result of a tainted supplement. His last time in action was a first-round knockout loss to Stipe Miocic in a May 2017 title bout. Ivanov makes his UFC debut in a headlining bout with some fanfare. The former World Series of Fighting champion has won five straight fights since his only career loss to top UFC contender Alexander Volkov on a Bellator card in 2014. This is a massive step up in competition for Ivanov, who hasn’t fought anyone on that level since the loss. The former world sambo champ has the tools necessary to have success at the highest levels, so this will be a great test. Dos Santos is still more than capable of big performances, but hasn’t been the same fighter on a consistent basis since a brutal loss to Cain Velasquez.

Hill’s Pick: Ivanov by second-round submission

Fang’s Pick: Dos Santos by third-round knockout


Sage Northcutt (11-2) vs. Zak Ottow (19-5, 1 No Contest)

Class: Welterweight

Line: Northcutt -145

Storyline: Northcutt has tried to move up to welterweight twice in his UFC career. It resulted in his only two losses. He is 5-0 as a lightweight, yet elected to give it another shot at 170 pounds for this fight as he continues to grow into his body. Despite nearly three years in the UFC, he is still just 22 years old. Northcutt, the living and breathing love child of sunshine and lollipops, is an athletic freak. He has moved around to several gyms as he tries to soak up as much knowledge as possible, settling at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif., for this camp. Ottow has alternated wins and losses over the five fights since joining the UFC. He will look for his first two-fight winning streak here as he comes off a knockout of Mike Pyle in March. His toughness and experience should pose another interesting test for Northcutt as he seeks his first win at welterweight in the UFC.

Hill’s Pick: Northcutt by decision

Fang’s Pick: Northcutt by first-round knockout


Dennis Bermudez (17-8) vs. Rick Glenn (20-5-1)

Class: Featherweight

Line: Bermudez -225

Storyline: Bermudez may need a win more than any other fighter on the card as he comes in on a three-fight losing streak. Neither fighter is afraid of a brawl, so this matchup has the potential to be very entertaining. Bermudez, however, may choose to go more conservative considering his predicament. It may actually serve him well. He is effective with low kicks and has the ability to take down opponents when the situation calls for it. Particularly against a taller opponent like Glenn, Bermudez may look to use the kicks to get inside and then shoot. Glenn has been susceptible to takedowns and has a tendency to get stuck on his back. If Glenn can fight from the outside or stuff shots and work into the clinch, he’ll be in good shape.

Hill’s Pick: Bermudez by decision

Fang’s Pick: Glenn by decision


Randy Brown (10-2) vs. Niko Price (11-1, 1 No Contest)

Class: Welterweight

Line: Brown -130

Storyline: Price has come out victorious four of the five times he has stepped into the UFC octagon, though one win was vacated as a result of a positive marijuana test. Only one of his 11 victories has gone the distance as he has recorded seven knockouts and three submissions. Brown, who was signed to the organization through his appearance on “Lookin’ for a Fight,” has also found success as he has gone 4-2 in six appearances. One of the welterweights can take a huge step forward in this matchup.

Hill’s Pick: Price by decision

Fang’s Pick: Brown by second-round knockout


Myles Jury (17-2) vs. Chad Mendes (17-4)

Class: Featherweight

Line: Mendes -140

Storyline: Mendes was knocked out by Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar in the last half of 2015. He hasn’t fought since. Mendes was suspended two years by USADA for a violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy and finally returns to action more than 30 months after his last competition. He’s a very strong wrestler who was able to add knockout power to his game. He actually matches up pretty well with Jury, as well. Mendes should be able to pressure Jury and stay in close where he can stifle Jury’s ability to strike at a range where he’s comfortable. The time off may be the biggest obstacle for Mendes to overcome. It’s possible he will either be rusty or too excited early in the fight. That’s where Jury may be able to take advantage. It could be a long night if he lets Mendes get comfortable again.

Hill’s Pick: Jury by decision

Fang’s Pick: Mendes by decision


Cat Zingano (9-3) vs. Marion Reneau (9-2-1)

Class: Women’s bantamweight

Line: Reneau -130

Storyline: Zingano was undefeated and on the verge of stardom in early 2015 when she was getting ready to step in the cage and fight Ronda Rousey for the UFC women’s bantamweight title. A demoralizing 14-second defeat followed by a series of injuries and back-to-back decision losses has brought her to this pivotal moment in her career against Reneau, who is hoping to secure a title shot at 41 years old with a third-straight win. Zingano has endured personal tragedy and injuries in addition to the three setbacks in the cage. Her first win since 2014 would be a massive achievement. Her explosive power make her a very live underdog in a bout where both have excellent grappling skills. Reneau would be on a four-fight winning streak if not for a disappointing draw against Bethe Correia. She knows the window may be closing on her opportunity to win a UFC belt.

Hill’s Pick: Zingano by second-round submission

Fang’s Pick: Zingano by decision

More MMA: Follow MMA and UFC coverage at and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Covering The Cage Videos
UFC 235 press conference highlights
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman have a heated exchange and Ben Askren enjoys his time on the stage by interacting with UFC president Dana White.
UFC president Dana White talks UFC 235 and more
UFC president Dana White joined Heidi Fang and Adam Hill to discuss the UFC 235 card set for Las Vegas on Mar. 2 at the T-Mobile Arena and also spoke on Colby Covington and Khabib Nurmagomedov's and Conor McGregor's disciplinary measures given by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Full version available on Facebook at Review-Journal Sports
Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman Have Heated Exchange At UFC 235 Presser - VIDEO
UFC 235 opened with Jon Jones returning after his meeting at the Nevada Athletic commission, Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman arguing on stage and Ben Askren making his UFC debut.
NAC Chairman says it's time to tone down MMA smack talk ahead of fights
After announcing the fines and suspensions given to Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for their involvement in a melee at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman Anthony Marnell said it may be time to address "mouthy fighters" smack talk and conduct leading up to a fight.
Jones, NAC Chairman issue statements following Jones' licensing approval for UFC 235
The Nevada Athletic Commission issued UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones a conditional one-fight license to compete at UFC 235 taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on Mar. 2. Jones had to reapply for a license in Nevada after failing a drug test which led to UFC 232 being moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, California.
UFC donates $240,000 to Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
UFC presents Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada with $240,000 donation and promises to grant more wishes as the partnership goes forward.
Benavidez on his new contract, future of the UFC flyweight division
UFC flyweight Joseph Benavidez, who is booked to fight Dustin Ortiz at UFC Fight Night 143 on ESPN Plus, discusses his role as an alternate for the title fight between T.J. Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo, his new 4-fight contract and the future of the 125-pound division.
Covering the Cage: Jones, Nunes win at UFC 232
Amanda Nunes defeats Cyborg in the women's featherweight division and Jon Jones returns to UFC as the light heavyweight champion. Covering the Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill recap the UFC 232 main and co main events.
Las Vegas MMA fighter Joey Ruquet joins Copa Combate tournament
When Combate Americas' Copa Combate tournament takes place on Dec. 7, Las Vegas-based MMA fighter Joey Ruquet will step in for Gaston Reyno and compete for the $100,000 prize money in the 8-man, one night featherweight tournament.
Espino, Chiasson claim UFC contracts with wins at TUF 28 Finale
Juan Espino was crowned as the TUF heavyweight winner when he submitted Justin Frazier at the finale in Las Vegas and Macy Chiasson submitted Pannie Kianzad to become the TUF 28 women's featherweight winner.
Kamaru Usman excited for what's next after TUF 28 win
After taking a win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman says he can be ready for anything that comes next or a quick turnaround if it gets him closer to a title shot.
Dana White on what's next for Usman and the flyweight division
UFC president Dana White spoke with media after the TUF 28 Finale to discuss what's next for the flyweight division and the main event winner, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos and Usman TUF 28 media day
Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman talk about facing each other at the TUF 28 Finale at a media day leading up to the Nov. 30 contest. Their welterweight bout will serve as the main event.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing