92°F
weather icon Clear

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 CoveringTheCage.com and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
Contender Series fighters react to being signed to the UFC
After making history as the first batch of winners to all earn contracts following their performances at Dana White's Contender Series, the fighters react to making it to the UFC.
Dana White signs all five winners at Contender Series
For the first time in the three-season history of Dana White's Contender Series, every winning fighter earned a UFC contract. Maki Pitolo, Joe Solecki, Antonio Trocoli, Hunter Azure and Jonathan Pearce impressed the UFC brass and were awarded contracts by the UFC president.
Jones says he was confident he secured a win over Santos at UFC 239 - Video
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones continued his reign by taking a split decision victory over Thiago Santos at UFC 239. He discusses the close call and entertains the idea of a trilogy bout with Daniel Cormier. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 recap: Jones and Nunes retain their titles - VIDEO
Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes both retained their titles at UFC 239. Jones took a decision over Thiago Santos in the main event and Nunes scored a first-round knockout of Holly Holm. Jorge Masvidal also made promotional history on July 6 by scoring a 5-second knockout over Ben Askren. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Amanda Nunes on her win over Holly Holm at UFC 239 - Video
Amanda Nunes talks about continuing her reign as a two-division champion in the UFC after defeating Holly Holm with a head kick in the first round of their title bout at UFC 239. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239: Masvidal makes UFC history with 5-second knockout - Video
Jorge Masvidal discusses his history-making knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239 and makes his case for a shot at the welterweight title next. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fighters at UFC 239 react to the 7.1 earthquake - Video
Fighters at UFC 239 talk about what they experienced when the 7.1 earthquake was felt in Las Vegas on Friday night. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 Ceremonial Weigh-in Staredowns - Video
All fighters competing at UFC 239 on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena faced off against each other one last time before their bouts take place. In the main event, Jon Jones will put his light heavyweight belt on the line against Thiago Santos. In the co-main event, Amanda Nunes will look to continue her reign as the women's bantamweight champion when she takes on Holly Holm.
UFC 239: Jon Jones says he wants to make a statement - VIDEO
Prior to UFC 239, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones says he's trying to challenge himself, set his own records to establish his legacy and explains how he's become comfortable with where he is in his career. He will put his title on the line in the main event against Thiago Santos. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 Official Weigh-in Results
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 239 on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena made weight at the official weigh-in at the New York-New York hotel-casino on Friday. The main event features UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones putting his belt on the line against Thiago Santos. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 Preview: Jones vs. Santos
Prior to UFC 239, the Review-Journal's Adam Hill and Heidi Fang break down the main event between Jon Jones and Thiago Santos for the light heavyweight title, the co-main championship tilt between Holly Holm and reigning bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes, and preview a feature bout between Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 media day: Masvidal says he has faced tougher competition than Askren
Ahead of facing rising UFC welterweight Ben Askren, promotional veteran Jorge Masvidal says he's faced tougher opponents in the past. Askren says don't be shocked by his approach to the fight at UFC 239 on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 open workouts: Jones thanks fans for support through his dark times
At UFC 239 open workouts, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones thanked fans for their support during his "controversial moments" and says he wants to be more active through 2020. His challenger Thiago Santos says he will "shock the world" on July 6 and be the new division champion. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 open workouts: Holm wants to shock her naysayers
Holly Holm will look to reclaim the UFC women's bantamweight title when she faces two-division champion Amanda Nunes in the co-main event of UFC 239 at the T-Mobile Arena on July 6. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
White: I'm looking for different things on this show - VIDEO
UFC president Dana White spoke with media following the second episode of the third season of his show "Dana White's Contender Series". He explained why he signed the two fighters he did after their performances and discussed the heat he's taking for not signing Brendan Loughnane last week. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC's Francis Ngannou says he never doubted himself after losses - Video
UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou will face Junior dos Santos at UFC on ESPN 3 in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 29 in a bout that could determine the next title contender. After losing in a title bout to Stipe Miocic in 2018, Ngannou says he never doubted himself. He also talks about meeting former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dana White on Contender Series contracts: "I'm looking for killers." - Video
On opening night at the UFC's newest facility, the UFC Apex, the promotion signed Punahele Soriano and Yorgan De Castro to contracts after their performances on Dana White's Contender Series. UFC president Dana White explains why he signed the fighters he did. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC Apex is the promotion's newest cutting-edge facility - VIDEO
The UFC Apex will officially open as Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series kicks off on June 19. Here's a look at what the promotion's newest facility in Las Vegas has to offer. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC President Dana White on the UFC Apex, ESPN deal, when Conor McGregor could return and more - Video
UFC President Dana White gave the Review-Journal an exclusive interview where he spoke about the promotion's new facility, the UFC Apex, their new deal with ESPN, when Conor McGregor may return to the octagon and more. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Shevchenko says defending the UFC flyweight belt is her number one challenge - Video
UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko claimed the vacant title when she defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 last December. She will put the belt on the line for the first time in Chicago, Ill., when she faces Jessica Eye at UFC 238 on June 8. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC title contender Jessica Eye says her move to Las Vegas gives her an edge - Video
Ohio native Jessica Eye says she moved to Las Vegas to get an edge in performance ahead of facing UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 238 in Chicago, Ill., on June 8. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
UFC 239 recap — RJ ringside podcast

There have now been a few days to digest the performances of Amanda Nunes and Jon Jones as two of the greatest fighters in UFC history defended their belts at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.

 
UFC 239: Jon Jones escapes Las Vegas with belt

The light heavyweight champion was unable to take control of his main event bout against Thiago Santos, but earned the favor of two of the three judges to earn a split decision.

 
UFC 239: Amanda Nunes turns the tables on Holly Holm

Nunes knocked out Holly Holm with a similar technique to the one that led to Holm’s greatest triumph in the cage on the same card Jorge Masvidal records the fastest knockout in UFC history

 
Preview and picks for UFC 239 in Las Vegas

A breakdown of the fights on the main card of UFC 239 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena, with picks from the Review-Journal’s Adam Hill and Heidi Fang.