A breakdown of the fights on the main card of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 104 card at Toyota Center in Houston with picks from the Review-Journal’s Adam Hill and Heidi Fang:
DENNIS BERMUDEZ (17-5) vs. CHAN SUNG JUNG (13-4)
Line: Bermudez -200
Storyline: “The Korean Zombie” is back. Jung had his promising career interrupted when he had to return home to serve his mandatory military requirement in South Korea. His last fight, more than three years ago, was a title fight loss to then-champion Jose Aldo. Jung is a fan favorite for his thrilling style and ridiculous chin. The biggest question here will be just how rusty Jung will be when the bell rings. While he was able to train during his time away, it’s just not the same as getting in actual rounds and Bermudez is a tough challenge even for someone not facing such questions. Bermudez will come forward and give Jung the type of fight he prefers, which almost guarantees this will be fun to watch. While Jung loves wild exchanges, Bermudez must also be aware of Jung’s excellent submission skills if the fight does go to the mat. Bermudez may want to make Jung work in the early rounds to test the cardio after such an extended break.
Hill’s Pick: Bermudez by decision
Fang’s Pick: Bermudez by decision
ALEXA GRASSO (9-0) vs. FELICE HERRIG (11-6)
Class: Women’s strawweight
Line: Grasso -320
Storyline: Grasso is an outstanding young prospect with skill and power in her striking game. Herrig is a pioneer in the sport and her ability goes beyond just her solid social media presence. She has a muay Thai background and has proven her worth on the ground with several submission victories. Herrig just isn’t a dynamic enough striker to compete with Grasso at this point and Grasso should also have an endurance edge so Herrig can’t rely on wearing her down. Herrig’s best bet is probably on the mat, but Grasso won’t go down easy. This should be another showcase bout for the young striker.
Hill’s Pick: Grasso by second-round knockout
Fang’s Pick: Grasso by decision
ABEL TRUJILLO (15-6, 1 No Contest) vs. JAMES VICK (9-1)
Line: Vick -125
Storyline: Trujillo has all kinds of power and he is actually starting to learn how to harness it a bit. Earlier in his UFC career, he would just swing wildly in random bursts looking for a knockout. He still falls into that occasionally, but Trujillo is starting to add some patience to his attack. Vick is one of the tallest fighters in the division and he takes advantage of that with an awkward boxing style that utilizes his jab to control distance and keep his opponents off balance. That could really frustrate Trujillo if he falls into his old habits. Trujillo would certainly like to find a way to end this one early and not let Vick settle into the fight.
Hill’s Pick: Trujillo by first-round knockout
Fang’s Pick: Vick by third-round decision
OVINCE SAINT PREUX (19-9) vs. VOLKAN OEZDEMIR (12-1)
Class: Light heavyweight
Line: Saint Preux -335
Storyline: Oezdemir was called in as a late-replacement and draws a tough task for his UFC debut. Saint Preux is a former football player at Tennessee who makes good use of his athleticism, often tackling opponents as much as taking them down. Once on the mat, he is relentless with his ground-and-pound and can be smothering with his control of position. Oezdemir has finished 10 fights in the first round. He has all kinds of power, but it remains to be seen if it can translate to the highest levels. It’s probably worth a wager to find out. There is a ton of value here on a guy with that kind of finishing ability. Still, Oezdemir probably hasn’t run into many fighters like Saint Preux on the regional circuit. This could be a tough matchup if the nerves get to him.
Hill’s Pick: Saint Preux by decision
Fang’s Pick: Saint Preux by third-round knockout
ANTHONY HAMILTON (15-6) vs. MARCEL FORTUNA (8-1)
Line: Hamilton -210
Storyline: Fortuna is an outstanding grappler with some impressive submission wins to his credit on the regional circuit. He could put Hamilton in some really bad positions on the ground here, which makes him a very intriguing underdog play. The problem is he just isn’t big enough to be a heavyweight. Fortuna tipped the scales at 210 on Friday, nearly 50 pounds smaller than Hamilton (258). Fortuna’s future is obviously at light heavyweight. A win over Hamilton would be a real feather in his cap and Hamilton is far from a world beater so it’s a possibility. It’s just tough to pick someone at such a massive size disadvantage.
Hill’s Pick: Hamilton by second-round knockout
Fang’s Pick: Hamilton by second-round knockout
JESSICA ANDRADE (15-5) vs. ANGELA HILL (6-2)
Class: Women’s strawweight
Line: Andrade -525
Storyline: Andrade has been phenomenal since dropping down to strawweight. She destroyed both Jessica Penne and Joanne Calderwood. Hill struggled during her first run in the UFC, losing both of her fights after appearing on “The Ultimate Fighter.” Hill went to Invicta and won four straight fights, winning the organization’s title and defending it once before getting the call to return to the UFC. Hill is greatly improving and should be in the UFC to stay this time, but Andrade is on a tear. She could possibly earn a title shot with an impressive victory here and there is little reason to believe that won’t happen.
Hill’s Pick: Andrade by second-round knockout
Fang’s Pick: Hill by decision