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UFC Fight Night 148: Thompson vs. Pettis - Predictions and Picks

  • The UFC returns to Nashville this weekend with a hell of a headliner, as Stephen Thompson takes on Anthony Pettis. But who will win?
Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 22:10 IST

#6 Maycee Barber vs. JJ Aldrich

Maycee Barber is aiming to become the youngest champion in UFC history
Maycee Barber is aiming to become the youngest champion in UFC history

This Flyweight fight should be pretty exciting to watch if Maycee Barber’s UFC debut is anything to go by. ‘The Future’ wrecked Hannah Cifers with some brutal elbows in that fight, stopping her midway through the second round, and looked every bit the hot prospect. At 20 years old it’s clearly best for the UFC to bring her along slowly – but Barber may have different ideas, as she’s already stated that she wants to become the youngest champion in UFC history.

JJ Aldrich is a step up in competition from Cifers – she’s 3-1 in the UFC – but I’m not sure she’s got enough to handle Barber here. Her wins inside the Octagon were all pretty dull affairs – her fights with Danielle Taylor and Polyana Viana were painfully bad, with Aldrich simply doing just enough to outstrike two fighters who couldn’t get her to the ground.

When she was grounded, in her fight with Juliana Lima in 2016, she had very little answer for the Brazilian’s strong top game. The difference here is that where Lima simply looked to control Aldrich positionally, Barber will be looking to smash her to pieces with punches and elbows. Judging on her fight with Cifers – and on her appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series – she’s definitely got the skills to do that.

Against a more experienced opponent, I’d worry that Barber’s aggression would get the better of her, but Aldrich only has 3 more fights than the youngster and in all honesty hasn’t shown anything to suggest she’s a truly dangerous opponent for ‘The Future’. For me, this is a chance for Barber to step up in competition while avoiding being thrown to the wolves of the division, and I think she’ll win in style.

The Pick: Barber via second round TKO

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Published 19 Mar 2019, 03:02 IST
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