This weekend sees the world’s premier MMA promotion head to Singapore for UFC 275, the first pay-per-view to come from the Asian country.
UFC 275 features two major title bouts at the top of the card, as well as a rematch of one of the promotion’s all-time greatest brawls, making it a must-see for all fans.
With plenty on the line, then, this is absolutely a show that cannot be missed, and it could turn out to be one of the best of 2022.
Here are the predicted outcomes for UFC 275: Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka.
#1. UFC light heavyweight title: Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka
In many ways, this is one of the most unlikely title fights in UFC history. Nobody really expected Glover Teixeira, who turned 42 years old last October, to dethrone Jan Blachowicz when they faced off for the light heavyweight title. Instead, the Brazilian produced a tremendous showing to choke the champion out, claiming the gold in the process.
However, whether Teixeira’s title reign can continue past this point is a major question mark. Sure, challenger Jiri Prochazka has only had two bouts inside the octagon to date, but both fights saw him dispatch his opponents with ruthless striking power.
When you consider that the fighters ‘Denisa’ has beaten were hardly scrubs, a pair of former title challengers in Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes, then it’s safe to say that the Czech native is a very dangerous fighter indeed.
Essentially, while Teixeira carries a heavy hand in his own right and has scored knockouts over the likes of Ryan Bader and Rashad Evans during his UFC career, this fight would be uniquely risky should he choose to keep it standing.
Not only does Prochazka appear to move much faster than the Brazilian, but Teixeira’s chin is no longer what it once was. So, if ‘Denisa’ can land with a big shot, he’s very likely to be able to put the veteran away.
That means that to win, the champion will need to put Prochazka on the ground. Teixeira is a legitimate world-class grappler, and if he can take the top position then he’s able to take out anyone; just ask Blachowicz, who was thoroughly dominated on the ground.
However, to do that he’ll have to get Prochazka on his back, and given the explosive athleticism possessed by the challenger, that might be pretty tricky, particularly as Teixeira doesn’t necessarily own the best wrestling game in the division.
Overall, Teixeira is a tough, skilled champion, but at the age of 42, he’s likely to start slowing down at any time, and this looks like a bad match for him, at least on paper. Prochazka is probably going to be hungrier, he’s full of confidence, and he knows he can finish anyone.
With that considered, the pick is Prochazka via second-round knockout.
The Pick: Prochazka via second round KO
#2. UFC women's flyweight title: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Taila Santos
It’s always great to see a UFC pay-per-view that features multiple title bouts, but if we’re brutally honest, it’s hard to find much jeopardy in any of Valentina Shevchenko’s flyweight title defenses at this stage.
Simply put, ‘Bullet’ is head and shoulders above all of her competition in this division. Essentially, it’s been that way since she arrived there in 2018. Nobody’s come close to testing her, let alone beating her at 125 pounds.
This bout will be Shevchenko’s seventh title defense, meaning that if she wins, she’ll probably have a fair claim at being the greatest female fighter in UFC history. So will she come out on top again?
The likely answer is yes. Challenger Taila Santos is on a decent run of four wins, and overall, she’s an impressive 19-1. More to the point, her victories have come over legitimate opponents in the form of Molly McCann, Gillian Robertson, Roxanne Modafferi and Joanne Wood.
Unfortunately for the Brazilian, nothing she’s done has given any kind of suggestion that she could come out on top against Shevchenko.
Sure, she’s shown decent skills in all areas, submitting Wood with a slick rear-naked choke and largely outpointing her other three opponents in all areas, but Shevchenko has powerful takedowns, a tight ground game, and has held her own with strikers like Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes.
Perhaps the bigger question should be whether Santos can survive the distance with ‘Bullet’, who has finished three of her last four opponents via KO or TKO. Thus far the Brazilian has only lost once, but given the run Shevchenko is on, it’s hard to imagine her lasting five rounds.
Overall, this is Shevchenko’s fight to lose, and the only imaginable way it could happen is via some kind of fluke. The pick is ‘ Bullet’ via TKO.
The Pick: Shevchenko via second-round TKO
#3. UFC 275: The Main Card
The biggest non-title bout on the main card sees a rematch between former strawweight queens Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Weili Zhang. These two women went to war in early 2020 at UFC 248 and put on what’s widely considered the greatest female fight in MMA history, winging a ludicrous amount of strikes at one another for five rounds until Zhang won a decision.
Jedrzejczyk hasn’t actually fought since, while Zhang ended up losing and failing to regain her title in two bouts with Rose Namajunas. Given that Carla Esparza now holds the title, though, the winner of this one could well have a claim on the next shot, making it a huge fight.
Overall, it’s hard to say who will come out on top here. There was nothing to really separate the two in the first fight, but the edge here may lie with Jedrzejczyk simply because she’s allowed herself to recover from the damage she took in that clash. Therefore, the pick is Jedrzejczyk via close decision.
In a flyweight bout, Rogerio Bontorin faces Manel Kape. Kape, an explosive and talented striker with brutal knockout power, is one of the most hyped prospects in this division right now, but he might have his hands full with Bontorin, who is an excellent grappler.
However, given that the Brazilian has not won a fight since August 2019 and suffered a bad knockout at the hands of Kai Kara-France in early 2021, the edge should lie with Kape here. The pick is ‘Starboy’ via KO.
Finally, Australian prospect Jack Della Maddalena will take on Ramazan Emeev in a welterweight bout. Emeev has more experience here, but based on what we’ve seen from him thus far, he could be up against it in this clash.
The Russian is a solid fighter in all areas, not really possessing any clear weaknesses, but he does lack sheer athleticism and can come across as plodding at times.
That might play into Maddalena’s hands, as judging by his octagon debut this year, the Australian is a wildly explosive striker with violent power in his hands. The pick is Maddalena via KO.
#4: UFC 275: The Prelims
Picks in bold
Middleweight division: Jacob Malkoun vs. Brendan Allen
Featherweight division: Seung Woo Choi vs. Joshua Culibao
Lightweight division: Steve Garcia vs. Hayisaer Maheshate
Welterweight division: Jake Matthews vs. Andre Fialho
Bantamweight division: Kang Kyung Ho vs. Danaa Batgerel
Women's strawweight division: Liang Na vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez
Women's featherweight division: Ramona Pascual vs. Joselyne Edwards