Two Featherweights headline this weekend’s UFC Vegas 29 card in a five-round main event barn burner.
Dan ‘50K’ Ige takes on Chan Sung Jung ‘The Korean Zombie’. Ige is currently ranked no. 8 in the UFC Featherweight division, while The Zombie is ranked no. 4.
Along with the main event the UFC Vegas 29 card features an exciting heavyweight bout between Russian UFC veteran Aleksei Oleinik taking on up-and-comer Sergey Spivak, as well as a Bantamweight bout between the first man to beat Sean O’Malley, Marlon Vera, and Davey Grant.
Let’s dive into the fights and predict a winner based on the knowledge we have.
UFC VEGAS 29 MAIN CARD PREDICTIONS
The UFC Vegas 29 card has 6 fights scheduled for the main card:
- Featherweight bout (145 lbs): Chan Sung Jung vs. Dan Ige
- Heavyweight bout (265 lbs): Aleksei Oleinik vs. Sergey Spivak
- Welterweight bout (170 lbs): Tim Means vs. Danny Roberts
- Bantamweight bout (135 lbs): Marlon Vera vs. Davey Grant
- Middleweight bout (185 lbs): Wellington Turman vs. Bruno Silva
- Welterweight bout (170 lbs): Matt Brown vs. Dhiego Lima
The Korean Zombie vs. Dan Ige Prediction
Dan Ige takes on Chan Sung Jung ‘The Korean Zombie’, in the main event of UFC Vegas 29.
Dan '50K' Ige
- Height: 5’7’’
- Weight: 145 lbs
- Reach: 71’’
- Stance: Orthodox
- DOB: Aug 6, 1991
- Average strikes landed per minute: 3.95
- Striking accuracy: 46%
- Average strikes absorbed per minute: 3.36
- Striking defense: 58%
- Average takedowns completed in a three-round fight: 1.68
- Takedown accuracy: 27%
- Takedown defense: 59%
- Average submissions attempted in a three-round fight: 0.5
Chan Sung Jung 'The Korean Zombie'
- Height: 5’7’’
- Weight: 145 lbs
- Reach: 72’’
- Stance: Orthodox
- DOB: Mar 17, 1987
- Average strikes landed per minute: 4.15
- Striking accuracy: 41%
- Average strikes absorbed per minute: 4.01
- Striking defense: 56%
- Average takedowns completed in a three-round fight: 0.62
- Takedown accuracy: 41%
- Takedown defense: 75%
- Average submissions attempted in a three-round fight: 0.5
Ige’s last fight ended rather favourably for ‘50K’, as he managed to knock out Gavin Tucker in just 22 seconds. Ige is 5’7’’ with a reach of 71’’. He lands 4 strikes every minute on average, and knows his way around the grappling department as well, scoring at least one takedown in every but one of his UFC outings.
Chan Sung Jung, also known as ‘The Korean Zombie’, is 6-3 in the UFC, and comes into this fight on a loss to the no. 2 UFC Featherweight contender, Brian Ortega.
The Zombie is a hard-hitting brawler that dishes out as much as he absorbs on average, landing about 4 strikes and absorbing the same per minute.
Jung prefers to keep a fight standing, backed up by the fact that he’s only gotten takedowns in 2 of his 9 fights for the UFC.
Jung has a reach of 72’’ and is equal in height to his opponent.
You know the matchmakers have done a great job when you have fights like this where it's hard to pinpoint the ‘factor X’ that will dictate who the winner will be. Nevertheless, Ige seems to be the more consistent fighter of the two. I love watching the Zombie fight, but he is just a guy who tends to only win a few in a row before running into a loss (he has never been on a win streak longer than 3 fights in the UFC). He even loses the fights in which he is the favorite, most recently against Brian Ortega. I don’t think he really showed up in that fight.
Ige has definitely faced lower competition in terms of skill, but he consistently gets the job done. He even wins fights that he loses (the Barboza win was controversial) and that's not a knock on the guy. He just shows something the judges like. I think consistency is the factor-X in this fight. Also, Ige tends to be a bit more technical when he strikes. He doesn’t throw himself in the fire like Jung.
The Zombie is tough though, and let’s not forget that this is a Featherweight fight where fights go the distance 50% of the time.
Ige outworks The Zombie and continues his ascent up the UFC Featherweight rankings.
Prediction: Dan Ige def. Chan Sung Jung via decision.
Dan ‘50K’ Ige always brings fireworks to the octagon and more are expected on Saturday versus "The Korean Zombie." (AP)
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Sergey Spivak Prediction
Aging veteran Aleksei Oleinik, also known as ‘The Boa Constrictor’ returns to the UFC octagon on June 19th, to take on up-and-comer Sergey Spivak in the UFC Vegas 29 Heavyweight co-main event bout.
Spivak is 3-2 in the UFC, riding in a two-fight win streak coming into this fight. He most recently knocked out Jared Vanderaa in February.
Spivak is 6’3’’ with a reach of 78’’, and usually weighs in around the 260 lbs mark. He is 25 years old.
Oleinik has all the experience in the world. With 73 combined professional MMA fights, the 43-year old ‘Boa Constrictor’ is a true legend of the sport. Aleksei is 8-6 in the UFC, with 7 wins coming by way of finish. Oleinik has lost his last two and is looking to get back in the win column on June 19th.
The factor-X in this matchup is obviously the age gap. At 26-years old, Spivak is 17 years younger than Oleinik. Just going by that statistic alone, Spivak has a 75% chance of winning this fight.
Oleinik is a savvy vet, but as of late he hasn’t been able to get it done against younger contenders. I think his submission skills are impeccable, but the age gap is just too wide here.
Spivak stuffs the takedown attempts and finishes the veteran early.
Prediction: Sergey Spivak def. Aleksei Oleinik via first-round knockout.
Marlon Vera vs. Davey Grant 2 Prediction
For the third fight on the main card of UFC Vegas 29, we head to the Bantamweight division where ‘Chito’ Marlon Vera takes on ‘Dangerous’ Davey Grant. This is the second time these two face each other. The first fight was in 2016, where Grant walked away victorious with a decision win over 'Chito'. Vera is coming off a loss to former UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo, meanwhile Grant is riding on a three-fight win streak. Neither fighter has ever been finished with strikes.
Vera is currently ranked no. 15 in the UFC Bantamweight division. Grant is unranked.
After being the first man to defeat Sean O’Malley, it seemed like his title shot would be inevitable. However, a lacklustre performance against Jose Aldo would demolish his path those plans, and now he is scheduled to fight with Davey Grant.
Davey Grant is coming off an upset victory over Jonathan Martinez, stopping the youngster with a late mid-round KO in the second.
Grant is a well-rounded fighter with good ability in all fields of MMA. However, his kryptonite appears to be a grappler, as he’s been submitted in all four of his career losses.
As it so happens, Marlon Vera is a great grappler, unfortunately for Grant.
Vera has won half of his 16 pro career wins by way of submission, meaning that ‘Chito’ certainly knows how to finish a fight with jiu-jitsu. In the UFC, Vera has amassed three submission victories.
Grant is most likely the better striker in this matchup, though, and Vera isn’t a decorated wrestler that consistently shoots for takedowns. This is good news for Grant, because he will want to keep this fight standing at all costs.
What I don’t like about Davey is that he has been floored in 6 of his 7 total UFC outings, either with a takedown or a punch - and the guy just can’t afford to end up on his back against Vera.
Marlon has great submissions, and he actually has a good killer instinct, which he showed against O’Malley.
I don’t like this fight for Grant, due to his inability to remain in his preferred field, which is on the feet. Therefore, I gotta go with Marlon Vera.
Prediction: Marlon Vera def. Davey Grant via submission.
Wellington Turman vs. Bruno Silva Prediction
In the Middleweight division Wellington Turman, 24, takes on UFC debutant Bruno Silva, 31. The bout will serve as the second fight of the UFC Vegas 29 main card. Neither fighter is ranked.
Wellington Turman lost his last fight to Andrew Sanchez by KO, whereas Silva is coming into this fight on a 4-fight knockout win streak.
Personally, I think Turman is too young in his career to take on the big dogs in the UFC, and his lacklustre striking defense backs up that claim. The youngster is tough, but he absorbs more than he lands, and he has too much trouble getting his hand raised against what is considered low level competition in the UFC.
Silva is considerably older than Turman, and has had a few more fights than Turman before making his UFC debut, meaning that he might be more seasoned.
I usually don’t like fighters that make their UFC debuts at such a young age, and Turman’s first amateur MMA fight was in 2014, meaning that he’s only been fighting for 7 years. Compare that to his opponent, Bruno Silva, who has been fighting since 2010 and has had more fights overall since.
The age and inexperience is making me lean toward Bruno Silva, but the two-and-a-half year layoff for Silva isn’t exactly a plus. Especially when you’re moving up in level of competition and making your UFC debut.
The layoff for Silva was due to a USADA ban put in place after Silva tested positive for a prohibited substance. Silva claims he is innocent. Regardless, the lengthy layoff will probably make the 31-year old Brazilian a bit rusty once he enters the cage on Saturday.
I’m rambling on here, let’s predict the winner. Unbeknownst to most, Silva has actually faced Wellington before in a grappling contest, where Silva walked away victorious. I think that mental edge for Silva will be the deciding factor here.
Let’s go with the Brazliian KO artist to win his debut in a big way this Saturday.
Prediction: Bruno Silva def. Wellington Turman via first-round KO.
Matt Brown vs. Dhiego Lima Prediction
Kicking off the UFC Vegas 29 main card is UFC legend Matt Brown taking on Welterweight contender Dhiego Lima.
Matt Brown is 1-2 in his last 3, while Lima is 2-1.
Brown last fought and came up short against fellow UFC legend Carlos Condit, in a closely-contested bout.
Again we have a fight with a big age difference, Lima, 32, being 8-years younger than 40-year old Matt Brown.
On the one hand, I want to say that 40-year old fighters rarely do well in the octagon against guys in their early thirties, yet Lima just hasn’t been able to get it done consistently in the UFC octagon. With a 4-6 UFC record, Lima only wins 40% of the time he steps in the UFC cage, which I think means a lot in this bout.
Brown is old, sure, but the guy still works hard, and we know what we can expect from him in the cage. Brown is 14-12 in the UFC.
All things aside, I think Lima’s departure from the UFC is a matter of how many more losses he has to endure until someone pulls the plug on his career. In his four UFC victories, two have been by split-decision. The guy just isn’t good enough. Brown is old, but he can still get the win against a guy like Lima.
The well-rounded veteran outworks the youngster with takedowns and a high pace.
Prediction: Matt Brown def. Dhiego Lima by decision.
Odds & Bouts Subject to Change