The UFC makes a stop at the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas for UFC Fight Night 146 airing on ESPN+ Saturday night. The main event takes place in the heavyweight division where Junior dos Santos takes on Derrick Lewis. After losing to Stipe Miocic at UFC 211, dos Santos has put together back-to-back victories. He first took a unanimous decision over Blagoy Ivanov at UFC Fight Night 133 and at UFC Fight Night 142 he finished Tai Tuivasa in the second round. The thirty-five-year-old Brazilian has fifteen finishes in twenty career wins.
Derrick Lewis was on a modest three-fight win streak when he got the call to take on Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight championship at UFC 230. It didn’t go the “Black Beast’s” way that night losing to Cormier in the second round via rear naked choke. Prior to that loss, Lewis looked very impressive with wins over Marcin Tybura, Francis Ngannou, and Alexander Volkov. Of the thirty-four old’s twenty-one career wins, only two made it to the judge’s scorecards.
In the co-main event, Elizeu dos Santos steps into the cage to take on Curtis Millender. After losing his UFC debut to Nicolas Dalby at UFC Fight Night 67, dos Santos has rattled off six straight wins. His most recent victory came at UFC Fight Night 137 where he knocked out Luigi Vendramini in the second round. The Brazilian fighter will make the walk for the twenty-sixth time. In his twenty career wins, sixteen of them ended inside the distance.
Curtis Millender has yet to taste defeat under the UFC banner going 3-0. The American born fighter has won nine of his last ten fights. His most recent win came at UFC 232 where he took a unanimous decision over Siyar Bahadurzada. Eleven of the thirty-one-year-old’s seventeen career wins went the distance.
Also on the main card Tim Means takes on Niko Price in what should be a very exciting fight, Ben Rothwell faces Blagoy Ivanov in a battle of heavyweights, Drew Dober vs.Beneil Dariush, Tim Boetsch takes on Omari Akhmedov and Grant Dawson vs. Julian Erosa.
Note: The predictions in this column do not necessarily mean that I will be betting them. I have changed my mind in the past and gone the other way after conducting more research. For all of my official bets follow me on Twitter @MichaelGrocke.
Derrick Lewis (21-6) vs. Junior dos Santos (20-5) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
Current Odds: dos Santos -200; Lewis +185
Pick: dos Santos by (T)KO
Elizeu dos Santos (20-5) vs. Curtis Millender (17-3) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
Current Odds: Millender -115; dos Santos +105
Pick: Millender by (T)KO
Tim Means (28-10-1) vs. Niko Price (12-2) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
Current Odds: Means -200; Price +185
Pick: Price by Decision
Blagoy Ivanov (16-2) vs. Ben Rothwell (36-10) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
Current Odds: Ivanov -120; Rothwell +110
Pick: Rothwell by (T)KO
Beneil Dariush (15-4-1) vs. Drew Dober (20-8) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
Current Odds: Dariush -180; Dober +160
Pick: Dariush by Submission
Tim Boetsch (21-12) vs. Omari Akhmedov (17-4-1) – Middleweight 180 lbs.
Current Odds: Akhmedov -130; Boetsch +110
Pick: Akhmedov by (T)KO
Grant Dawson (12-1) vs. Julian Erosa (22-6) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
Current Odds: Dawson -165; Erosa +145
Pick: Dawson by (T)KO
Tony Martin (15-4) vs. Sergio Moraes (14-3-1) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
Current Odds: Martin -200; Moraes +180
Pick: Martin by Decision
Marion Reneau (9-4-1) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (11-4) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.
Current Odds: Kunitskaya -170; Reneau +150
Pick: Kunitskaya by Decision
Maurice Greene (6-2) vs. Jeff Hughes (10-1) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
Current Odds: Hughes -215; Greene +190
Pick: Hughes by (T)KO
Louis Smolka (15-5) vs. Matt Schnell (12-4) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.
Current Odds: Smolka -120; Schnell +110
Pick: Smolka by Decision
Alex Morono (15-5) vs. Zak Ottow (17-6) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
Current Odds: Morono -165; Ottow +145
Pick: Morono by (T)KO
Alex White (12-5) vs. Dam Moret (13-4) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
Current Odds: White -135; Moret +115
Pick: White by (T)KO
Enjoy the fights!