The UFC is enjoying its time in Abu Dhabi as it remains yet again on Fight Island for UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. The Korean Zombie. The much-anticipated main event between Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung was heightened even more so with an altercation between Ortega and Jung’s translator on March 7th back at UFC 248, just weeks before the world would go on lockdown due to the Covid pandemic. Follow along as we look at each of this Saturday’s main card matchups, give the current betting odds, and give our picks and predictions for how we see each of those fights going down.
Thomas Almeida (22-3) vs. Jonathan Martinez (12-3)
MyBookie betting odds as of 10/12/20: Almeida (-145), Martinez (+125)
In the opening act of the main card, UFC veteran Thomas Almeida takes on Jonathan Martinez. The Brazilian Almeida began his career knocking off 16 straight wins before being signed to the UFC in 2014. After a 4-0 start with the UFC, Almeida has since gone just 1-3. Of his 8 UFC appearances, Almeida has been awarded a fight bonus in 5 of those matchups, so you can expect an action packed affair Saturday night. Jonathan Martinez, the more active fighter, will be making his 6th walk to the Octagon since late 2018. Martinez is 3-2 with the UFC, and he enters this fight the slight underdog.
Our pick: Almeida, decision
Jimmy Crute (11-1) vs. Modestas Bukauskas (11-2)
Bovada betting odds as of 10/12/20: Crute (-360), Bukauskas (+270)
In the second act, the Aussie Jimmy Crute will square up with “The Baltic Gladiator” Modestas Bukauskas. Jimmy Crute is one of the more promising young UFC Light Heavyweights, and he enters this fight as the 3rd-biggest betting favorite on the card. Crute, by way of the Contender series, is 3-1 in the UFC with 3 finishes. His tenure with the UFC was unblemished until he got caught in a Peruvian necktie by Misha Cirkunov in September of last year. Crute returned with a first-round submission victory in his next performance back in February, and he looks to continue that momentum this Saturday night against Modestas Bukaskas. Bukauskas will be making just his 2nd walk to the Octagon this weekend, but he enters this one on a 7-fight win streak. As tall of a task as it might be, a win for Bukauskas Saturday night would be a defining moment for the 26 year old Lithuanian.
Our pick: Crute, 1st-round submission
Katlyn Chookagian (14-3) vs. Jéssica Andrade (20-8)
Bovada betting odds as of 10/12/20: Andrade (-145), Chookagian (+115)
In the first and only female fracas of this fight card we’ve got Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jessica Andrade. Chookagian will be making her 11th UFC appearance, and she is 7-3 with the organization. After losing her Flyweight title matchup to Valentina Shevchenko back at UFC 247 in February, Chookagian avenged that loss by defeating Valentina’s sister, Antonina, 7 weeks later. Ex-UFC Strawweight champion Jessica Andrade makes her move up to Flyweight for this matchup. Andrade won Strawweight gold against Rose Namajunas at UFC 237, then lost it to Weili Zhang in her first defense back in August of 2019. And, after losing her rematch to Rose Namajunas at UFC 251, the one-time women’s Bantamweight Jessica Andrade enters as the slight favorite as she tries her luck at 125 pounds.
Our pick: Andrade, decision
Ciryl Gane (6-0) vs. Ante Delija (17-3)
Bovada betting odds as of 10/12/20: Gane (-600), Delija (+400)
In the co-main event, #12 ranked UFC Heavyweight Ciryl Gane takes on UFC newcomer Ante Delija. Fighting out of Paris France, Gane is 3-0 with the UFC, and he enters this fight as the largest betting favorite on the card at -600. Although he is just 6-0 as a professional, Gane amassed an undefeated Muay Thai record of 7-0 before joining the UFC, and he is obviously a highly-touted Heavyweight prospect. Croatia’s Ante Delija will be making his UFC debut by way of M-1, PFL and KSW. Delija enters this one on a 3-fight win streak, and even though he is 8-1 in his last 9, Delija certainly has his work cut out for him on Saturday night.
Our pick: Gane, decision
Brian Ortega (14-1-0, 1NC) vs. Chan Sung Jung (16-5)
Bovada betting odds as of 10/12/20: Jung (-190), Ortega (+155)
In the main event we’ve got the highly-anticipated matchup between Brian “T-City” Ortega and the Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung. Ortega is coming off of his first and only career loss, a crack at the UFC Featherweight title against Max Holloway at UFC 231 back in December of 2018. Aside from being over a year-and-a-half since Ortega has stepped foot in the Octagon, the bad blood that has brewed in this matchup makes this a fight you do not want to miss. At UFC 248 back in March, Brian Ortega slapped and confronted Jung’s translator (who’s also a famous Korean rapper) for apparently instigating things on-line between T-City and the Korean Zombie. Chan Sung Jung is on a 2-fight win streak, and he’s 6-2 in his last 8. Those 8 fights, however, date back to 2011, as Jung took a 2-year hiatus from the UFC to serve his mandatory military obligation to his native country of South Korea. Jung’s resume is as impressive as they come in the UFC Featherweight division, however, with his last 4 wins being victories over Dustin Poirier, Dennis Bermudez, Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar. Jung’s inactivity might prove to be the biggest factor here, and I think that Brian Ortega has the slight edge here.
Our pick: Ortega, 3rd-round KO/TKO
Tell us what you think! Where do we have it right, and where do you think we got it wrong? Comment with your picks, and don’t forget to bookmark our page and check back often for more predictions and fight coverage. If you like what you see, go ahead and give our Facebook page a like and follow us on Twitter & Instagram @fightsportfocus. Also, subscribe to the Fight Sport Focus podcast on Anchor.fm, Spotify, iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts!