UFC Fight Night Predictions : Namajunas vs Cortez full card and preview

 | Thursday 11th July 2024, 11:03am

Thursday 11th July 2024, 11:03am

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UFC Fight Night returns this Saturday, July 13 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. The card will be headlined by two-time UFC Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas against Tracy Cortez. The main event bout will take place at the flyweight limit over five rounds. TNT Sports 1 will screen the card.

Here are my UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs Cortez predictions ahead of a fascinating card.

UFC Fight Night Tips

  • Cortez to win @ 7/4
  • Silva to win @ 10/11
  • Brundage to win @ 5/4

Rose Namajunas vs Tracy Cortez

‘Thug Rose’ righted the ship last time out with a decision win over Amanda Ribas. Losses Carla Esparza and Manon Fiorot had threatened her standing in the company. But Namajunas came out swinging to get the W.

Cortez has been flawless since losing her MMA debut back in 2017. Since her debut defeat she has rattled off 10 consecutive wins, taking her all the way into the UFC and into the company’s world rankings. 

The Arizona flyweight goes in with one of the modern greats of female MMA. But Namajunas has started to show signs of wear and tear recently. Is she still the same force she once was? 

Fight Odds: Namajunas 4/9 Cortez 7/4

Prediction: ‘Thug Rose’ is understandably the favourite here. She is a fixture at championship level and has beaten some of the best names of her era. But Cortez is a natural flyweight, bigger and stronger than the former UFC Strawweight Champion.

Cortez also feels like a fighter on the rise, having racked up 10 consecutive wins. Namajunas battled hard for her well-deserved win against Ribas, but before that her last win was in 2021. I’m opting for Cortez to land the upset here.

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Muslim Salikhov 

Ponzinibbio has been out of the ring since an April 2023 knockout loss at the fists of Kevin Holland. The absence has not entirely been the fault of the ‘Argentine Dagger’. Ponzinibbio was due out in September but scheduled opponent Daniel Rodriguez tested positive for a banned substance.

Kickboxing veteran Salikhov has fought twice since his opponent’s last outing, but has gone 0-2 in those match-ups. At the age of 40 and with over 200 cumulative professional combat fights on his record, perhaps the ravages of time are starting to show. 

Fight Odds: Ponzinibbio 1/2 Salikhov 13/8

Prediction: Two fighters coming off defeats. Ponzinibbio is 2-4 since returning from a three-year lay-off due to a serious infection. Salikhov has taken part in a ridiculous number of pro fights. Each man is outside their physical prime at 37 and 40 respectively. It is a tight one.

I like Ponzinibbio. He just feels a little fresher here despite his patchy post-fitness record. I’m backing the ‘Dagger’ to prevail.

Drew Dober vs Jean Silva 

Fans know what they’re getting with Dober. Tied for the most knockouts in UFC lightweight history with nine, the 35-year-old guarantees excitement. In a fight where he might need something special to win, look for the four-time Performance of the Night winner to reach into his bag of tricks.

Silva has won both of his UFC outings so far as he looks to establish himself in the organisation. A main card berth here comes just two weeks after he knocked out Charles Jourdain at UFC 303. Nobody can accuse Silva of ducking fights or resting on his laurels. 

Fight Odds: Dober 10/11 Silva 10/11

Prediction: This is a real pick’em, reflected in the odds. I like Silva here. His momentum and unabashed confidence should see him through here. With that being said, I expect an absolute thriller to unfold before his hand is raised.

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Gabriel Bonfim vs Ange Loosa 

Bonfim came unstuck last time out, suffering the first defeat of his career in his 16th pro fight. It will be fascinating to see how ‘Marrentinha’ rebounds from that stoppage loss to Nicolas Dalby. 

Looking to take advantage is Ange Loosa, the wonderfully-named ‘Last Ninja’. Loosa saw his last fight curtailed due to an accidental eye poke against Brian Battle. He won his two previous outings, beating A.J. Fletcher and Rhys McKee.

Fight Odds: Bonfim 1/4 Loosa 11/4

Prediction: Bonfim will come into this one looking to prove something. Loosa is solid and has momentum, but on balance the Brazilian looks a level above him. My pick is Bonfim to win this one.

Julian Erosa vs Christian Rodriguez 

Rodriguez must have one eye on the featherweight rankings as he attempts to secure his fifth consecutive win. His last three victories have all gone the distance, suggesting he could look to take Erosa into the deep waters here.

Erosa’s own approach could make this one an absorbing watch. ‘Juicy J’ prefers to conclude matters early, with just five of his 29 wins coming via decision. A close 11-13 split between knockouts and submissions shows he can end a fight however he chooses.

Fight Odds: Erosa 13/8 Rodriguez 1/2 

Prediction: Erosa is gifted and multi-functional. But there is something about Rodriguez’s current rise that feels like it cannot be denied. Another decision is in the offing, but he’ll find a way to keep winning.

Abdul Razak Alhassan vs Cody Brundage

This middleweight throwdown could prove to be make-or-break. Alhassan and Brundage each lost their last fights. Whoever wins here can break the slump while the defeated fighter could be staring down the barrel of a career decline.

Brundage was choked out by Bo Nickal at UFC 300 and is back in the cage just two months later, trying to right the wrong. Alhassan was submitted by Joe Pyfer back in October. It will be interesting to see how the two fighter’s different periods outside the cage influence the fight on Saturday.

Fight Odds: Alhassan 8/13 Brundage 5/4  

Prediction: Alhassan is a knockout artist by trade, finishing his opponent in all 12 of his wins. But if he doesn’t land, he can be ground down by decision. I can see Brundage doing exactly that to take the upset win here.

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UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs Cortez Full Card

Main Card

Rose Namajunas vs Tracy Cortez 

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Muslim Salikhov 

Drew Dober vs Jean Silva 

Gabriel Bonfim vs Ange Loosa 

Julian Erosa vs Christian Rodriguez 

Abdul Razak Alhassan vs Cody Brundage

Prelims

Jasmine Jasudavicius vs Fatima Kline 

Joshua Van vs Charles Johnson

Luana Santos vs Mariya Agapova

Josh Fremd vs Andre Petroski 

Montel Jackson vs Da'Mon Blackshear

You can find all our latest UFC betting tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights UFC page

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