UFC Boise is here, and this one is sneaky good. This card doesn’t have a lot of star power, but it does offer several competitive bookings that show promise of being fun fights. UFC Boise is headlined by a heavyweight matchup involving former UFC champion Junior dos Santos and former WSOF champion Blagoy Ivanov. This event also features what seems to be the beginning of Sage Northcutt’s welterweight career, an exciting featherweight booking in Dennis Bermudez vs. Rick Glenn, the return of Chad Mendes, who takes on Myles Jury, and much more.
What: UFC Boise (UFC Fight Night 133)
Where: CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho
When: Saturday, July 14. The three-fight UFC Fight Pass preliminary card begins at 6:30 p.m. ET, the four-fight FOX Sports 1 preliminary card begins at 8 p.m. ET, and the six-fight main card begins at 10 p.m. ET also on FOX Sports 1.
Fun booking between two heavyweight strikers. I’m glad to see Blagoy Ivanov in the UFC, he’s a legit heavyweight who is likely a top-15, maybe even top-10 fighter.
Ivanov is a relatively small heavyweight. He’s stocky, standing at 5-feet-11. Ivanov possesses clean, technical boxing and quick hands. He also carries respectable power. Ivanov has strong submissions, and solid grappling fundamentals. He’s also pretty strong for his size and his conditioning has looked solid.
Junior dos Santos has changed up his style a bit in recent times. The Brazilian still remains a high-level striker, but his chin doesn’t appear to be able to take the same hits. Rather than moving forward and looking for the knockout, dos Santos is more hesitant to engage nowadays and looks for the counter. Fortunately for dos Santos, he has great footwork and movement, which allows him to still be competitive.
There is a good chance this might be a short night for dos Santos. Ivanov has plenty of power and dos Santos’ chin is not too reliable these days. However, despite having quick hands, Ivanov is not too agile on the feet. Ivanov’s movement is somewhat slow and his output can be low. I see dos Santos’ experience and agility giving issues to Ivanov. I think dos Santos should be able to stick and move to get a decision win.
Pick: dos Santos
Well, well, well, Sage Northcutt will be competing in the first co-main event of his UFC career. The 22-year-old fighter takes on veteran Zak Ottow.
Northcutt is very well-rounded. He’s got solid takedowns and good grappling, and pretty decent striking. On top of all that, his skills are enhanced by his ridiculous athletic ability. Northcutt is explosive, agile, quick and powerful. Northcutt lacks experience and technically he still needs to put a few thing together. But all in all, Northcutt presents a strong challenge.
Zak Ottow has been around the block a few times. The 31-year-old welterweight has more than 20 fights under his belt and has shared the Octagon with respectable competition. Much like Northcutt, Ottow can do a little bit of everything. Ottow is a decent striker and can grapple as well. Ottow is big for the division and packs plenty of power behind his strikes.
This will likely be a close decision. Both guys match up fairly evenly. I find Ottow to be the bigger, more powerful fighter here. His takedown defense is also good. I see Ottow being able to avoid Northcutt’s takedowns, and on the feet, he’ll get the respect of Northcutt through his power. Ottow will likely back up Northcutt and dictate the pace of the fight.
This is one of the fights I’m looking forward to the most. Both Dennis Bermudez and Rick Glenn are skilled, but also different in styles.
Bermudez is a powerhouse at 145. He’s an elite athlete with great strength, explosiveness, speed, cardio, and pace. Skills wise, Bermudez has excellent wrestling and top control, plus he’s a competent striker.
Glenn is very different than Bermudez. Glenn is more slick with his game and relies less on athletic ability than Bermudez. “The Gladiator” is great at finding his range and also fighting from the clinch. Glenn’s striking is solid and so is his grappling. Glenn has decent takedowns and good jiu-jitsu.
Glenn is skilled and he’s a tough dude to fight. However, I find Bermudez to be too much for Glenn. I think Bermudez can power his way through most clinch and grappling exchanges. On the feet, I think Glenn will have an advantage over the shorter Bermudez, but I don’t think that alone will get him the win. Bermudez will likely get a dominant decision here.
This bout has a good chance of being Fight of the Night.
Both these guys can do a bit of everything, but they’re most comfortable striking. Randy Brown uses range well, has good movement, and fights composed. Price is a bit more on the wild side. Price takes big chances and they often pay off. He also has a knack for brawling.
I’m split on this one. I find Brown to have a little better fight IQ than Price, but Price is the more dangerous fighter. I feel like Price can overwhelm and throw off Brown with his pressure and wild style. Then again, Brown can very well catch Price in one of his wild attacks. Tough call, but I think Price gets the job done.
Myles Jury vs. Chad Mendes
Not sure how this fight is not the co-main event of the card, but oh well. Regardless, Jury vs. Mendes is a fantastic fight that could catapult the winner into title contention.
Mendes hasn’t fought since December 2015 due to a USADA suspension. Who knows how Mendes will look after the long lay off, so we can only go by the Mendes we’re used to seeing. The Team Alpha Male fighter is a talented wrestler with good submission defense and solid top control. Mendes is not really known for his striking, but I find it to be underrated. Mendes can light up opposition on the feet. He hits hard and with speed and volume.
Jury is extremely well rounded. He can strike very well and his jiu-jitsu is dangerous. He also fights a lot more composed these days and it feels like he’s entering his prime.
I think Mendes will dictate the pace here. If Jury gives him issues on the feet, Mendes should have the ability to take the fight to the ground and control there. I think Mendes was one of the best featherweights in the world and he likely still is, so I see him having a dominant performance here.
Huge fight for Cat Zingano, as the former title challenger is looking to snap a three-fight skid.
Zingano is extremely tough and durable. She’s also a strong grappler and can be very effective on the feet, too. Zingano has shown a great ability to break opponents with her relentless pressure and aggressiveness. It’s her fight IQ that has gotten her in trouble in the past.
Marion Reneau is a woefully underrated fighter. Reneau has great muay thai and her guard is very sneaky. Overall, Reneau is well-rounded. She’s super technical in everything she does and she seems to be in a good groove.
Another tough call here. Zingano has shown glimpses of greatness, but she hasn’t been able to put everything together. Reneau is a reliable pick, she’s usually always on point, she’s very consistent with her performances. My gut still believes Zingano still has it in her, but you can’t look past Reneau’s skills and composure. I’m going to go with Reneau. I think she approaches fights a little smarter than Zingano, and that should ultimately help her get a decision win.