While UFC Mexico City’s main card has some potential future stars to highlight and some big names, at the top the undercard is another story. UFC Mexico’s undercard has some names that you will recognize, but usually not for a good reason. Most of these fighters are losing streaks and are untrustworthy, to say the least.
It will be a highly entertaining fight night since several of these matches might be “loser leaves town’ fights and given the high stakes for those fighters they are sure to bring their A-game. It’s very hard to trust your money with many of these fighters, so we will have to tread lightly.
Early on in our night, we are treated to Paul Craig vs. Vinicius Moreira which is sure to be a short but violent affair. Vinicius is 9-3 and has lost both of his 2 UFC bouts where Paul Craig is 11-4 having gone 3-4 in his 7 UFC fights with all 3 wins coming by submission.
Paul Craig is very unorthodox and is ALWAYS hunting for a finish. Craig’s strength is on the mat, but he will have a striking advantage in this fight.
He has made an ill-advised attempt to strike with his previous opponents like Khalil Rountree, Kennedy Nzechukwu, and Alonzo Menifield. 2 of those 3 fights ended in crushing defeat, but he managed one of the best come from behind wins in 2019 when he slapped a triangle on Kennedy in the final minutes of the 3rd round.
Moreira has also found himself on the bad end of Alonzo Menifield and he didn’t fare any better than Craig did in that fight. Moreira is a grappler himself, but he does everything he can to get the fight in his world where Craig is willing to engage with his opponents even if he doesn’t have the advantage.
These two fighters are very similar in their skill sets and because they are both strong grapplers that may lead to a striking fight because they each think they are just better in that area and look to exploit a perceived edge.
I would learn to Craig as I think he is the more athletic of the two and appears to have more striking tools, but this fight is one I will avoid from a betting perspective because neither fighter has an edge I can see and both have questionable fight IQ. Grab your popcorn for this one and just enjoy the violence.
UFC Mexico sees the return of the Flyweights (Thank you Triple C!) and Sergio Pettis will look to get his career back on track in his home division now that it appears the UFC is looking to rebuild.
Sergio was knocking on the door of a title shot but was derailed by the current champion Henry Cejudo and is 1-3 in his last 4. Sergio always brings the fight and is such a fun fighter he probably won’t get his walking papers with a loss here, but it’s never a good look in the UFC to go on a 3 fight losing streak.
Sergio is welcoming Tyson Nam to the UFC and this is no easy fight. Nam has made a name for himself outside the UFC and could have been signed a while ago. He is big and strong and has serious power for the smaller division.
Sergio Pettis is 17-5
1-3 in his last 4
11 of 17 by decision
Tyson Nam is 18-9
6-1-1 in his last 8 and of his
18 wins 10 of them are by KO
This fight is a battle of speed vs. power. Nam is a finisher and Sergio is a performer. Sergio relies on his speed and technique advantage to outmaneuver his opponents where Nam looks to drop his foes with big shots.
Sergio will need to play the matador here sticking and moving while avoiding the power shots of Nam. Even though Nam has fought some decent no-UFC competition, Sergio still has the edge in his competition level.
Pettis fought current champion Cejudo for a full 15 minutes, defeated current #1 contender Joseph Benavidez, and while he lost to both Rob Font and Jussier Formiga they are high caliber challengers.
This is another fight that I am avoiding from a betting perspective because the line has gotten too wide. Nam is a dangerous foe and deserves more respect than the +290 he is currently lined at.
Near the top of the undercard, we get some serious action where Kyle “The Monster’ Nelson takes on Marco Polo Reyes. Kyle Nelson made his UFC debut on short notice against Carlos Diego Ferreira and was supposed to be a walk in the park for the Brazilian.
Kyle had other plans and showed up looking to put Ferreira away and it looked like he was going to in round 1. Unfortunately, as we see with so many in their first UFC fight, Kyle had a visible adrenaline dump and the short notice cardio started to show.
Ferriera barely survived round 1 and managed to take advantage of the wilted Nelson in round 2. What we learned in that fight is that even though Nelson lost he is capable of dealing out SERIOUS damage at a high level against very good opponents.
Maco Polo Reyes is a strange case. He appeared to have high level striking and serious power, but he is starting to slip. Reyes who is 34 years old is 1-3 in his last 4 and all 3 of his losses have come by brutal knockouts.
It seems like Reyes may not be well rounded enough to survive a career in the UFC and once his opponents figured him out the writing was on the wall.
At this point we have to wonder how much his chin has left after getting cracked that many times in a row and not only that he is fighting at high elevation in Mexico City and he is cutting to 145 for the first time in his career which will suck more fluid out of his body and make him easier to hurt.
Marco Polo Reyes (+101)
34 years old
6 if 8 wins by KO
38% Takedown Defense
Kyle Nelson (-114)
28 years old
66% finish rate
1.53 Takedowns per 15 minutes
I am personally surprised that this line isn’t wider. Kyle Nelson puts a pace on his opponents in the first round and even though he has gas tank issues I think he will crush Reyes before that becomes a problem.
Reyes is coming off a knockout loss just 3 months ago and you need at minimum 6 months to recover from taking damage like that before you are ready to go.
Combined with the fact that Reyes is a pure striker with no interest in any ground fighting and he is dropping an extra 10 pounds of water weight to make the cut to 145 for the first time, I feel like it is safe to say he is compromised coming in here.
Reyes fights out of Mexico and this is an opportunity he likely didn’t want to miss fighting in his home country, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he retires after Nelson KOs him stiff in the first round.