ufc-vegas-62-x-factor-predictions!

This weekend (Sat., Oct. 15, 2022), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will remain inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC Vegas 62. A last-second elbow infection to Daniel Rodriguez delayed his planned scrap versus Neil Magny to November, leaving us with an unusually short main card. There’s always a chance that UFC reshuffles the bout order at the final second — seriously, the promotion loves doing that — but currently, we’re looking at just a four fight main card that sacrificed its co-main event.

Let’s take a closer look at the match ups that lead up the to main event:

Bantamweight: Cub Swanson vs. Jonathan Martinez

Best Win for Swanson? Dustin Poirier For Martinez? Thomas Almeida

Current Streak: Swanson won his last bout, whereas Martinez has won three straight

X-Factor: This is Swanson’s Bantamweight debut

How these two match up: Don’t expect many takedown attempts in this one.

Swanson is an artist in the realm of controlled chaos. “Killer Cub” has a wild style that is based on heavy swings, stance shifts and tricky entries. Perhaps more important than the technical aspects of his game is Swanson’s power, toughness and willingness to lay it all on the line.

Martinez is an excellent striker himself, though that of a very different variety. “The Dragon” has one of the best left legs in the business. He’s able to thoroughly punish opponents by breaking down their legs and livers with his left shin, and he’s grown quite nasty at intercepting bursts with his left knee also. That’s not to say his counter punching is weak, but his kicks just stand out so much.

I am unsure why Swanson is moving to Bantamweight. He’s won three of his last four, and I don’t think anyone really believes he’ll be able to go on a title run at 135 pounds? Perhaps the 38-year-old veteran is simply losing weight with age and feels it will be an easy cut at this stage.

Whatever the case, it doesn’t really inspire confidence. Martinez is fast and difficult to track down — a lot of Swanson’s bombs are going to miss. Meanwhile, Martinez has a ripping left body kick, and that’s the very same strike that Giga Chikadze used to pretty much instantly end Swanson last year.

I hope Swanson’s Bantamweight run goes well, but this is a rough debut to the division.

Prediction: Martinez via knockout


Flyweight: Askar Askarov vs. Brandon Royval

Best Win for Askarov? Joseph Benavidez For Royval? Kai Kara-France

Current Streak: Askarov lost his last bout, whereas Royval has won two in a row

X-Factor: Royval is trying to revamp his style

How these two match up: Oh look, it’s the best fight on the entire card.

Askarov is Flyweight’s premier Sambo specialist. He’s an absolutely smothering wrestler, able to hold even excellent scramblers down for longer periods of time than most. His kickboxing is also solid as well, as Askarov has cracked several opponents desperate to swing big in their few seconds on the feet.

Royval is a mad man. He’s trying to calm his approach down a tad, but really, overwhelming foes with volume, chaos, and the unexpected has granted him most of his best wins. He’s a stellar submission fighter with a great eye for opportunity regardless of where the fight goes.

This is really going to be interesting. Thus far, Royval has been fairly impossible to control. Alexandre Pantoja managed to strangle him, sure, but he did so after largely failing to hold Royval down for most of the fight. Askarov isn’t quite that level of submission threat, so he’s going to have to keep Royval grounded for long periods of time.

At the same time, Royval’s takedown defense isn’t at the level of Kara-France. He’s going to get taken down more often and have to work very hard to stand up without being truly controlled for minutes at a time.

In short, both men are running straight into the other’s strengths. At Flyweight, counting on ground control to win fights seems like a difficult and untrustworthy strategy at the elite level. That current trend has me leaning towards Royval, as well as the simple fact that Royval will always be the more serious finishing threat.

Prediction: Royval via decision


Middleweight: Dusko Todorovic vs. Jordan Wright

Best Win for Todorovic? Maki Pitolo For Wright? Jamie Pickett

Current Streak: Todorovic lost his last bout, while Wright has lost two straight

X-Factor: Wright goes for the finish from the first bell

How these two match up: I actually think this should be fun for an unranked Middleweight contest.

Todorovic, 28, has skills. He can wrestle, grapple and fight well for three rounds. Against Pitolo, he also showed off some very nice counter punching and controlled range well. Unfortunately, he’s also fought some massive hitters, and that typically hasn’t gone swimmingly for him.

Wright certainly qualifies as a heavy hitter. All 12 of his victories come via finish often in the first round. More specifically, often in the first minute of the first round! He fights balls-to-the-walls, looking to take out his opponents immediately or go down swinging.

The man is not paid by the hour.

There is a very reasonable chance Todorovic gets sparked. He’s not the most defensively responsible fighter, and Wright hits plenty hard. Still, Todorovic is the overall better fighter. He should have the clinch skill to avoid eating a massive knee until his opponent slows down, and from that point, Todorovic should run him over.

Prediction: Todorovic via knockout


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 62 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 62: “Grasso vs. Araujo” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.