UFC Fight Night: Moreno vs. Royval 2 Predictions

Brandon Moreno (1) vs. Brandon Royval (3)

Moreno (21-7-2) is coming off a split decision loss to the champion of the division, Alexandre Pantoja (27-5-0), and will be taking on Royval (15-7-0) who is coming off a loss to the same fighter but by unanimous decision. Both are looking to get back into the title mix as they are of the elite in the division and both took the champ to a decision. Royval is an “all guns blazing” type of fighter that throws everything at you from a ton of angles and tries to snatch up submissions any chance he can. Moreno on the other hand is a very tough fighter who has great hands and can fight for 5 full rounds at a high pace.

The two had actually already fought, back in November of 2020, where Moreno would win via shoulder injury and ground and pound in the first round. In this fight, I see more of the same happening. Both fighters have gotten better over time, but I feel that Moreno has actually seen more improvement.

I am going to take Moreno inside the distance here.

Pick: Moreno (Inside the Distance: 80%, Decision: 20%)

Yair Rodriguez (2) vs. Brian Ortega (4)

In a really odd turn of events, these two fighters have also already fought before and the winner, Rodriguez (18-4-0), had actually won via a shoulder injury just like the main event fight above. Ortega (15-3-0) and Yair had last met back in July of 2022. This will be Ortega’s first fight back since that loss, which is a bit worrying.

A few other things of note here are that Yair has a 3″ inch height advantage and a 2″ inch reach advantage. Rodriguez’s last fight was also back in July of 2023 against the recently defeated Alexander Volkanovski (26-4-0) in Round 3 of a pretty brutal beatdown. I believe that with him having a more recent fight, and having won their last contest against each other, makes him a pretty great pick.

I am going with Rodriguez to get this one done inside the distance against Ortega. I was going to say decision, but with it being a 5 round fight, I think Yair can do enough damage to get that stoppage. If Brian is fully recovered and game though, he can make this a tough fight and drag it to a decision.

Pick: Rodriguez (TKO: 70%, Decision: 30%)

Daniel Zellhuber vs. Francisco Prado

Zellhuber (14-1-0) is riding a two fight UFC win streak with his most recent win being a submission victory in September of 2023 against Christos Giagos (20-11-0) in Round 2. Prado is also coming off of a finish win back in 2023 over Ottman Azaitar (13-2-0) by first round TKO.

Some notes on this matchup are that Zellhuber is 6’1″ compared to Prado’s 5’10”, he will also have a massive 8″ inch reach advantage over his opponent. Both of these fighters are also very young with Zellhuber being 24 year old and Prado at only 21. Prado also has a decision loss to a good fighter in Jamie Mullarkey (17-7-0) at the beginning of 2023.

I am leaning towards Zullhuber getting this one done. He has all of the tools to get the win and should have physical advantages in all areas. I think he gets a decision win here against a tough Prado.

Pick: Zellhuber (Decision: 80%, Submission: 20%)

Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Ricky Turcios

Raul Rosas Jr. (8-1-0) at only 19 years of age has made quite the statement in the UFC. He is fun fighter with a nice ground game that comes out guns-blazing. He has 6 professional and 2 amateur wins that he has all finished in the first round. His opponent and TUF 29 winner, Ricky Turcios (12-3-0), is looking to be the second man to defeat Rosas Jr. He showed a lot of improvement on the show and event though he won by split decision in order to get his most recent win, he is a very game fighter.

There is nothing to crazy separating these fighters besides the obvious age difference. Turcios is 11 years Rosas Jr.’s elder and has a 4″ inch reach advantage. Turcios also has not fought last since November of 2022, while Rosas Jr. has a KO victory in September of 2023 in the first round.

Surprisingly though, I am leaning towards Turcios getting a decision win here. I think his movement and athleticism will give Rosas Jr. trouble and if he doesn’t get that finish, we have seen him flustered in the past. Of course, Rosas Jr. can get it done in the first two rounds if he catches Turcios and he is always game as well. It wouldn’t hurt to place a hedge there on Rosas Jr. in 1 or 2.

Pick: Turcios (Decision: 70%), Rosas Jr. (Inside the Distance: 30%)

Yazmin Jauregui vs. Sam Hughes

Jauregui (10-1-0) is facing off against Hughes (8-5-0) after a suffering her first loss to Denise Gomes (8-3-0) by TKO in the first round. Hughes is coming off of a decision win over Jaqueline Amorim (7-1-0) back in April of 2023. The bookies have Jauregui as a -300+ favorite over her opponent. This is no surprise as she has 7 TKO finishes on her record and is quickly making a name for herself in the division.

Some quick notes on the bout are that Yazmin is 24 years old to Sam being 31. Sam also has a 2″ inch height advantage but they match in terms of reach. This is a weird one for me to call, I think these two are actually more evenly matched than the odds makers are making it out to be. At least from a statistics standpoint. That doesn’t mean I’m not siding with them though as Yazmin is young and hungry with more emphatic wins on her resume.

I am going with Jauregui to get a finish here. I do think there is a high chance it goes to decision though as Hughes has proven to be able to take some damage.

Pick: Jauregui (TKO: 60%, Decision: 40%)

Manuel Torres vs. Chris Duncan

Torres (14-2-0) is on a five fight hot streak, all via first round TKO/KO. Scotland’s Duncan (11-1-0) is on a four fight win streak with some decisions and a finish sprinkled in. Both of these guys 5″10″ with Torres being 28 years old and Duncan 30.

Something I find interesting is that Torres’s only losses are by submission in the first round, one by heel hook and the other leg lock. Duncan’s only loss comes from a left hook in round 2 to Viacheslav Borshchev (7-3-1). In this fight I see more of the same for him.

I am taking Torres by knockout in round 1 or 2, most likely 1. I think Duncan will look to grapple and tire Torres out, but Torres will do what he always does, which is go for the kill immediately. Duncan is a tough guy though and could withstand the onslaught, I just don’t think he will this time.

Pick: Torres (TKO: 90%, Decision: 10%)