This isn’t the main event that was promised for the fans in Chile, but it will surely be a good one. #5 ranked Demian Maia will replace Santiago Ponzinibbio on a short notice battle with Kamaru Usman (#7).
Maia will be attempting to snap a two-fight losing streak as he steps into the cage with the fast-rising Usman. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert has had a tough run lately and has failed in his challenge for the UFC’s Welterweight Championship before also dropping a gritty three-round war with Colby Covington. The story of these two fights was much the same. Maia was never able to get his ground game going because Woodley and Covington are superb wrestlers and defended his takedown attempts with ease.
Unfortunately for Maia, Usman is also a talented wrestler. In fact, he’s one of the more explosive wrestlers in the division and will likely have no troubles keeping Maia away. Usman is also excellent at pushing forward and making his opponent fight off the back foot, so it’s going to be difficult for Maia to shoot in and trap Usman against the cage.
All the signs point to trouble for the aging Brazilian, but there’s always a tiny bit of hope considering his submission skills are probably the best in all of mixed martial arts.
Prediction: Kamaru Usman by KO/TKO – Round 2
Bet: Kamaru Usman to win
Alexa Grasso vs. Tatiana Suarez
24-year-old Alexa Grasso will return to the UFC’s cage this weekend in Chile to face the up-and-coming Tatiana Suarez in what will be an exciting strawweight clash.
Grasso was one of the most-talked-of prospects not all that long ago. However, recently, all of that hype has seemingly disappeared, and now she enters this one after a narrow split decision win against Randa Markos. Grasso is now 2-1 during her time in the UFC and 10-1 as a professional, with her only loss coming to Felice Herrig.
Could Tatiana Suarez be one of the brightest rising stars in all of the UFC? Maybe. She’s got loads of talent and stood out from a tough pack of women on The Ultimate Fighter Season 23 to take home the gold. She defeated Amanda Cooper in 2016 and then came back to outwork 13-0 Viviane Pereira over three rounds in November last year. Suarez is now undefeated after five fights and will be looking to keep her streak alive this weekend.
Prediction: Tatiana Suarez by unanimous decision
Bet: Tatiana Suarez to win
Jared Cannonier vs. Dominick Reyes
The heavy-hitting Jared Cannonier will face rising talent Dominick Reyes in a light heavyweight battle at UFC Fight Night 129.
Despite his talents, Cannonier has struggled to get traction in the UFC so far and has since gone 3-3 after six fights. Most recently, Cannonier was controlled by Jan Blachowicz in a three-round fight in December. That loss quickly erased the memories of his earlier win against Nick Roehrick and his handy work against Ion Cutelaba and Cyril Asker in 2016.
He’s only had two fights in the UFC, but Dominick Reyes has already made a splash. With a first round KO/TKO victory over Joachim Christensen and a first-round submission against Jeremy Kimball, Reyes has made his presence felt quickly. He’ll look to extend his career record to 9-0 this weekend.
Prediction: Dominick Reyes by KO/TKO – Round 1
Bet: Dominick Reyes to win
Diego Rivas vs. Guido Cannetti
Diego Rivas and Guido Cannetti are all set to square off against each other in a bantamweight fight this weekend.
Rivas and Cannetti wouldn’t usually be featured on the main card, but they are fighting in Chile and Rivas will be representing the local fans in a battle against his Argentinian opponent. After a lengthy break, Cannetti reappeared after his USADA violation to challenge Kyung Ho Kang at UFC Fight Night 124. Unfortunately for Cannetti, the matchup didn’t go his way, and he was submitted late in the first round.
Diego Rivas began his stint in the UFC by featuring on The Ultimate Fighter Latin America Season 1 against Gabriel Benitez. He came back from a defeat in an exhibition bout on the season to then defeat Rodolfo Rubio Perez and Noad Lahat in the UFC. In his most recent outing, Rivas was defeated by Jose Alberto Quinones by unanimous decision in Mexico last August.
Prediction: Diego Rivas by KO/TKO – Round 2
Bet: Diego Rivas to win
Andrea Lee vs. Veronica Macedo
Andrea Lee has finally arrived at the UFC, and she will face Veronica Macedo in her first fight with the promotion.
Lee, who is well-known for her enthusiastic personality and dominant fights at Invicta FC and LFA, is a seriously talented flyweight fighter that will inject some much-needed talent into the list of women in the division. In her last fight, she successfully defended her Legacy Fighting Alliance Flyweight Championship against Jamie Thornton.
22-year-old Veronica Macedo first appeared in the UFC when she faced Ashlee Evans-Smith in Germany. Macedo certainly impressed with her striking ability but fatigued significantly as the bout progressed because she had taken the fight on short notice. The bigger and stronger Smith also outsized her at the time in this bantamweight battle.
Prediction: Andrea Lee by unanimous decision
Bet: Andrea Lee to win
Vicente Luque vs. Chad Laprise
To get the six-fight main card started, Vicente Luque and Chad Laprise will do battle in a welterweight fight.
Laprise has proven to be quite an entertainer in his last three fights and has managed to stop Thibault Gouti, Brian Camozzi, and Galore Bofando consecutively. He’s on a roll of great performances, and we’ve quickly forgotten about two losses to Francisco Trinaldo and Ross Pearson a few years back now.
He’ll be up against the talented Vicente Luque, though, who looked better than ever against Niko Price. Luque had also finished his last four victories before that fight and had stopped five of his last six opponents. His only loss during this time was a unanimous decision defeat to Leon Edwards at UFC Fight Night 107.
Prediction: Vicente Luque by submission
Bet: Vicente Luque to win
UFC Fight Night 129 fight card
UFC Fight Night 129 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm ET (10:30 pm GMT) on Saturday, May 19.
FS1 Main Card (10:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)
- Demian Maia [+336] vs. Kamaru Usman [-380]
- Alexa Grasso [+340] vs. Tatiana Suarez [-400]
- Dominick Reyes [-231] vs. Jared Cannonier [+190]
- Diego Rivas [-145] vs. Guido Cannetti [+130]
- Andrea Lee [-330] vs. Veronica Macedo [+267]
- Chad Laprise [+171] vs. Vicente Luque [-200]
FS2 (8:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)
- Michel Prazeres vs. Zak Cummings
- Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Moreno
- Poliana Botelho vs. Syuri Kondo
- Gabriel Benitez vs. Humberto Bandenay
UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims (6:30 pm ET / 10:30 pm GMT)
- Enrique Barzola vs. Brandon Davis
- Frankie Saenz vs. Henry Briones
- Claudio Puelles vs. Felipe Silva