UFC Vegas 65 Predictions: WMMA Rankings Staff Picks

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UFC Vegas 65 takes place on Saturday, November 19, 2022, from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

A trio of exciting female bouts will feature on the preliminary card, topped off by a flyweight showdown between top fifteen ranked contenders Jennifer Maia and Maryna Moroz.

Elsewhere on the card, Vansssa Demopoulos will take on Brazil’s Maria Oliveira in a strawweight bout. A flyweight contest between Natalia Silva and UFC newcomer Tereza Blesa rounds off the lineup.

Ahead of Saturday’s event, four members of the WMMA Rankings Staff Team have made their predictions and analysis for the fights. Take a look below.


Tonya
@T_WMMARankings

Bolu
@Bfalase

Brittany
@BritJadeWrites

Nick
@NICKATNITE111

Jennifer Maia vs. Maryna Moroz, flyweight fight


Tonya: Moroz has shown some good wrestling ability in previous fights and is most likely the better striker.  But Jennifer Maia has fought some of the best in the division and brings a level of experience and toughness that will be too much for Moroz to overcome.  Maia can hold her own on the ground as long as Moroz doesn’t get her back.  Ultimately Jennifer Maia will be victorious with the decision.  
Winner: Jennifer Maia

Bolu: Another fight that can go either way. Both women are experienced on the ground, with Maryna Moroz being brilliant at controlling her opponent and laying off ground and pound and Jennifer Maia is a veteran of the game with her jiu-jitsu. This is another fight where both women’s ground game can cancel each other out and I think in the striking department if Moroz can use her reach and height advantage mixing in the takedown attempts here and there, she’ll be able to get the decision win.
Winner: Maryna Moroz

Brittany: Despite a spate of losses I think Maia is the much better athlete here. Her losses have come to the top-tier competition and I think her wins over Jessica Eye and Joanne Wood speak volumes. 
Winner: Jennifer Maia

Nick: This is an important one for both of these fighters in the flyweight division. For Moroz, it’s an opportunity to jump up several spots in the rankings and extend her flyweight unbeaten streak. For Maia, it’s a chance to snap a two-fight skid and turn back a surging contender. I can certainly see paths to victory for both fighters, however, I think that Maia has faced the stronger competition in this weight class. I believe she’ll draw from that experience to get the edge in what is a competitive affair. 
Winner: Jennifer Maia


Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Maria Oliveira, strawweight bout


Tonya: Vanessa has good grappling ability and will be a problem if she manages to take the fight to the ground and get on top.  However, Maria has the ability to defend takedowns and even when taken down can scramble back to her feet.  Vanessa won’t be able to get the takedowns needed and Maria will keep this fight standing where she will have the tenacity, length, and striking ability to pick Demopoulos apart and prevail in a decision win.  
Winner: Maria Oliveira

Bolu: Vanessa Demopoulos’ key to victory is her takedowns and keeping Oliveira down. If Oliveira can stay on her feet, I think she’ll be able to outpoint Demopoulos. Whoever finds their range quickest will take round one and if Demopoulos can secure good control time early on, she has a great chance of winning the fight. It’s probably the closest fight on the card as both women counter each other so well, but I’ll take Vanessa Demopoulos by decision.
Winner: Vanessa Demopoulos

Brittany: I think Demopoulos has a lot of momentum going into this fight despite her win streak being only two fights. I think she takes this fight but again, it’s a really tough one to pick and I think they’re very well-matched! 
Winner: Vanessa Demopoulos

Nick: I’m going to be honest… I have no idea what to expect with this one! Both of these fighters can get a little crazy and I think this will be a fun one. I can see a situation where Demopoulus ties Oliveira up on the ground and secures a submission, but I can also see a scenario where Oliveira overwhelms and outworks Demopoulos. For these predictions, I’m going to go with the latter. 
Winner: Maria Oliveira


Natalia Silva vs. Tereza Bleda, flyweight bout


Tonya:  Tereza Bleda does have the ability to get things to the ground, but Silva will defend the takedowns and keep the fight standing where she has the advantage.  Natalia Silva’s footwork, speed, and precision in striking will be what puts her over the top for a decision victory.  
Winner: Natalia Silva

Bolu: A magnificent fight to start the card. Silva is a brilliant jiu-jitsu practitioner who is 1-0 in the UFC, whereas 20-year-old, Tereza Bleda is making her octagon debut this weekend. Bleda is highly touted to do great things in her career but she has a tough matchup to start with. In her Contender Series fight with Nayara Maia, we saw the Czech show good quality wrestling but she’ll need to be wary of Silva’s jiu-jitsu. One mistake in her guard could be fought over. I think this fight could end up on the feet, which I’ll give the edge to Silva. I think she’ll win by decision.
Winner: Natalia Silva

Brittany: This is a tough fight to pick with both women being on a big streak. I’m taking Silva just because she has the experience advantage and her level of competition has been higher. 
Winner: Natalia Silva

Nick: This is a fun contrast of styles! Silva is a taekwondo striker with a sneaky BJJ guard and Bleda is a powerful wrestler with nasty ground and pound. I was super impressed with Silva in her debut, and despite her giving up a pretty noticeable size advantage in this one, I’m going to take her to pick up the victory. I think she’ll have a speed advantage on the feet and enough positional awareness on the mat to win a decision. 
Winner: Natalia Silva


The UFC Vegas 65 preliminary card will be aired live on ESPN+ from 1 pm ET.

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