Updated:Feb 18, 2023 1:16 am
When Jéssica Andrade lost to Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 261 in a failed attempt to dethrone her as the UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion, it was seen as the solidification of Shevhenko’s dominance. Lost in the narrative was the fact that Andrade was a former Strawweight Champion who was trying to make her mark in a new weight class. Andrade has now gained momentum as a Flyweight and has strung together an impressive three-fight win streak. Her upcoming opponent for UFC Vegas 69, Erin Blanchfield, is only 23-years-old and undefeated in her four fights on the UFC’s roster. There’s a lot to unpack here; without further ado, let’s get into it!Embed from Getty Images
Andrade vs. Blanchfield
Jéssica Andrade is a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu who had a brief reign as the UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion in 2019. Meanwhile, Erin Blanchfield won consecutive fights which were dubbed Fight of The Night at Invicta FC 39 and 41 before joining The UFC’s roster. At 31-years-old, Andrade is eight years older than her upcoming opponent, however, Blanchfield is not intimidated by experience. She has been a professional since she was 19-years old and is used to dueling against older combatants.Embed from Getty Images
Andrade sees herself as the legitimate challenger to the reigning champion, Valentina Shevchenko. Another victory could earn her a second shot at the title. Blanchfield believes she is the best fighter in the division; she just doesn’t have the signature win to earn herself a title shot. A win against Andrade would be the kind of resume building victory that Blanchfield is looking for. Make sure to tune in to witness Andrade and Blanchfield lay it all on the line at UFC Vegas 69!Embed from Getty Images
Wright vs. Pauga
Light Heavyweight prospect Jordan Wright has not won a fight since May of 2021. He is in the midst of a three-fight losing streak during which he has been knocked out or submitted in each bout. Zac Pauga, Wright’s next opponent, has just one UFC appearance on his resume, a second round knockout loss to Mohammed Usman in August of last year. These are two men who each need a win in order to stay relevant. In Wright’s case, the status of his UFC contract may very well depend on the result of his next fight. These two men are on the outside looking in on the organization’s divisional rankings. Don’t miss the chance to see them attempt to reverse their fortunes when they meet in the middle of the octagon!
Parisian vs. Pogues
Josh Parisian was once the CLIP MMA heavyweight champion. His reign was short lived; he immediately vacated his title in pursuit of larger venues and greener pastures. Later, he became a graduate of Dana White’s Contender Series where had an impressive showing and emerged victorious against Chad Johnson. Since then, he has been a mediocre heavyweight, winning two UFC fights and losing two others. At 33-years-old, time is winding down for him to display the talent that many thought would make him an elite fighter in the division. If Josh Parisian is to live up to the hype that surrounded him a few years ago, the time to do so is now.
Leading up to this moment, Jamal Pogues has had three major opportunities to catapult his career to the next level. The first came in 2018 when he participated in Bellator 201. Unfortunately, Pogues did not get the result he wanted that night, instead losing to Jordan Young due to an armbar submission. The next two opportunities came via Dana White’s Contender Series, during which Pogues emerged victorious in August of 2019 and again in August of 2022. UFC Vegas 69 will mark the first official UFC fight of Pogues’ career. Defeating Josh Parisian would be a huge step in the right direction for him. Both of these men have a lot to lose in their head to head battle; make sure to tune in and witness all of the action!
Knight vs. Prachnio
34-year-old William Knight’s ability to gain and lose weight is astounding. At 5’10” tall, he has the ability to carry the muscle mass of a man five or six inches taller than he is. He can comfortably get up to 250 pounds without losing his mobility or becoming obese. That sort of muscle gaining ability is due to one thing: genetics. There is no amount of weight training that can teach a body that is not capable of doing that to do it. With his body type, it would not surprise me at all if there were some elite American Football players and body builders somewhere in his family tree. Nevertheless, Knight has chosen to drop all the way down to 205 pounds and fight as a Light Heavyweight for his next bout. It is a remarkable body transformation that few people can do without posing a serious health risk to themselves.
34-year-old Marcin Prachnio is a Black belt in Karate and a Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Prachnio has fought in several promotions throughout his career, and has also competed at Heavyweight and Middleweight. He has agreed to meet Knight at Light Heavyweight for their upcoming bout at UFC Vegas 69. These two men can’t seem to decide which weight class they are best suited for; perhaps that’s why neither man has become elite in any particular division. Nevertheless, they will put on a spirited performance for the crowd at The Apex Center on Saturday night. You won’t want to miss it!
Miller vs. Hernandez
Although Jim Miller never received a title shot during his tenure on the UFC’s roster, he is undoubtedly headed to the Hall of Fame once his career is over. That is because he holds the record for the most bouts in the organization’s history, and the most wins in the organization’s history as well. Those are two significant records; keeping him out of the Hall of Fame would be a criminal act. At 39-years-old, retirement is fast approaching but he is determined to exit the sport on his own terms.
Alexander Hernandez is a 30-year-old Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Although he has lost three out of his last four fights, he is still seen as a threat inside the octagon. He is a skilled technician who hasn’t managed to match his talent and expertise with the results he has been seeking. Beating a well-known fighter like Jim Miller would do wonders for Hernandez’s confidence and help point his career back in the right direction. You won’t want to miss Miller and Hernandez slugging it out in the center of the octagon at UFC Vegas 69!
How to watch
UFC Vegas 69 can be viewed on BT Sport in The United Kingdom and on ESPN Plus in The United States. As always, we’ll have all the latest updates about the outcomes of the fights, as well as in depth analysis, available right here at World in Sport!