MMA Record: 10-1
UFC Record: 1-0
Notable Wins: Maia Stevenson
Notable Losses: None
Last Fight: Submission win over Maia Stevenson
Fighter Profile: One of the top young Brazilian strawweights in the UFC, Viana had a tremendous UFC debut when she tapped out Stevenson. All told, Viana has won six straight fights and all 10 of her career victories have come by stoppage. She has the ability to finish the fight both on the feet an on the ground and that makes her a dangerous fighter in a division where stopping power is hard to come by. Viana is still very much unproven and hasn’t really fought anyone of note, but from what we’ve seen of her so far she’s quite impressive and it will be interesting to see if she can break through and get to the next level at 115lbs.
MMA Record: 6-2
UFC Record: 2-1
Notable Wins: Danielle Taylor, Chan Mi-Jeon
Notable Losses: Juliana Lima, Jamie Moyle
Last Fight: Decision win over Danielle Taylor
Fighter Profile: A former Invicta FC prospect, Aldrich had a tough start to her UFC career but has really turned it around since then. On TUF 23 she lost by submission to eventual winner Tatiana Suarez and then dropped a decision to Juliana Lima in her official UFC debut. Credit to Aldrich though as she’s now on a two-fight win streak with solid decision wins over Taylor and Jeon in her last two fights. She’s a tough, scrappy fighter who is not easy to put away. It remains to be seen if she can get to the top of 115lbs considering her lack of stopping power, but right now she looks like she at least has top-15 potential.
Fight Breakdown: Although most feel that Viana will probably finish the fight — and there’s definitely a good chance that happens — I’m not sure sure. I don’t feel like Aldrich is being given a fair shake in the odds considering her prior experience in the UFC and against better competition than Viana, who has pretty much fought a bunch of nobodies. Viana has been finishing everyone in her path, but I don’t think many of those fighters are UFC caliber, whereas Aldrich is only fighting UFC-caliber fighters. I think if Aldrich can survive a tough first round that she can outwork Viana and win a decision, and I’ll go with Aldrich for the upst.
Prediction: JJ Aldrich via decision