The Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship is back and ADXC 2 is scheduled for January 19th, 2024, so we’ve put together a full preview of every match in the lineup. There are some great matches booked for the event, including a no gi main event that stars a pair of top UFC veterans. Aljamain Sterling and Chase Hooper are meeting in the final match of the night and shortly before that, the promotion is sticking to the precedent they’ve set by staging a gi main event as well. That is another excellent matchup too, as Manuel Ribamar will be facing off against top Portuguese black belt Bruno Lima.
ADXC 2 Full Lineup Preview
Aljamain Sterling vs Chase Hooper
Aljamain Sterling has great wrestling and he’s been able to develop his BJJ skills to a great level over his years as an MMA fighter, and this should be a great stylistic matchup. Hooper is a young BJJ black belt who actually started out competing in the sport before making the move to MMA. The fact that ADXC uses a round system will definitely play into Sterling’s hands as they have to reset to standing each time, but Chase Hooper is known for being dangerous from everywhere. Hooper definitely has the ability to find the submission but it’s going to be hard, and Sterling should be able to work his way to a decision win.
Prediction: Aljamain Sterling by Decision
Bruno Lima vs Manuel Ribamar
Manuel Ribamar has been a great competitor for a few years now and he does hold a win over Bruno Lima from 2020, but the match ended due to an injury suffered by Lima. There isn’t much to take from that match except that both men will be pretty evenly-matched and neither of them have particularly high finishing-rates either. That means that it’s unlikely this ends in submission, and there probably won’t be a particularly clear winner either. Lima has been in great form recently, so he might be able to squeeze out the win here.
Prediction: Bruno Lima by Decision
Ffion Davies vs Luana Pinheiro
Although this is a match between two big names in their respective sports, it should end up pretty one-sided once the cage door closes. Luana Pinheiro is a top 10 UFC strawweight with plenty of submission wins but she’s stepping into the grappling world against one of the best there is in Ffion Davies. Pinheiro will definitely give it her all and she might even be able to use her Judo background to win some standing exchanges, but ultimately Davies should be able to finish this match.
Prediction: Ffion Davies by Submission
Pablo Lavaselli vs Espen Mathiesen
Pablo Lavaselli and Espen Mathiesen actually have a fair bit of history on the mats, as they have crossed paths twice before in 2021. They each won one of them and there was only a single point difference in both matches, so they really could have gone either way. Mathiesen finishes more of his matches than Lavaselli does, but the round format that ADXC uses will help level the playing-field a little there. Mathiesen does have more potential paths to victory though, and even if he can’t find the finish he should still have a slight edge.
Prediction: Espen Mathiesen by Decision
Denzel Freeman vs Pouya Rahmani
These two heavyweights are very closely-matched in every aspect. They’re about the same age and height along with competing in the same weight class, and they will both likely make good use of their wrestling. The main difference will be what happens when they get to the ground, where Rahmani seems to have the advantage. If Freeman is able to beat him standing and stay safe on the ground then he might be able to win, but the safe bet is for Rahmani to put him under pressure on the ground whether he starts on top or not.
Prediction: Pouya Rahmani by Decision
Terrance McKinney vs Sidney Outlaw
This is going to be a really tough battle between two MMA veterans, as McKinney and Outlaw each have more than 20 professional fights under their belt. They’ve each had a number of submission finishes throughout their respective MMA careers, and they’ve each fought at a similar level. While McKinney is attempting to work his way into the UFC rankings, Outlaw has fought the highest level of opposition available at Bellator. It’s tough to predict, but Outlaw has been able to use his grappling more effectively during his MMA career so he should be able to outwork McKinney to a decision.
Prediction: Sidney Outlaw by Decision
Douglas Lima vs Rinat Fakhretdinov
This is another match between UFC and Bellator veterans, both of whom happen to be very well-rounded fighters. Douglas Lima is a former welterweight world champion at Bellator, whereas Fakhretdinov is a rising star in the UFC rankings who still hasn’t lost in their cage. Although Lima does have more experience in MMA, Fakhretdinov also has a ton of experience competing in Sambo as well. With that and age on his side, he should be able to take advantage of some of Lima’s weaknesses and find the submission win.
Prediction: Rinat Fakhretdinov by Submission
Ali Monfaradi vs Talison Costa
Ali Monfaradi is a great pressure passer with some slick backtakes in his arsenal, while Talison Costa has a fantastic guard that is notoriously hard to pass. Monfaradi is also significantly younger than Costa as well, something that might become a factor in a match with rounds involved. Although it should look pretty even during the opening round, Monfaradi should be able to start imposing his game later in the match and will likely take the decision win.
Prediction: Ali Monfaradi by Decision
Gabriel Sousa vs Yuta Shimada
Yuta Shimada is a great grappler and his Judo black belt will likely come in handy under this ruleset, as he gets to put it to good use at the start of every round. Gabriel Sousa has enjoyed success at a higher level of competition though and he’s developed a solid standing grappling game to go along with some slick passing. Sousa should be too much for Shimada to handle and even if he does end up on the bottom at some point, he will be threatening from there too. Although Shimada might have his moments, expect Sousa to find the finish at some point.
Prediction: Gabriel Sousa by Submission
Ahmed Amir vs Matus Arpas
In another match between MMA veterans, Ahmed Amir and Matus Arpas will both be going all out to come away with the win. Amir is far more experienced in MMA and has more than three times as many fights as Arpas, but every single one of Arpas’ wins have come by way of submission. None of his opponents have made it out of the first round and he’s expected to bring that same energy into this match too. If Amir can weather an early storm then he might be able to drown Arpas in the later rounds to win a decision, but he’s going to have to have perfect submission defense in order to do so.
Prediction: Matus Arpas by Submission
Omar Al Suwaidi vs Shay Montague
Omar Al Suwaidi is coming into this match fresh off a great performance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam tournament in Tokyo, so he’ll be riding a wave of momentum. While that might be working in his favor, it’s going to take a lot more than that for him to come away with the win against Shay Montague. Although Montague is a pretty fresh black belt, he’s already started delivering good results against some of the best competitors on the planet. Al Suwaidi does definitely have a path to victory but it’s going to be hard for him to find it and the most likely outcome here is that Montague wins the submission.
Prediction: Shay Montague by Submission
Yara Kakish vs Emily Ferreira
This is the only women’s match on the preliminary card and it’s also looking like it might be one of the most exciting matches of the night. Yara Kakish has had some good wins in the past and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her emerge victorious against Emily Ferreira either. Ferreira is a black belt under Bruno Bastos and has been close to breaking through to the top level of competition for a while now. This match will likely be pretty close once the cage door closes, but Kakish might have enough of an experience advantage to win.
Prediction: Yara Kakish by Decision
Mohammed Al Suwaidi vs Seonghyeon Joo
Mohammed Al Suwaidi is the brother of Omar and he’s also competing at the event, taking on a tough challenge of his own. Seonghyeon Joo is a good guard player and is just as young as Al Suwaidi, so he should be pretty comfortable with the relentless pace that he can bring. Al Suwaidi should be able to win the standing exchanges and potentially avoid the worst of Joo’s guard in the process. Joo only needs one good opening to finish the fight of course, but Al Suwaidi should be able to make sure that he never gets that chance.
Prediction: Mohammed Al Suwaidi by Decision
Alinur Kuatuly vs Yaroslav Rymashevkii
This is a battle between two teenagers who are both going to be ones to watch for the future. Kuatuly is a 17 year-old purple belt whereas Rymashevkii is a 19 year-old brown belt, and both of them have enjoyed a ton of success competing on the AJP Tour circuit. They actually met on the mats when they were both purple belts in 2023, when Kutauly won 4-3 on points in an exciting match. This could have gone either way back then but young competitors often develop incredibly quickly, so either one could have made a lot of progression since then. The safe bet is probably on Kuatuly to repeat that success, although it’s far from guaranteed.
Prediction: Alinur Kuatuly by Decision
The full ADXC 2 event, including every match in the above lineup preview, will be available to watch live on January 19th, 2024 on TX7 Sports.