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Preview: UFC Fight Night 238 Prelims

Anders vs. Pickett


The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s latest stopover at the UFC Apex sees a decent slate of prelims on Saturday in Las Vegas. Eryk Anders and Ludovit Klein are featured in the top two UFC Fight Night 238 bouts, and after some obvious improvements in recent affairs, they each get potential showcases against overmatched competition. Meanwhile, a clash between Aiemann Zahabi and Javid Basharat pairs two surging bantamweights, and a middleweight fight matching Christian Leroy Duncan with Claudio Ribeiro should be entertaining. Add in two Dana White’s Contender Series standouts getting some intriguing fights in their UFC debuts—bantamweight Vinicius de Oliveira against fellow newcomer Bernardo Sopai, and Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady against lightweight vet Loik Radzhabov—and there appears to be something for everyone.

Now to the preview for the UFC Fight Night 238 prelims:

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Middleweights

Eryk Anders (15-8, 7-8 UFC) vs. Jamie Pickett (13-10, 2-6 UFC)

ODDS: Anders (-425), Pickett (+330)

It feels funny to say this about a fighter who was headlining cards six years ago, but Anders seems to be hitting a new level. Anders showed some potential as a raw prospect upon hitting the UFC in 2017 but got thrown into the deep end the next year for main events against Lyoto Machida and Thiago Santos, mostly owing to his built-in fanbase as a former standout linebacker for the University of Alabama. After those losses, Anders chugged along as part of the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions with a combination of uninspiring wins and frustrating losses. Anders’ physicality and toughness meant he always hung around in his fights, but he fought behind a plodding and low-output style that mostly sucked the life out of the proceedings. However, with his 2022 fight against Jun Yong Park—a controversial split decision loss—Anders started showing the flashes of a much more functional approach, upping the pace a bit with some more fluid striking. While those improvements have not yielded much in the way of results yet, Anders looks to finally be reaching his peak as an effective fighter. With that background, this fight against Pickett seems clearly set up for an Anders win. It is honestly a bit surprising to see that Pickett is still with the UFC after four straight losses. Pickett was a frustrating fighter even during his rise as a prospect, as he combined plenty of physical and athletic talent with an unwillingness to pull the trigger. Pickett seemed to turn the corner a bit as an absolute grinder with a two-fight winning streak that bridged 2021 to 2022, but his last four fights have seen him get outworked and look uncomfortable. Pickett does not even have his usual physical advantages to lean on, so it is hard to see this as anything other than one-way traffic. The pick is Anders via second-round stoppage.

Jump To »
Anders vs. Pickett
Klein vs. Cunningham
Basharat vs. Zahabi
Duncan vs. Ribeiro
De Oliveira vs. Sopai
Al-Sewady vs. Radzhabov

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