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Preview: UFC on ESPN 59 Prelims

Kline vs. Jasudavicius


A flurry of last-minute changes to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s latest stop in Denver resulted in a surprisingly strong UFC on ESPN 59 undercard this Saturday at Ball Arena. It offers some of the best bouts on the bill, even if half of the competitors were not assigned to it two weeks ago. To that end, the featured fight sees the short-notice promotional debut of one of the top prospects on the regional scene, as highly touted strawweight Fatima Kline makes the move up to 125 pounds for a tough but winnable clash against Jasmine Jasudavicius. From there, the two late additions stand out as particularly strong affairs: Flyweight Joshua Van, who might be the best prospect on the UFC roster, gets a willing dance partner in Charles Johson, while bantamweights Montel Jackson and Da’Mon Blackshear meet in an interesting test for both men.

Now to the preview for the UFC on ESPN 59 prelims:

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Women’s Flyweights

Fatima Kline (6-0, 0-0 UFC) vs. #15 WFLW | Jasmine Jasudavicius (10-3, 4-2 UFC)

ODDS: Kline (-122), Jasudavicius (+102)

A late-notice change makes this a particularly fascinating affair, as it marks the UFC debut of a top prospect in Kline. The Long Islander is a shade over three years into her professional career, and she started getting some buzz as a potential call-up in the last year and a half, scoring a win over “The Ultimate Fighter” alum Laura Gallardo and winning titles at both flyweight and strawweight on the regional scene. Kline turns 24 the day before this fight takes place, and she is quite poised for someone so early in her career. Her reputation is as a standout grappler, but she has shown a solid knack for picking her spots to either stay patient or throw down on the feet. Kline’s regional fights have mostly been extended one-way traffic, but there is some concern in the short term with her move into a major promotion. With a lot of success centering around her wrestling, she doesn’t read as the type of powerhouse athlete who can get away with a bullying style, particularly up at 125 pounds. Kline will probably be fine in the long run in terms of adding strength and muscle—she might not even need to do so if she decides to carve a path down at strawweight—but for now, this late-notice debut against Jasudavicius could go either way. Jasudavicius has chugged along on the fringes of the UFC’s flyweight rankings since signing with the promotion in 2021. The Canadian has a focused game built around pressure but keeps running into a clear physical ceiling. Large but slow, Jasudavicius is capable of mauling an opponent who can’t get out of her way—see her extended beating of Priscila Cachoeira in January—but losses to Natalia Silva and Tracy Cortez left her without much of an answer as to how to make up a clear difference in speed. Jasudavicius is an absolute gamer and clearly the toughest test of Kline’s career to date, but this does seem like a pairing where the UFC newcomer can thread the needle and walk away with a win. Jasudavicius wrestles a lot but doesn’t have lockdown defense, and Kline has a surprising amount of size parity given that she’s likely a natural strawweight. This could be an ugly grind no matter who wins. The pick is Kline via decision.

Continue Reading »
Kline vs. Jasudavicius
Van vs. Johnson
Santos vs. Agapova
Fremd vs. Petroski
Jackson vs. Blackshear
Elder vs. Flowers
More Fight Odds

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