Alexander Hernandez

Longtime featherweight contenders Damon Jackson and Alexander Hernandez face off this weekend in a co-main event slot on UFC Fight Night. The two are both coming off some competitive losses, each losing decisions against young contenders in Bill Algeo and Billy Quarantillo.

Both have fought a who’s who in their respective careers, accumulating misleadingly spotty records despite their sharp technical ability. A win for either would be huge, solidifying their status as top contenders in the featherweight division and putting them back on track towards the rankings.

Betting Odds

With a much more suspect chin and a less well-rounded game, Damon Jackson enters this as a near 2-1 underdog.

  • Damon Jackson: +170 (BetUS)
  • Alexander Hernandez: -205 (BetUS)

Fight Breakdown

This is really a battle of sharpness against explosivity. Damon Jackson utilizes a very tall, long stance that emphasizes peppering jabs and sharp counters to slowly walk his opponents down against the cage. He has a devastating Thai clinch that he uses whenever opponents close the distance, allowing him to unload knees and control their position in the octagon. He uses his kicks somewhat sparingly, only throwing to the legs and body when they’re 100% available, but he has an extremely effective front kick to the body when he decides to use it.

Hernandez has come a long way since he joined the UFC, no longer utilizing his natural athleticism to run through his opponents. He’s fought much more conservatively in his most recent bouts, frequently pulling back on his strikes and finding his range rather than constantly looking for finishes. He still has that same explosivity as when he started, however, with his rear strikes and kicks often breaking his opponent’s guard and leaving them open for follow-up strikes.

In terms of grappling, I’d give Hernandez a fairly significant edge. Don’t get me wrong, Jackson has some sharp takedown defense; his lanky frame makes it difficult to shoot from a distance without catching a knee or uppercut and his BJJ background has led to some crazy scrambles in his fights. Hernandez is much more proficient against the cage, however, and his explosive single and double legs have yet to be stopped outside of the most seasoned grapplers at 145 and 155. Once on the mats, Hernandez is often in his element, using immense pressure and extremely active ground and pound to find finishes.

Prediction and Betting Guide

I’m going with Hernandez here. He’s much more well-rounded and, given Jackson’s track record against hyper-explosive fighters like Dan Ige and Ilia Topuria, the threat of the knockout is always there. Just to be safe, I’d say he weathers the storm and loses via UD through Hernandez’s grappling.

You never know what’s going to happen, though, as Jackson has proven multiple times that he’s very capable of changing the flow of a fight in just a single exchange, so Hernandez is going to have to be at the top of his game to get him out of there.

Pick: Hernandez via UD (+350) or Hernandez via KO/TKO/DQ (+120) at BetUS

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