Serhiy Sidey vs. Ramon Taveras prediction | Contender Series 1

In the co-main event of this Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series, we have a great matchup between two talented strikers in Serhiy Sidey and Ramon Taveras. These two both hold the Bantamweight title in the regional scene from which they came, and I believe either would be a welcomed addition to the UFC roster.

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Betting Odds

The sportsbooks are high on the Canadian prospect as Serhiy Sidey is currently more than a two-to-one favorite over the dangerous Taveras.

  • Serhiy Sidey: -215 (BetUS)
  • Ramon Taveras: +160 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Serhiy Sidey has ten pro fights with a record of 9-1 but has looked like a seasoned veteran for a while now. He’s well rounded with a majority of his offense coming in the way of fast boxing combos while pushing an insane pace on his opponent.

Serhiy is a technical striker with great footwork. He likes to work his straight shots like the jab from orthodox as well as a straight cross with the left hand from southpaw. He keeps a high pace and pressures his opponent at all times, often forcing them to try to create space around the cage. Sidey does well with his footwork to keep his opponent in front of him and rarely allows himself to be caught with anything significant as he tracks his opponents down. His striking is fast and accurate but he doesn’t carry a ton of power; his knockouts are usually caused by volume and/or a well-placed body shot but he doesn’t often stun or drop his opponents with one shot to the head. With a more technical style of striking should come more volume than that of power strikers and Sidey brings just that. We’ve seen him fight at a grueling pace over five rounds and still look nimble and fresh over all 25 minutes.

One of the best traits for Sidey is his defense. Both in his striking defense as well as stuffing takedowns, Sidey has shown time and time again that he sees shots coming at him and is quick to react. His hands are consistently in the right spot to parry or deflect incoming strikes and his footwork helps him get out of range when he feels any sort of danger. He’s faced a host of fighters who want to take him down and he’s shown great defense against the cage to defend the whole package of takedowns. On the ground, he’s shown good submissions from his back and an ability to get back to his feet on the rare occasion that he’s taken down.

His opponent, Ramon Taveras, 8-1, has found a lot of his recent success through powerful counterpunching. Taveras is a southpaw and likes to fire the left straight down the middle which has a lot of power behind it for how quick it can be. There isn’t much in the way of available tape for Ramon but his last three bouts have all looked very similar; Taveras loves to use his stature and powerful shots to force his opponent against the cage where he uses feints to draw out his opponent’s shots before firing back with one or two of his own.

When Taveras comes forward, he doesn’t put together lengthy combos but when he does throw, he makes sure he lands the more impactful shots. He’ll work the body as well as the head with his boxing and counters but when he’s not waiting for his opponent to throw first, he has a tendency to head hunt. There has been an obvious gap in his talent and that of his opponents where they are almost afraid to throw back at him as he has the power to end the fight in one shot. There’s little in the way of wrestling attempts, feints or movement from his opponents as they sit along the cage and play Taveras’s game.

If Taveras wants to be successful against Sidey, he needs to rely more on his kicks. His rear leg head kick from southpaw is explosive and has little tell and will be useful in corralling the elusive Sidey. These kicks will set up his boxing, especially to the body where he can open up opportunities to land his powerful punches upstairs.

For Sidey, he needs to keep the fight at range with his straight strikes, leg kicks and footwork. When Taveras looks to close the gap, he should use his strong clinch game to wear on the motor of his opponent and maybe even challenge the grappling. We know Sidey is capable of keeping a crazy pace of five rounds and he’ll need to utilize that conditioning, pushing the pace on Ramon and zapping the power from the talented counter striker.


In matchups like this one this season, the more powerful striker has been more successful as they are willing to go out there and throw leather with little regard to what is coming back their way and often score the knockout. The pressure and power of Taveras could force another situation like this but Sidey’s footwork and experience should help him in avoiding being trapped against the cage as Taveras tees off. I think Sidey gets it done on the scorecards but hedge a bet on Taveras to win by knockout.

Prediction: Serhiy Sidey to win by decision

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  1. I don’t have any public-facing tracking yet for my picks, but I post all my picks on Twitter each week (@MMAqbical). You’ll see my full analysis on a few fights every week here though!