MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s top bouts. Today, we look at the main card for UFC on ABC 3.

UFC on ABC 3 takes place Saturday at UBS Arena in Elmont, N.Y. The main card airs on ABC and streams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN/ESPN+.

Last event’s results: 2-3

Overall picks for UFC main cards in 2022: 67-37-1

Welcome to MMAJunkie’s Quick Picks and Prognostications, where I’ll be giving brief, fight-day breakdowns for UFC main cards.

With that in mind, I hope these write-ups don’t come off as curt or dismissive, as my goal here is to offer quick picks and analysis in a digestible format. All odds listed are provided by Tipico Sportsbook.

If you’d like more detailed analysis from me, then feel free to check out my weekly show, The Protect Ya’ Neck Podcast.

So, without further ado…

Matchup: Lauren Murphy (+170) vs. Miesha Tate (-220)

Lauren Murphy, left, and Miesha Tate face off during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC on ABC 3 mixed martial arts event, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Elmont, NY. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Summary: In the spirit of keeping with curious card structures, the UFC has decided to open their main card with a rescheduled women’s flyweight bout between Lauren Murphy and Miesha Tate.

Although I’m officially siding with Tate to win, her last outing opposite Ketlen Vieira was a bit worrisome. Murphy may not be a judoka with the same level of countering threats, but the 38-year-old has made solid strides in her striking and can score damaging knees and elbows in the clinch.

That said, I suspect that Tate’s takedowns will be enough to score some positional time and strikes of her own to edge the scorecards in her direction for a decision win.

Matchup: Shane Burgos (-170) vs. Charles Jourdain (+133)

Shane Burgos, left, and Charles Jourdain face off during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC on ABC 3 mixed martial arts event, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Elmont, NY. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Summary: Serving as an offering that has all the feels of a Joe Silva-era opener is a fun matchup between Shane Burgos and Charles Jourdain.

Despite being a big fan of Jourdain’s fighting style and attitude, I find myself siding with the pressure of Burgos. Unless Jourdain is able to time one of Burgos’ slips with a head kick or a perfectly-placed counter, then I see the pace and bodywork of the native New Yorker paying dividends down the stretch of what will probably be a three-round war.

Matchup: Matt Schnell (+195) vs. Su Madaerji (-260)

Summary: I know that I complain a lot when it comes to card structures, but I’m happy to see the UFC showcase flyweights like Matt Schnell and Su Madaerji on the ABC broadcast.

Even though I hate picking against fighters who train at Fortis MMA, I am siding with Su here. The Chinese fighter runs the risk of getting submitted in prolonged grappling exchanges, but I believe that Su’s length, athleticism, and southpaw stylings could act as stylistic kryptonite for a fighter like Schnell.

For that reason, I’ll pick Su to score a first-round knockout with a check right hook.

Matchup: Li Jingliang (+125) vs. Muslim Salikhov (-160)

Summary: Despite initially coming into this fight leaning toward Muslim Salikhov, I ended up going with Li Jingliang.

Don’t get me wrong: Salikhov was the better Sanda fighter between the two and is the deserved favorite here, I just suspect that this fight will get ugly for the native of Makhachkala if he fails to stop Li in the first half of the fight.

Add in Salikhov’s propensity to tire and shoot takedowns when under fire, and I’ll take Li to score a club-n-sub comeback in round 3.

Matchup: Michelle Waterson (+235) vs. Amanda Lemos (-320)

Summary: The co-main event on ABC is a solid strawweight offering between Michelle Waterson and Amanda Lemos.

The odds may a bit wide at first glance, but I’m largely in agreement with the spread above. Unless Waterson is able to score meaningful takedowns or secure an opportunistic submission, then I suspect that Lemos’ power and countering prowess will be too much to handle.

I’ll side with Lemos to have a better showing in the grappling department by keeping things on the feet and earning a somewhat surprising submission win in the second round after hurting Waterson with some hard strikes.

Matchup: Brian Ortega (-190) vs. Yair Rodriguez (+145)

Yair Rodriguez, right, and Brian Ortega face off during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC on ABC 3 mixed martial arts event, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Elmont, NY. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Summary: As stated in my in-depth breakdown, the main event on Long Island features a fantastic featherweight matchup with potential fireworks attached.

Although I don’t blame anyone for taking a shot on the underdog in this spot, I find myself siding with the favorite. I believe that Rodriguez will likely be winning this fight early and emphatically, but his propensity to throw himself out of position with either spinning assaults or late-round takedowns could cost him here.

For that reason, I’ll pick Ortega to turn things around in his Babe Ruthe-like ways, scoring an opportunistic submission by the third round.

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