UFC Denver: Rose Namajunas vs. Tracy Cortez continues on the prelims with a fight in the bantamweight division between Montel Jackson and Da’Mon Blackshear. Jackson comes into this fight riding a four-fight winning streak and will be making his return to the Octagon after a 15-month layoff meanwhile, Blackshear is coming into this fight off a hard-fought loss at UFC 292 back in August 2023. With that said, check out our UFC odds series for our Jackson-Blackshear prediction and pick.

Montel Jackson (13-2) will be making his first walk to the Octagon since April 2023 when he knocked out Rani Yahya in the first round. After withdrawing from a scheduled fight with Chris Gutierrez in October last year and two canceled bouts with Said Nurmagomedov and Farid Basharat next month, Jackson now gets to finally make the walk when he takes on Da’Mon Blackshear this weekend at the Mile High City, Denver Colorado as he looks to extend his winning streak to five in a row.

Da’Mon Blackshear (14-6-1) took a tough-luck loss against surging contender Mario Bautista at UFC 292 in a fight where many believe he won the fight. Blackshear is looking to get back into the win column in a big way when he takes on surging prospect Montel Jackson this weekend at UFC Denver.

Here are the UFC Denver Odds, courtesy of BetOnline. 

UFC Denver Odds: Montel Jackson-Da’Mon Blackshear Odds

Montel Jackson: -137

Da’Mon Blackshear: +117

Over 2.5 rounds: -210

Under 2.5 rounds: +170

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Why Montel Jackson Will Win

Montel Jackson is riding high coming into this fight winning four straight after his brutal first-round knockout of Rani Yahya back in April 2023. This will be Jackson’s first fight in almost 15 months in large part due to numerous canceled fights and an injury which has plagued him. Now, he’s back in there looking to make up for some lost time when he takes on Da’Mon Blackshear this weekend in Denver, Colorado.

Jackson looked like a bona fide bantamweight title contender after taking a loss to Ricky Simon to start his career when he rattled off three straight dominant performances only to take the second loss of his career against Brett Johns. Since then he’s won four in a row with two of those four coming by brutal knockout. His long frame will be put to the test when he takes on a fighter who’s similar in stature Da’Mon Blackshear. His exceptional boxing combinations and stiff jab will help keep Blackshear from just pressing forward as he hunts for the takedown.

It will be up to Jackson to punish Blackshear from recklessly trying to get within range to get in the clinch to take the fight to the mat which is still a lot easier said than done. As long as Jackson can sprawl and brawl he should come away victorious for his 5th win in a row.

Why Da’Mon Blackshear Will Win

Da’Mon Blackshear took a short-notice opportunity to get a chance to fight in the UFC when he fought Youssef Zalal to a majority draw. Since then, Blackshear has gone 2-2 with two finishes and becoming only the third person in UFC history to submit an opponent via twister. He most recently took a loss against Mario Bautista, a fight that many believed he won, and will now be looking to ensure he doesn’t leave the fight in the hands of the judges this time when he takes on Montel Jackson this weekend.

Blackshear is one of the biggest bantamweights in the division right up there with Montel Jackson even fighting as high as featherweight outside the UFC at times. His bread and butter is grappling which will be his biggest advantage in this fight as we’ve seen that Jackson’s biggest weakness is his grappling. Jackson has been taken down a whopping 19 times in 9 fights, while those numbers are a bit skewed with 15 of them came against Simon and Johns, he has been taken down in 6 of his 9 fights inside the Octagon. As long as Blackshear isn’t making this fight a kickboxing match and he mixes things up he has the potential of getting a high-profile win this weekend.

Final Montel Jackson-Da’Mon Blackshear Prediction & Pick

This should be a great scrap between these two surging bantamweights. As for this matchup goes, Jackson is going to want to lay hands on Blackshear early in this fight and put him away while Blackshear is going to want to use his grappling to take Jackson down and dominate him there. Ultimately, Jackson is certainly going to have the leg up on the feet but Blackshear has progressed a ton in his striking and even took it upon himself to go out to Tiger Muay Thai to get even better and if he’s able to mix in his newfound striking with his takedowns it’s going to be a rough night for Jackson as he potentially gets subbed or loses on the judge’s scorecards.

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Final Montel Jackson-Da’Mon Blackshear Prediction & Pick: Da’Mon Blackshear (+117), Over 2.5 Rounds (-210)