JUNIOR DOS SANTOS VS BLAGOY IVANOV
In action for the first time since his title fight loss to Stipe Miocic in May 2017, former world champion Junior Dos Santos finds himself in Boise, facing a fighter that hardcore fight fans know to be one of the top heavyweights in the game in Blagoy Ivanov. Bulgaria’s Ivanov may be a relative unknown to more mainstream UFC followers, but that obscurity can disappear in a hurry if he can dispatch JDS in his first Octagon bout. And while Ivanov has the tools to do just that, the favorite remains Dos Santos, whose size and reach advantages – and his ability to use them – could be the deciding factor on Saturday night.
Got Beef? Lol pic.twitter.com/d8tblMdSAI
— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) July 10, 2018
Moving back to welterweight, Sage Northcutt has a big task ahead of him as he returns to a division where he currently holds an 0-2 record. But as 22-year-olds are accustomed to doing, Northcutt is still growing, and this may very well be his fighting home now. We’ll find out in three rounds or less if that is true, because Ottow is the kind of veteran powerhouse that will ask questions of Northcutt early and often.
— UFC (@ufc) July 11, 2018
One of the best fighters in the UFC you will find sporting a three-fight losing streak, Dennis Bermudez has been on the wrong end of two split decisions in his last two bouts, and he is vowing to take matters out of the judges’ hands against Rick Glenn. That’s a task easier said than done against the gritty Glenn, who is looking forward to scrapping with “The Menace” in what should be a very interesting featherweight matchup.
When @ChadMendes enters the Octagon, expect KO power. #UFCBoise pic.twitter.com/nqJljbz3yz
— UFC (@ufc) July 11, 2018
Speaking of very interesting featherweight matchups, one of the best in the game, Chad Mendes, makes his return against the criminally underrated Myles Jury. Mendes is looking to bounce back from a pair of losses to Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar and nearly three years on the sidelines, so there are a lot of question marks around “Money.” As for Jury, an 8-2 UFC record is nothing to laugh at, but it may take a win over Mendes for “Fury” to break through to the next level.
Arrived #ufcboise #alphacatzingano #teamalphacat #acz #catzingano @ufc pic.twitter.com/ZsEzNWwSEA
— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) July 11, 2018
There’s no “title elimination” tag attached to this bantamweight bout, but maybe there should be. Zingano has been on a three-fight skid, but an impressive return to form against Reneau, coupled with a victory over current champion Amanda Nunes makes a rematch an attractive possibility. But it’s Reneau that will really have a case for a shot at “The Lioness” with a win over Zingano, because that will mean she will leave Idaho with a 4-0-1 record in her last five. That’s title shot material.
EDDIE WINELAND VS ALEJANDRO PEREZ
TUF LATAM winner Alejandro Perez has had the quietest unbeaten streak in the UFC in a long time, but if he can go from 5-0-1 to 6-0-1 against Eddie Wineland on Saturday, it may be the boost he needs to get into the top 10. Wineland’s inactivity has hurt him, but if he can return with a splash, the veteran power puncher may have kickstarted another run to the top.
Fight Week! Let’s Go! # ufcboise #ufc #teamalphamale pic.twitter.com/ZtXtAAfqLo
— Darren Elkins (@DarrenElkinsMMA) July 9, 2018
This one has flown under the radar, but Darren Elkins vs Alexander Volkanovski is a nice fight at 145 pounds and it bears looking at because an Elkins win puts him on a seven-fight UFC winning streak, and that’s title shot territory. As for Volkanovski, the Aussie makes his UFC debut with a 14-fight winning streak in his back pocket that includes four UFC victories. Is he for real, or will truth machine Elkins say that Alexander “The Great” is not ready for prime time yet?
JUSTIN SCOGGINS VS SAID NURMAGOMEDOV
As the cousin of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, there’s a lot of pressure on Russian newcomer Said Nurmagomedov, but he doesn’t look to be the type to get rattled by much, which may be bad news for Scoggins, who is still trying to find the consistency to match his talent.
RANDY BROWN VS NIKO PRICE
Good stuff at 170 pounds in this matchup between Randy Brown and Niko Price. Both are talented and aggressive prospects still getting their feet wet in the UFC, but a big win here can be the coming out party for the winner.
LIZ CARMOUCHE VS JENNIFER MAIA
One of those fighters who never thought they would get a UFC shot due to the lack of a women’s 125-pound weight class, former Invicta FC champion Jennifer Maia now has her chance to shine in the Octagon. And if she can beat longtime contender Liz Carmouche this weekend, she will likely skyrocket into the top ten and maybe even higher in the UFC’s newest division.
KURT HOLOBAUGH VS RAONI BARCELOS
Kurt Holobaugh makes his first UFC start since 2013 when he takes on Raoni Barcelos in prelim action. Holobaugh, 8-2-1 in the time after his lone UFC bout against Steven Siler, looked good in his bout against Matt Bessette last year, and while that bout was turned to a no contest due to Holobaugh’s prohibited use of a pre-fight IV, the Louisianan did earn his second shot in the Octagon, and he’ll look to make the most of it against talented Brazilian prospect Barcelos.
MARK DE LA ROSA VS ELIAS GARCIA
Family matters are a good talking point around this one, as the cousin of Anthony and Sergio Pettis, Elias Garcia, makes his Octagon debut against Mark De La Rosa, who is fighting a week after his wife, Montana, picked up her second UFC win in Las Vegas.
A post shared by Jessica “Jag” Aguilar (@jagatt) on Jul 10, 2018 at 1:29pm PDT
Two veterans of WMMA square off in Boise, and it’s going to be a classic matchup of striker vs grappler when Jodie Esquibel and Jessica Aguilar battle it out in search of their first UFC win.