HOLLY HOLM VS BETHE CORREIA
This year has already seen Holly Holm get her place in the Class of 2017 of the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame, but all that’s on the mind of “The Preacher’s Daughter” is getting back on track in the UFC after three losses. Saturday night may be the perfect opportunity to do that, as she’s facing an opponent in Bethe Correia who will not be hard to find for five rounds. The “Pitbull” lives up to her nickname on fight night, yet her aggressive attack may be just what Holm needs to pick her shots and show off the striking that earned her that Hall of Fame nod. And when Holm is on, she usually makes a pretty impressive statement.
ANDREI ARLOVSKI VS MARCIN TYBURA
So, has Andrei Arlovski reached the end of the road at 38, or is his four-fight losing streak a product of fighting two UFC champions (one current, one former), a former Strikeforce and Dream champion, and the hottest heavyweight prospect in the game? Only Arlovski knows that answer, and it’s up to Marcin Tybura to get it out of him. Tybura has looked impressive in his consecutive wins over Viktor Pesta and Luis Henrique, but those guys aren’t former heavyweight champs, leaving Arlovski to extract some answers of his own from Tybura to see if the Polish prospect is the real deal or not.
DONG HYUN KIM VS COLBY COVINGTON
When I look at the welterweight scrap between Dong Hyun Kim and Colby Covington, there is no middle ground for me. It will either be a war to remember or a grappling match. And I think that all depends on what Kim wants to do. When he wants to be an offensive machine, he can do it at the drop of the hat, but if the smarter way to victory is to make it a clinch and ground battle, he can do that too. So the question is, can Covington force him into fighting his fight? We should know early on in this one.
RAFAEL DOS ANJOS VS TAREC SAFFIEDINE
One of the tougher fights to pick on the card is between Tarec Saffiedine and former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos is making his UFC welterweight debut, but he was always a big 155-pounder and he fought at 170 before he made his way to the Octagon. Plus, Saffiedine isn’t the type of fighter who will use his size or a smothering clinch game to beat his opponents. This one is likely going to be waged on the feet, and Saffiedine’s leg kicks may just dictate what the end result is, because if he keeps RDA at bay and batters his lead leg to take away his power, “Sponge” may just leave Singapore with his biggest UFC win to date.
TAKANORI GOMI VS JON TUCK
At 38 years old and on a three-fight losing skid, Takanori Gomi is in a precarious position heading into his weekend bout with Jon Tuck, who is hungry to add the Japanese icon’s name to his record and snap his own two-fight losing streak. But I am a firm believer in the idea that great fighters have one great fight left in them. UFC fans never got to see Gomi at his best, only getting glimpses of “The Fireball Kid” who dominated in PRIDE, but wouldn’t it be something to see him pull off a big win once again? Tuck will have other ideas, obviously, and that, my friends, is why they fight the fights.
CYRIL ASKER VS WALT HARRIS
Win or lose, you can’t help but enjoy watching Walt Harris fight. He brings what fans want to see from heavyweights every time, and it’s usually feast or famine for “The Big Ticket.” If he wins in Singapore, it will be his first two-fight winning streak in the Octagon, and then he can start thinking more about feasts in the coming months. France’s Cyril Asker can relate to Harris’ plight, going 1-1 in his first two UFC bouts, but like his opponent, Asker can make a statement in a wide open division if he can get two in a row under his belt.
ROLANDO DY VS ALEX CACERES
If you ever saw Rolando Dy’s dad, Rolando Navarette, in the boxing ring, we can only hope that Dy brings the same offensive intensity to Saturday’s bout with Alex Caceres. If he does, then a fight “Bruce Leeroy” will be heavily favored to win all of a sudden becomes a pick ‘em affair. Then again, as Caceres has matured as a fighter, he has become adept at making opponents pay for small mistakes, and if Dy gets too reckless, he could find himself with an 0-1 UFC record.
JUSTIN SCOGGINS VS ULKA SASAKI
This matchup between Justin Scoggins and Ulka Sasaki is one I thought we’d be seeing as a title eliminator one of these days. Instead, with both fighters sporting 2-3 records in their last five, it becomes a sink or swim fight for both. Having said that, the talent level of these flyweights is sky high, and if they fight up to their potential, this could easily steal Fight of the Night honors.
LI JINGLIANG VS FRANK CAMACHO
Frank Camacho may be making his UFC debut Saturday, but at 20-4, he’s no newcomer to the sport. And with heavy hands on his side, it makes for a compelling matchup with the always exciting and dangerous Li Jingliang, an underrated welterweight who is hitting his stride after back to back knockouts of Anton Zafir and Bobby Nash.
KWAN HO KWAK VS RUSSELL DOANE
Russell Doane may be the best fighter on the current roster with a 2-4 record, yet despite that, the Hawaiian has to know that Saturday’s bout with Kwan Ho Kwak is a must win. So expect to see him coming out guns blazing in order to stop the rise of the promising up and comer from South Korea, who has just as much motivation this weekend to pick up his first UFC win after dropping his debut to Brett Johns.
NAOKI INOUE VS CARLS JOHN DE TOMAS
Two unbeaten flyweights make the walk to the Octagon for the first time on Saturday, and this could turn into a firefight in a hurry when Inoue squares off with de Tomas. Of course, de Tomas coming in at 131 pounds for the bout puts a little damper on matters and makes you question his conditioning if the fight gets out of the first round, and if it does, expect Inoue to go from karate to jiu-jitsu in a hurry in order to lock up his eighth submission win.
JI YEON KIM VS LUCIE PUDILOVA
Lucie Pudilova put aside the UFC jitters in her debut against Lina Lansberg in March, and while she didn’t get the decision, it’s safe to say that the Czech Republic native won the crowd. Now she faces an unbeaten prospect making her Octagon debut in Ji Yeon Kim, and while Kim comes to the promotion with positive notices, Pudilova sounds like she means it when she said, “I have respect for Kim, but this won’t go to a decision. She can’t handle my power. My coach and I will fly over half a planet and we do not go to lose or just win on points. I'm determined. I'm going to leave the Octagon victorious. My game plan is simple - I want to finish her as soon as possible.”