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Fights To Watch Before UFC Philadelphia

Look Back At Eight Stand-Out Fights From The Stars Of UFC Philadelphia

On Saturday the Octagon returns to the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ for the first time since 2011, featuring a spectacular match-up between two of the best lightweights in the world when Edson Barboza goes to war with Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje. The striking battle should be fireworks, as both fighters are renowned for their high octane striking and relentless pressure.

The co-main event for UFC Philadelphia features the dangerous David Branch versus the rising Jack Hermansson. Both middleweights are in need of a big win and have major fight finishing capabilities.

Get ready for UFC Philadelphia by watching the past performances of some of the cards biggest stars and prospects. Watch the collection here:

Edson Barboza vs Dan Hooker
UFC Milwaukee – December 15, 2018
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Coming off of losses to champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and contender Kevin Lee, Barboza was in desperate need of a victory heading into his match-up with New Zealand’s Dan Hooker. Barboza would go on to put on an absolute clinic in one of the deadliest displays of striking we saw all year.

Justin Gaethje vs Michael Johnson
TUF 25 Finale – July 7, 2017
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07: (R-L) Justin Gaethje punches Michael Johnson after their lightweight bout during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena on July 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

In his UFC debut, Justin Gaethje aimed to impress. He knew that would be tough to do against a tough opponent like Michael Johnson. But in what ended up as one of the fights of the year, Gaethje managed to do just that.

David Branch vs Thiago Santos
UFC Atlantic City – April 21, 2018
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - APRIL 20: (L-R) Opponents David Branch and Thiago Santos of Brazil face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at the Boardwalk Hall on April 20, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Making noise in a division of beasts requires something extra special and that’s exactly what David Branch did in his fight against Thiago Santos.

Jack Hermansson vs Gerald Meerschaert
UFC Milwaukee – December 15, 2018
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 14: (L-R) Opponents Gerald Meerschaert and Jack Hermansson of Sweden face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at Fiserv Forum on December 14, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After a huge finish over Thales Leites, ‘The Joker’ followed up his performance with a dominant win over the respected Meerschaert.

Josh Emmett vs Ricardo Lamas
UFC Winnipeg – December 16, 2017
WINNIPEG, CANADA - DECEMBER 16: (R-L) Josh Emmett punches Ricardo Lamas in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Bell MTS Place on December 16, 2017 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

In the co-main event of UFC Winnipeg, Emmett would go on to score the most iconic knockout victory of his career.

Michael Johnson vs Artem Lobov
UFC Moncton – October 27, 2018

It may have been a last second match-up, but Johnson didn’t act like it once the Octagon door closed behind him. ‘The Menace’ was absolutely dominate in his match-up with fan favorite Artem Lobov.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Rose Namajunas
UFC 201 – July 30, 2016
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 30: (R-L) Rose Namajunas kicks Karolina Kowalkiewicz in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC 201 event on July 30, 2016 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Fighting the rising Rose Namajunas was a challenge that Kowalkiewicz was more than willing to take and she made the most of the opportunity. Kowalkiewicz battled with the current strawweight champion for three rounds in a close decision that perfectly displayed why she is a top contender in the division.

Michelle Waterson vs Felice Herrig
UFC 229 – October 6, 2018
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Michelle Waterson (r) elbows Felice Herrig in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

In a match-up of old friends, Waterson took on the tough Felice Herrig at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. Waterson used the spotlight of the UFC’s biggest PPV card ever to remind fans of why she is still a top threat in the division.

Watch the whole collection of fights here:

Tune in at 7pm/4pm ETPT to watch the stars of UFC Philadelphia throw down.

Gavin Porter is a producer and writer for, follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCNews.