After a two week break the UFC is back and ready to bring the heat to lovely Lincoln, Nebraska. There are thirteen fights taking place on Saturday, with the main card starting at 10 p.m. EST on FS1.
Top Ten Throwdown
A fight is always worth watching when one of the guys duking it out has the last name Gaethje. Sprinkle in some trash talk and an impressive fighter on a four fight UFC win streak and we’ve got a banger. James Vick comes into his first main event ranked 10th in the lightweight division and he knows this fight with Justin Gaethje can propel him into the championship contender conversation.
Both fighters have been jawing back and forth on social media, interviews and at the UFC 25th anniversary press conference. They don’t like each other and it’s sure to boil over once the Octagon door closes on Saturday.
"This is my number one focus and I believe that I mentally stronger then all these guys. I really believe that in my mind & my heart that it’s my destiny to become a world champion." - @JamesVickMMA feeling confident heading into his #UFCLincoln main event vs. Justin Gaethje. pic.twitter.com/kfo2zdb3cj
— UFC News (@UFCNews) August 22, 2018
Vick is looking to cement his position as a force to be reckoned with in already stacked lightweight division. Meanwhile Gaethje is coming off FOTN losses to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Elvarez and needs his own victory to keep pace with the top of the division.
You’re not going to want to miss this one.
"Perfect world, you know I go in there we just have a crazy fight for the fans and I walk out with three checks."@FollowTheMenace talks what to expect when he takes on Andre Fili at #UFCLincoln pic.twitter.com/MB6NHnusNQ
— UFC News (@UFCNews) August 23, 2018
It’s a featherweight firework show in the co-main slot, with Michael Johnson looking to get back on track against Andre Fili. Both of these guys are talented, explosive and love to get into a brawl.
Johnson has gone through the gauntlet in his last five fights taking on the likes of Nate Diaz, Dustin Poirier, lightweight champ Kabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje and Darren Elkins. Jeez, that’s one strong stretch of fighters and matching up with Fili won’t be any easier. Fili is dynamic and has unique athletic ability that can give fighters fits. Coming off a two-fight win streak Fili hopes a win over ‘The Menace’ propels him into the rankings.
Diversity and Adversity
After the main and co-main slots there is a whole lot to like about the card. For starters the card is diverse, featuring fights at women’s strawweight, both men and women’s flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and middleweight. That means you can expect a wide variety of techniques, styles and finishes.
In addition there are also plenty of fighters looking to bounce back after tough losses such as Justin Gaethje, Michael Johnson, Cortney Casey, Jake Ellenberger and JoJo Calderwood. The adversity of losing streaks is staring them in the face and it’s going to be interesting to see what these warriors do with their backs against the wall.
Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCnews