TYRON WOODLEY vs STEPHEN THOMPSON
After taking Fight of the Night honors on the biggest card of 2016, Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson are at it again in an attempt to break their tie, and this matchup should once again be a competitive and exciting scrap from start to finish. The question is, who makes the right adjustments to surge ahead and take the victory? I’m ready for round six to find out.
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LANDO VANNATA vs DAVID TEYMUR
Lando Vannata is the “It” kid at 155 pounds at the moment, which is no surprise after his Fight of the Night battle with Tony Ferguson and Knockout of the Year win over John Makdessi. But David Teymur has quietly gone two for two with two knockouts thus far in the Octagon, making this a closer matchup than some believe.
RASHAD EVANS vs DANIEL KELLY
After two starts and stops, the middleweight debut of Rashad Evans is finally here, and while he has to be seen as a big favorite against Australia’s Daniel Kelly, the bottom line is that four-time Olympian Kelly is no easy out, as evidenced by his current three-fight win streak in the tough 185-pound weight class.
ALISTAIR OVEREEM vs MARK HUNT
Mark Hunt has not held his tongue when it comes to his opinion of Alistair Overeem, and while the Dutchman is usually the epitome of cool, who knows if Hunt’s talk will get “The Reem” extra fired up for a rematch between two of the top heavyweight strikers of all-time or prompt him to get the bout to the mat and try to end the fight the way he did their first meeting in 2008 – by submission.
MARCIN TYBURA vs LUIS HENRIQUE
Originally scheduled to tangle in Brooklyn last month, Tybura and Henrique are now out west to try and not just pick up a win, but to make a statement that they’re ready to be that top prospect among the big boys of the division. That’s high stakes, but these two should be up for the challenge.
MIRSAD BEKTIC vs DARREN ELKINS
Darren Elkins has the skill and will to be a nightmare matchup for anyone in the featherweight division, and while unbeaten Mirsad Bektic looks like the real deal and a special talent at 145 pounds, Elkins will be that truth machine who finds out whether the Bosnia native is truly ready for prime time.
IURI ALCANTARA vs LUKE SANDERS
Facing Iuri Alcantara after more than a year on the sidelines isn’t an ideal situation for anyone, but it says a lot about Luke Sanders that he’s willing to risk his perfect record against the Brazilian in his first fight since January 2016. If “Cool Hand” Luke makes it 12-0 on Saturday, the bantamweight elite will have to start looking over their shoulder.
MARK GODBEER vs DANIEL SPITZ
At 6-foot-7 and with an 82-inch reach, unbeaten Daniel Spitz makes you pay attention to him on fight night, and that will certainly be the case when he makes his Octagon debut against England’s Mark Godbeer, a heavy-handed battler who is always down to get into a war. But can he close the distance and make it into a phone booth battle against Spitz?
TYSON PEDRO vs PAUL CRAIG
Unbeaten prospects coming off Performance of the Night victories now facing each other in a division that is hungry for stars? Sign me up, and that’s exactly what we’ll get in the UFC FIGHT PASS featured bout between Tyson Pedro and Paul Craig. And given the talent level of both 205-pounders, don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last time they meet.
combined 14-0 in their careers, @tyson_pedro_ & @PCraigmma meet in the Featured Bout on #UFCFIGHTPASS at 6:30PM ET | 3:30PM PT Saturday! pic.twitter.com/H9pAarU6gb
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) March 2, 2017
AMANDA COOPER vs CYNTHIA CALVILLO
TUF 23 finalist Amanda Cooper looked sharp in picking up her first UFC victory over Anna Elmose last November, and she’ll attempt to make it two straight against newcomer Cynthia Calvillo, a Team Alpha Male standout who has plenty of fight game insiders excited about her potential to succeed in the Octagon.
ALBERT MORALES vs ANDRE SOUKHAMTHATH
This clash of bantamweight prospects is the perfect way to kick off the night in Las Vegas. Morales may have come up short in his first two UFC outings, but he’s impressed at the same time, making it clear that he belongs in the big show. Soukhamthath is the newcomer and a bit of a mystery, but I’m guessing most MMA fans saw his flying knee finish of Kody Nordby last March. If he brings more of that, it will be a fun fight to watch.