DENNIS BERMUDEZ VS CHAN SUNG JUNG
Dennis Bermudez says that he’s become more selective in how he puts pressure on his opponents, but that might be some smoke and mirrors from “The Menace,” because the quickest way to see where Chan Sung Jung is after three years on the sidelines is to get in his face and push the pace. Then again, that’s the kind of fight “The Korean Zombie” loves, so get ready for a very interesting main event in Houston.
ALEXA GRASSO VS FELICE HERRIG
Alexa Grasso is only in her second UFC fight and she’s already the co-main event, so you can tell what the promotion thinks of her. But Felice Herrig proved in her last bout against Kailin Curran that she’s no stepping stone for the young guns of the strawweight division, and if she can stop the ascension of Grasso, she immediately becomes a major player at 115 pounds once again.
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ABEL TRUJILLO VS JAMES VICK
Both Abel Trujillo and James Vick had different dance partners for Saturday’s event, but injuries shuffled the lineup and put these two lightweights on the verge together in Houston. Both fighters can handle themselves wherever the fight goes, but Trujillo’s wrestling gives him an edge when it comes to placing the fight where he wants it, making this a chess match that will turn into a fight once “Killa” makes his call.
OVINCE SAINT PREUX VS VOLKAN OEZDEMIR
Want to know what it means for a fighter to get his or her call to the Octagon? Newcomer Volkan Oezdemir agreed to fight No. 6-ranked light heavyweight contender Ovince Saint Preux, and on short notice, no less. That’s a fighter right there, but the first Switzerland native to earn a spot on the UFC roster does have an uphill climb against an opponent hungry to snap a two-fight losing streak. But if Oezdemir pulls off the upset? Wow.
ANTHONY HAMILTON VS MARCEL FORTUNA
Marcel Fortuna comes to the UFC with a solid reputation on the MMA and Jiu-Jitsu circuits, and like Oezdemir, he will be facing an opponent who has a vast UFC experience edge on him. But among the heavyweights, anything can happen when four-ounce gloves are on, so while Hamilton is the rightful favorite, Fortuna has the tools to surprise him on Saturday.
JESSICA ANDRADE VS ANGELA HILL
After two spectacular wins at 115 pounds, former bantamweight standout Jessica Andrade is already being talked about as a future title challenger for strawweight boss Joanna Jedrzejczyk. But first, she has to beat the returning Angela Hill. Hill went 4-0 in Invicta FC since her last UFC appearance, so she’s not the same fighter she was back then. She’s better, and this is shaping up to be a Fight of the Night candidate.
ADAM MILSTEAD VS CURTIS BLAYDES
Speaking of Fight of the Night candidates, this meeting between heavyweight up and comers Adam Milstead and Curtis Blaydes is right up there. And not only do these fighters throw hammers, the winner will likely take over for current contender Francis Ngannou as the top prospect among the big men.
CHAS SKELLY VS CHRIS GRUETZEMACHER
After a long layoff and a switch of camps from his longtime MMA Lab squad, it will be interesting to see what Chris Gruetzemacher brings to the Octagon on Saturday, but whatever he does show up with, he will still be in for a tough battle with surging featherweight Chas Skelly, who may end up in the top 10 sooner rather than later.
RICARDO RAMOS VS MICHINORI TANAKA
Ricardo Ramos is the latest “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight” alum to arrive in the UFC, and he’s got a lot of potential to make some noise in the bantamweight division. That noise will get even louder if he can hold off the charge of talented Japanese vet Michinori Tanaka in a very interesting matchup at 135 pounds.
BEC RAWLINGS VS TECIA TORRES
Former rivals on The Ultimate Fighter 20, Bec Rawlings and Tecia Torres enter Saturday’s bout with plenty of motivation to leave Toyota Center with a victory that goes beyond doubling a paycheck. Torres can right her ship after suffering the first loss of her pro career against Rose Namajunas last April, and Rawlings can bounce back from a recent defeat of her own to Paige VanZant while evening the score with Torres from their TUF 20 meeting.
ALEX MORONO VS NIKO PRICE
Alex Morono has impressed in his two UFC wins thus far, and when you add in that’s he fighting at home on Saturday against late replacement Niko Price, he’s got momentum and home field advantage on his side. But the unbeaten Price also drew positive notices for his debut win over Brandon Thatch, making this a nice clash between welterweight prospects with a high upside in a tough division.
DANIEL JOLLY VS KHALIL ROUNTREE JR.
After a rough start, Daniel Jolly and Khalil Rountree Jr. will both be looking for a win by any means possible on Saturday, and given the high stakes for these light heavyweights, expect to see them throw everything and anything at each other until the referee steps in.