Much of Saturday Night’s focus will be on the two championship matches, but one important thing to note about the card this Saturday is that we should get clarity around the future of the Flyweight division. The 125 landscape should become much clearer as John Dodson looks to emerge as the clear #1 contender to Demetrious Johnson’s throne, Zach Makovsky looks to stake his claim as a top 125er, and two former title contenders in Joseph Benavidez and John Moraga fight to stay in the hunt for the gold.
#1 John Dodson (17-6-0) v. #9 Zach Makovsky (19-5-0)
On the main event of the Fox Sports 1 prelims, the consensus number two Flyweight in the world; John “The Magician” Dodson returns after almost a year away from the octagon to face former Bellator bantamweight champion and #9 UFC ranked Flyweight Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky. Dodson arrived on the scene when he knocked out UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw to win The Ultimate Fighter. He followed the impressive performance with wins over Timothy Elliot and Jussier Formiga and was granted a title shot against Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Dodson proved to be Johnson’s toughest challenge of his entire title reign, even dropping the champion in the first, and a couple times in the second. However, Johnson was able to recover and get Dodson against the cage connecting with knees and punches to the body and head winning the final three rounds and a unanimous decision. Following the loss, Dodson secured two dominant knockouts over Darrell Montague and former title contender and UFC 187 competitor John Moraga.
Makovsky had a strong start to his UFC career with wins over Scott Jorgensen and Josh Sampo, but ran into a road bump against Jussier Formiga. The winner of the fight was set to become a serious title contender at 125 and Makovsky came in as a 3 to 1 favorite. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find an answer to Formiga’s grappling till the third round and was upset in a decision. Makovsky redeemed himself against Timothy Elliot in February; he overcame a flurry of unorthodox strikes from the awkward Elliot and countered using his wrestling to keep him grounded in route to a decision.
If Makovsky beats Dodson, the next contender for Mighty Mouse is up in the air, however with Formiga’s decisive win over Makovsky would make it seem he would be in line first. Fight fans are hoping to see Johnson-Dodson II emerge from this fight. Dodson has been doing a great job of promoting himself as the most entertaining Flweight in the world and his rematch with Mighty Mouse would easily make the biggest fight in the divisions’ short history,
#2 Joseph Benavidez (21-4-0) v. #5 John Moraga (16-3-0)
Opening the main card of the pay per view is two former Flyweight title contenders hoping to make another leap towards Mighty Mouse. Team Alpha Male member Joseph Benavidez is arguably one of the best fighters in the UFC without a championship belt, his only losses in his MMA career are to Mighty Mouse and former Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. Benavidez put up a great fight against the champ in their first encounter; he came close to finishing the fight and walking away as the first Flyweight champion. After a three fight win streak with wins over Formiga and Ian McCall, Benvidez was granted a rematch with Mighty Mouse on home soil in Sacramento, California. The fight started out with Benavidez looking for power strikes much like the first fight, but Mighty Mouse landed a powerful right of his own that sent him to the floor and followed up with a brutal set of strikes to an unconscious Benavidez. He redeemed himself with a first round submission finish of Timothy Elliot followed by a dominant win over Dustin Ortiz in November.
John Moraga has been able to secure wins over the likes of Ortiz, Justin Scoggins, and Chris Cariaso, but when it comes to facing the Flyweight elite he seems to fall short. In his fights with Dodson and Mighty Mouse, he was outmatched and unable to use his wrestling background. Benavidez has Moraga beat in almost every aspect of the game here, Moraga needs to get Benavidez to the ground and I don’t seem him being able to keep him there. This fight has big implications in the title picture as I see the winner being put against Jussier Formiga in a Flyweight title eliminator.
*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220
UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)
Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:
“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.
If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.
Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.
UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
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