International Fight Week is finally here and the onslaught of UFC events kicks off on Thursday, July 7th with an exclusive UFC Fight Pass card that is packed with talent. This card has a little bit of everything, rising stars like Gilbert “Durinho” Burns, debut talents like Belal Muhammad, heavyweight knockout artists Roy “Big Country” Nelson and Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis, and it’s topped off with a Lightweight title matchup between defending champion Rafael Dos Anjos and #1 contender Eddie Alvarez.
Alan Jouban vs Belal Muhammad
Alan “Brahma” Jouban is 4-2 in the UFC and already has a “Fight of the Night” bonus to his name. Coming off of a 1st round TKO victory over Brendan O’Reilly in March, Jouban was originally slated to take on Nordine Taleb before Taleb was forced to withdraw due to injury. Jouban has only had 2 of his fights in the UFC go past the 1st round and 9 of his 13 wins have come by way of KO/TKO. He will be looking to spoil the UFC debut of his opponent and add another highlight reel finish to his resume on Thursday night on Fight Pass.
Belal Muhammad carries an undefeated 9-0 record into his short-notice UFC debut on Thursday night. While only 3 of his 9 wins have come by way of KO/TKO, he is by no means a boring fighter. Muhammad tends to overwhelm his opponents with his volume of strikes while using his wrestling experience to counter takedowns and secure ones of his own. His last fight showcased just how good Muhammad is as he completely dominated Titan FC Welterweight Champion Steve Carl, winning the title via 4th round TKO back in April. Muhammad has since vacated the title but will be looking to carry that momentum into the UFC against Jouban at UFC Fight Night 90.
Roy Nelson vs Derrick Lewis
The co-main event of the evening features a Heavyweight battle between 2 fan favourites who both possess devastating knockout power. Roy Nelson vs Derrick Lewis has been brewing since February after Lewis took to Twitter to request the fight. Lewis said “it would be a good fun fight for the fans” and considering that 35 of the two men’s combined 47 wins have been by KO, it’s hard to argue with him. The two will finally meet on Thursday night.
Roy Nelson halted a 3 fight losing skid with a unanimous decision win over Jared Rosholt in February. While the fight went to decision, you could see that Nelson was visibly frustrated at points throughout the fight at Rosholt’s lack of willingness to engage. “Big Country” has shown that he’s more than willing to stand and trade and his ability to take punishment as well as dish it out. He’ll be looking to show that he still has that devastating power and that he’s more than capable of making another run at the UFC Heavyweight title, beating Derrick Lewis would certainly help his case.
Derrick Lewis is riding a 3 fight win streak which was capped off by a brutal 1st round knockout of Gabriel Gonzaga in April. “The Black Beast” has only gone the distance in 2 of his 19 professional fights and finished 7 of his 15 wins inside the 1st round. Lewis is one of the few men who will probably outweigh Nelson on fight night but his size never seems to be a hindrance to his mobility inside the octagon. There is visible improvement every time he steps in the cage and he will be looking to show off that improvement again in what will be his biggest test to date. Lewis has been calling for this fight for months and he’ll be looking to back up his words on Thursday night. A convincing win over a veteran like Roy Nelson would help put Lewis on the map while also making the rest of the Heavyweight division take notice.
Rafael Dos Anjos vs Eddie Alvarez
The main event of the evening will be only the 2nd title fight to ever take place on UFC Fight Pass as Lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos takes on former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez. In a stacked division, and the champion coming off an injury-induced layoff, there will be plenty of eyes on this one from both fans and fighters alike.
After a 2014 decision loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, champion Rafael Dos Anjos (25-7) has looked like a man possessed in his road to winning, and defending the 155 lb strap. A 2nd round TKO of Jason High, followed by a brutal 1st round KO of former champion Benson Henderson and a dominant decision victory over Nate Diaz all led to Dos Anjos getting a shot at the belt against then-champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. For 5 rounds against Pettis, Dos Anjos looked unbeatable. He controlled and imposed his will on the champion en route to a unanimous decision victory to become the new UFC Lightweight Champion. He would defend his belt in December against Donald Cerrone, in a fight that the champion would finish via 1st round TKO. He was scheduled to fight Featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 196 but was forced to withdraw due to injury. The champ now appears to be healthy and ready to defend his belt and his place amongst the best pound for pound fighters in the world.
Eddie Alvarez (27-4) is a former Bellator Lightweight champion. He is probably most well-known for his wars against Michael Chandler as well as his devastating KO of Patricky Freire. His entrance into the UFC has not been quite what many imagined for the former champion as his UFC debut in September of 2014 was spoiled by Donald Cerrone. Alvarez has recovered however and scored back to back split decision wins over Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis. His fight with Pettis was a “title eliminator” with many expecting “Showtime” to showcase his striking ability and get a chance to regain his title. Alvarez never got that memo as he used his striking to outpoint Pettis and his clinch and ground game to grind out a split decision victory over the former champ. There may not be a better time for Alvarez to face off against the champion as he seems to be finally discovering a rhythm that works for him and Dos Anjos coming off of an injury. Alvarez will be looking to return to his championship form on Thursday night in the main event on UFC Fight Pass.
Main Card and Prelims – UFC Fight Pass (630 EST/330 PST Prelims, 1000 EST/700 PST Main Card)
Lightweight – Rafael Dos Anjos vs Eddie Alvarez
Heavyweight – Roy Nelson vs Derrick Lewis
Welterweight – Alan Jouban vs Belal Muhammad
Lightweight – Joe Duffy vs Mitch Clark
Welterweight – Mike Pyle vs Alberto Mina
Lightweight – John Makdessi vs Mehdi Baghdad
Bantamweight – Anthony Birchak vs Dileno Lopes
Bantamweight – Russel Doane vs Pedro Munhoz
Bantamweight – Felipe Arantes vs Jerrod Sanders
Lightweight – Gilbert Burns vs Lukasz Sajewski
Bantamweight – Marco Beltran vs Reginaldo Vieira
Welterweight – Vicente Luque vs Alvara Herrera
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Fight News update!!
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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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