The action just keeps on going. This weekend, live out of Nashville, the UFC will bring us a Fight Night card. This one headlined by a couple of barn burners. The rest of the card is littered with some firework match ups. Let’s go over these bouts:
UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs Lobov
Cub Swanson vs Artem Lobov
They say talk is cheap – we’re going to see if that’s true or not.
Top ranked featherweight Cub Swanson is on a career resurgence. He just beat prospect Doo Ho Choi in a Fight of the Year war last year. Rather than getting a better opponent, he finds himself in a main event against the unranked 13-12 fighter Artem Lobov.
Why? Because Lobov talked some mad shit and Swanson wants to make an example out of him.
That … and it should be an absolute slug fest.
Both Swanson and Lobov fight with a sort of calm recklessness. They thrive when they’re swinging big hooks and slipping punches. They’ll take one to give one, but most importantly, they stay in the fire even if it means getting burnt.
There’s a big chance of being an absolute slugfest.
That being said, Swanson holds the advantage in virtually every aspect. He’s more experienced, he’s certainly beaten better opponents, he has better cardio, he’s longer, he has better boxing, he’s more versatile, he has better wrestling – I think you get the picture. CUB SWANSON SHOULD NOT LOSE THIS FIGHT.
But this is MMA. Anything can happen. Lobov is on a 2-fight win streak and there’s something about him that makes you think he can amount to greatness. When you have two firecrackers like in Swanson vs Lobov, odds and logic can go out the window.
Maybe it’s the fact that he’s Conor McGregor’s loyal sparring partner, or maybe it’s his actual skill, but don’t be surprised if Lobov pulls off the win.
Al Iaquinta vs Diego Sanchez
In the co-main event, we have another blood-and-guts fight. Lightweights Iaquinta and Sanchez are known for being that fighter who can stand in the pocket and bang. Sanchez has made a career out of it, and Iaquinta was on a big win streak before going inactive for a while.
Iaquinta’s last win was over Jorge Masvidal, who is nearing title contention up at welterweight. Even though he’s young, “Raging Al” has the potential to be an elite lightweight. However, I’m not sure where his head is at or what his preparation has been like the past two years.
Ironically, Sanchez is another case of a guy who’s mentally a bit off. But he’s always been that way. It’s why he’s able to break his opponents with is non-stop aggression and unwaivered toughness.
Technically speaking, Iaquinta should win this fairly easily. He has some very slick boxing, movement, and should be able to counter Sanchez’s forward aggression with punishing shots. However, Sanchez is extremely durable and might overwhelm Iaquinta later in the fight if his conditioning isn’t up to par.
Ovince Saint Preux vs Marcos Rogerio de Lima
Saint Preux was at one time considered a light-heavyweight contender. He fell to Jon Jones in a late notice bout at UFC 197. Since then he was KO’d by Jimi Manuwa and upset by UFC newcomer Volkan Oezdemir. I’m really not sure where his motivation is at because de Lima is a big, dangerous, powerful fighter.
Saint Preux’s biggest advantage is his awkwardness. We know he’s very athletically gifted. This can be seen by the way he floats and glides on his counter strikes, but at the same time there’s a querkiness to him that allows fighters to tag him with ease.
De Lima is the smoothest guy in the division, but he has no problem standing in the pocket and banging. He has shown to have devastating knockout power and a skilled top game.
Saint Preux should have the skills to hit and not be hit, but with him you never really know. If he tries to tie up and fight close-quarters he might get KO’d. But, if he keeps distance and uses his athleticism then he should cruise to a victory.
John Dodson vs Eddie Wineland
In the bantamweight division, former flyweight title challenger Dodson will look to cement himself as a bantamweight contender. Meanwhile, Wineland will try to follow up his two-fight win streak.
This is actually a pretty important fight at 135 lbs. The winner could very well be a dark horse the stacked division of killers.
Dodson was an elite flyweight, but just couldn’t quite get the job done against Demetrious Johnson. At bantamweight, Dodson holds a past win over TJ Dillashaw, but recently lost a close fight to John Lineker.
He’s as fast as they come and possesses some innate knock out power. His problem has always been pulling the trigger and dealing with high pressure fighters.
Wineland recently KO’d both Takeya Mizugaki and prospect Frankie Saenz. He has some slick boxing which he combines with some very underrated wrestling scrambling abilities.
This should be a very fun fight. Ultimately, I expect Dodson to pull through.
Joe Lauzon vs Stevie Ray
Joe Lauzon is a long-time veteran and fan-friendly fighter. You can always expect an exciting fight with him. Unfortunately, a cost of this is sustaining a lot of damage. In Lauzon’s recent fights, he has looked very fragile as his chin is likely deteriorating.
Meanwhile, Stevie Ray picked up the biggest win of his career when he beat Ross Pearson by split decision. Ray is an excellent prospect and former BAMMA champion. He’s very well rounded, and will likely dice Lauzon up on the feet.
However, as with most Lauzon fights, you can’t ever count him. If this fight hits the mat, you can expect Lauzon to be extremely aggressive attacking with submissions.
Jake Ellenberger vs Mike Perry
Starting off the show is a fight that should produce a KO one way or the other. Ellenberger is similar to Lauzon in the fact that he’s taken a lot of damage. I don’t know what his chin is like anymore, but he has the offensive capabilities to beat just about anyone in the division.
Perry on the other hand is a rising up-and-comer who could be a future star. This has more to do with his personality and fighting style more than it does his skills, but Perry is a banger in-and-out.
He’s going to look to throw down in the pocket with Ellenberger, and even if Ellenberger avoids this early on, I don’t think he can survive 15 minutes.
Thales Leites meets Sam Alvey to headline the prelims. Leites is a veteran and grappling specialist. His body is pretty beat up though. He hasn’t looked himself in this post-USADA era. Meanwhile, Alvey has had his ups-and-downs but is currently all up riding a four-fight win streak.
Dustin Ortiz, a vetted flyweight, will be Brandon Moreno’s gate into the elite. Ortiz has only lost to the best of the best at 125 lbs. Moreno is 2-0 in the UFC and looks to have some serious upside. Moreno is a very aggressive submission fighter while Ortiz is very well rounded.
Stay tuned for more MMA coverage! Let us know if you’re excited for Swanson vs Lobov.
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