The UFC’s next PPV event will take place next month in Las Vegas, Nevada. Headlining the night will be women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, defending her title against Sara McMann. Rashad Evans, Daniel Cormier, Rory MacDonald, and Demian Maia are a few of the other big names on the card, but they’re certainly not the only fights that matter.
With just weeks to go until the event, three more bouts from UFC 170 have been revealed, and each has the potential to shake up its respective weight class.
Flyweight contenders Josh Sampo and Zach Makovsky are set to battle it out at UFC 170 next month.
Sources close to the camps confirmed the match-up with FOXSports.com.
Both men are undefeated in the octagon at 1-0. Makovsky has the advantage on paper, clocking in at #10 on the latest UFC flyweight rankings, although many independent sources rank Sampo higher.
Josh “The Gremlin” Sampo is a former Legacy FC fighter who defeated Ryan Benoit in his debut at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale last November. Sampo missed weight however, forfeiting his “Fight of the Night” bonus and tarnishing a rather stellar win.
He is now 11-2 in his MMA career, and riding a five fight winning streak.
Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky meanwhile is the former Bellator bantamweight champion, current RFA flyweight champion, and an EliteXC, DEEP, and M-1 veteran.
In his UFC debut last month, Makovsky took a unanimous decision over #10 ranked bantamweight Scott Jorgenson. He now holds an overall record of 17-4, and has won three in a row since dropping back-to-back losses on his way out of Bellator.
A lot is on the line for both fighters here. A win for Makovsky will cement his status as a Top 10 flyweight, while a victorious Josh Sampo will likely mean a new face on that list.
Do or Die for Two Lightweights
In the lightweight division, Erik Koch and Rafaello Oliveira have both found themselves in danger of being cut from their UFC contracts.
Their upcoming match-up was announced by UFC officials, although it is unknown at this time if it is headed for the prelims, or will make the main card.
Koch was one of the brightest featherweight prospects when he signed with the promotion in 2011. He earned a “Knockout of the Night” against Raphael Assunção in his debut, then followed it up with a unanimous decision over Jonathan Brookins. Unfortunately, an injury kept him out of action in 2012. Then, back-to-back losses in 2013 to Ricardo Lamas and Dustin Poirier further derailed his promising career. He’ll now look to try his luck in the lightweight division, bringing in a 13-3 MMA record.
Brazil’s Rafaello Oliveira meanwhile is also in danger of losing his spot in the UFC. He went 0-1 last year, and only 1-0 the year before that. His inactivity combined with an overall 1-3 UFC record makes him a likely selection in the next round of cuts. He is now 15-6 overall.
From Reality Show to PPV
After a few close calls on the set of TUF 18, bantamweight Bryan Caraway is set for an official fight against Lucas Martins.
Caraway, boyfriend and training partner of women’s bantamweight contender Miesha Tate, is ranked just outside of the Top 10 in his weight class. He’s gone 4-1 since 2011, with a lone loss to Takeya Mizugaki holding him back.
He is now 2-1 in the bantamweight division, with both victories by chokes (including a “Submission of the Night” award), and 18-6 in his MMA career.
Lucas Martins meanwhile fought three times in 2013. He most recently picked up back-to-back wins against Junior Hernandez and Jeremy Larsen, successfully rebounding from a loss to Edson Barboza in his UFC debut.
His most recent victory, a technical submission over Hernandez, was Martins’ bantamweight debut. He is now 14-1 overall.
While Martins is not ranked in the UFC’s Top 15, Caraway is, making this bout especially important for the Washington native.
If Caraway can come out on top, it’s very likely that he’ll find himself in the division’s Top 10 (especially so if he can do it by submission again). If Martins is victorious, he’ll be one step closer to a rank, and Caraway may find himself losing his own spot.
UFC 170 will take place on February 22, 2014.
The current card is as follows:
- Champ Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann – for women’s bantamweight title
- Daniel Cormier vs. Rashad Evans
- Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia
- Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rustam Khabilov
- Alexis Davis vs. Jessica Eye
- Mike Pyle vs. T.J. Waldburger
- Raphael Assuncao vs. Francisco Rivera
- Stephen Thompson vs. Robert Whittaker