For the first time in company history, the UFC is headed to New Mexico!
This Saturday, the Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque will be rocking and fans will have a six fight main card on their hands that is sure to deliver fireworks.
Headlining UFC Fight Night 42 is former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (20-3), who takes on rising star Rustam Khabilov (17-1). The main card will also feature Diego Sanchez (24-7) vs. Ross Pearson (15-6), John Dodson (15-6) vs. John Moraga (14-2), Rafael dos Anjos (20-7) vs. Jason High (18-4), Yves Edwards (42-20) vs Piotr Hallmann (14-2), and Erik Perez (14-5) vs. Bryan Caraway (18-6).
Ultimate Fighter season 14 alumnus Bryan Caraway leads off the main card. Some people may know him as Miesha Tate’s boyfriend, but to others he’s the guy getting closer and closer to cracking into the Top 10 in the UFC’s bantamweight rankings (he’s currently ranked #14 by the UFC). Caraway is making his fifth trip to the famous Octagon and coming off a victory against fellow TUF season 14 alum Johnny Bedford and earning Submission of the Night in the process. His opponent, Erik Perez, is coming into the fight after a unanimous decision victory against Edwin Figueroa. Much like Caraway, Perez is also getting closer and closer to cracking into the Top 10 (he checks in at #11).
In the second fight of the night, a fan favorite and true veteran of the sport, Yves Edwards, is looking to get back into the win column after two split-decision losses and a no contest. Edwards has been around the sport for almost 17 years and is very versatile in his style. He has finishing ability in the ground game (17 finishes) and finishing ability in the stand-up game (16 finishes). He’s most famously known for delivering one of the most brutal head kick knockouts in UFC history against lightweight contender Josh Thomson. Wherever the fight goes, look for him to finish his opponent. However, standing across from him is Piotr Hallmann, who’s coming off a disappointing decision loss to Al Iaquinta. Like Edwards, Hallmann also has finishing ability on the ground (6 finishes) and finishing ability standing up (7 finishes). This is Hallman’s first fight ever in the United States, and what a way to make a first impression to the live American crowd by trying to finish the “Thugjitsu Master” Yves Edwards.
Next on the card, the #6 lightweight in the UFC, Rafael dos Anjos, is looking to get back to his winning ways after coming up short against lightweight powerhouse Khabib Nurmagomedov. Before the loss, dos Anjos was riding a five-fight win streak and beating guys such as Donald Cerrone, Evan Dunham, and Mark Bocek. A win on Saturday would put dos Anjos back in the title picture, but Jason High is looking crush dos Anjos’ dreams of fighting for Anthony Pettis’ lightweight title. The man they call “The Kansas City Bandit” has won 9 of his last 10 and is looking to pad his resume by adding a highly-regarded lightweight like dos Anjos to his list of victims. A win over the ranked dos Anjos would launch the career of High to new heights.
The second half of the card features a bout that could potentially lead to a title fight against Flyweight champion “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson. After coming up short in a somewhat controversial loss to the champ, John Dodson is looking to get back in the cage with Mighty Mouse. In their fight, Dodson knocked the champion down twice, but questionable instructions by the ref lead Mighty Mouse to a unanimous decision victory. Despite the loss, the TUF 14 winner has won all of his other UFC fights by combining his elite speed and finishing abilities. He has finished Darrell Montague, Jussier Formiga, and most notably the UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw. But before he can get his rematch with the champ, Dodson must first beat a man he’s already beaten in his past, John Moraga. By beating Dodson, Moraga can avenge the first loss of his career and then move on to avenging his only other loss against the champ. You should look forward to these guys to bring the heat this Saturday, but don’t blink. These fast flyweights can end the fight in the blink of an eye.
Four fights down, two to go. The co-main event of the evening has Fight of the Night written all over it as three-time Fight of the Year winner and the first ever Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez takes on TUF season 9 winner and two-time UFC Fight of the Night winner Ross Pearson. In addition to winning the Fight of the Year three times, Diego Sanchez also owns an astounding seven UFC Fight of the Night honors. Whenever Sanchez steps into the Octagon, fans know that they’re in for non-stop action from the first bell to the last. And the same can be said for his opponent, Ross Pearson, who’s always looking for a good brawl. Not only is this a safe pick for Fight of the Night, it’s also a safe pick for Fight of the Year.
The main event of the evening features a former lightweight champion and a lightweight who’s quickly becoming a fan favorite with his now famous suplex abilities. The former champion is Benson Henderson who’s looking to get his title back from his rival Anthony Pettis. After winning the title from Frankie Edgar back in 2012, Henderson has gone on to defend his title three times: against Frankie Edgar in a rematch, Nate Diaz, and Gilbert Melendez. Then his reign came to an end last August after being submitted by Pettis in the first round. However, after rebounding and grinding out a unanimous decision victory against Josh Thomson, Henderson could be next in line for the title if he gets past Rustam Khabilov, who’s been suplexing his way to victory recently. Khabilov is rapidly rising in the rankings (he’s currently ranked #11) and could launch himself into the Top 5 if he suplexes his way to a finish against Henderson who is currently the top-rated contender according to the UFC.
This card has everything from explosive suplexes to lightning fast flyweights. It’s a card any fan wouldn’t want to miss and it’s FREE this Saturday on Fox Sports 1.
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