WHILE THIS WEEK’S event might not scale the heights of a primetime weekend show, it does provide an opportunity for some UFC fighters with something to prove.
The event has a stepping-stone type feel about it as the card is composed of fighters who are looking to break into the upper tiers of their respective divisions and those who are coming off the back of defeats.
However, it should prove to be an exciting event as all the fighters involved are looking to get back onto the more popular weekend shows.
Chan Sung Yung and Dustin Poirier face off in the main event of the evening and the winner of this bout will surely been in with a shout for a title shot against the winner of Jose Aldo and Eric Koch.
“The Korean Zombie” has proven to be an innovative and effective fighter recently as he KOd Mark Hominick after just seven seconds in his last bout and he became the first person to win via a twister against Leonard Garcia in the fight before.
Poirier is a young and dangerous opponent with a lot of tools in his locker. Strong on the feet and on the ground, the 23-year-old Louisiana native has been defeated only once and has a good mixture of submissions and KOs on his record proving he is a strong all-rounder.
In his first fight against Garcia, which was voted 2010 fight of the year, Yung showed that he had an incredible chin but he left a lot of openings that the heavy hands of Poirier will no doubt look to exploit. This has to be his most likely route to victory.
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Cowboy looking to overcome Lil’ Heathen
Both these fighters are coming off the back of defeats despite impressive performances against top class opposition.
Jeremy Stephens was on the wrong end of a split decision against Anthony Pettis in October while Donald Cerrone lost a unanimous decision victory against Nate Diaz.
Cerrone was unable to cope with the sheer volume of punches that was thrown at him by Diaz and Stephens will be looking to bring that same intensity if he is to stand any chance against “The Cowboy’s” varied attack.
Diaz’s disposal of Jim Miller last weekend has somewhat enhanced Cerrone’s staying power and if he can avoid “Lil’ Heathen’s” staple power shots, he should prove too strong for Stephens.
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Best of the rest
Having won season seven of TUF, Amir Sadollah’s career has stalled. Despite notable victories over Phil Baroni and CB Dolloway, Sadollah moved onto a record of 5-3 when he was defeated by Duane Ludwig last August. Jorge Lopez has been given a second chance in the UFC after he lost on his debut to Justin Edwards in September.
You get the feeling that each man is fighting for his career and another defeat for Sadollah would almost certainly spell the end for him in the UFC. Sadollah should look to his world class Muay Thai if he is to stand any chance of continuing in the organisation.
Igor Pokrajac is the biggest thing to come out of Croatia since Cro-Cop and has back-to-back KO victories coming into this fight. He faces former boxer Fabio Maldonado in a fight that could gain fight of the night honours.
Jason MacDonald and Tom Lawlor face off in a veteran’s battle while Yves Jabouin and Jeff Hougland make up the main card.