What’s this? Why are we getting such a good card for free? This doesn’t add up? Maybe we’re a bit jaded around here, but we get a stacked card on free television from the UFC these days it’s cause for concern. What’s going to happen? Who’s going to drop out?
Thankfully, the weigh-ins have been drama-free, so we’re looking at a card that’s top-to-bottom fun, and with quite a few bouts with championship implications.
Let’s look at the best fights on the card.
Mighty Mouse Johnson vs. Wilson Reis
Mighty Mouse is attempting to tie Anderson Silva’s title defense streak, he has 11 wins in a row, and he’s still evolving, still getting better. Wilson Reis was hyped at the front end of his career, but he’s never truly lived up to what people thought he would become. He couldn’t get it going in Bellator, and he has a few losses in the UFC. He’s a good fighter, but does he have what it takes to beat one of the greatest ever? Probably not.
Reis does have slick BJJ, and there’s potential for a scary submission attempt early, but after Mighty Mouse’s thrashing of Olympic wrestler Henry Cejudo and other countless dominating performances (as well as rallying back against Tim Elliott), this would be a shocking upset if he lost.
Let’s just watch the master at work as he cements his legacy further.
Rose Namajunas vs. Michelle Waterson
This is one of those fights where you somehow want both fighters to win. Either that or a double knockout. It’s the only way. That’s how much Rose and Michelle are equally beloved.
Just like Namajunas’ fight against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, you have to think the winner of this fight is the next challenger to Joanna Champion’s flyweight belt. And, just like that fight, we know Rose can lose this fight and still bounce back whereas Waterson, although peaking, needs this now. Thinking pragmatically, Rose is just a few years into her career whereas the “Karate Hottie” Waterson is a WMMA trailblazer. She’s been around since WMMA fights were 3-minute rounds. This is Waterson’s time, down here.
Thankfully, this scrap is a favorite for Fight of the Night, so even if our hearts break when one of these ladies lose, we’ll be entertained while we inevitably become depressed. It’s a strange equation, but it makes sense.
Rose is the slight favorite going into the fight, and that’s probably because of the slight size advantage, but both of these ladies can go and go hard and fast for a long time. It’s gonna be good.
Jacare Souza vs. Robert Whittaker
Jacare is arguably the best middleweight in the UFC. Yoel Romero took a split decision over him late last year, but the fight was close and Jacare has gone on to beat Vitor Belfort and Tim Boetsch in quick order, trying to stay active while Romero seems content waiting for Bisping. If Jacare can continue his winning ways by taking out the young and powerful Whittaker, we remain in the status quo and Jacare might even leapfrog Romero. Who knows? Dana has promised and taken away title fights before. I dunno, what a log jam.
If Whittaker beats Jacare, which doesn’t seem likely (he’s got the puncher’s chance early), he’ll still need a few more wins to make it into the Luke Rockhold, GSP, Weidman area of the top ten. Especially GSP. He’s one of the best middleweights ever.
Pressure is on Jacare here.
Let’s watch a Whittaker highlight. He’s got a bright future after he probably loses on Saturday.
Other Fights Worth Your Time
Roy Nelson vs. Alexander Volkov
This is kind of a Bellator invasion show, yeah? You got Wilson Reis, a perennial Bellator contender, and Volkov, a former Bellator champion who is somehow only 28 years old. This dude has been fighting at a high level for a really long time.
But Big Country is the type of guy who can shut the lights off for anyone. It’ll be tough for good ol Roy, though. Volkov has a massive size advantage, is 12 years younger, and overall is a little more skilled. But this is Roy Nelson we’re talking about — he can take any shot and give any shot.
Which means Volkov is probably going to beat on him for 15 minutes. Poor Roy. Good fight though!
Tim Elliot vs. Louis Smolka
Tim Elliot is really funky. You should watch him. Smolka will indulge and everyone will be happy.
Bobby Green vs. Rashid Magomedov
Bobby Green is coming back after a year-long layoff with the vengeance of someone who is coming back from a year-long layoff, while Magomedov is a sambo monster who will make you uneasy as you cheer for him considering the government’s current ongoing investigations into Russia swaying our elections. Hmmm.
Bobby Green’s fight style of “Hood” will never be topped.