Every once in awhile a fight card really flies under our radar. Maybe it is because it is in between far more advertised events or it just isn’t focused on by as many as the MMA media outlets. Still, the UFC on ESPN 4 fight card is stacked almost from top to bottom with potentially great fights that we might regret not experiencing live.
Of course, as with all other events, the focus of the whole card is the main event, where two experienced welterweights will go at it. That fight will of course decide whether Leon Edwards’ win streak will be his ticket to UFC gold or will Rafael Dos Anjos battle his way through the rankings again, following his momentum out of his victory over Kevin Lee.
Before the main event there are a few interesting bouts that will shake up their divisions going one way or another, but we will get into that a bit further down. Let’s start with the two men involved in tonight’s show…
The main event
When talking about UFC veterans that have been through wars in different divisions I can’t skip RDA, as he is one of the original top dogs of the organization. Going from holding the lightweight belt, to moving up a weight class and trying to get the welterweight belt, Dos Anjos has fought basically everyone in those divisions top 10.
Ahead of him will stand a young up-and-comer in the face of Leon Edwards who is on an absolute tear as of late, with his most recent victory being a split decision against Gunnar Nelson.
Edwards has a valid claim to the title shot if things go his way tonight, as his last loss was over 4 years ago and is to none other than the current champ. All that means that Leon is really gunning for payback and isn’t willing to stop until he gets it. He has displayed an ever-improving striking game as well as grappling abilities, which Gunnar tested to the maximum in their bout.
Either way, going against Dos Anjos you shouldn’t really worry about wrestling, as the Brazilian ex-champion prefers to stay on the feet and just dominate you from start to finish, applying you pressure every moment of the fight.
Seeing how both these fighters’ styles are so similar, it is interesting to see how that clash will go and who will prevail.
Other potentially great fights
The co-main event features Aleksei Oleinik and Walt Harris which will be a heavyweight war for the ages, where both men are trying to crawl their way back to the top of their already stacked division. Oleinik’s grappling will be a tough task for Harris if the fight goes to the ground but it is safe to say that Harris will try doing everything in his powers to prevent that.
The most talked about fight apart from the main event is without a doubt the heavyweight bout between Greg Hardy and Juan Adams.
The ex-NFL star will really have his hands full with the 6.5″ heigh that “The Kraken” has. Either way, both of the fighters weighed 266 pounds, meaning that there will easily be more than 500 pounds in the octagon at the same time, excluding the ref.
Both men have a similar experience, although Adams is the slightly bigger veteran. Hardy has been teasing a move to boxing for some time, and his confidence is higher than ever, which might play him a bad joke. Either way, the fight will hardly last more than a round with both men trying to prove their place in the heavyweight rankings.
One absolute banger of a fight is Dan Hooker vs. James Vick.
Vick is coming off two losses against Paul Felder and Justin Gaethje, the first being a total war, and the second ending in a devastating fashion. Many claim that these two fights have taken a toll on his body, while others believe that he still belongs on the top of the featherweight division.
Who else to welcome him but the absolute monster of a fighter Dan Hooker. Hooker himself suffered a heavy loss against Edson Barbosa where the ref saved his well-being after he refused to give in to the punishment the Brazilian was inflicting on him. That night he showed us all his heart and he gets to prove it again tonight against a long and strong opponent.
How can I watch it?
You can watch the full event at ESPN, by going to their portal or by ordering it on your TV. The event takes place at the AT&T Center at San Antonio.
With UFC divisions getting more and more stacked, we are bound to have incredible fight nights more and more often. That is exactly the case with UFC on ESPN 4 where we get to see a top-to-bottom stacked main card with a solid main event that may as well determine the next title challenger in the welterweight division. Other fights to keep your eyes open for are Dan Hooker vs. James Vick, Greg Hardy vs Juan Adams, and of course – the 10 years in the making rematch between Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell.