It has never been a better time to be an MMA fan. After an instant classic on Saturday night between Diaz and McGregor, even more exciting bouts are on the way. The UFC are capitalising on the huge mainstream attention they are seeing lately with a flurry of fight cards. There will be a UFC fight card every weekend for the next six weeks. This begins with UFC Fight Night Vancouver, this Saturday.
The UFC Fight Night card coming this weekend is a dynamite card. The prelims are nothing special but the main card contains absolutely no flab. Two explosive lightweights throw-down for the second time when Jim Miller takes on Joe Lauzon.
The first encounter was a bloody three round war that lit up the crowd. Miller won via unanimous decision but after knocking out Diego Sanchez at UFC 200, has Lauzon elevated himself enough to get that win back?
On the same card, Paige VanZant returns to the octagon, for the first time since her loss to Rose Namajunas. She had taken a brief hiatus in the time between that fight and her bout on Saturday. This was due to a foray into the world of TV. VanZant was a contestant on the reality show, Dancing With The Stars.
VanZant has talked about feeling the pull back to martial arts during this time and is out to redeem her loss. As well as prove that her superstar appeal does not overrule her dedication to fighting.
Her opponent, Bec Rawlings is quickly becoming a big star in the strawweight division also. She has carved out a niche for herself in women’s MMA with her unique look and aggressive style. However, VanZant has finished three out of six opponents she has beaten. This could be a really fun fight. I cannot see this one going the distance.
Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis will look to change his recent bad luck in a featherweight battle with Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira. Pettis’ flashy fighting style never fails to disappoint making him a big fan favourite. Unfortunately for him he has lost three decisions in a row.
Pettis is of course even more driven now and will be looking to make a huge statement against Oliveira. ‘Do Bronx’ is also a very dramatic mixed martial arts with his own share of highlight reel moments. The combination of Anthony’s flashy kicks and Charles’ massive slams could bring a Fight of the Night bonus.
The reason this Fight Night card is so important is that Carlos Condit returns to the octagon in the main event. The unmissable headline bout sees Condit, one of the most accomplished strikers in the UFC, take on Demian Maia, a jiu-jitsu mastermind.
After a long lay-off, ‘The Natural Born Killer’ is returning to the welterweight division at a time when it’s significance is sky-high. Condit was once a pillar of the division, competing in some of the best 170 pound bouts in recent years.
Now, he is back to make another run for the welterweight championship. To do that, he must first prove that he is still dominant at 170 by beating Demian Maia. The Brazilian fighter is a formidable submission specialist, if Condit can get past him, he would assert himself in the division once again. Proving, that he should be considered a serious contender for the undisputed gold that has always eluded him.
Expect coverage on the fight cards that are coming every weekend for the next six weeks. Included in that spate of fight cards is UFC 203, featuring a heavyweight championship match and CM Punk’s debut.