Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is set to return to the hurt business later tonight (Fri., Oct. 18, 2019) inside TD Garden in Boston, Mass. Headlining the ESPN-televised event will be a Light Heavyweight bout between top contender, Dominick Reyes, and former Middleweight king, Chris Weidman. In the co-main event, Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens will collide in a rematch three weeks in the making after their first fight ended in a ‘No Contest’ as a result of an eye poke.
Chris Weidman’s run at Middleweight started off great, winning his first 13 fights, nine inside the Octagon, including knocking out the former pound-for-pound great, Anderson Silva, to claim the throne at UFC 162 (see it here). He defeated him once more soon thereafter due to a nasty leg injury “The Spider” suffered” at UFC 168.
After consecutive title defenses against Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort, things started going downhill for “All American.” After coughing up his 185-pound strap to Luke Rockhold via knockout, he then suffered back-to-back KO losses to Yoel Romero and Gegard Mousasi. After defeating Kelvin Gastelum, Chris then suffered another KO loss, this time to Ronaldo Souza, which ultimately prompted him to move up to Light Heavyweight. He already feels he has what it takes to dethrone Jon Jones, but Weidman will have to learn to crawl again before he walks. He is a long way away before earning a shot against “Bones,” but taking out Reyes will show everyone that he isn’t playing around.
As for Dominick, the man has been on a tear, as he has yet to taste defeat, going 11-0, including winning his first five fights inside the Octagon. He is one of the top contenders in line for Jones, but apparently UFC wanted to see how he does against a former champion before stamping his ticket. A win over Chris should be enough to get him to the big dance based off Weidman’s name value alone. Dominick obviously has the size and strength advantage here, but Chris has his wrestling to give him a shot to pull off the upset. If it stays on the feet, I am giving Dominick the edge here.
Yes, Ben Sosoli has won four straight, but they haven’t been inside the Octagon, so pairing him up against Greg Hardy is a matchup I don’t like. Look, I’m not saying Ben doesn’t have skills, but give Greg someone a bit higher on the pecking order.
He is, after all, 2-1 inside the Octagon so it’s time to start upping the competition a bit more for the former NFL player. I’m not saying give him top 10, but someone with a little UFC experience would’ve been nice. I’m giving you one more fight, UFC, to give Greg a more well-known foe after this before we riot. That’s assuming he gets through Sosoli, of course.
Original Card Vs. Actual Card:
A Featherweight fight between Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar was set to co-headline the card, but UFC pulled the plug for no given reason and moved it to UFC Fight Night 164 a few weeks later. Thankfully, the promotion opted to book the Stephens vs. Rodriguez do-over for this event to save some of its luster.
Also, Kevin Holland stepped in to face Brendan Allen after Eric Spicely was forced out for undisclosed reasons.
No injuries were reported for this event!
Ben Sosoli will look to derail the Greg Hardy hype train once and for all. I don’t like the matchup, but it’s a big opportunity for Sosoli to make a splash in his UFC debut in order to make a name for himself early. Jonathan Pierce is another Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (DWTNCS) alum who will look to make the most of his chance when he faces off against longtime veteran, Joe Lauzon. Joe has had a bad run as of late, so he needs a win here against the UFC rookie to save his career.
Undefeated (6-0) Featherweight Sean Woodson will look to keep his run going when he takes on Kyle Bochniak, a tough draw for anyone, especially someone making their debut under the bright lights of UFC. Also, undefeated (10-0) stud Sean Brady will look to arrive in style, though he will have a tough fight against longtime UFC veteran, Court McGee.
To get a better look at all of the newcomers click here.
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
Charles Rosa and Manny Bermudez will headline the underbelly of the event, as Rosa will get an extra 20-percent of Manny’s purse after coming in three pounds heavy for the fight. Also, longtime veteran Court McGee will take on newcomer Sean Brady, while Daniel Spitz faces UFC’s newest big man, Tanner Boser.
The underbelly doesn’t feature too many big names, but that’s okay since the promotion did a pretty good job with the main card. That said, some of the matchups are pretty solid. To get a better detailed look at all of the “prelim” action click here and here.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Longtime UFC vet, Joe Lauzon, has dropped three straight and four of his last five bouts. With 26 fights inside the Octagon under his belt, Joe could be in danger of seeing his UFC career come to an end with another defeat when he faces UFC rookie, Jonathan Pierce. Joe has always been one of the good guys in MMA, but he could never seem to get over the hump. He needs a big win in “Beantown.”
Interest Level: 7.5 of 10
It’s a pretty well-rounded main card. Not only do we get to see if Chris can right his ship in a new division — or if Dominick will rise as Jon Jones’ next challenge — but we get to see Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez finish their beef.
While their first encounter had an anti-climactic finish, the do-over now has even more intrigue as a result. Yair is adamant Jeremy was looking for a way out at UFC Mexico, while Stephens downright dismisses that bogus claim. In fact, Yair’s claims have further lit a fire under Jeremy’s ass, who is hellbent on killing the Mexican-born fighter…seriously.
I’m glad UFC didn’t wait too long to book the rematch, because it would’ve lost a bit of it’s sizzle. Now, we can see these two talented combatants finally throw down in a fight that is guaranteed to surpass the first…which is a pretty easy task.
Also, 21-year old Maycee Barber will continue her campaign to try and surpass Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey as UFC’s biggest star ever when she faces Gillian Robertson in women’s Flyweight action. Maycee has been talking the talk, and so far shes managed to walk the walk, going 7-0, 2-0 inside the Octagon. If she can score a win over Gillian, it could perhaps be enough to get her a fight against Paize VanZant.
Also, we get to see if Greg Hardy can continue his ascension at 265 pounds. Regardless of who he’s facing, plenty of people will tune in to watch the big man fight either because they love him, hate him, or genuinely feel he could make some noise at 265 pounds. Yes, Greg has a troubled past, and it seems a lot of fans still can’t seem to forgive him and can’t look past his transgressions. Perhaps if he continues to win, and win impressively, he can change some minds and win some fans over.
Enjoy the fights!
UFC On ESPN 6 Full Fight Card:
UFC on ESPN 6 Main Event:
205 lbs.: Dominick Reyes vs. Chris Weidman
UFC on ESPN 6 Main Card on ESPN2 (9 p.m. ET):
145 lbs.: Yair Rodrigues vs. Jeremy Stephens
265 lbs.: Greg Hardy vs. Ben Sosoli
155 lbs.: Joe Lauzon vs. Jonathan Pearce
125 lbs.: Maycee Barber vs. Gillian Robertson
185 lbs.: Deron Winn vs. Darren Stewart
UFC on ESPN 6 Prelims Card on ESPN2 (6 p.m. ET):
145 lbs.: Manny Bermudez vs. Charles Rosa
125 lbs.: Diana Belbita vs. Molly McCann
145 lbs.: Kyle Bochniak vs. Sean Woodson
135 lbs.: Randy Costa vs. Boston Salmon
170 lbs.: Sean Brady vs. Court McGee
185 lbs.: Kevin Holland vs. Brendan Allen
265 lbs.: Daniel Spitz vs. Tanner Boser
*Fight card, bout order and the amount of matches subject to change.
For more upcoming UFC events click here.