The UFC will make its way Bangor, Maine for some Fight Night fun as light heavyweights Ryan Bader and Ovince St. Preux will hold down the main event, while lightweights will duke it out on the co main. The organization makes its return after a three-week hiatus from action, and will now continue consecutive weekly events all way through September to October. Prelims for Saturday’s event will kickoff on FOX Sports 2 at 8 pm EST, and will switch over to FOX Sports 1 at 10 pm EST. Many fighters looking to move up the ladder, so it is time to preview some of these fights and the ramifications this card’s match ups may have.
#8 Ryan Bader (18-4) vs. #10 Ovince St. Preux (16-5) – Light Heavyweight BoutThis match up was tossed around by both when they fought on the same card not long ago, and now the match up will be had between both the ranked light heavyweights. Ryan “Darth” Bader is riding a two-fight winning streak into this match and O.S.P has yet to be beaten in the UFC. When it comes down to the match up between the main event fighters, Ryan Bader and St. Preux are not comparable when it comes to predictability inside the octagon. One can almost guarantee two things when Bader steps into the cage: the man has tons of power cocked and loaded in his right hand and he is not afraid to take anyone down and keep them there for the remainder of the fight. Bader likes to rush, has displayed very few mastered combinations in the striking game, and can wrestle his way through any bout. Ovince St. Preux is very unpredictable, and has displayed as much, finishing his last three fights. His raw intangibles and athletic ability make him a very intriguing prospect moving forward in the division, his striking game is improving by fight, and his ground work has already proved gruesome in his last two bouts. Either one could find themselves fighting someone in the top five of their division with a victory, and possibly a shot at goal if they can get passed that test. Ovince St. Preux via Submission.
#12 Gray Maynard (12-4-1) vs. Ross Pearson (17-7) – Lightweight BoutRoss Pearson still has to be perturbed at the fact of losing that decision versus Diego Sanchez, stepping in immediately to take on former title challenger, Gray Maynard. Maynard must pull himself out of the hole he has found himself after losing his past two fights via knockout. Maynard may be able to do himself some justice if he can turn this fight into a grind. Press Pearson up against the cage and display some dirty boxing on the inside, with landing a take down against the fence if he can. If the fight stays standing and at a distance, Pearson is the more technical fighter, and has found ways to drop opponents in three out of his last four fights. This fight may turn into a brawl and a possible fight of the night, if Maynard relies on his striking as his primary weapon, he may be in for a long night. Ross Pearson via Unanimous Decision.
#14 Tim Boetsch (17-7) vs. Brad Tavares (12-3) – Middleweight BoutBrad Tavares was quietly rising the ranks before he hit a big speed bump in Yoel Romero in his last outing. Tim Boetsch on the other hand, is sliding down the ladder, suffering three losses in his past four fights. “The Barbarian” needs to implement his wrestling more if he plans to remain in the UFC. Too many times Boetsch has relied on his pure power, just to be shunned down towards the end. Tavares is a well-rounded fighter and could beat Tim at any aspect in this fight, but whether or not he can handle the potential take down game against the “Barbarian” has yet to be seen. In the end, Tavares may be a little bit much for Boetsch, using his athletic ability to move around and land his shots, and potentially cruise to victory. Brad Tavares via Unanimous Decision.
Seth Baczynksi (18-9) vs. Alan Jouban (9-2) – Welterweight BoutThe model versus the vet, Jouban has enjoyed some individual success outside of the cage, but going through the 30 fight veteran will be a whole new challenge for the runway model. Baczynksi provides a striking game that will test the newcomer, as the technical southpaw Jouban will be game to exchange in the center of the octagon. If either one has some wrestling expertise hidden in their arsenal, they might want to pull it out, as neither one of them have performed exceptionally well against wrestlers. Seth Baczynksi via Unanimous Decision.
Shawn Jordan (15-6) vs. Jack May (7-1) – Heavyweight Bout If Shawn Jordan can get this one to the ground, this may be one he can steal from prospect Jack May. May is a huge physical specimen, standing at 6’8″, and the large heavyweight has some excellent striking and if given the distance, he could pick apart Jordan. Jordan needs to make this fight nasty and keep the pressure on May, but if he can take the big man down, he may be able to pound him out. Shawn Jordan via TKO.
Thiago Tavares (22-5-1) vs. Robbie Peralta (18-4) – Featherweight BoutThiago Tavares has been a consistent mainstay in the UFC, having fought in the cage 14 times, but will be making his first weight cut to featherweight. Tavares has a solid grappling game in which he heavily relies on, with limited striking at his disposable on the feet. Peralta is a gifted striker, with an underrated take down defense, and may be too quick for Tavares to really hone in on his wrestling game. With a win, either fighter could possibly crack the top 15 of the division, and earn a shot at a ranked featherweight. Robbie Peralta via TKO.
In other notable bouts, Sarah McMann will make her return to the cage after losing her last fight to Ronda Rousey back in February. She will be taking on the former Invicta FC bantamweight champion, Lauren Murphy, on the prelims. Also two ranked flyweights, Jussier da Silva and Zach Makovsky, battle to move up their division ranks. For anything and everything UFC, make sure to follow the Guardian Liberty Voice for all the coverage.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA