Off to China the UFC goes, as the organization hits the city of Macao with the main event of Michael Bisping versus Cung Le. This event will kick off another double-header, as Benson Henderson versus Rafael Dos Anjos will take over Tulsa, Oklahoma for the night on FOX Sports 1. For all the action in the morning, viewers will have to use Fight Pass to tune into the venue in China. The prelims start bright and early in the U.S. with the first fight stepping into the cage at 6:30 am EST, with the main card starting at 9 am EST. Two fights with dramatic implications on their respective divisional rankings, the fans in China have plenty to be excited for come Saturday.
#8 Michael Bisping (25-6) vs. Cung Le (9-2) Middleweight Bout – The main event for Macao, Bisping may have the higher profile for the UFC, but Cung Le will more than likely get the bigger roar from the Asian market. Neither here or there does that tad bit of information matter, but what may matter is Cung Le’s pure ability to put on striking clinics to the likes that nobody has ever seen. Bisping likes to stand, and prides himself on a good set up jab with an overhand right hand, a combination he uses frequently when dancing around the cage. Cung Le is just on another level of striking though, if Le can carry over the momentum from his last knockout victory over Rich Franklin, Bisping may be in for a world of trouble. Earlier in Bisping’s career inside the octagon, he capitalized on his underrated grappling ability, and was able to ground and pound his way out of trouble in certain fights. Now, it seems as if the brash Englishman relies heavily on his striking, and squeaking out victories via decision. This fight comes down to where either fighter may take it; if Le can keep this fight in the center of the octagon, he can very well put Bisping to sleep quickly. If Bisping can pin Le against the cage and hit him with some dirty boxing and a few take downs, the decision victory is his to be had. After the lackluster performance against Tim Kennedy, and three losses out of his last five fights, it is very difficult to predict positive vibes going into this fight for “The Count.” Cung Le via Knockout.
#4 Tyron Woodley (13-3) vs. #10 Dong Hyun Kim (19-2-1) Welterweight Bout – Woodley was a monster, an un-caged animal taking out every welterweight in his path, that is until he fought fellow contender, Rory MacDonald. The quickly rising fighter just could not seem to get off or find his rhythm versus the Canadian, and it was the first time in quite a while the audience saw a Tyron Woodley fight very hesitantly and showing signs of being flustered. Could this be the time for a guy Kim to come in and sneak out with a victory in his own barn house, or will Woodley respond in devastating fashion? Kim is more known to be a bigger threat on the ground and in the wrestling aspect of things, in which Woodley is just as comfortable in. B0th Kim’s and Woodley’s striking games leave many wanting when observed. Woodley heavily relies on a power shot to crumple his opponents, while Kim’s striking has gotten better in his last four fights, but could still use some cleaning up technically. A win for Kim in this fight would mean wonders for his career and could potentially set him up a fight in a title contention eliminator. If Woodley is to avoid a slide, he must come out assertive and aggressive in this fight, and finish it like a top five ranked fighter should. Tyron Woodley via Technical Knockout.
Zhang Lipeng (8-7) vs. Brendan O’Reilly (5-0-1) Welterweight Bout – Some Ultimate Fighter alumni take the center of the cage, as the winner of the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter: China series, Lipeng takes on the brute power in Australian Brendan O’Reilly. Lipeng carries a unique skill set to the cage, and is not overwhelmingly great in one aspect of fighting, but carries an overall decent fight game to the cage. O’Reilly is very raw and will be eager to use his strength and wrestling base to take down, and keep down, his opponent in Lipeng. Lipeng stands a chance, but it comes down to avoiding the take downs which will decide on whether he wins this fight or not. Brendan O’Reilly via Unanimous Decision.
Ning Guangyou (4-2-1) vs. Jianping Yang (6-3-1) F eatherweight Bout – A fight that provides the fans with the old-fashioned grappler versus striker match up; as Ning will look to take Yang to the ground and keep him there, and Yang will look to keep the distance and fight from the outside. This fight scheduled for the main card is quite the head scratcher when the UFC has one of the more brighter Asian prospects fighting on the prelims in Yuta Sasaki. Hands over the eyes, and plugs in the ears; the MMA Spotlight is going with Jianping Yang here, hoping this fight surprises many. Jianping Yang via Unanimous Decision.
In other notable bouts on the card, as mentioned, one of the more brighter stars coming out of the Japanese scene, Yuta Sasaki will take on Roland Delorme in what is considered one of the better fights on the card. Also, the females step into the cage in China as well when Elizabeth Phillips fights Russian bantamweight, Milana Dudieva. For anything and everything UFC, stay tuned into the Guardian Liberty Voice all the results and analysis post fight.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA