Back to back nights, the UFC heads to Arizona as heavy hitters Junior Dos Santos and Stipe Miocic headline the card on FOX. Junior Dos Santos is hoping to bounce back from a trouncing he received at the hands of champion, Cain Velasquez. Stipe Micioc is looking to continue his climb to number one contendership, and could jump in line with Fabricio Werdum with a victory over Dos Santos. Stockton’s own bad boy, Nate Diaz, makes his anticipated return back to the cage against the third ranked lightweight, Rafael dos Anjos. Early prelims start on Fight Pass at 3:30 pm EST, changing over to FOX Sports 1 at 5 pm EST, then the UFC heads to its final stop on FOX at 8 pm EST. Feature fights with division implications, urgency is a must for these fighters.
#2 Junior Dos Santos (16-3) vs. #4 Stipe Miocic (12-1) Heavyweight Bout – The future of the UFC heavyweight division was supposed to be Junior Dos Santos. Possibly boasts the best boxing in the division, exquisite take down defense, and power that would make even the heaviest hitters blush. In came the storm of Cain Valasquez, not only did the champion run through Dos Santos once, he made it look easy twice. “Cigano” warned all comers of trying the same game plan, unfortunately for him though, Stipe Miocic could do just that Saturday night. Miocic is a master at making things dirty inside, and possesses the power and wrestling to turn this into another grind of a night for the former champion. This could be a huge fight for the fourth ranked UFC heavyweight, with a victory Stipe Miocic could very well set him up for the next shot at the belt behind Fabricio Werdum. A gigantic main event for both with much on the line, look for both to make a statement in this fight. Stipe Miocic should know better than to get into a fire fight with Dos Santos, but does not mean he is going to avoid it; when he does though, expect Santos to show no mercy in the exchanges. Junior Dos Santos via Technical Knockout.
#3 Rafael dos Anjos (22-7) vs. #15 Nate Diaz (18-9) Lightweight Bout – The bad boys from Stockton are back! Nate Diaz finally is putting aside his differences with the UFC to take on one of the best in the division. Diaz is one tough son of a gun, and will press the pace of this fight from get go; he may be catching dos Anjos at a very bad time though, as the Brazilian is coming off a victory over the former champion Benson Henderson, finishing him inside the distance. Saturday night will tell if ring rust will affect the younger Diaz brother, he may have bit off more than he can chew accepting this fight. Rafael dos Anjos is on the verge of contendership status, and with this victory could lock up a shot at the champ, Anthony Pettis. If Nate Diaz had been active this last year it would have made this decision a lot harder; but with the circumstances and dos Anjos transforming into a true threat, Diaz should be the underdog in this one. Rafael dos Anjos via Unanimous Decision.
#11 Alistair Overeem (37-14) vs. #15 Stefan Struve (29-6) Heavyweight Bout – Overeem keeps on talking and talking, and guess what? talking. The more he continues to speak to the media, the more fired up his opponents become to knock his block off. “The Demolition Man” has lost three of his last four, and is taking on a hungry Stefan Struve, whom is eager to show he is 100% healthy after his recent health issues. Struve’s length should give him an advantage against a one-dimensional power house striker in Overeem. Once again though, ring rust can be a determining factor as Struve has not been in a cage since March of 2013. If the Netherlands native freezes up in the opening frame against a fast starter like Overeem, it could get ugly very quick. It is hard not to root for the guy though, his recovery has been remarkable, and for the sake of having UFC comeback story like this, Struve takes this one. Stefan Struve via Technical Knockout.
#12 Gabriel Gonzaga (16-8) vs. #14 Matt Mitrione (8-3) Heavyweight Bout – Two very different fighters in this one, it will depend on who will implement their game plan better. Mitrione is the better athlete, and can dance around Gabriel Gonzaga in the striking department if he keeps his distance. Gonzaga will need to keep this one close range and turn it ugly against the cage. Gonzaga is far superior on the ground, but Mitrione’s take down defense is superb. It is really hard to say who has the upper hand in this one, Mitrione does have the momentum coming into this one with two straight victories by knockout. Matt Mitrione via Technical Knockout.
In other notable bouts on the card, former UFC vets are getting another shot inside the octagon as Ben Saunders and Joe Riggs. Also, Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo finally makes his debut in the UFC against Dustin Kimura. For live social media coverage of UFC on Fox, follow the MMA Spotlight as each fight gets broken down in between rounds.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice Writer heading the coverage in MMA