Looking to make his stamp on U.S. soil once again, UFC featherweight superstar Conor McGregor takes over TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, taking on the tenth ranked Dennis Siver. If “The Notorious One” wins, he has been practically guaranteed a title shot from the UFC brass. The co main event could also contain a possible title eliminator, with top contenders Donald Cerrone and Benson Henderson fighting for the third time. “Smooth” is already two up on the “Cowboy”, but will be hard pressed to slow down the surging Cerrone. The striking game should be on high demand Sunday; with the fights kicking things off on Fight Pass at 6pm EST, switching over to FOX Sports 1 for the rest of the night at 7pm EST.
#5 Conor McGregor (16-2) vs. #10 Dennis Siver (22-9) Featherweight Bout – The hype train surrounding Conor McGregor will continue to grow unless the German, Dennis Siver, can derail it. Many overlook the stocky and stout Siver, his striking game is no joke though, and can take the wind out of any featherweight in the division. There are reasons why these two are ranked in the top 10 in the UFC featherweight division, McGregor cannot look past that. He prides himself on looking through his opposition, eyeing a title shot against Jose Aldo if he can come out victorious Sunday night. McGregor’s unpredictable striking game is lethal, and contains one punch power not many have seen in the division outside of a select few. Until McGregor meets a fighter who can make the fight dirty, and take it to the ground, nobody’s striking game really matches up. Since Dennis Siver is a well versed striker, this fight will be once again fought in the Irishman’s doghouse. “The Notorious One” predicts it will be over in the first two minutes, the MMA Spotlight predicts the first round. Conor McGregor via Technical Knockout.
#3 Donald Cerrone (26-6) vs. #5 Benson Henderson (21-4) Lightweight Bout – Cerrone may be biting off more than he can chew here, as he just fought not less than a few weeks ago in Las Vegas. The two have already squared off twice back in the WEC, with Henderson winning both of those fights. Cerrone comes into the fight on fire, winning his last six UFC lightweight bouts. With a victory, Donald Cerrone could finally warrant his first shot at the UFC title; the former champion eyes the same goal though, with both vying for top pay in the promotion. Henderson has had ample time to ramp up his training for this fight, and more motivated than ever after losing to Rafael Dos Anjos. Cerrone is coming off a three round decision victory less than three weeks ago, it will be interesting to see how his body reacts to the battering. With rest being a factor and motivation riding high in Arizona, Henderson can take the hat trick over Cerrone in this one. Benson Henderson via Unanimous Decision.
Urijah Hall (10-4) vs. Ron Stallings (12-6) Middleweight Bout – The opponents just keep on dropping out for Urijah Hall, fortunately enough for him, someone like Ron Stallings was willing and able to step in on short notice. This will be Stallings first fight inside the UFC octagon, Urijah Hall will more than likely spoil the short and sweet introduction. Urijah Hall via Technical Knockout.
Gleison Tibau (39-10) vs. Norman Parke (21-2-1) Lightweight Bout – Tibau and Parke, somewhat a sleeper fight on the main card, both can provide some exciting action inside the cage. Tibau mixes it up well, gaining more confidence each fight with his striking. Norman Parke is a striker by trade, and will look to keep his distance from the muscular Brazilian while landing crisp combinations throughout the fight. Parke’s only two losses in his career were due to submissions, Tibau prides himself at being a specialist to cranking necks, do not be surprised if Tibau tries to put the Irishman on his back early and often. Parke’s take down defense is underrated though, which could wear Tibau out in the later rounds giving Parke an opportunity to pounce. In front an Irish crowd, Parke should thrive and prosper in this one. Norman Parke via Unanimous Decision.
In other notable UFC fights on the preliminary card; Another Irishman will be fighting on the card, Cathal Pendred will face his stiffest test to date taking on Sean Spencer. John Howard and Lorenz Larkin will both lock heads as well, when the two welterweights clash on the prelims. For anything and everything UFC, stay tuned into the MMA Spotlight for the full results of Sunday night.
Commentary By Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA
Image Courtesy of Koichi Taniguchi – Flickr License