The Octagon heads to Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 29 for ESPN 4.
It has been previously declared that the headliner is going to be a five-round welterweight rematch between former winners Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler, and now we know four of the other fights on the card, including a title eliminator at the flyweight division. These bouts are official according to the UFC. The new spells are recorded below, together with my initial ideas on them.
Jussier Formiga vs. Joseph Benavidez, UFC on ESPN 4
The most essential of the new batch of struggle announcements is a flyweight bout between Jussier Formiga and Joseph Benavidez, which can be expected to garner the winner a title shot 125lbs. Formiga (23-5) is 9-4 in the UFC and is now riding a four-fight win series that includes a dominant win over Deiveson Figueiredo in his final outing. After many years as a gatekeeper, it finally looks like Formiga has turned the page, and it has entered contender status. Benavidez (27-5) is 13-3 at the UFC and is coming from back-to-back wins over Dustin Ortiz and Alex Perez. Both men are tremendous fighters at the flyweight division, but given Benavidez’ resume and quality of wins over the years, I would have to favor him heading into this battle.
Maurice Greene vs. Junior Albini, UFC on ESPN 4
Heavyweights Maurice Greene and Junior Albini are scheduled to clash. Greene (7-2) is 2-0 in the UFC with back-to-back wins over Jeff Hughes and Michel Batista. The triumph over Hughes was particularly striking as Greene was an underdog heading into the bout. Albini (14-5) is 1-3 from the UFC and has dropped three consecutive fights including a TKO loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik in his final outing. This is a bizarre matchup contemplating one fighter is on a win series and the other one is on a losing skid, but should you believe Greene is the hometown fighter, it resembles that the UFC is throwing him a bone here in order to get an easy win in front of his supporters. Greene ought to be a huge favorite in this one.
Drew Dober vs. Marco Polo Reyes, UFC on ESPN 4
An exciting lightweight bout sees Drew Dober take on Marco Polo Reyes. Dober (20-9, 1 NC) is 6-5, 1 NC overall from the UFC and is coming from a submission loss to Beneil Dariush. Prior to the Dariush struggle, Dober had won three consecutive struggles, but once more his lack of submission defense cost him his win series. Reyes (8-5) is currently 4-2 in the UFC and is coming from a TKO loss to Damir Hadzovic. He’s summoned electricity himselfbut Dober has a solid chin so that might not come in to play. Both men have been very inconsistent in the UFC, but Dober seems to be a little stronger and that’s why I would marginally prefer him in what should be a stand-up fight.
Vinicius Moreira vs. Roman Dolidze, UFC on ESPN 4
And lastly, light heavyweights Vinicius Moreira and Roman Dolidze are set to fulfill. Moreira (9-2) is 0-1 in the UFC with a brutal KO loss to Alonzo Menifield within his Octagon debut which snapped a five-fight win streak. Dolidze (6-0) is undefeated so far in his MMA career with all his wins coming by stoppage. Moreira looked awful in his UFC debut and you need to fade him here and figure Dolidze ought to be able to finish him in catastrophic fashion.
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