The UFC makes its return to FOX as it closes out 2015 this Saturday, headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Rafael Dos Anjos and fan favorite Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.
All the fights will be free, the prelims being on Fox Sports 1 and the main card on your local FOX channel, here’s 4 fights though that you’ll want to keep an eye on.
Myles Jury vs. Charles Oliviera
This is going to be a solid fight with two young up-and-comers who are just coming off of minor setbacks. Jury’s last fight was almost a year ago where he lost a pretty one-sided decision to ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone after putting together a solid 15-0 record, he has since dropped down to featherweight; Oliviera on the other hand was on a 4-fight win streak before suffering a very odd esophagus injury in his fight with Max Holloway.
Contrary to Jury’s last fight with Cerrone, he’s an action fighter and is good wherever the fight goes. He likes to stay busy and put the pressure on his opponents, something Oliviera tends to struggle against, but Oliviera is primarily a slick submission guy.
Oliviera wants to bring you in, and pull you to the ground where he can really show you what he’s made of with his high level BJJ.
This should be a fun contest between two guys who want stay relevant in the ever-so-crowded featherweight division.
Nate Diaz vs. Michael Johnson
This fight is going to be one to watch for one reason only, Michael Johnson. The rising star had a setback amidst a controversial decision loss to Beneil Dariush, so expect him to take out some anger on the younger Diaz brother.
Nate Diaz isn’t really going anywhere, and he probably isn’t winning this fight. He’s not near as fun to watch as his older brother Nick, but he is tough as nails, and can surprise you with his jiu-jitsu.
It’s not to say Johnson is going to walk through Diaz easy, because if it does go to the ground, we could be in for a surprise, but Johnson is just flat-out the better fighter, this fight is essentially here to showcase his talents against a known fighter like Diaz.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem
I can’t even tell you how long I’ve been waiting for this fight to happen. This is one the UFC faithful have had their eyes on since Overeem came to the UFC, and now it’s finally happening.
The only problem is that we wanted this fight when Overeem was a monster…he still is, but he also has a glass jaw, and Dos Santos doesn’t happen to have pillows for hands.
It’s not to say that I’m completely writing off Overeem’s chances, it’s just that Dos Santos doesn’t necessarily get knocked out, and he does. I expect Overeem to come out looking strong, possibly taking this fight into the second round, but that’s where JDS catches him and puts him to sleep.
Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone
I know what you’re saying, “Didn’t Donald Cerrone lose to RDA?” Yes, yes he did, back in August of 2013, right before he kicked off his current insane 8-fight win streak.
So who’s to say that Cerrone won’t lose again? I mean, he doesn’t really change how he fights, he just does his thing, so shouldn’t it be an easy win for Dos Anjos since he’s done this before? Well yes, and no. If Dos Anjos can get in on Cerrone and hold him to the ground, then yeah, it’ll be another decision victory, but if Cerrone keeps this on the feet, something he didn’t do last time, we might see yet another title change.
Listen, forget about the fact that Cerrone already lost to this guy, the man is a warrior and a hell of a lot of fun to watch fight, there’s a reason why everyone loves him. This fight is 100% free, and it’s a title fight. There’s no reason to not watch it. So sit down Saturday night, and watch the UFC on FOX, I can promise you that it will be more entertaining than that Cowboys and Jets game.
UFC on FOX 17 Picks
All picks are in bold.
UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims, 3:30 pm ET
Luis Henrique vs. Francis Ngannou, TKO RD 2
Vicente Luque vs. Hayder Hassan, KO RD 1
Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards, Unanimous Decision
Fox Sports 1 Prelimes, 5:00 pm ET
Cole Miller vs. Jim Alers, Submission RD 3
Nik Lentz (10) vs. Danny Castillo, TKO RD 2
Josh Samman vs. Tamdan McCory, KO RD 1
Sarah Kaufman (6) vs. Valentina Shevchenko, TKO RD 3
C.B. Dolloway (12) vs. Nate Marquardt, TKO RD 2
Charles Oliviera (9) vs. Myles Jury (9), KO RD 1
FOX Main Card, 8:00 pm ET
Randa Markos (8) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Unanimous Decision
Michael Johnson (5) vs. Nate Diaz (14), Unanimous Decision
Junior Dos Santos (2) vs. Alistair Overeem (9), KO RD 2
Rafael Dos Anjos (C) vs. Donald Cerrone (2), TKO RD 3
Featured Image: BlackSportsOnline.com
Sources: Sherdog, UFC.com
Brock Hebner is the Lead MMA Writer for NoCoastBias.com. He covers the UFC mostly, but has an added interest in the WWE, NHL, NFL, MLB, Premier League Soccer, and College Football. You can follow Brock on Twitter @brocktavious and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions, comments, or feedback.