The Octagon heads to Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 29 for ESPN 4.
It’s been previously announced that the headliner will be a five-round welterweight rematch between former winners Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler, and we know four of the other fights on the card, including a title eliminator at the flyweight division. These bouts are official as per the UFC. The new bouts are listed below, along with my initial ideas on them.
Jussier Formiga vs. Joseph Benavidez, UFC on ESPN 4
The most essential of the new batch of fight announcements is a flyweight bout between Jussier Formiga and Joseph Benavidez, which is predicted to garner the winner a title shot at 125lbs. Formiga (23-5) is 9-4 at the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win series that contains 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 has entered competition 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 awarded Benavidez’ restart and quality of wins over time, I would have to favor him going into this battle.
Maurice Greene vs. Junior Albini, UFC on ESPN 4
Heavyweights Maurice Greene and Junior Albini are scheduled to battle. Greene (7-2) is currently 2-0 at the UFC with back-to-back wins over Jeff Hughes and Michel Batista. The win over Hughes was particularly impressive as Greene was an underdog heading into the bout. Albini (14-5) is 1-3 in the UFC and has dropped three consecutive fights such as a TKO loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik in his final outing. This is a bizarre matchup considering one fighter is about a win streak and the other is on a losing skid, but should you consider Greene is your hometown fighter, it looks like that the UFC is throwing him a bone here to get an easy win before his fans. Greene should 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 total in the UFC and is coming from a submission reduction to Beneil Dariush. Prior to this Dariush fight, Dober had won three consecutive struggles, but once again his lack of submission defense cost him his win streak. Reyes (8-5) is 4-2 in the UFC and is coming from a TKO loss to Damir Hadzovic. He’s summoned electricity himself, but Dober includes a solid chin so that might not come into play. Both men have been very inconsistent in the UFC, but Dober seems to be a bit stronger and that’s why I would slightly prefer him in what ought to be a stand-up struggle.
Vinicius Moreira vs. Roman Dolidze, UFC on ESPN 4
And finally, light heavyweights Vinicius Moreira and Roman Dolidze are set to fulfill. Moreira (9-2) is 0-1 at the UFC with a brutal KO loss to Alonzo Menifield in his Octagon debut which snapped a five-fight win streak. Dolidze (6-0) is undefeated so far in his MMA career with all of his wins coming from stoppage. Moreira looked terrible 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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