Saturday, April 19, 2014

UFC on Fox 11 Results: Werdum outclasses Browne, Tate takes decision over Carmouche, Cerrone storms back against Barboza

The octagon returned to Florida for the first time since 2012 with a huge heavyweight tilt between top contenders Travis Browne and Fabricio Werdum plus a stacked card from top to bottom. In the end, it was Werdum who completely outclassed Browne, weathering an early storm from Browne and outclassing him in the later rounds both standing and on the ground to earn a unanimous decision.

Heavyweights opened up the card in a fight between two UFC debutantes in Jack May and Derrick Lewis. May was winning the first round until he blew his knee out on a takedown. Following that, Lewis teed off on him against the cage to pick up a TKO victory. Following the fight, Lewis told Joe Rogan in the cage that he felt "asleep", and that Bruce Buffer had "hypnotized" him.

Following that, two extremely hyped prospects collided in the featherweight division. Mirsad Bektic and Chas Skelly fought to a three-round decision filled with entertaining spots. In the second round, Skelly landed two hard knees to Bektic against the cage when Bektic had his hand down and was deducted a point. Bektic appeared to be in la-la land inbetween rounds but came to in the third and showed crisp striking to pick up the victory.

To close out the Fight Pass prelims, flyweights Dustin Ortiz and prospect Ray Borg fought to a split decision. Borg displayed amazing ground technique and came extremely close to sinking in a rear naked choke many times. Ortiz clearly showed much stronger striking but a lack in the ground department. In the end, Ortiz took a split decision home through his superior striking and clinch work.

Jordan Mein and Hermani Perpetuo fought to a split decision where Mein displayed some serious ground and pound, especially in the first round. He seemed to let off the gas a bit as Perpetuo eeked out the third round on many scorecards. Mein would take rounds 1 and 2 on two scorecards for the split decision victory. Caio "Hellboy" Magalhaes then dominated Luke Zachrich in a 44 second TKO by punches.

Undefeated Alex White then fought Estevan Payan and scored a TKO in just 1 minute and 28 seconds. White landed a big jab that dropped Payan against the fence and then landed six clean undefended shots. Payan contested the stoppage, but it was evident that he was out.

Four unanimous decisions in a row came next as Jorge Masvidal defeated Pat Healy, Thiago Alves defeated Seth Baczynski, undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Rafael dos Anjos, and Yoel Romero defeated Brad Tavares. Masvidal displayed much improves speed and striking to defeat the very durable Healy. Alves, returning to the UFC after nearly two years, outstruck Baczynski and showed no sign of ring rust. Nurmagomedov looked as impressive as ever against his highest-ranked opponent yet, showing off his obviously world-class wrestling. Romero also displayed his Olympic-level wrestling, landing 7 of 12 takedowns and dominating Tavares through three rounds.

In what many expected to be the fight of the night, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and Edson Barboza lit up their striking games and displayed great chins. Barboza landed hard shots in the beginning of the round and took hard shots from Cerrone but was dropped by a jab late in the round. Cerrone jumped right on his back, sunk in a choke, and finished the fight at 3:15 of the very first round.

Miesha Tate and Liz Carmouche looked to get back on the winning track in Orlando, and it was a close one. Carmouche displayed great wrestling and took Miesha down several times in the first half of the fight but Tate took control late. I actually scored round 3 10-8 for Miesha, but in the end she won a unanimous decision.

In the main event of the evening, Fabricio Werdum dominated Travis Browne, showing excellent improvement and his striking and continued his position as the best ground game in the heavyweight division. Post-fight, it was revealed that Browne had broken his hand in the first round and perhaps had a broken rib. Nevertheless, Werdum solidified himself as the #1 contender for Cain Velasquez when he returns, perhaps set for a huge collision in Mexico City later this year.

Five Things we Learned at UFC on Fox 11

1. Fabricio Werdum's striking is not to be underestimated. Werdum showed a granite chin and a vastly improved striking game, landing several hard shots in the second and third rounds before letting off the gas a little in the fourth.

2. The Lightweight division is becoming very interesting. 155 pounds has always been an interesting division, but it became even more interesting tonight. Khabib Nurmagomedov remains undefeated, Cowboy is storming back into the top 5, and Jorge Masvidal is back on track.

3. The UFC has a ton of great prospects coming in. Mirsad Bektic, Chas Skelly, Alex White, and Ray Borg all had very good showings tonight.

4. Thiago Alves doesn't suffer from ring rust apparently. Alves didn't skip a beat in his decision victory against Seth Baczynski and noted his desire to fight twice more this year.

5. Florida is back on the UFC's radar. Following a disastrous showing in Miami, Dana White was very vocal about his hesitancy to return to Florida. Orlando showed up big tonight, giving the UFC one of its highest attendances for a non-PPV show and making a ton in gate money. The viewership should be interesting to see as well.

Storyline to Watch

Donald Cerrone's 2014 crusade continues. Cerrone has two finishes in four months so far this year and is well on track to get his wish of six fights this year. It'll be interesting to see who he gets next- he's currently ranked 8th and many people are either injured(Grant) or not willing to fight at the moment(Diaz, Thomson). Bobby Green just pulled out of his fight against Jim Miller next week in Baltimore and Cerrone noted his desire to fill in, but fighters receive mandatory medical suspensions and probably won't be able to do that. If that doesn't happen, a bout between him and Khabib Nurmagomedov seems to make sense.

Prospect to Watch

Mirsad Bektic, even though he received a few illegal knees and was roughed up, has massive hype behind him and could do very well in a short amount of time in a very top-heavy featherweight division. No clue who he gets next but it should be interesting to see where he goes from here regardless.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

UFC 169: Barao vs Faber II Preview and Predictions

That time again folks. Let's get right into it. I've added betting lines, current records, and x-factors to all fights. Betting lines are as of today(1/29) at around 5 PM EST.


Of course the most prevalent story/injury on this card was that Dominick Cruz, the bantamweight champion who had been our for two years after double reconstructive surgery on his ACL, was scheduled to fight interim champion Renan Barao to determine the true champion. Cruz, however, tore his groin and was forced out of the bout. He was replaced by Urijah Faber, who previously fought Barao to determine the interim champion at UFC 149.

Abel Trujillo was expected to face Bobby Green at this event but was forced out with an injury and was replaced by Jamie Varner.


Current betting line: Barao(-325) Faber(+250)

It seems like after the last fight we questioned whether or not Faber would ever get another title shot, yet here he is after rattling off four dominant wins over Ivan Menjivar, Scott Jorgensen, Iuri Alcantara, and Michael McDonald.

Faber has a serious problem with taking a ton of damage to his lead leg. Aldo completely destroyed Faber's leg with kicks and Barao didn't do much less. Faber will want to get on the inside, but the problem is that Barao is a majorly defensive fighter and controls the distance extremely well. If Faber can't get inside, stands in the pocket and takes a heavy volume of leg kicks, it could be a short night.

Going back to Barao's defensive style, his defensive wrestling is excellent. Faber is great on the mat, but it won't do much help if he can't get there. And, again, if Faber has trouble getting on the inside, matwork won't do much help.

The X-factor for this one is Faber's speed. Barao has a bit of a plodding style, and if Faber can utilize his speed to frustrate Barao, get on the inside, shoot for takedowns, he could take this.

In the end, I think Barao is a bit more complete fighter. He has a great way of keeping opponents on the outside and that's why he's been so successful. Faber definitely has a shot, especially if he comes in looking like he did against Michael McDonald, but I think Barao takes this one to retain the belt, and I think it'll happen by TKO.

PREDICTION: Barao via 3rd round TKO

Current betting line: Aldo(-570) Lamas(+430)

Ricardo Lamas has been on fire since dropping down to Featherweight. In this fight, however, he's going to have a very tough time. I want to pick him so bad but it's just a terrible matchup. Aldo will light him up on the feet with punches and kicks, so Lamas is going to want to put him on his back.

Putting Aldo on his back is going to be near-impossible, however, because Aldo has such an uncanny ability to push opponents back constantly. If you look at the Zombie fight, even when Aldo was shooting for takedowns because of his inability to throw kicks he was still pushing Jung back against the fence.

Lamas is an excellent counter-puncher and likes to keep the pace with his jab. He needs to throw caution to the wind here. Anyone who fights a cautious fight against Jose Aldo is going to get demolished, plain and simple. The reason for that is Aldo is so good at keeping up the pressure.

The X-factor in this fight is going to be Lamas's ability to swarm his opponent when they're in danger. We saw in the Koch fight that Lamas performs so well when he smells blood in the water. If Lamas can catch Aldo with a big punch, maybe knock him down, it could be lights out for Jose Aldo.

PREDICTION: Jose Aldo via 2nd round TKO


Current betting line: Alistair Overeem(-325) Frank Mir(+250)

The loser of this fight could easily be getting their walking papers, but I honestly think these two are at entirely different points in their careers. Overeem is just on the bad side of a few losses, but Mir is on his way out of MMA entirely. Immediately that bodes well for Overeem.

The outcome of this fight comes down to the first few minutes of the first round in my mind. If Frank Mir can weather an early storm by Overeem, he could take it to the ground and submit Overeem. But I think Overeem is gonna come out swinging. He knows Mir has a suspect chin and was downed by knees against Josh Barnett.

Can the X-factor in this fight be anything but Overeem's motivation/attitude? We've seen Overeem get cocky in his last two fights and get knocked out in both of them, and obviously Frank Mir has a chance to do the same.

PREDICTION: Alistair Overeem via 1st round KO


Current betting line: Ali Bagautinov(-135) John Lineker(+105)

I love this fight so much. Two flyweights with huge power is sure to provide fireworks. I'm also a big fan of Bagautinov, and think he poses and interesting threat to most flyweights in the division.

Despite his love for punching, Bagautinov can't rely on it too much and get into a boxing match with Lineker, because he'll have a really tough time. People often forget that Bagautinov is a world-class grappler and that's a huge advantage for him. Lineker has been submitted in three of his six losses, notably to Louis Gaudinot and Felipe Arantes.

If Bagautinov can take this fight to the ground it can be the difference maker. He'll be able to keep himself out of Lineker's huge power and be able to submit him.

The X-factor here is Lineker's ability to make weight. If Lineker misses weight again, he'll probably come into the fight a bit demotivated, considering he'll probably get cut if he misses weight again or be forced to move up to 135.

PREDICTION: Bagautinov via third round submission


Current betting line: Abel Trujillo(+125) Jamie Varner(-155)

Tough fight to pick. Varner should look to Khabib Nurmagomedov's strategy and use his wrestling to wear down Trujillo, but we've seen in the past that Varner would much rather go for broke and look to knock someone out or submit them.

You wouldn't know it if you looked at his fight with Nurmagomedov, but Trujillo loves to take the fight to the mat and submit people, something Varner has been susceptible to.

The X-factor here is Trujillo's defensive wrestling. If he takes control of the wrestling it could be a short night for Varner, but I don't think it will go that way. I still like Trujillo to take it, but it'll probably be a snoozefest.

PREDICTION: Trujillo via unanimous decision


John Makdessi def. Alan Patrick
Chris Cariaso def. Danny Martinez
Nick Catone def. Tom Watson
Al Iaquinta def. Kevin Lee
Clint Hester def. Andy Enz
Rashid Magomedov def. Tony Martin
Neil Magny def. Gasan Umalatov

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

UFC on FOX 10: Henderson vs Thomson Preview and Predictions

It's that time again folks: time for my preview and predictions of UFC on Fox 10. My current record for main card predictions through 3 events is 12-3. Headlined by a key matchup in the 155-pound division, former champion Benson "Smooth" Henderson takes on gritty veteran Josh "The Punk" Thomson. Henderson lost his title back at UFC 164 in August to Anthony Pettis after defending the belt 3 times against Frankie Edgar, Nate Diaz, and Gilbert Melendez. Pettis was the supposed to take on Thomson at UFC on Fox 9, but Pettis pulled out of the fight requiring knee surgery, so this matchup between "Smooth" and "The Punk" was set up. Who knows what this fight will lead to, as Pettis is still injured, we have TJ Grant(who was promised a title shot way back in May before suffering a concussion, which he has still not been cleared to come back from), no one seems to want to fight Russian wrestler Khabib Nurmagomedov, and our ole favorite Nate Diaz seems to want to sit around waiting for a title shot. Needless to say, the lightweight division is definitely interesting.

In the co-main event, rising heavyweight Stipe Miocic, who's coming off a huge win over fan favorite Roy Nelson, takes on Brazilian veteran Gabriel Gonzaga. Gonzaga has won two straight, a 17-second knockout of Dave Herman at UFC 162 and another quick knockout of Shawn Jordan at UFC 166. Also on this card is a strangely-booked lightweight bout between Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and Adriano Martins, and a featherweight bout between Darren "The Damage" Elkins and Jeremy "Lil Heathen" Stephens.


Jared Rosholt was expected to face Oleksiy Oliynyk at this event, but Oliynyk was injured and Rosholt was pulled from the card.

A bout between Adam Khaliev and Pascal Krauss was expected to take place here, but both men were injured and forced off the card.

Both of these men are BJJ black belts. Both of them have excellent stats in the wrestling department. Both of them have experience going 25 minutes. This is definitely going to be a tightly contested matchup. My only concern is whether or not Thomson can handle the volume of strikes that Henderson will throw at him. Thomson did fight Gilbert Melendez three times and in their third fight he took a staggering 132 total strikes(77 of them significant). So I believe he'll be able to hang with Henderson's striking capacity. Thus, this fight is about split down the middle.

However, Henderson has shown in the past the he has the uncanny ability to do just enough to take home a decision, especially in the second Edgar fight and in the Melendez fight. And I think he'll do it again Saturday, based solely on the absence of intangibles that push the fight in either direction.

PREDICTION: Henderson via unanimous decision

Gabriel Gonzaga obviously has the capacity to knock anyone out. And he is very decorated with his jiu jitsu. But Stipe Miocic is such a talented wrestler that it'll be tough for Gonzaga to do anything on the mat. Miocic is also significantly younger, has a better gas tank, and isn't known for his capacity to get knocked out.

PREDICTION: Miocic via unanimous decision


Am I the only one who thinks this is a very strange matchup? Cerrone, a perennial top-ten guy, against a relative unknown in Martins. Martins may have an extensive record, but it's mostly against nobodies in Brazil. And he only has two wins in any major promotions, one against Jorge Gurgel in Strikeforce and most recently to Daron Cruikshank at UFC Fight Night 32 back in November. Despite this, Cerrone is much more experienced and a way better striker. I don't see any way Cerrone doesn't win this fight.

PREDICTION: Cerrone via 2nd round (T)KO

Interesting fight. This is a typical grappler vs striker matchup. It's simple: if Elkins wants to erase his KO loss to Chad Mendes and all the criticism about his chin that came with it, he needs to use his wrestling to stop Stephens from landing that big KO punch. However, if he's going to be wrestling at all he needs to be willing to take shots in the clinch and on the outside. He can't stand and trade with Stephens or it will end bad. Stephens is no slouch on the ground, though, with a black belt in jiu-jitsu, "Lil Heathen" could surprise us with his overall game. Still, based on Stephens's inconsistency, I like Elkins to weather the storm and take home a decision

PREDICTION: Elkins via split decision

Sergio Pettis def. Alex Caceres
Eddie Wineland def. Yves Jabouin
Chico Camus def. Yaotzin Meza
Hugo Viana def. Junior Hernandez
Daron Cruikshank def. Mike Rio
Mike Rhodes def. George Sullivan
Walt Harris def. Nikita Krylov

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

St-Pierre admits he left UFC partly over UFC's lack of drug testing support

Photo credit to

It wasn't too big of a shocker that long-time welterweight champion and future UFC hall of famer Georges St-Pierre left the sport back in early December for "personal reasons". He stated after UFC 167 that he needed time away, and prior to his bout at UFC 167 rumors were flying around, in addition to statements from his managers and mentors, that St-Pierre would be retiring in the cage if he won. Surely enough, St-Pierre announced after the fight that he would be "taking some time away" before officially vacating the belt and walking away from the sport in early December.

Now, a month later, St-Pierre claims that it wasn't only personal reasons that forced him into walking away from the sport.

Prior to his fight against Johny Hendricks back at UFC 167, Hendricks and St-Pierre both claimed they had interest in doing extra drug testing leading up to their fight. Hendricks proposed they use VADA, or the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. St-Pierre agreed and even offered to pay for Hendricks' testing. Hendricks backed off however, stating he had questions about VADA's impartiality.

Today, in an interview with, St-Pierre fired off at the UFC for not supporting him in extra testing for his fight against Hendricks.

"I tried to change the sport." he said. "Unfortunately, there were other people, for different reasons, maybe for money, maybe in fear of losing money, because if you cancelled the fight because someone tested positive there are millions of dollars [lost]. Also, the sport's image. If you start testing everyone, how many will get caught? I don't want to say in public because I don't want to accuse anyone, but the sport's image will be hurt.

"Don't forget, I have internal information. I am an athlete. I know what goes on, so that disappointed me greatly." St-Pierre said.

St-Pierre ended up being the only one tested by VADA and hinted at his feelings regarding the matter in his conference call announcing his vacating if the belt. Many speculated this was part of the reason that St-Pierre walked away, and several media members asked UFC president Dana White about it on the conference call. White simply responded "no."

"The only thing I want to say is, I wanted to do something to help those who are honest in this sport. Believe me or not, I never did drugs in my life. I'll take a lie detector test, I don't care. I'm for anti-doping tests. I think it's a big problem in the sport.

"This is a relatively new sport. There's only one organization that has a monopoly, so the fighters don't have much power. They can't really talk because if one says what he thinks, he will get punished.

"If we want the sport to be accepted worldwide, like baseball, hockey, football, soccer, I believe it's the thing to do. I think it's a matter of time before it happens, it's just that I tried to make it happen now. Maybe they didn't like the idea because if I did it now, it would lead to others doing it and that's not something they wanted to happen.

"It disappointed me. You know there are things I can't say. I'm holding back. I'm a public person."

St-Pierre says his family was very supportive of his decision to walk away from the sport, but St-Pierre still left the possibility of a return open, depending on what happens with drugs in the sport in the next few years or so.

"No one wants to talk about it, but I think we need to talk about it. It's a problem." St-Pierre said in regards to drugs in MMA.

"I wanted to remain diplomatic, but unfortunately there were people who weren't ready to change things. I'm certain it's a question of time. And maybe if things change one day, I'll return."

Monday, January 13, 2014

UFC Fight Night 35: Rockhold vs Philippou Preview & Predictions

A great card that's been flying under the radar is happening this Wednesday: #6 middleweight Luke Rockhold, who's coming off a devastating head kick KO at the hands of Vitor Belfort back in May, fights #10 ranked middleweight Costa Philippou. Philippou lost a unanimous decision to Francis Carmont back at UFC 165 in September. In the co-main event, Hawaiian standout Brad Tavares faces off against Team Monsoon fighter Lorenz Larkin. Also on the card is a bantamweight matchup between TJ Dillashaw and Mike Easton, a great fight between Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson, and others. Let's take a look.


Thiago Silva was expected to face Ovince St. Preux at this event, but pulled out for undisclosed reasons and the bout was rescheduled for UFC 171.

Deadly Russian striker Adlan Amagov was expected to fight Jason High at this event, but pulled out and was replaced by Beneil Dariush. High then pulled out of the bout after having appendicitis and was replaced by veteran Charlie Brenneman.



This is a really great middleweight matchup. Rockhold has a big advantage in a few areas: He's got a longer reach, he's taller, and he's a bit younger, generally considered to be in his prime. But Costa needs a win here bad. He was just beaten by Francis Carmont, a fight he had the tools to win. He needs to come out here with that killer instinct. Philippou's loss to Carmont was way worse than Rockhold's loss to Vitor. Costa has something to prove, and I think he'll go out there and get it done.

PREDICTION: Philippou via unanimous decision


Tough fight to pick. Tavares is definitely a live dog here, he's agressive but smart at the same time. Larkin is coming off a win over Chris Camozzi at Fight for the Troops 3 while Tavares is coming off a win over Bubba McDaniel. Neither of these guys have big KO power and I think this one will be contested mostly on the ground, and therefore this one, in my mind, comes down to who can defend the takedown better and take control when on the mat. I think Tavares has the wrestling to get it done in this one.

PREDICTION: Tavares via unanimous decision


Easton is another guy on this card who really needs a win bad. He's coming off two straight losses to Rafael Assuncao and Brad Pickett. Dillashaw is coming off one loss to Rafael Assuncao, a fight many thought he did enough to win. Dillashaw has great power in his hands and has devastating knees, but Easton has shown his resiliency when taking hard shots. Tough to pick, but I'll go with Dillashaw here.

PREDICTION: Dillashaw via split decision


Both of these men are wrestling standouts, but Romero has shown his striking power before, especially in the Ronny Markes fight. Brunson would be wise to look for the takedown in this one, but needs to be careful in doing so as Romero has been known to land some brutal combinations to stagger his opponent and keep them from securing the takedown. Based on the striking x-factor, I like Romero in this one.

PREDICTION: Yoel Romero via 2nd round TKO

This fight is a mismatch in my mind. Moraga, coming off a title fight loss to Demetrious Johnson, is better everywhere, especially on the mat. Moraga has never been finished by strikes, something Ortiz favors heavily. I don't see any way Moraga doesn't win this fight, and I think he'll do it fairly quickly.

PREDICTION: Moraga via 1st round submission

The first fight on the main card here is a featherweight matchup between renowned grappler and jiu-jitsu black belt Cole Miller vs heavy-handed Sam Sicilia. If this fight goes to the ground, expect Miller to dominate. But if it stays standing, it plays right into Sicilia's strengths. Tough fight to pick, but I think Miller has the ability to take some shots and get the fight to the ground in order to get the victory. I'm expecting a war between these two though.

PREDICTION: Miller via split decision


Ramsey Nijem def. Justin Edwards
Elias Silverio def. Isaac Vallie-Flagg
Trevor Smith def. Brian Houston
Alptekin Ozkilic def. Louis Smolka
Vinc Pichel def. Garrett Whiteley
Charlie Brenneman def. Beneil Dariush

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Weidman: "I actually take more privilege if I'm beating up a juicehead"

UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman's previous run-ins with Anderson Silva were full of respect, dignity, and class. It looks like his fight with #1 contender Vitor Belfort, who has rattled off three straight head kick knockouts, will be totally different.

Weidman appeared on Ariel Helwani's show The MMA Hour Monday to discuss his bout with Belfort, amongst other things, and had plenty to say about Belfort's use of Testosterone Replacement Therapy(TRT). Belfort has drawn massive criticism for his use of TRT because of his past steroid bust in 2006 after his fight with Dan Henderson.

"How old is Vitor now, 36? And he's allowed to have the testosterone of a 17-year old? I don't think TRT belongs in the sport, where it's a combat sport." Weidman said.

The champ knows he's going to have to face these questions about TRT and steroids over and over again leading up to this massive fight with Belfort, but the way he sees it, he's got nothing to worry about.

"It's more of a cloud for him." Weidman said. "He's the one who got cheating once. Now he's taking TRT and I don't think it's right. I did hear from other TRT users, not to mention names, but I've heard TRT is a good way to cover up other things. I don't know much about the business these guys are in, but that doesn't seem cool to me, for a guy who's not taking anything."

Weidman also had some strong words on how he feels about this fight.

"I feel like I'm on another level." Weidman said. "I think it's a great fight for me, but I think I can beat him no matter what he's on. I actually take more privilege if I'm beating up a juicehead, if that's what you consider him."

Weidman and Belfort's bout is tentatively scheduled to take place in Vegas, where Nevada State Athletic Commision president Keith Kizer has stated Belfort will not be given a therapeutic use exemption(TUE) for continued use of his TRT. The fight is supposed to take place sometime in May or July.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Domick Cruz injured, vacates title; Urijah Faber in against Renan Barao at UFC 169

UFC president Dana White announced today during an afternoon edition of Sportscenter that UFC Brantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, who has been out of action since October 2011 after double ACL surgery, had torn his groin and would vacate the UFC Bantamweight champion. Interim champion Renan Barao, who is undefeated in his past 32 fights and has not lost in close to nine years, will be promoted to the official Bantamweight champion.

With Cruz out of the matchup, perennial 135 pound contender Urijah Faber will fight Barao for the second time. The two previously met at UFC 149 in July of 2012, with Barao winning a unanimous decision. Since then, Faber has rattled of four dominating wins again Ivan Menjivar, Scott Jorgensen, Iuri Alcantara, and most recently Michael McDonald.

Barao has two defenses of his interim title, a submission victory over Michael McDonald in February of 2013 and a brutal head kick KO of Eddie Wineland at UFC 165 in September.

In the co-main event, a Featherweight championship bout between long-reigning champion Jose Aldo and top contender Ricardo Lamas will take place. The UFC has stated that Barao/Faber II will remain in the main event slot, with Aldo-Lamas staying the co-main event. Both fights will be five round bouts.

Also on the card is what's being called a "loser leaves town match" between former heavyweight interim champion Frank Mir and former Strikeforce, Dream, and K-1 Kickboxing heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. A key clash in the 125 pound division between surging Russian prospect Ali Bagautinov and oft-criticized Brazilian John Lineker will also take place, with the winner possibly getting a shot at the belt.