So a bit of background on this event, originally Anderson Silva was meant to face Kelvin Gastelum, however Gastelum was found to be on weed. Silva was then offered former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. Silva turned down the fight and instead wanted to face Yoel Romero for an interim belt or he will retire. Silva didn’t get his wish, as for him retiring, that’s still up in the air. However, that aside, this event is stacked; with one of the most anticipated main events in the sport this year. Here is the main card breakdown.
(Welterweight) Erick Silva vs Yancy Medeiros: As with most Brazilian cards, you’re going to see a strong representation. Not that’s a bad thing, Erick Silva has spent most of his career in Jungle Fight where he is a former Welterweight champion. Since coming to UFC in 2011, he has become one of the most exciting fighters in the sport with an aggressive yet exciting style. Medeiros is a newcomer to the welterweight division, picking a victory over Sean Spencer at UFC 203. An all round fighter, the Hawaiian changed his work ethic after working closely with the Diaz brothers and allowing to make weight for different weight classes. Medeiros will have to be careful of going to the ground as that is where Silva is at his most dangerous.
(Middleweight) Paulo Borrachinha vs Oluwale Bamgbose: Next we have 2 knockout artists who are future prospects. This promises to be a slugfest, most of their fights end in the first round. Borrachinha is a former Jungle Fight Middleweight champion and is undefeated at 9 – 0 – 0 while Bamgbose is 6 – 2 – 0, he was undefeated until he signed with UFC, he’ll want to made a good impression. It all comes down to size. Bamgbose has a major reach advantage of 6 inches over his opponent.
(Light Heavyweight) Vitor Belfort vs Nate Marquardt: 2 UFC veterans take to the cage next. Vitor Belfort for some is considered one of the best, particulary when it comes to KO, racking up 18 out of 25 wins. In Brazil, the man is a legend and is also a former UFC Light Heavyweight champion. His opponent Nate Marquardt is another legend in the sport, he has never held gold in UFC, however he is a former Strikeforce Welterweight champion. He is more of an all rounder, but is a bit more proficient on the ground. Both men have long and successful careers and who knows how long they have left in the promotion or the sport. But still, they have a lot of experience and watching both of them is like watching an MMA clinic.
(Women’s Strawweight) Claudia Gadelha vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz: A very interesting bout, the winner of this may be next for current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Both women are known for going the distance, Gadelha has a bit more of a ground game, and the only losses that they have had is against the current champion. Gadelha has lost twice against Jedrzejczyk and Kowalkiewicz has lost once back in Madison Square Garden. Even though both them have lost to the champion, they took her to the limit and came close. It’s anyone’s fight, but this has the potential to be fight of the night.
(Main Event) (Featherweight Championship) Jose Aldo (c) vs Max Holloway (ic): Sadly the featherweight division has been knocked down in the last year or 2; when Conor McGregor won the belt from then champion Aldo after he had been chasing him the moment he stepped into UFC. He never defended it afterwards. Instead he went on a quest to capture the lightweight title, one thing led to another and the belt was held hostage for a year. Frankie Edgar was meant to be next inline for a shot, he then had a fight with Aldo at UFC 200 who beat Edgar to become the Interim champion, when McGregor captured the lightweight belt at UFC 205, he was forced to drop one of the belts and he opted to drop the featherweight, making Aldo the champion by default. While this was all going on Max Holloway who Conor McGregor beat in his debut had racked up a 9 – 0 – 0 win streak and then faced former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis for an Interim belt, which Holloway won. Hopefully this fight will live up to expectation to get this once great division back on track. Aldo wants to make up for his KO loss to McGregor which ended after 13 seconds, mainly because of an overwhelming reach advantage. Holloway has around the same height as McGregor and Aldo has an inch more in reach. If McGregor vs Mayweather doesn’t happen, this along with Jon Jones vs DC Cormier and Canelo vs Golovkin are the most anticipated fights of the year. You could probably put Joshua vs Klitschko in that list aswell.