- Cynthia Calvillo’s big opportunity
It can be easy to forget following her loss to Carla Esparza, just how much hype and momentum Cynthia Calvillo was building before her first UFC loss. Following her bout with Claudia Gadehla falling off at late notice and her going to a draw with Marina Rodriguez, who stepped in on late notice, it feels like we are still waiting for that big moment Calvillo needs to regain the momentum she lost. Well, now she’s got it in the form of a main event slot against former title challenger Jessica Eye. This main event is not one that jumps off the calendar, but it could be a huge moment for Calvillo if she is able to get past a veteran in Eye.
2. Distance makes the heart grow fonder
Karl Roberson vs Marvin Vettori was a great match-up on paper between two men ready to make a big impact at middleweight. Originally scheduled for May 13th’s event headlined by Anthony Smith vs Glover Teixeira, the fight fell off due to Roberson’s issue cutting weight. After losing out on fighting at UFC London due to the outbreak of Covid-19, Vettori lashed out at Roberson when he saw him in the fighter hotel after he missed weight. What was already a great fight has only got better with time by adding some tension between the two men.
3. The show must go on
Arguably the best match-up on the card unfortunately fell off on Thursday when Ray Borg announced he would have to pull out of his fight due to personal reasons. His scheduled opponent, Merab Dvalishvili, has impressed with his recent form; putting together three consecutive wins. Following two losses in a row upon his arrival in the UFC, Merab has picked up big wins against Terrion Ware, Brad Katona and Casey Kenney. Gustavo Lopez will be stepping in on late notice to make his UFC debut against Merab. He brings an 11-4 record with three straight wins in Combate, all via finish. Though everyone is understanding due to Ray Borg’s family issues that the whole MMA community has gotten behind, we still get to see Dvalishvili compete whilst Borg can return home to his family where he is needed most.
4. Fili vs Jourdain is a sneakily good match-up
Though like a lot of this card, this fight isn’t one that initially jumps off the page, it’s a very good match-up. In Andre Fili you’ve got a guy that since his debut seven years ago, has become a staple of the division. Though he isn’t talked about a whole lot, it’s easy to see how he’s struggled to really gather momentum when you look at the opponents he’s faced. His UFC losses are to Max Holloway, Godofredo Pepey, Yair Rodriguez, Calvin Kattar, Michael Johnson and Sodiq Yusuff. Though Fili lost his last fight, it’s important to remember it was to a guy that many see as a potential world title challenger in the making in Sodiq Yusuff. Before that, he was able to put together two wins in a decision win over Myles Jury and a first-round KO of Sheymon Moraes.
Charles Jourdain, on the other hand, has only fought twice in the UFC. After losing his Octagon debut, Jourdain was given a big spot on the main card of last year’s fight night in Korea against the returning Doo Ho Choi. Jourdain weathered an early storm, fought fire with fire and stopped ‘The Korean Superboy’ in the second round of a great fight. Now he has another great opportunity in front of him to shake up the division by taking on a guy who only loses to the very best at 145 pounds.
5. The one you don’t see coming is always the one that knocks you out
Ask any MMA fan that doesn’t skip events and they will tell you that the under the radar cards are often some of the best. Without one big name or fight on the card, it gives fighters who aren’t always the most talked about an opportunity in the spotlight. In unprecedented times like these, expect several people on this card to grab hold of the moment and make a statement whilst they have the spotlight.