Everyone is tuning in to the featherweight Yair Rodriguez test his mettle against former champion BJ Penn this weekend at UFC Fight Night in Phoenix, but here are four underrated fights from the card fans might want to check out.
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Joe Lauzon vs Marcin Held
Longtime UFC submission specialist Joe Lauzon looks to get back into the win column when he faces off against fellow grappler Marcin Held in the co-main event of UFC Phoenix this weekend.
Lauzon has bounced between wins and losses over his last five fights and is coming off a closely contested split-decision loss to Jim Miller in August. But there’s no doubt the “Ultimate Fighter” alum has plenty left in the tank.
He’ll try not to become Held’s first UFC victory on Saturday night as the Polish fighter dropped a decision in his debut against Diego Sanchez. Held, like Lauzon, is a very accomplished grappler with a litany of medals, awards and accolades from various grappling tournaments and organizations.
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Frankie Saenz vs. Augusto Mendes
Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Augusto Mendes looks for his first UFC win when he faces well-rounded veteran Frankie Saenz in the featured bout on the FS1 prelims.
Mendes lost his debut to current champion Cody Garbrandt, but the fight didn’t give “Tanquinho” an opportunity to truly show what he’s made of. No doubt he should get that chance on Saturday night against Saenz.
Saenz will be fighting in front of a hometown crowd while looking to snap a two-fight skid after winning his first three fights inside the Octagon. He’s a well-rounded fighter who will look to dictate the pace for all three rounds.
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Walt Harris vs. Chase Sherman
Walt Harris’ UFC career got off a rocky start as he dropped his first three fights and was released from the promotion. But now, the “Big Ticket” is back and looking for his second win in his last three bouts.
He’ll take on Chase Sherman, who is 0-1 inside the Octagon but possibly has the best nickname in the entire heavyweight division. “The Vanilla Gorilla” is a purple belt in kickboxing under Duke Roufus and like Harris, has finishes in all of his professional wins.
Chances are, this scrap between athletic heavyweights will end with the referee peeling one off the canvas.
Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger vs. Nina Ansaroff
In the featured bout on the UFC Fight Pass prelims, strawweights Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger and Nina Ansaroff both look for their first win under the UFC banner.
Jones-Lybarger and Ansaroff have had a rough go in their first couple fights in the UFC but look to put those losses behind them on Saturday.
Both fighters are talented strikers who aren’t afraid to stand in the center of the Octagon and throw hands, much to the delight of fans in attendance. One of these women will walk away with their first UFC win, but it won’t be easy.