The UFC returns with another card this Sunday — yes Sunday — on FS1 and you won’t want to miss it. From top contenders trying to rebound, unknown top fighters looking to break through and exciting veterans slugging it out, UFC Fight Night has plenty to look forward to.
Read on for our five top reasons to tune in this Sunday and get ready for another action-packed weekend of MMA bouts! Then, let us know who you’re most looking forward to watching.
Seeing how "Cowboy" Cerrone rebounds
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Here’s the thing — no one should be back fighting a month and a half after getting knocked out. This includes people as tough as Donald Cerrone.
Conor McGregor has blasted Cerrone claiming that he gave up in December against Rafael Dos Anjos when he went down from a temporarily crippling body shot. That’s the way good body shots work, though, and McGregor likely knows it.
I’m more concerned with two training camps back-to-back for Cerrone. That’s where the real damage usually happens. And, we’re talking about a guy who fought four times each year for the past three.
Cerrone is an iron man, but iron can break. Hopefully he’s relatively healthy and has his senses about him in this fight.
He’s not just fighting, again, quickly, he’s fighting up a weight class. I bet Cerrone is motivated to get the taste of defeat out of his mouth, so there’s little doubt that he’ll give it everything he has, Sunday.
Really, there’s never a doubt about that with a Cerrone fight.
The Brazilian Cowboy’s big chance
Since May of 2013, Alex Oliveira has only lost once. The welterweight has also won his last three UFC bouts, finishing two of them, and is quickly proving to be one of the most durable fighters in the promotion.
He fought four times in 2015, and start 2016 with the biggest fight of his career. Most fans don’t yet know Oliveira, but that will change if he can beat Cerrone.
After all, Cerrone isn’t just one fight removed from fighting for a world title and an eight-fight win streak, he’s also one of the most popular and well-known fighters in the UFC. Because he’s fighting the former bull rider, more people will be watching Oliveira on Sunday than ever before.
It’s up to him what kind of impression he makes with it. I’m betting he’ll do just fine, and prove dangerous and tough to deal with if he can get inside and has the conditioning to keep a steady pace for five rounds.
Donald Cerrone’s shorts
Cowboy vs. Cowboy is a compelling match up, but so is the backstory of what Donald Cerrone will wear. The guy has already bristled under the UFC’s new outfitting policy and been fined steeply for violating it.
As it turns out, Cerrone is interested in representing more than those who pay the UFC for branding rights on fight nights. He lost a big chunk of change after his last bout for wearing a patch he made from old shorts to honor his fighting lineage, the United States and its military.
Cerrone says that UFC president Dana White has talked with him and they made a plan for following the uniform rules, now. In his next breath, Cerrone also said that he’s probably going to ignore White and the UFC’s mandate and wear his patch again, this Sunday.
If he does, and the UFC follows its own new rules, he’ll not only be fined again, he could very well be fired. So, I’ll be watching Donald Cerrone closely, and what he’s wearing, long before he throws a punch, Sunday.
Cerrone may decide to stay true to himself and his values. If he does, win or lose against Oliveira, he’ll have another fight on his hands, afterwards.
Middleweight Derek Brunson has won five out of his last six fights, and three-straight. His only loss in that stretch was to Yoel Romero — now the number one title contender at 185 pounds.
Brunson was winning that fight until he lost it. Making the memory even more sour for the 32-year-old is when his suspicions about Romero doping were confirmed by a recent failed drug test.
Brunson feels that the only thing having stopped him from being higher up on the middleweight title contender’s ladder is a loss to someone he calls a "blatant cheater." Brunson is fired-up, now, and no-doubt wants to make another statement Roan Carneiro on Sunday.
Chris Camozzi vs. Joe Riggs
Why should you keep your eyes on this fight, Sunday? Simple.
Riggs and Camozzi throw down, period. both men have takedown skills but prefer to light-up opponents with their strikes.
Camozzi tells us he’s better than he’s ever been, and Riggs wants to continue to prove that he’s a serious threat, deep into his storied career.
Camozzi will likely be the bigger of the two, but Riggs has heavyweight punching power. It will be interesting to see if his boxing or Camozzi’s well-rounded Muay Thai style striking will prevail, here.