With so many PPV and fight pass fight cards coming up i think its worth taking a look at some of the fights that don’t seem to be getting the hype or recognition they quite deserve. After all the next weekend that we have free of any UFC action is actually Christmas Eve.
Rafael Dos Anjos v Tony Ferguson – UFC Fight night, Mexico City. Nov 5
With UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden coming up this one does seem to have gone under the radar a little, it shouldn’t have. There’s little over one week left until two of lightweights most talented and quite frankly scary contenders do battle.
Rafael Dos Anjos (25-8-0 MMA 14-6-0 UFC)
An awful 2016 for the former Lightweight Champion, arguably the biggest loser of the year, missing out on ‘red panty night’ with Conor McGregor and then losing his subsequent bout and title in an underwhelming and disappointing loss to Eddie Alvarez. Before the disappointment of 2016 RDA looked like an absolute phenom, with just one loss (Khabib Nurmagomedov) in eleven UFC bouts, capturing the title in that spell. He had been talked about as one of the best lightweights to step into the octagon and will be expecting to be cementing his position at the top of the number one contenders chart.
Tony Ferguson (21-3-0 MMA 12-1-0 UFC)
The number 4 ranked lightweight in the world, its arguable that it’s either him or Khabib who should be challenging Alvarez for the title at 205 but that’s another story entirely. Eddie Bravo was recently describing Ferguson and said ‘When people talk about savages, saying oh look that guys a savage, well Tony Ferguson is a God damn savage. He is fearless, his work ethic is unbelievable’. Ferguson is one of the most aggressive and well-rounded fighters in the entire UFC, not to mention one of the most avoided.
Verdict – In a nutshell, this fight on paper should set your pulse racing. For me this is the most exciting match up in the Lightweight division and who ever wins this gets a shot in the next fight for the title. Do not miss this one.
Next up – Kelvin Gastelum v Donald Cerrone – UFC 205, MSG New York. Nov 12
Being amongst so many great fights this one is easy to miss, but be sure not to. Two high-class fighters ranked #5 and #6 in the Welterweight division, this one sits right in the middle of the bill on the most exciting card in UFC history. But who has looked more exciting in recent times than Cowboy himself?
Kelvin Gastelum (12-2-0 MMA 7-2-0 UFC)
Gastelum is coming off a huge win against former 170lbs Champion Johnny Hendricks and has now seemed to control one of the biggest downfalls of his career to date, his weight. With that issue out of the way he can put his outstanding skill set and talent to good measure. Gastelum has all the potential to be up at the top of the division some day, he was the winner of Season 17 TUF and has just two losses to his name, both of which were narrow split decision loss to now champion Tyron Woodley (Gastelum missed weight) and Neil Magny.
Donald Cerrone (31-7-1 MMA 18-4-0 UFC)
Theres not much that can be said about Cerrone that hasn’t already been said. He looks like a fighter reborn under the new 170lbs limit. Cowboy threw arguably the best combination seen in the Octagon against Rick story. Walking through everybody that’s been put in front of him, he has just the one loss in his last twelve bouts, finishing eight of those opponents. He’ll be looking to set up a title eliminator fight with another dominant win, or who knows, maybe even a shot at the Welterweight title.
Verdict – Understandably hard to be as excited for this one with so many great match ups in one night and a certain Conor McGregor headlining the card, but this one should be a great contest and a sneak at Fight of the Night for me.
Finally – Robert Whittaker v Derek Brunson – UFC Fight Night, Melbourne, Australia. Nov 26
One of the more underwhelming cards in the upcoming months for the UFC, this fight should light up and stand out on an otherwise lacklustre night.
Robert Whittaker (16-4-0 MMA 7-2-0 UFC)
One of the most exciting prospects in the UFC ranks, winner of five straight and another fighter feeling the benefits of moving up in weight. Whittaker was schedules to take on a certain Michael Bisping just 12 short months ago (look where he is now) only for Bisping to fall injured. The New Zealand born, Australian native will be looking to move that much closer to a title fight with a win in his native country.
Derek Brunson (16-3-0 MMA 7-1-0 UFC)
Another man riding a five fight winning streak, the last four of which being first round knock outs. Brunson started his career as an accomplished wrestler, now though has a reputation as a devastating knock out artist. Brunson has just one loss in his UFC career coming against Yoel Romero, of which he was winning before being knocked out late in round three. Another Middleweight fighter that’s just one big performance away from a big fight.
Verdict – This fight should be getting so much more attention that it is. I honestly think that either one of these fighters are no more than 2 fights from knocking on the door of the champion. These two are legitimate top ten contenders and with the current dispute between the top 5 contenders in the 185lbs division, don’t be surprised to see either one of these there or thereabouts extremely soon.
So there’s my three to keep an eye on, be sure not to miss them.