The Octagon heads to Target Center at Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 29 for ESPN 4.
It’s been previously announced the headliner is going to be a five-round welterweight rematch between former winners Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler, and we know four of the other fights on the card, including a title eliminator at the flyweight division. These bouts are official as per the UFC. The new spells are recorded below, together with my initial ideas on them.
Jussier Formiga vs. Joseph Benavidez, UFC on ESPN 4
The most essential of this new batch of fight announcements is that a flyweight bout between Jussier Formiga and Joseph Benavidez, which can be predicted to garner the winner a title shot at 125lbs. Formiga (23-5) is 9-4 at the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win series that contains a dominant win over Deiveson Figueiredo in his final outing. After many years as a gatekeeper, it finally looks like Formiga has turned the page, and it has entered competition status. Benavidez (27-5) is 13-3 in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back wins over Dustin Ortiz and Alex Perez. Both men are tremendous fighters at the flyweight division, but awarded Benavidez’ resume and quality of wins over the years, I would have to prefer him heading into this fight.
Maurice Greene vs. Junior Albini, UFC on ESPN 4
Heavyweights Maurice Greene and Junior Albini are scheduled to clash. Greene (7-2) is currently 2-0 in the UFC with back-to-back wins over Jeff Hughes and Michel Batista. The win over Hughes was particularly striking as Greene was an underdog heading into the bout. Albini (14-5) is 1-3 from the UFC and has dropped three straight fights such as a TKO loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik in his final outing. This is a bizarre matchup considering one fighter is about a win series and the other one is on a losing skid, but if you believe Greene is your hometown fighter, it resembles the UFC is throwing him a bone here to get an easy win before his supporters. Greene ought to be a huge favorite in this one.
Drew Dober vs. Marco Polo Reyes, UFC on ESPN 4
An intriguing lightweight bout sees Drew Dober take on Marco Polo Reyes. Dober (20-9, 1 NC) is 6-5, 1 NC total in the UFC and is coming off of a submission loss to Beneil Dariush. Before this Dariush struggle, Dober had won three consecutive fights, but once more his lack of entry defense cost him his win series. Reyes (8-5) is 4-2 in the UFC and is coming from a TKO loss to Damir Hadzovic. He’s knockout power himselfbut Dober includes a solid chin so that may not come into play. Both men have been quite inconsistent in the UFC, but Dober seems to be a bit more durable and that is why I would marginally prefer him in what should be a stand-up fight.
Vinicius Moreira vs. Roman Dolidze, UFC on ESPN 4
And finally, light heavyweights Vinicius Moreira and Roman Dolidze are place to fulfill. Moreira (9-2) is 0-1 in the UFC with a brutal KO loss to Alonzo Menifield within his Octagon introduction which snapped a five-fight win series. Dolidze (6-0) is undefeated so far in his MMA career with all his wins coming from stoppage. Moreira looked terrible in his UFC debut and you need to fade him here and figure Dolidze should be able to complete him in catastrophic fashion.
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