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 understand four of the other fights on the card, such as a title eliminator in the flyweight division. These bouts are official according to the UFC. The new bouts are listed below, together with my first thoughts on them.
Jussier Formiga vs. Joseph Benavidez, UFC on ESPN 4
The most essential of the new batch of struggle announcements is that a flyweight bout between Jussier Formiga and Joseph Benavidez, which is predicted to garner the winner a title shot at 125lbs. Formiga (23-5) is 9-4 at the UFC and is now riding a four-fight win series that contains a dominant win over Deiveson Figueiredo in his last 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 in the flyweight division, but awarded Benavidez’ resume and high quality of wins through the years, I would have to prefer him going 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 2-0 at the UFC with back-to-back wins over Jeff Hughes and Michel Batista. The win over Hughes was particularly impressive as Greene was an underdog heading into the bout. Albini (14-5) is 1-3 in 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 on a win streak and the other is on a losing skid, but should you believe Greene is the hometown fighter, it looks like the UFC is throwing him a bone here in order to find an easy win before his supporters. Greene should be a big favorite in this one.
Drew Dober vs. Marco Polo Reyes, UFC on ESPN 4
An exciting lightweight bout sees Drew Dober take on Marco Polo Reyes. Dober (20-9, 1 NC) is 6-5, 1 NC total from the UFC and is coming from a submission loss to Beneil Dariush. Before the Dariush struggle, Dober had won three consecutive struggles, but once again his lack of submission defense cost him his win series. Reyes (8-5) is currently 4-2 in the UFC and is coming from a TKO loss to Damir Hadzovic. He’s knockout power himselfbut Dober has a good chin so that might not come into play. Both men have been very inconsistent in the UFC, but Dober seems to be a little more durable and that’s why I would marginally favor him in what should be a stand-up struggle.
Vinicius Moreira vs. Roman Dolidze, UFC on ESPN 4
And lastly, 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 in his Octagon debut which snapped a five-fight win streak. Dolidze (6-0) is undefeated so far in his MMA career with all his wins coming by 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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