Loaded with multiple lower-class weights fights, UFC is headed to make a debut in Fresno, California for its next Fight Night event featuring a featherweight fight between #4 Cub Swanson and #7 Brian Ortega. Also on the card is a rematch between two former women’s bantamweight title contenders – Liz Carmouche and Alexis Davis who are now making their way into the women’s flyweight division. The event will take place in the Save Mart Center, Fresno, California on 9th Dec.
CUB SWANSON (25-7) VS. BRIAN ORTEGA (12-0)
The winner of this fight, is sure to get a crack at the featherweight title against the reigning champion Max Holloway. Brian Ortega is on a four-fight winning streak, is undefeated and a young upcoming fighter who scaled the heights despite being thrown to experienced fighters in his previous five octagon appearances. Swanson is on his second-long win streak after back-to-back losses to Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway. He’s a tough old dog who has taken out new breed of fighters for a chance at the gold. Swanson’s striking will be a key differentiator if he manages to keep the fight on the feet. For Brian it’s a no brainer to take the fight to the ground and showcase his mat skills. Avoiding the early onslaught, grinding and taking Swanson into the deep waters will be the key to victory for Ortega.
JASON KNIGHT (20-3) VS. GABRIEL BENITEZ (19-6)
#15 ranked Jason Knight takes on Mexico native and the AKA product Gabriel Benitez in the co-main event. An excellent striker, Jason Knight doesn’t shy away from a slugfest or taking on a lot of strikes to put on an amazing fight performance. His four-fight win streak was snapped when he was TKO’ed by Ricardo Lamas. But for Gabriel things have been quite an uphill task since his two straight wins. He was KO’d in the first round and lost his previous fight via unanimous decision. For Jason, striking is his bread and butter, but if the fight goes to the ground, he’s a tough nut to submit. As for Gabriel, his striking can match up with Jason’s, but the grittiness could outdo him in the fight.
LIZ CARMOUCHE (11-5) VS. ALEXIS DAVIS (18-7)
Exactly four years ago, Alexis Davis fought against Liz Carmouche inside the octagon for a chance to get a shot against the then women’s bantamweight champion – Ronda Rousey. Ironically, both Liz and Alexis got their respective title shots in the first round. Since her loss to Ronda Rousey, Alexis only competed once a year and her Octagon return was unpleasant as she lost to Sarah McMann. Alexis now has her mind set on the women’s flyweight division with a rematch against Liz four years in the making. The last time they met, Alexis won a clear unanimous decision, but this time she wants to make it a war. Alexis is a BJJ blackbelt and trains at CSA Gym known for their solid stand up. Liz is your typical wrestler with strength on her side, but lacks in the striking division. On paper, Alexis has got all the skills to finish the fight wherever it goes.
IURI ALCANTRA (34-8) VS. ALEJANDRO PEREZ (18-6-1)
At 37, Iuri’s record is a testament for his long career outside and inside UFC. He’s been part of the roster since 2011 with a 9-5 record losing to top contenders like Jimmie Rivera, Urijah Faber, Harcan Diasand Brian Kelleher. Age might be a factor for Iuri who’s shown signs of cardio issues and durability. Perez can exploit this weakness but his lack of engaging and putting on a tough show could cost him the fight. Iuri will try to stand and trade with the Perez trying to finish the fight early, while Perez could fight outside as he sticks and moves throughout the three rounds. The durable fighter comes out victorious in this bantamweight clash.
ALJAMAIN STERLING (14-2) VS. MARLON MORAES (19-5-1)
Earlier slated to face Rani Yahya in the bantamweight bout, but an injury caused Yahya to pull out and in comes another Brazilian – Marlon Moraes. It’s a quick turnaround fight for Moraes, who won his close contest fight against John Dodson just a month ago. Moraes want’s big names and so he’s got the #8 ranked Aljamain Sterling who after his split decision back-to-back losses to Bryan Caraway and Raphael Assuncao picked up two straight wins defeating Augusto Mendes and Renan Barao. Aljamain’s key to victory is his wrestling, but off late his striking has shown significant improvement. It’ a tough and important fight for Moraes as he just fought a three rounder with Dodson and a win over Aljmain could see him break into the top 10 rankings.