The Octagon heads to Target Center at Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 29 for ESPN 4.
It has been previously declared the headliner will be a five-round welterweight rematch between former champions Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler, and we understand 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 important 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 in the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win streak that contains a dominant win over Deiveson Figueiredo in his final outing. After several years as a gatekeeper, it eventually looks like Formiga has turned the page, and it has entered contender status. Benavidez (27-5) is 13-3 at the UFC and is coming from back-to-back wins over Dustin Ortiz and Alex Perez. Both guys are tremendous fighters at the flyweight division, but awarded Benavidez‘ resume and quality of wins over the years, I’d have to favor him going into this battle.
Maurice Greene vs. Junior Albini, UFC on ESPN 4
Heavyweights Maurice Greene and Junior Albini are scheduled to battle. Greene (7-2) is 2-0 at the UFC with back-to-back wins over Jeff Hughes and Michel Batista. The triumph 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 consecutive fights including a TKO loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik in his last outing. This is a weird matchup considering one fighter is about a win series 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 in front of his supporters. Greene ought to be a big 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 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 solid chin so that may not come into play. Both guys have been quite inconsistent in the UFC, but Dober appears to be a little more durable and that is why I would slightly prefer 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 set to meet. Moreira (9-2) is 0-1 in the UFC with a brutal KO loss to Alonzo Menifield in his Octagon introduction which snapped a five-fight win streak. Dolidze (6-0) is undefeated so far in his MMA career with all of his wins coming by stoppage. Moreira looked awful in his UFC debut and you have to fade him figure Dolidze ought to be able to finish him in devastating fashion.
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