The Octagon heads to Target Center at Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 29 for ESPN 4.
It has been previously declared the headliner is going to be a five-round welterweight rematch between former champions Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler, and now we understand four of the other fights on the card, such as a title eliminator at the flyweight division. These bouts are official as per the UFC. The new bouts are listed 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 fight announcements is a flyweight bout between Jussier Formiga and Joseph Benavidez, which is predicted to garner the winner a title shot 125lbs. Formiga (23-5) is 9-4 in the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win series 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 has entered contender 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 guys are tremendous fighters at the flyweight division, but given Benavidez’ resume and high quality of wins through the years, I’d have to prefer him heading into this battle.
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 triumph over Hughes was especially impressive as Greene was an underdog heading into the bout. Albini (14-5) is 1-3 from the UFC and has dropped three consecutive fights such as a TKO loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik in his last outing. This is a bizarre matchup contemplating 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 resembles the UFC is throwing him a bone here to get an easy win in front of his fans. Greene ought to 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 overall in the UFC and is coming off of a submission reduction to Beneil Dariush. Prior to the Dariush fight, Dober had won three straight 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 off of a TKO loss to Damir Hadzovic. He has knockout power himself, but Dober has a solid chin so that may not come in to play. Both guys have been quite inconsistent in the UFC, but Dober appears to be a little stronger and that’s why I would marginally favor him in what ought to 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 in his Octagon debut which snapped a five-fight win streak. Dolidze (6-0) is undefeated so far in his MMA career with all of 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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