Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will be deliver quite a show tonight (Sat., Nov. 22, 2014) from Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas tonight, when it presents UFC Fight Night 57 live on FOX Sports 1. The mixed martial arts (MMA) card features a great selection of relevant and entertaining fights, which should be a very fun card to watch from bottom to top.
In the main event, former Lightweight champion -- and No. 3-ranked Featherweight -- Frankie Edgar takes on No. 2 seed, Cub Swanson, who is red hot with a six-fight win streak and in the hunt for a 145-pound title shot. With the emergence of brash Irishman Conor McGregor as a big star in the division, it'll be on both of these men to put on memorable performances to prove that they deserve a higher standing in the division.
In the co-main event, Bobby Green looks to improve his impressive win streak to nine straight when he takes on Muay-Thai specialist Edson Barboza in a bout that could have a big impact on the 155-pound rankings. Name fighters such as Brad Pickett and Joseph Benavidez are also feature on the FOX Sports 1-televised main card.
Without further ado, let's take a look at some fighters who may earn nice performance bonuses at this event:
Cub Swanson (Fighting Frankie Edgar): Swanson may be an underdog here, but I think the stylistic match up here suits him. Edgar relies on a varying style of attack, which includes the threat of a takedown, but Swanson is savvy enough to prevent getting kept on his back and keep it interesting in the stand up. "The Answer" has one hell of a heart, but he's not so solid defensively and he's prone to getting hurt by heavy hitters. And I think Swanson has it in him to hurt Edgar ... and even finish him off if he places his shots correctly.
Bobby Green (Fighting Edson Barboza): Green fights with a violent, yet somehow composed, style. He'll swarm when he knows the time is right, and I foresee a fair amount of openings for him to do so against Barboza, who doesn't react well to opponents coming in on him. Green's success will have to be in tight, which is where he can be very effective. I think it's fair to say that after being put down hard by a jab, Barboza's chin is certainly questionable, and I think Green will put him away early.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz: This is a pretty fun match up in the Flyweight division, with two very entertaining fighters. Their styles are comparable in some ways, but Benavidez definitely edges Ortiz in most areas. That said, Ortiz seems to be underrated by some and has the well-rounded skills to push Benavidez here. I can imagine this fight will be full of transitions from striking to grappling, with some great exchanges and scrambles thrown in. Expect to be impressed by a "technical brawl" of sorts.
Matt Wiman vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg: These are two guys who rarely fail to entertain and it feels like it's been all too long since we've seen Wiman fight. Wiman is a savvy fighter with a lot of experience. And he can certainly bust out impressive moves when least expected. Vallie-Flagg isn't a flashy fighter at all, but he is relentless in his approach and loves getting into drawn-out exchanges to try and outlast opponents. I think this will be a grueling match, seeing both men get hurt here and there, but ultimately turning into a great fight.
Yves Edwards (Fighting Akbarh Arreola): Even on a bad slump, Edwards is a really good fighter with a huge amount of experience and a very interesting skillset. Arreola is unimpressive, to say the least, and even at the downturn of his career, I expect that Yves is the better athlete and fighter here. On the feet, Edwards should have this, and even on the ground, where Arreola specializes, I'd still expect Yves to be the better fighter, especially considering his Thugjitsu pedigree. I predict a TKO win from the MMA veteran here.
Doo Ho Choi (Fighting Juan Manuel Puig): Choi is a very high-level prospect at the moment with a promising future and some very impressive tools in his arsenal. Puig is a submission artist through-and-through and not particularly great at striking. And that will be his downfall here. Choi has great timing and his straight punches are both pinpoint and powerful, which is what did Puig in in his last fight where he was leveled by Adriano Martins. Choi is going to make no mistake here and finish off Puig early with heavy strikes.
And there you have it.
This is an excellent card that UFC is putting on with a bunch of very entertaining and skilled fighters. In an age of can-miss cards, this is not one of them -- it's worth watching from beginning to end.
Enjoy the fights!