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Bonus Watch! Potential UFC award winners this weekend in Sydney, Uberlandia

UFC will stage shows from Sydney, Australia, and Uberlandia, Brazil, on back-to-back nights this weekend, with several interesting match ups and big-name fighters. Before the action begins, take a look at the special fighters and fights who have the potential to haul in one or more of UFC's performance-based bonuses.

Chris Hyde

This weekend, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will holding two events, UFC Fight Night 55 and UFC Fight Night 56 tonight (Fri., Nov. 7, 2014) and tomorrow (Sat., Nov. 8, 2014), respectively. The mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion will first head to AllPhones Arena in Sydney, Australia on Friday, before setting sails for Ginasio Municipal Tancredo Neves in Uberlandia, Brazil.

In total, UFC plans to deliver 22 bouts this weekend.

In the main event of the Sydney card, Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping will square off in a "grudge match" that could contain Middleweight title contender implications. In the co-main event, talented Brit Ross Pearson takes on Serra-Longo product and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 alum Al Iaquinta.

In Brazil, the legendary Mauricio Rua will take on Ovince St-Preux in a Light Heavyweight bout. Featured in the co-main event are Ian McCall and John Lineker, two incredibly exciting Flyweight fighters who are trying to break into the top tier of the division.

Now, starting with UFC Fight Night 55, let's take a look at some of the potential top performers at these two events:

Luke Rockhold (fighting Michael Bisping): Bisping is a pretty good fighter and always seems to be just that bit better than I give him credit for; however, I struggle to see a place where he'll hold an advantage over Rockhold in this fight. Rockhold is quicker, longer, more versatile and has more to lose here, and I think he'll rise to the occasion and really put on a clinical performance over Bisping. I think his kicks and clinch game will be very influential on this fight, with Bisping succumbing at some point in the later rounds.

Ross Pearson (Fighting Al Iaquinta): Pearson is looking more and more impressive to me lately, even in his very dubious loss to Diego Sanchez. Iaquinta, for all his good qualities, seems to be weak defensively, even in fights he should win comfortably. Pearson seems to have developed some power into his pinpoint striking game, and it's hard for me to imagine him not stinging Iaquinta all night long with crisp combinations, if not finishing him at some point. Pearson has this fight all the way.

Soa Palelei (Fighting Walt Harris): Palelei is the type of guy to thrive against weaker opposition. Harris lost to Nikita Krylov, making him very weak opposition. Palelei will blitz him early and take this fight by swift technical knockout or possibly submission if he so chooses.

Dylan Andrews vs. Sam Alvey: This is a fight between two guys who just know how to put on a good fight. Andrews fights with an incredible amount of heart, but he's been improving his striking and clinch games to improve his offense, as well as already being quite difficult to take down. Alvey has a lot of power and likes to use it, with a strong all-round game and, just like Andrews, a ton of heart. Neither guy will back down in this fight and I expect them to clobber each other for some time before either of them goes down ... if at all.

And now onto UFC Fight Night 56 ...

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (Fighting Ovince St. Preux): St. Preux is incredibly athletic and seems to have several interesting tools in his skill set, but he isn't a high-level fighter by any means. Shogun, as battle-worn as he is, still has a lot going for him and is a very talented striker. As long as he can keep this fight on the feet, it should be a rather short night, because he has the skill and power to light up St. Preux's chin and put him to sleep.

Ian McCall vs. John Lineker: On paper, it'd be easy to favor McCall in this fight, being that he has a lot more high-level experience as well as more ways to win. That said, he doesn't always tend to fight smart, and that will lead to a firefight when facing off with a guy like John Lineker, who likes to throw haymakers in high volume. Lineker packs a lot of power, but McCall can take a hard shot or two, so I think this fight should carry on for a few entertaining rounds.

Caio Magalhaes (Fighting Trevor Smith): While Magalhaes isn't exactly a flawless fighter, I cannot see him losing to Smith. Magalhaes is massive and imposes his physicality very well, and I think that will give Smith fits in trying to get the fight to the mat. Losing via technical knockout to Thales Leites, regardless of how he's improved his striking game, is a troubling sign for Smith, and I think that Caio puts Smith away in similar fashion.

And that about wraps it up.

Two solid nights of fights and you have to expect that some of these fighters will have standout performances. There's a ton of fights these days as UFC looks to establish world domination, and this weekend is no different.

Enjoy the shows!

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