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UFC Fight Night 80 start time, TV schedule, who is fighting at 'Namajunas vs. VanZant'

Check out our full "Fight Day" preview for UFC Fight Night 80: "Namajunas vs. VanZant," which takes place tonight (Thurs., Dec. 10, 2015) live on UFC Fight Pass from "The Chelsea" at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a Women's Strawweight clash pitting Rose Namajunas against Paige VanZant.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicks off a whirlwind weekend later this evening (Thurs., Dec. 10, 2015) as "The Chelsea" at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, plays host to the UFC Fight Night 80: "Namajunas vs. VanZant" event live on UFC Fight Pass.

Catch all the action LIVE with a main card start time of 10 p.m ET (for up-to-date UFC Fight Night 80 results click here).

Below is everything you need to know to stay on top of the Fight Night event in Vegas.

Who: Rose Namajunas vs. Paige VanZant
What: UFC Fight Night 80
When: Thurs., Dec. 10, 2015, beginning at 6:45 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass
Where: "The Chelsea" at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada
How To Watch: UFC Fight Pass main card at 10 p.m ET; UFC Fight Pass "Prelims" undercard at 6:45 p.m ET
Live UFC Fight Night 80 results: Play-by-play coverage stream right here

Why It Matters: Mixed martial arts (MMA) is more popular than ever before, but it still has a long way to go in captivating a mainstream audience.

Some fighters -- such as Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor, Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva and a few others -- have been able to transcend the sport itself, making their fights absolutely must-watch material for even the most casual MMA fans.

UFC brass is always on the lookout for special fighters who not only bring it inside the Octagon, but intrigue an audience outside of the cage as well.

UFC Fight Night 80 has two very special up-and-coming prospects who could soon be leading figures for MMA and UFC -- Paige VanZant and Sage Northcutt.

VanZant has already fought three times inside the Octagon, going undefeated in that timespan to earn her first UFC main event. Considering VanZant is only 21-years old, the placement in a main event during UFC's biggest fight weekend of the year is a major vote of confidence.

"12 Gauge" isn't exactly Ronda Rousey, but she is already carving out a niche of major supporters in a very short period of time. A few more prominent victories could catapult her into becoming the next huge women's MMA star, which is a great thing for the sport.

As for Northcutt, the 19-year old amazed fight fans around the world with his stunning 57-second knockout over Francisco Trevino in his Octagon debut this past October. After nationwide media coverage for his stunning front-flip celebration (watch it), Northcutt was booked for a quick turnaround against Cody Pfister on the UFC Fight Night 80 main card.

While he obviously has a ways to go before being deemed a "superstar," it is clear there is something very special about Northcutt, and UFC brass are looking to capitalize.

What's Hot: There are some really intriguing fights on the UFC Fight Night 80 card, but the main event deserves your immediate attention.

VanZant has looked sensational in her three Octagon bouts, defeating quality opponents in Felice Herrig and Kailin Curran. The truth is, though, the burgeoning star has yet to face an elite competitor, which will ultimately be a measuring stick to how far VanZant can go in the 115-pound division.

UFC brass initially booked "PVZ" against Joanne Calderwood in what would have been a very stiff test, but an injury to "JoJo" gave Rose Namajunas the opportunity to step in on short notice.

With all due respect, Calderwood is a dangerous fighter, but "Thug Rose" is a legitimate title contender.

If VanZant is to challenge for a UFC title, she will have to put it all together against a spectacular and extremely tough opponent in Namajunas.

Sit back and enjoy this fight, for it could very well deliver MMA a brand new superstar.

What's Not: I understand UFC brass wanting to give Northcutt an easy opponent, but feeding him Pfister is a bit ridiculous if you ask me.

At 12-4, Pfister has earned some nice victories, but has yet to impress during his 1-1 Octagon stint. It is clear to anyone who follows the sport "The Pfist" is being fed to the wolves at UFC Fight Night 80, meaning another potentially violent finish for Northcutt.

At least he has the opportunity to spoil the party, right?

Original Card vs Actual Card:

Unfortunately, it seems nearly every UFC event has a major fight scratched because of injury, and UFC Fight Night 80 is no different.

As previously mentioned, Calderwood was set to battle VanZant in the main event tonight, but an injury forced UFC brass to plug-in Namajunas on short notice.

The two other changes to the event were minor, as Nathan Coy and Sergio Moraes replaced the injured Michael Graves and Lyman Good, respectively.

New Blood:

Danny Roberts vs. Nathan Coy: Two MMA veterans will step into the Octagon for the first time against each other tomorrow evening as Danny Roberts battles Nathan Coy. Roberts -- known in England as "Hot Chocolate" -- is a highly touted prospect and veteran of Cage Warriors boasting an 11-1 record with nine finishes. Coy, a Bellator, Strikeforce and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran, gets his UFC debut opportunity on short notice at 37-years old.

How The "Prelims" Look: For a UFC Fight Pass event, this is about the best undercard you could hope for.

Some of the most overlooked exciting fighters on UFC's roster are set to battle on the "Prelims," as Aljamain Sterling, Tim Means, Santiago Ponzinibbio and a handful more will throw down for your viewing pleasure.

The must-watch fight is Aljamain Sterling vs. Johnny Eduardo. For some reason, a Top 10 Bantamweight clash is being stashed on the undercard when this fight could very well serve as the co-main event of the evening.

Sterling has all the tools to challenge for a UFC title, so make sure to watch "The Funk Master" show off for the masses on the undercard.

Who Needs A Win Badly: This portion is reserved for fighters who could be fighting for their jobs today, rather than contenders or title challengers needing victory. Let's take a look at those who need to pull it together:

Emily Kagan and Kailin Curran: Two 115-pound Women's Strawweights in desperate need of a victory will square off on the UFC Fight Night 80 "Prelims" this evening. Curran is winless (0-2) inside the Octagon, losing her last fight via a Hail Mary armbar courtesy of Alex Chambers. As for Kagan, the 34-year old really has no business fighting in UFC right now, but alas she is getting one more shot following her mediocre performance in a loss against Angela Hill in Dec. 2014.

Interest Level: 6/10

UFC will kick-off an incredible weekend of fights with a very solid UFC Fight Pass exclusive.

With a sensational main event, two budding superstars, a potential No. 1 contender fight in the Bantamweight division, and so much more, the fight night event offers MMA fans a little bit of everything.

While some of UFC brass' decision-making for this event was questionable, the fights themselves should absolutely deliver thrilling back-and-forth action.

Check out the full UFC Fight Night 80 card right here:

UFC Fight Night 80 Main Event:

115 lbs.: Rose Namajunas vs. Paige VanZant

UFC Fight Night 80 Main Card (10 p.m. ET):

155 lbs.: Jim Miller vs. Mike Chiesa
155 lbs.: Sage Northcutt vs. Cody Pfister
185 lbs.: Thiago Santos vs. Elias Theodorou

UFC Fight Night 80 Prelims (7 p.m. ET):

170 lbs.: John Howard vs. Tim Means
170 lbs.: Omari Akhmedov vs. Sergio Moraes
185 lbs.: Kevin Casey vs. Antonio Carlos Junior
145 lbs.: Johnny Eduardo vs. Aljamain Sterling
170 lbs.: Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Andreas Stahl
170 lbs.: Nathan Coy vs. Danny Roberts
145 lbs.: Phillipe Nover vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
115 lbs.: Kailin Curran vs. Emily Kagan

MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 80 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the UFC Fight Pass "Prelims" bouts at 6:45 p.m. ET before moving on to the UFC Fight Pass main card line up at 10 p.m. ET.

See you then!