Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads overseas later today (Sat., April 11, 2015) for an international iteration of UFC Fight Night 64: "Gonzaga vs Cro Cop 2," live on UFC Fight Pass from the Krakow Arena in Krakow, Poland, featuring the return of Mirko Cro Cop as he takes on Gabriel Gonzaga in a heavyweight rematch.
Catch all the action LIVE with a UFC Fight Pass main card start time of 3 p.m. ET (for up-to-date UFC Fight Night 64 results click here).
Below is everything you need to know to stay on top of this afternoon's action.
Who: Gabriel Gonzaga vs Mirko Cro Cop
What: UFC Fight Night 64
When: Sat., April 11, 2015, beginning at 11:45 a.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass
Where: Krakow Arena in Krakow, Poland
How To Watch: Main card at 3 p.m ET on UFC Fight Pass; UFC Fight Pass "Prelims" under card at 11:45 a.m ET.
Live UFC Fight Night 64 results: Play-by-play coverage stream right here
Why It Matters: This one is tough because UFC Fight Night 64 is really geared towards an international audience, but we do get to witness Mirko Cro Cop grace the Octagon once more as his legendary career comes to an end. Whether this is his last fight, or just the beginning of a shocking career resurgence, Cro Cop's illustrious career accolades deserve your full attention in Krakow.
What's Hot: The only two consequential bouts on the card is the light heavyweight co-main event pitting Jan Blachowicz against Jimi Manuwa and the women's strawweight battle between Joanne Calderwood and Maryna Moroz. The 115-pound scrap could crown "JoJo" as the new No. 1 contender and the 205-pound battle could determine a fresh contender in the unbelievably thin light heavyweight division.
What's Not: If you are a casual MMA fan, this card really is not for you. Featuring a plethora of fighters you have likely never heard of before, UFC Fight Night 64 will see 10 fighters make their Octagon debut. This event looks a lot more like an amalgam of regional talents rather than a UFC fight card.
There were plenty of changes to the UFC Fight Night 64 card, but the only major change was losing an integral women's strawweight bout. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) product Aisling Daly was set to face Cláudia Gadelha on the main card in what would have likely been a No. 1 contender bout. Unfortunately, Gadelha pulled out of the fight with an injury and UFC officials scrapped the bout altogether.
Sergio Moraes lost two opponents when both Peter Sobotta and Gasan Umalatov pulled out with injuries. Newcomer Mickael Lebout will now face the Brazilian on the "Prelims."
Krzysztof Jotko was scheduled to welcome Garreth McLellan to the UFC, but an injury to Jotko gave Bartosz Fabiński a chance to make his Octagon debut as well.
Finally, Marcin Bandel will now be facing off against Steven Ray after Jason Saggo withdrew from the fight with an injury.
New Blood: Ten fighters will be making their Octagon debuts tonight, so let's get a quick preview of all the fighters right here.
-- Rocky Lee vs. Taylor Lapilus: Neither man has fought anyone of worth, but Lapilus has been more active at 8-1 than Lee at 3-0. In fact, Lee has only fought twice since his debut in July, 2011.
-- Aleksandra Albu vs. Izabela Badurek: Two more women's strawweights will be added to the fold tonight, but the real story here is Albu. The former women's bantamweight has a ton of hype coming into her debut tonight with only one career fight and victory -- a (technical) knockout. As for Badurek, she comes into this fight with a 5-2 record.
-- Bartosz Fabinski vs. Garreth McLellan: This middleweight battle features another hometown favorite in Fabinski, but McLellan is the favorite here with a 12-2 record. Hailing from South Africa, "Soldier Boy" has earned nine career submission victories, but can he submit the Pole?
-- Maryna Moroz (vs. Joanne Calderwood): "The Iron Lady" comes in at 5-0, but she is taking on a much tougher opponent than she has ever faced before in "JoJo." I don't suspect Moroz to have a very impressive UFC debut.
-- Steven Ray (vs. Marcin Bandel): The newest Scot on the roster boasts a 16-5 record with eight submissions and four (technical) knockouts. Ray holds two victories over Curt Warburton, and has lost to Nico Musoke.
-- Damian Stasiak (vs. Yaotzin Meza): Poland's own Stasiak will look for his ninth career victory tonight, and his first UFC win over Meza. Stasiak has won five straight, but has never fought any UFC caliber opponent.
-- Mickael Lebout (vs. Sergio Moraes): Making his Octagon debut on short notice, the Frenchman will look for a huge upset over Moraes. With a 13-3 career record and six submission victories, fight fans may be in for a grappling extravaganza.
How The "Prelims" Look: Pretty terrible considering you will likely know maybe five of the 16 fighters competing. With 10 fighters overall set to make their Octagon debut tonight, nine of them will be on the "Prelims."
If you want to watch "Prelims," I recommend catching Aleksandra Albu's UFC debut. "Stitch" has a ton of hype coming in, and a big win could catapult her into the UFC rankings.
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:
-- Gabriel Gonzaga (vs. Mirko Cro Cop): UFC likely wouldn't cut Gabriel Gonzaga even if he lost his third straight fight this evening, but it sure would not bode well for "Napao" to be on such a losing streak at 35 years old.
-- Seth Baczynski (vs. Leon Edwards): Two straight losses and four losses in his last five fights has Baczynski just barely holding on to a UFC roster spot. A loss tonight will undoubtedly end his UFC career.
Interest Level: 2/10
As I have previously mentioned, this card is meant for international fight fans and is little more than a regional card featuring Mirko Cro Cop.
With a heavyweight rematch no one asked for in the main event, and little else to get excited for other than the enticing light heavyweight co-main event, UFC Fight Night 64 really lacks depth among other things.
At this point, we must expect these types of cards for UFC Fight Pass exclusives.
265 lbs.: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Mirko Filipovic
UFC Fight Pass Main Card (3 p.m. ET):
205 lbs.: Jan Blachowicz vs. Jimi Manuwa
185 lbs.: Bartosz Fabinski vs. Garreth McLellan
115 lbs.: Joanne Calderwood vs. Maryna Moroz
UFC Fight Pass "Prelims" (11:45 a.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Pawel Pawlak vs. Sheldon Westcott
170 lbs.: Sergio Moraes vs. Mickael Lebout
170 lbs.: Seth Baczynski vs. Leon Edwards
265 lbs.: Daniel Omielanczuk vs. Anthony Hamilton
115 lbs.: Aleksandra Albu vs. Izabela Badurek
155 lbs.: Marcin Bandel vs. Steven Ray
145 lbs.: Rocky Lee vs. Taylor Lapilus
145 lbs.: Yaotzin Meza vs. Damian Stasiak
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 64 fight card, starting with the UFC Fight Pass prelims at 11:45 a.m. ET, and on through the UFC Fight Pass main card slated to begin at 3 p.m. ET.
Enjoy the fights!