Before Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brings you UFC 206, which is set to go down on Saturday (Dec. 10, 2016) live from inside Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada -- only on pay-per-view (PPV) -- the promotion will present UFC Fight Night 102. The Fight Pass-only event is all primed to go down on Friday night (Dec. 9, 2016) from inside Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., featuring a Heavyweight showdown between Derrick Lewis and Shamil Abdurakhimov.
What UFC fight is on tonight? UFC Fight Night 102: "Lewis vs Abdurakhimov"
Who is fighting tonight at UFC Fight Night 102? Derrick Lewis vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov is the UFC Fight Pass main event.
When does UFC Fight Night 102 start: Tonight (Fri., Dec. 9 2016), beginning at 5:45 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass
Where will UFC Fight Night 102 take place? Times Union Center in Albany, New York
How can I watch UFC Fight Night 102? Main card start time at 9 p.m ET on UFC Fight Pass). "Prelims" undercard start time at 5:45 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass
Where can I get live UFC Fight Night 102 updates and results tonight? Live UFC Fight Night 102 play-by-play coverage is right here!
Lewis has slowly creeping up the Heavyweight ladder, winning four straight inside the Octagon, including three violent finishes over Gabriel Gonzaga, Damian Grabowski and Vikto Pesta. The only finish he doesn’t have in there was when when he defeated Roy Nelson via unanimous decision. But, let’s face it, no one is finishing "Big Country" unless it's Mark Hunt. Standing in his way is Shamil Abdurakhimov, who hasn’t exactly looked that impressive in his previous two wins. But, in a 265-pound showdown, one well-placed punch can end the night early. And don’t expect this main event to go past the first round.
The rest of the card. Seriously, I really can’t fathom why this event was made, as the promotion was already poised to end the year strong with UFC 206, UFC 207 and UFC on FOX23. Why this event was just thrown into the mix is beyond me.
Original Card vs Actual Card:
Unfortunately, Josh Samman was set to compete at this event, but died of an apparent drug overdose this past October. Visa issues kept Charlie Ward off the event, forcing his opponent, Randy Brown, to be paired up against UFC newbie Brian Camozzi. Zubaira Tukhugov was bounced from his fight against Tiago Trantor because of a USADA violation. In addition, a bout between Aljamain Sterling and Raphael Assuncao was axed after Sterling suffered an injury.
Aside from the aforementioned Sterling getting removed from the event, Patrick Cummins was forced out of his bout against Gian Villante thanks to his battle against a gruesome staph infection (see it if you dare here). Tatiana Suarez was also forced out of the card with an injury, and her fight against Juliana Lima was ultimately scrapped.
There are plenty of fighters making their debuts at the event, which could be why I hardly recognize most of the names, if I’m being honest. Among them are Saparbek Safarov, who will faces Villante in main card action. Also, Ashley Yoder got the call up from Invicta FC. Brian Camozzi, Gerald Meerschaert, Shane Burgos, Ryan Janes and J.J. Aldrich will also be looking to make a splash in their first-ever bout with UFC.
How The "Prelims" Look:
The most intriguing bout, to me, is one between Frankie Perez and Marc Diakiese, who just so happened to heat things up during the weigh in staredown. Aside from that, you're dealing with plenty of newcomers who will be looking to make a name for themselves. Granted, the bouts could turn out to be great, but if your trying to get me to tune in the "Prelims" based on names alone, I’m not watching. Sorry.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Sean O'Connell isn’t the most recognizable name out there, so he could be fighting for his UFC life against Corey Anderson, as he has dropped two straight and four of six overall during his stint with UFC. And he’ll be taking on a hungry fighter who is eager to get back on the winning track after getting tooled by Mauricio Rua in his latest outing.
Interest Level: 4/10
I really hate picking on this card, but man it’s hard not to. There are just so many things working against it, like the lack of promotion, star-power and timing. With all of the media's focus on UFC 206 the day after, UFC Fight Night 102 seems to be falling by the wayside. Derrick Lewis is a "Beast," no doubt, but having him headline the event won’t necessarily pull in any numbers (don’t tell him I said that.) He can be a star in the making, but he isn’t there just yet. I mean, props to him for accepting headlining duties, but the opponent, the event, won’t do him any favors. I do, however, expect him to pick up another violent finish, catapulting him further up the 265-pound ladder.
Full UFC Fight Night 102 fight card:
UFC Fight Pass Main Event:
265 lbs.: Derrick Lewis vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
UFC Fight Pass Main Card (9 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Anthony Hamilton vs. Francis Ngannou
205 lbs.: Corey Anderson vs. Sean O'Connell
205 lbs.: Gian Villante vs. Saparbek Safarov
UFC Fight Pass "Prelims" (6 p.m. ET):
115 lbs.: Justine Kish vs. Ashley Yoder
170 lbs.: Randy Brown vs. Brian Camozzi
185 lbs.: Joseph Gigliotti vs. Gerald Meerschaert
185 lbs.: Andrew Sanchez vs. Trevor Smith
155 lbs.: Shane Burgos vs. Tiago Trator
155 lbs.: Frankie Perez vs. Marc Diakiese
185 lbs.: Keith Berish vs. Ryan Janes
115 lbs.: Juliana Lima vs. J.J. Aldrich
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