Brokeface Mountain ...
Two "Cowboys" will collide this Sunday evening (Feb. 21, 2016) inside Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., when Donald Cerrone moves up to Welterweight to take on Brazilian slugger Alex Oliveira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 83.
Elsewhere on the FOX Sports 1-televised card, Roan Carneiro looks to continue his surprise comeback against the surging Derek Brunson and Dennis Bermudez and Tatsuya Kawajiri clash in a Featherweight fight guaranteed to spark fireworks.
The "Prelims" undercard count currently sits at six thanks to Sarah Moras' injury; therefore, two bouts will stream online via Fight Pass before the action shifts over to FOX Sports 1.
Let's see what's behind the Steel Curtain:
135 lbs.: Marion Reneau vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith
Marion Reneau (6-2) smashed her way to contendership with a three-round beating of Alexis Dufresne and comeback submission of Jessica Andrade. In July 2015, she got the opportunity to halt the rise of Holly Holm, but ultimately lost a decision to "Preacher’s Daughter."
She owns five wins via stoppage, three of those knockouts.
Ashlee Evans-Smith (3-1) entered the mainstream with a technical knockout win over Fallon Fox, which she followed with another stoppage under the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) banner. She joined UFC as a late replacement for Holm against Raquel Pennington afterward, only to lose via submission and fail a drug test for a diuretic.
As a result, this will be her first fight in 14 months.
Honestly, Evans-Smith doesn’t have a lot going for her here. Besides the layoff, Reneau is the bigger puncher and likely the better grappler. "The Bruiser" is 38 years old, true, but still managed to keep pace with Holm in her loss.
The real question here is whether Evans-Smith -- who has a history of being stopped as an amateur and professional -- can make it to the final bell. I say no -- Reneau puts her down with punches sometime in the second round.
Prediction: Reneau via second-round technical knockout
265 lbs.: Anthony Hamilton vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
Anthony Hamilton (14-4) -- who entered UFC as the MFC Heavyweight champion -- has alternated losses and wins in the promotion, beginning with a submission loss to Oleksiy Oliynyk and currently ending with a decision over Daniel Omielanczuk. Subsequent matchups with Derrick Lewis and Mirko "Cro Cop" fell through, the former because of injury on Hamilton’s part and the latter due to a drug test issue on Filipovic’s part.
Half of "Freight Train’s" victories have come by knockout.
Shamil Abdurakhimov (15-3) rebounded from his upset loss to Tony Lopez with three straight victories, one of them over M-1 veteran Kenny Garner. These wins earned him a spot in UFC, where he fell to Timothy Johnson’s ground-and-pound in his debut.
He will give up two inches of height to the 6’5" Hamilton.
Awkward as he may be, Hamilton is a pretty darn good grinder; not good enough to even crack the top-15, of course, but good enough to handle Abdurakhimov, who seems allergic to wrestling. Timothy Johnson had little trouble putting the Russian on his back once the latter had stopped relentlessly grabbing the fence and I don’t anticipate Hamilton facing better resistance.
Unfortunately, this means we’re probably going to get the full 15 minutes of painful inaction (at least it’s right at the start and thus won’t break the flow). "Freight Train" rumbles through for a decision win.
Prediction: Hamilton def. Abrurakhimov via unanimous decision
Four more UFC Fight Night 83 "Prelims" undercard matches to preview and predict tomorrow, which will be capped off by an intriguing fight between Welterweight prospects.
Don't miss it, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 83 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET, before the FOX Sports 1 main card start time at 9 p.m. ET.