Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads to Pittsburgh, Pa., tonight (Sun., Feb. 21, 2016) as CONSOL Energy Center will play host to the UFC Fight Night 83: "Cowboy vs. Oliveira" event, live and free on FOX Sports 1.
Catch all the action LIVE with a main card start time of 9 p.m. ET (for up-to-date UFC Fight Night 83 results click here).
Below is everything you need to know to stay on top of the Fight Night event.
Who: Donald Cerrone vs. Alex Oliveira
What: UFC Fight Night 83
When: Sun., Feb. 21, 2016, beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass
Where: CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
How To Watch: Main card at 9 p.m ET on FOX Sports 1; FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" under card at 7 p.m. ET; and UFC Fight Pass early "Prelims" at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Live UFC Fight Night 83 results: Play-by-play coverage stream right here
Why It Matters: Simply put, it doesn't very much.
Most casual mixed martial arts (MMA) fans will have a hard time recognizing anyone on the UFC Fight Night 83 card other than Donald Cerrone. The event has been marred by injuries and other unfortunate circumstances, but UFC brass has done a decent job in at least keeping this event afloat. While there are some intriguing fights to look forward to tonight, there is nothing that screams must see action.
What's Hot: If you want to find the silver lining for UFC Fight Night 83, look no further than Cerrone.
"Cowboy" returns to the Octagon just two months removed from his devastating (technical) knockout loss to UFC Lightweight kingpin Rafael dos Anjos, so you can expect the fan-favorite to be hunting for a finish of his own early and often. Unfortunately, Cerrone won't be fighting his original opponent in Tim Means, but Alex Oliveira is a very exciting fighter in his own right. If there is anything to look forward to this evening, it is the "Cowboy" vs. "Cowboy" battle in the main event.
What's Not: UFC Fight Night 83 has been crippled by drug test failures, injuries, and illness.
The first major blow to the event came when headliner Tim Means failed an out-of-competition drug test from U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), forcing him out of his scheduled fight against "Cowboy."
Then came the injuries and other misfortunes.
First, Sam Alvey pulled out of his fight against Daniel Sarafian with a broken jaw, giving Oluwale Bamgbose the opportunity to fight on short notice. Sarah Moras withdrew from her fight against Lauren Murphy with an injury, and was replaced by Kelly Faszholz.
It wasn't only injuries that hurt the card, as the scheduled fight between Brandon Thatch and Siyar Bahadurzada was moved to UFC 196 after Thatch couldn't get clearance for a medicine he was taking.
The hits continued to come even during fight week, when John Lineker was forced out of his scheduled bout against Cody Garbrandt due to dengue fever. Thankfully, UFC salvaged the fight somewhat, calling up Augusto Mendes to fight "No Love" on very short notice.
Of course, the injury bug needed to get the last word, as Trevor Smith pulled out of his scheduled fight against Leonardo Guimarães with a hand injury, giving fan-favorite Anthony Smith another chance to prove his worth inside the Octagon.
As Murphy's law states: "Anything that can go wrong, will."
Kelly Faszholz (vs. Lauren Murphy): It's rare to see a Women's Bantamweight fighter debut these days, as UFC brass has seemingly cast aside the majority of the division in the last several months. Kelly Faszholz was gifted with this opportunity following Sarah Moras' injury, and will look to extend her undefeated record to 4-0.
Leonardo Guimarães (vs. Anthony Smith): Dangerous Middleweight prospect Leonardo Guimarães will make his Octagon debut tonight against the very tough Anthony Smith on the "Prelims." Guimarães is 11-1 in his MMA career, noted as a prolific finisher with six submissions and three knockouts to his credit.
Augusto Mendes (vs. Cody Garbrandt): "Tanquinho" will finally make his UFC debut, but it will come on just a few days notice against an undefeated rising prospect in Cody Garbrandt. Mendes is mostly known for his lauded jiu-jitsu acumen, but he has transitioned into MMA well so far, earning finishes in all five of his professional fights.
How The "Prelims" Look: Forgettable.
The UFC Fight Night 83 "Prelims" card stinks of mediocrity. The only ranked fighter on the undercard is Marion Reneau, and she is stashed away on the Fight Pass "Prelims."
If you care to watch, I recommend tuning in for Reneau's fight against Ashlee-Evans Smith, and Anthony Smith vs. Leonardo Guimarães.
Other than that? Set the DVR and forget about it.
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:
Lauren Murphy (vs. Kelly Faszholz): Losing two straight fights inside the Octagon has been reason enough for UFC brass to cut anyone on the roster in the past, so three straight losses is essentially a death knell. Even though Murphy's split decision loss to Sara McMann was highly questionable, I doubt she would get another opportunity if she loses in Pittsburgh.
Interest Level: 3/10
UFC Fight Night 83 really lacks intrigue from top to bottom, other than the return of Donald Cerrone.
The rest of the card just feels like one big set of "Prelims," with very few big names or consequential bouts.
Sure, I'm looking forward to a handful of fights -- namely Dennis Bermudez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri and Cody Garbrandt vs. Augusto Mendes -- but this event really lacks the buzz of a major UFC show.
Ultimately, this is just an appetizer for UFC 196 in a couple of weeks, so let's just hope for some exciting fights and finishes this evening.
Check out the full UFC Fight Night 83 fight card right here:
UFC Fight Night 83 Main Event:
170 lbs.: Donald Cerrone vs. Alex Oliveira
FOX Sports 1 Main Card (9 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Derek Brunson vs. Roan Carneiro
135 lbs.: Cody Garbrandt vs. Augusto Mendes
145 lbs.: Dennis Bermudez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
185 lbs.: Chris Camozzi vs. Joe Riggs
155 lbs.: Shane Campbell vs. James Krause
FOX Sports 1 Under Card (7 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Alex Garcia vs. Sean Strickland
185 lbs.: Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Daniel Sarafian
185 lbs.: Leonardo Augusto Guimaraes vs. Anthony Smith
170 lbs.: Nathan Coy vs. Jonavin Webb
UFC Fight Pass Prelims (5 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Marion Reneau
135 lbs.: Lauren Murphy vs. Kelly Faszholz
265 lbs.: Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Anthony Hamilton
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 83 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 9 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.
For more information on UFC Fight Night 83, including the full fight card, results, news, and more, click here.