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UFC Fight Night 123 start time, TV schedule, who is fighting tonight at ‘Swanson vs Ortega’

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Swanson vs Lobov Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the hurt business tonight (Sat., Dec. 9, 2017) for UFC Fight Night 123: “Swanson vs Ortega” from inside Save Mart Arena in Fresno, Calif., featuring a Featherweight showdown between Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega.

What’s Hot:

Swanson wasn’t too pleased when the promotion opted to give Jose Aldo the late replacement title fight against Max Holloway at UFC 218 after Frankie Edgar bowed out with an injury. And with good reason, too, as “Blessed: had just got knocked out “Scarface” five months earlier, while he was riding high with four straight wins. Now, “Killer Cub” will have the chance to put himself back in the title picture and give UFC a good reason not to overlook him once again.

It won’t be easy, though, as Ortega has seemingly come out of nowhere, though he’s actually been knocking heads inside the Octagon since 2014 to the tune of an unbeaten mark with the promotion of (4-0-1), 12-0-1 overall. A win over Swanson will undoubtedly be the biggest of his career and give him the big boost he needs to infiltrate the title conversation.

Original Card vs. Actual Card:

The card saw somewhat of a facelift over time, as Marlon Moraes stepped in to face Aljamain Sterling after “Funkmaster’s” original foe, Rani Yahya had to pull out with an unfortunate injury.


Yahya was forced out his fight against Sterling because of an injury, as Bryan Caraway was forced out for undisclosed reasons. Caraway was originally set to face off against Luke Sanders, but he was replaced by Andre Soukhamthath.

New Blood:

Markus Perez will make his UFC debut and put his undefeated record (9-0) on the line against fellow undefeated (9-0) Middleweight contender Eryk Anders. Also, Merab Dvalishvili puts his six-fight win streak on the line when he steps into the spotlight for the first time to take on long-time UFC vet, Frankie Saenz.

How The Prelims look:

It’s not “star studded,” but there are a few intriguing match ups going down, including the previously undefeated Luke Sanders looking to get back on track against the struggling Andre Soukhamthath. Also, two seasoned vets in Alexis Davis and Liz Carmouche will look to get back some of the spotlight they enjoyed early on in their careers as they collide in the main event of the undercard on FOX Sports 1. Plus, surging Bantamweight contender Alejandro Perez will look to keep his momentum going when he faces his stiffest test to date in Iuri Alcantara.

Who Needs A Win Badly:

If we’re going strictly by wins and losses, Soukhamthath needs a win if he wants to lock down his spot on UFC’s roster after going winless (0-2) in his first to attempts inside the Octagon. And he earned himself a tough draw taking on the very-talented Sanders. Also, Frankie Saenz has dropped three in a row after winning his first three outings for UFC. He’s in danger of dropping four straight when he faces Merab Dvalishvili. A loss for either Frankie or Andre could see them looking for a new promotion come Monday morning.

Interest Level: 5/10

It’s not the worst card in the world, but it does lack that “wow” factor. But, we can’t get spoiled too much, especially off the heels of back-to-back stacked events in UFC 217 and UFC 218, which both lived up to their expectations.

The good thing is, this card won’t have much to live up to, so if it tanks in the ratings (like this), it won’t come as a big surprise. That said, the headlining act will have major title implications, as a win for Swanson should be enough to give him next dibs against Holloway. Yes, Edgar is still out there, but there is no timetable for his return, so Swanson will be sitting pretty if he doesn’t suffer major damage with a win. As for Ortega, he could cloud up the title race with a victory of his own. While I highly doubt he will get next dibs with a victory over a seasoned veteran, he could set himself up for a bigger fight and then perhaps a title eliminator if he can keep it going.

Full UFC Fight Night 123 Fight Card:

UFC Fight Night 123 Main Event:

145 lbs.: Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega

UFC Fight Night 123 Main Card (10 p.m. ET):

145 lbs.: Gabriel Benitez vs. Jason Knight
135 lbs.: Marlon Moraes vs. Aljamain Sterling
155 lbs.: Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
185 lbs.: Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez
135 lbs.: Benito Lopez vs. Albert Morales

UFC Fight Night 123 Prelims on FOX Sports 1 (8 p.m. ET):

125 lbs.: Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
135 lbs.: Luke Sanders vs. Andre Soukhamthath
125 lbs.: Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez
135 lbs.: Merab Dvalishvili vs. Frankie Saenz

UFC Fight Night 123 Prelims on UFC Fight Pass (6:30 p.m. ET):

135 lbs.: Iuri Alcantara vs. Alejandro Perez
155 lbs.: Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos
185 lbs.: Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Braga Neto

For more upcoming UFC events click here.

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