Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to free television later tonight (Sat., Nov. 10, 2018) with UFC Fight Night 139, which is set to go down inside Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. In the headlining act, Chan Sung Jung returns to action to face Yair Rodriguez, while Donald Cerrone will take on Mike Perry in a pivotal Welterweight bout in the co-main event.
Rodriguez will look to get back in the win column after getting his UFC card back after a brief spat with Dana White. And he proved he wants to play ball and is willing to fight anyone, anytime, anywhere, agreeing to face Chan Sung Jung on short notice after Frankie Edgar had to bow out. Speaking of Edgar, he’s the first man to ever defeat “Pantera” inside the Octagon. This bout is as exciting as they come, as both “Korean Zombie” and Rodriguez are two of the most creative strikers in the game. Jung will be fighting for the first time in 1.5 years after suffering a brutal knee injury.
Cerrone recently broke up with his long-time camp at Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA, just one of several fighters who have parted ways with the famed gym because of non-stop drama within the camp. Still, “Cowboy” is one of the original members of the Jackson-Wink, joining the camp way back when before it blew up to the powerhouse it is today. Now, “Cowboy” will face off against his former trainers when he meets Mike Perry, the gym’s latest edition.
All drama aside, the bout should be a barn-burner, as both men don’t know any other fighting style except to move forward, push the pace and keep the fight standing. The internal drama just adds a layer of intrigue, which, to be honest, has overshadowed the main event of the evening.
For being the promotion’s 25th anniversary show, I expected a stacked deck ... perhaps even on pay-per-view (PPV). Instead, we get an everyday event on FOX Sports 1. I’m not completely hating on the card, it’s just nothing to get overly-excited about given such a milestone moment for the fight company.
Original Card Vs. Actual Card:
Edgar was set to face “The Korean Zombie” in the main event before an unfortunate injury forced “The Answer” out of his headlining duties. As a result, Rodriguez was pegged as his short-notice replacement. Chris Gruetzemacher was set to face Beneil Dariush and was replaced by Thiago Moises. Maycee Barber was scheduled to face Maia Stevenson, but after Stevenson suffered an injury, she was replaced by Hannah Cifers.
Another big blow suffered to the event was the cancelation of the Ray Borg vs Joseph Benavidez Flyweight showdown. “The Tazmexican Devil” fell ill a few days before the event, though some have a different theory as to why Borg didn’t show up to “The Mile High City.”
Aside from the men and women who suffered injuries in the segment above, Ricard Ramos suffered a hand injury, which forced the cancelation of his fight against Ricky Simon. Jordan Espinoza also suffered an unfortunate setback, while Saparbek Safarov was taken out of the event for undisclosed reasons. So it’s safe to say this event had its fair share of headaches.
Undefeated prospect Maycee Barber got the call up to the big show when she takes on late replacement Hannah Cifers, who will also be making her her Octagon debut. Top Featherweight prospect Bobby Moffet will also be bringing his skills to the eight-sided cage as he gears up to face wrestling specialist Chas Kelly.
Former Road Fighting Alliance (RFA) Lightweight champion, Thiago Moises, looks to prove he’s the real deal when he takes on long-time UFC veteran Beniel Dariush. To get a more detailed look and breakdown of all the UFC newcomers, including Devonte Smith, check out Patrick L. Stumberg’s “New Blood” piece right here.
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
They are okay, but again, nothing to get super-excited about. The headlining act will see Ashley Yoder looking to get back into the win column against Amanda Cooper. There are several newcomers making their UFC debuts on the undercard, so to get familiar with them click here.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Ashley Yoder hasn’t had the best run inside the Octagon, losing her first three fights with the promotion, including her last defeat against the company’s new star, Mackenzie Dern. She needs a win in the worst way against Amanda Cooper, as four straight defeats could mean she is out of a job come Monday morning.
Interest Level: 6/10
It’s a decent card all things considered. And to be honest, I like the Jung vs. Rodriguez match up better than Edgar. But, that’s just me. Both men will look to pick up an all-important win to stay in the 145-pound mix, and since neither of them are afraid to bang, this could be a barn-burner. Mike Perry vs Donald Cerrone, though, could also steal the show, so “Fight of the Night” honors could be a tough one to call once it’s all said and done.
Germaine de Randamie will make her long-awaited return to action after giving up her 145-pound strap. Standing in her way is Raquel Pennington, who came in heavy for their 135-pound affair. Plus, we have plenty of newcomers looking to make memorable first impressions, so we could be in for a great night of fights.
Full Fight Card:
UFC Fight Night 139 Main Event:
145 lbs.: Chan Sung Jung vs. Yair Rodriguez
UFC Fight Night 139 Main Card on FOX Sports 1 (10 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Donald Cerrone vs. Mike Perry
135 lbs.: Raquel Pennington vs. Germaine de Randamie
155 lbs.: Beneil Dariush vs. Thiago Moises (Benavidez vs. Borg scrapped)
115 lbs.: Maycee Barber vs. Hannah Cifers
155 lbs.: Mike Trizano vs. Luis Pena
UFC Fight Night 139 “Prelims” On FOX Sports 1 (8 p.m. ET):
115 lbs.: Amanda Cooper vs. Ashley Yoder
145 lbs.: Chas Skelly vs. Bobby Moffett
155 lbs.: Davi Ramos vs. John Gunther
155 lbs.: Devonte Smith vs. Julian Erosa
UFC Fight Night 139 “Prelims” On UFC Fight Pass (7 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Joseph Morales vs. Eric Shelton
125 lbs.: Mark De La Rosa vs. Joby Sanchez
For more upcoming UFC events click here.