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UFC Fight Night 167 start time, who is fighting tonight at ‘Anderson vs Blachowicz 2’ in Rio Rancho

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns with another event later tonight (Sat., Feb. 15, 2020) as UFC Fight Night 167 goes down from inside Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The event will feature a Light Heavyweight showdown between Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz. The co-headlining act, meanwhile, will see Diego Sanchez take on Michel Pereira in Welterweight action.

What’s Hot:

Jon Jones retained his 205-pound title earlier this month at UFC 247 after a hard-fought bout against Dominick Reyes (see it again here). So why is that significant for this weekend’s event? Since Jones still has the title, Anderson or Blachowicz should be next in line. Had “Bones” lost, an immediate rematch would’ve been in order, meaning that the victor in Rio Rancho would have likely had to wait nearly a year for their title shot. Instead, a title fight could manifest in the coming months.

Anderson already has a win over Blachowicz, defeating him at UFC 191 in September of 2015, so he’ll be coming in with extra confidence that he can get the job done. Plus, he’s on a four-fight win streak and coming in determined (and somewhat angry) after losing a title shot to Dominick Reyes. Blachowicz, meanwhile, has won two straight and six of seven overall. His lone loss during that span came against former title contender, Thiago Santos. Every man ranked ahead of Blachowicz and Anderson have already tried and failed to dethrone Jones. That being said, there is a lot on the line in this main event.

It's a fairly even matchup skill wise, though I would probably give the knockout power advantage to Blachowicz in this one. Anderson has the wrestling aspect covered here, so it really is a toss up fight that in my prediction will go a full 25 minutes. It will ultimately come down to who has a better output in the championship rounds.

Diego Sanchez has been up and down in his MMA career over the last few years, finding little consistency at Lightweight and Welterweight. Since 2011, Diego has only managed to win back-to-back fights just once. But now that he’s left Jackson-Wink MMA, Sanchez feels renewed as his training camp is focused solely on him and no one else. He’ll be facing an equally-wild man in Michel Pereira, though it’s safe to say Michel has Sanchez beat in the acrobatics department. He will also have a size advantage, as Pereira is a rather big 170-pounder. On that note, Sanchez went on record saying that if the Brazilian bomber didn’t make weight again, the fight would be called off. Thankfully, Pereira didn’t have another scale fail, which is good for fight fans because this is my pick for “Fight of the Night.”

What’s Not:

It gets to the point that complaining about mediocre cards just seems pointless. UFC is putting on so many events, that we can’t expect them all to be stacked. While this card isn’t exactly a bust, it could've used a couple of more high-profile names on it to add a bit more intrigue. After all, it’s in a suburb of Albuquerque, New Mexico, home of Jackson-Wink MMA. Adding Michelle Waterson and perhaps Carlos Condit to the card would have been nice.

Original Card vs Actual Card:

Ramazan Emeev was set to face off against Tim Means at this event before he was removed from the bout for undisclosed reasons. In his place, promotional newcomer Daniel Rodriguez stepped in to fill the void. Also, Gadzhimurad Antigulov was set to face Devin Clark at 205 pounds before he was pulled from the event for undisclosed reasons. He was eventually replaced by Dequan Townsend.

Injuries:

Former UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion, Nicco Montano, was forced out of her fight against Macy Chiasson just a few days before the event after suffering a knee injury. She was then replaced by promotional newcomer Shanna Young.

New Blood:

Daniel Rodriguez got the call up to the big leagues after Ramazan Emeev was forced out with an injury. Winner of six straight, Rodriguez has won 10 of 11 pro fights, spending most of his career under the Combate Americas banner. He won his fight on Dana White’s “Contender Series,” but wasn’t selected to go straight to UFC. After winning one more fight soon there after, he finally got his big chance. He’ll have a tough task as Tim Means is a seasoned veteran of the fight game, fighting inside the Octagon for over eight years now.

Shanna Young got the call up on just a few days notice to face Macy Chiasson after Nicco Montano suffered an injury. Shanna has bounced around from promotion to promotion, fighting under the Valor Fights, King of the Cage, and Invicta FC banners. She came up short in her bid to earn a contract on the “Contender Series,” but when opportunity knocked, she answered and now hopes to make the most of it.

Brok Weaver will finally get his chance to step foot inside the Octagon after his debut was halted last year due to injury. Winner of seven in a row, Weaver earned his way through the “Contender Series,” impressing Dana White and Co. to earn a contract. He will face Rodrigo Vargas, who failed to shine in his UFC debut last August.

How The ‘Prelims’ Look:

There are several notables fighters on the undercard including Tim Means, who will face newcomer Daniel Rodriguez in the headlining act. Means is just 2-3 in as last five fights, but he’s always a tough draw regardless of his record. Rodriguez is in for a tough fight, and picking up a win in his debut will prove to be easier said than done.

Also, longtime veteran Jim Miller will look to earn his third straight win as he faces off against Scott Holtzman. Scott is 4-1 in his last five fights, and has been putting in the work to get a bit more shine. A win over Miller could be what he needs to finally get it. For Jim, a victory here gives him more momentum and his longest win streak since 2016.

John Dodson will face Nathaniel Wood, who is undefeated so far inside the Octagon at 3-0, and has won eight straight fights since 2016. Dodson has been on a bit of a slump as of late, losing two straight against Jimmie Rivera and Petr Yan. Also, Mark de la Rosa will look to end his two-fight skid when he takes on Raulin Pavia, who has also lost two in a row.

And of course, Ray Borg will look to save face after failing to make weight yet again, as he is set to take on Rogerio Bontorin. Borg needs a win in a huge way, as a great winning performance might force UFC to keep him on the roster despite his scail fail history. No word yet if he plans on backing up his retirement claims after the fight.

Who Needs A Win Badly:

Former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner, John Dodson, has lost two straight. “The Magician” hasn’t been able to pull a win out of his hat since March of 2018 and is just 1-3 in his last four outings. That’s a far cry from the man who once challenged Demetrious Johnson for the Flyweight title. A third straight loss won’t be a good look, and as we saw recently, three straight losses is all it takes to get your pink slip. Dodson will have a tough task getting the “W,” as Wood has been on a roll for a few years now.

Interest Level: 5.5 out of 10

It’s a fairly decent card with the main event having major title implications. I expect both Anderson and Blachowicz to put on the performances of their lives in an attempt to get their first invite to the big dance. Another fight which could potentially steal the show is one pitting wild man Lando Vannata against Yancy Medeiros. These two men always put it on the line and leave fans wanting more once the final horn sounds, and it’s safe to say one or two of them could be leaving home with an extra $50K. Plus, Montana and Mark De La Rosa will make history by becoming the first married couple to compete on the same UFC card, as Montana will face Mara Romero Borella in main card action, while Mark faces Raulian Paiva in the opening fight of the night.

Enjoy the fights!

Full Fight Card:

UFC Fight Night 167 Main Event on ESPN+:

205 lbs.: Corey Anderson vs. Jan Blachowicz

UFC Fight Night 167 Main Card on ESPN+ (8 p.m. ET):

170 lbs.: Diego Sanchez vs. Michel Pereira
205 lbs.: Devin Clark vs. Dequan Townsend
125 lbs.: Montana De La Rosa vs. Mara Romero Borella
155 lbs.: Kazula Vargas vs. Brok Weaver
155 lbs.: Yancy Medeiros vs. Lando Vannata

UFC Fight Night 167 Prelims Card on ESPN+ (5 p.m. ET):

170 lbs.: Tim Means vs. Daniel Rodriguez
135 lbs.: John Dodson vs. Nathaniel Wood
155 lbs.: Scott Holtzman vs. Jim Miller
125 lbs.: Rogerio Bontorin vs. Ray Borg
135 lbs.: Merab Dvalishvili vs. Casey Kenney
125 lbs.: Macy Chiasson vs. Shanna Young
135 lbs.: Mark De La Rosa vs. Raulian Paiva

*Fight card, bout order and the amount of matches subject to change.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 167 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.

For much more on this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 167 event click here.

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