Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the ESPN2/ESPN+ airwaves later tonight (Sat., June 19, 2021) for UFC Vegas 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the main event of the evening, Chan Sung Jung returns to face Dan Ige in a pivotal Featherweight fight. In the co-main event, Aleksei Olienik will face Serghei Spivac in a Heavyweight affair.
When Chan Sung Jung is fighting it’s always must-see T.V., especially when his dance partner is entertaining as all hell, too. That’s the case tonight because “Korean Zombie” will have a willing partner in Ige capable of keeping up with his frenetic pace and style. And the fact that Jung is looking for a much-needed win after coming up short against Brian Ortega — a fight that would have nabbed him a title shot with a win — only adds to the anticipation because you know the Korean-born fighter is coming out guns blazing.
With Ortega challenging division champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 266 later this year, this fight has a lot riding on the line. That’s because a win for either man gets them closer to a shot at the title, and it’s not out of this world to believe they may even skip the line with a victory. When you add in the fact that Max Holloway is out of commission after he was forced out of his fight against Yair Rodriguez, the stakes increase that much more.
When it comes to overall technique, Jung has an advantage over Ige, though that is not to discredit “Dynamite” Dan because he is always game and can turn it up with the flip of a switch and cause major damage to any of his opponents. But when you’re facing someone who earned his moniker due to his toughness and durability, getting a finish isn’t so easy. I expect a full five-round war that could provide fights fans with one of the best bouts of the year.
I am sure UFC had this date ear-marked for some time, but the promotion is going to be fighting for views against one of its former champions. That’s because ex UFC Middleweight title holder, Anderson Silva, will be making his boxing return against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Mexico the same night. While the fight does whisper “circus,” it is actually a legit fight, not an exhibition like Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul was. That means a winner will be announced and we could actually see someone get knocked out in this boxing match. Plus, we get to see what “The Spider” can do in a ring not owned by PRIDE FC.
Original Card vs Actual Card:
Tim Means was lined up face Danny Roberts on this card. But after Roberts was forced out due to COVID-19 protocols the fight was scrapped and “Dirty Bird” was then paired up to face Nicolas Dalby at UFC Vegas 30 later this month.
No injuries reported for this event.
Bruno Silva will finally get to make his much-anticipated UFC debut when he puts his four fight win streak on the line against Wellington Turman. Silva has won 14 of his last 15 fights and has plenty of momentum coming in from M-1. Turman, on the other hand, has had a sub-par career inside the Octagon so far, going 1-2 including losing his last fight against Andrew Sanchez via first round knockout. Another loss for Turman could be the end of the road for him under the UFC banner.
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
It’s not the most stacked undercard but there are a few fights lined up worth watching that could give several fighters scratching and crawling to get to the main card the chance to prove their worth.
In Light Heavyweight action, Aleksa Camur and Nicolae Negumereanu are both looking to get out of the loss column, which means one man will be going home with a two-fight skid on his hands. Rick Glenn and Joaquim Silva are also hoping to bounce back after they both came up short in their previous bouts, while Roque Martinez hopes to avoid a three-fight losing streak when he takes on Josh Parisian at Heavyweight.
A couple of fighters who aren’t struggling are Casey O’Neill and Lara Procopio. O’Neill is 6-0 and won her UFC debut against Shana Dobson earlier this year, knocking her out in the second round. Procopio, on the other hand, has a respectable 7-1 mark and is coming off a big win over Molly McCann.
After starting off his UFC career with back-to-back knockouts that totaled a fight time of 57 seconds, Kalinn Williams had his eight-fight win streak snapped by Michel Pereira in Dec. 2020. He looks to get back in the win column against Matthew Semelsberger, winner of five in a row.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Matt Brown has been fighting inside the Octagon for 13 years now — minus the two-year break he took from 2017-2019. “The Immortal” has been there and done that and at 40 years of age the man is still fighting at a high level. But over his last two fights Brown hasn’t had the best of luck. He has dropped two straight and has gone 1-2 since announcing his short-lived retirement three years ago. A third straight loss could mark the end for Brown inside the Octagon even if he doesn’t announce his retirement...again. He will be facing Dhiego Lima, a man who is very capable of handing him his third straight defeat. Lima is coming off a tough loss to Belal Muhammad, which snapped his three fight win streak. A win for Brown assures him that he has at least one more fight with the promotion, but a defeat will have him wondering if a pink slip is around the corner.
Interest Level: 5/10
It’s an okay card but nothing out of this world. The main event will be fire but the co-headlining act does have the potential to produce some fireworks, as well. That’s usually the case when you have big men exchanging bombs, and that’s what's in store here when Aleksei Oleinik takes on Serghei Spivac. Oleinik is in desperate need of a win after losing two straight, while Spivac is in search of this third straight win.
Also, Marlon Vera makes his return to action to face off against Davey Grant. “Chito” wasn’t able to capitalize on the momentum he earned coming off his technical knockout win over Sean O’ Malley, coming up short against Jose Aldo in his following fight. He will be facing a man who has plenty of momentum of his own in Davey Grant, winner of three straight.
Enjoy the fights!
Full Fight Card:
UFC Vegas 29 Main Event On ESPN2/ESPN+:
145 lbs.: Chan Sung Jung vs. Dan Ige
UFC Vegas 29 Main Card On ESPN2/ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Aleksei Oleinik vs. Serghei Spivac
135 lbs.: Davey Grant vs. Marlon Vera
145 lbs.: Julian Erosa vs. Seungwoo Choi
185 lbs.: Bruno Silva vs. Wellington Turman
170 lbs.: Matt Brown vs. Dhiego Lima
UFC Vegas 29 Prelims Card On ESPN2/ESPN+ (4 p.m. ET):
205 lbs.: Aleksa Camur vs. Nicolae Negumereanu
115 lbs.: Virna Jandiroba vs. Kanako Murata
170 lbs.: Matthew Semelsberger vs. Khaos Williams
265 lbs.: Roque Martinez vs. Josh Parisian
155 lbs.: Rick Glenn vs. Joaquim Silva
125 lbs.: Casey O’Neill vs. Lara Procopio
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights remain subject to change due to COVID-19.*
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 29 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN2 / ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN2 / ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET.