Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is right back at it again to stage UFC Vegas 80 from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a Lightweight bout between Grant Dawson vs. Bobby Green. In the co-main event, Joe Pyfer will battle Abdul Razak Alhassan in a Middleweight showdown.
UFC Vegas 80’s main event is a bit perplexing matchmaking-wise. On one hand, there is Dawson — winner of 11 of his last 12 with a majority draw sandwiched between. He is also ranked No. 10 in UFC’s official rankings. On the other, there is Green, who is just 1-2-1 in his last four fights, which isn’t good enough to get him into the Top 15 (maybe not even the Top 20). Nevertheless, UFC matchmakers felt this was the fight to make when there are plenty of other great matchups for either man, especially for Dawson, who deserves to face someone ranked. Nevertheless, what Green does have on Dawson is an experience edge and more of a name factor to his credit.
This fight is a true clash of styles because Green loves to handle his business on the feet and his 10 knockouts on his resume are proof of that. Dawson, meanwhile, is a bit more well-versed when it comes to grappling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu with 13 submission wins to his credit. That said, neither man is a novice in the other’s specialty, which could make for an interesting chess match. If Green gets the win he makes his case for a spot in the Top 15, while a victory for Dawson moves him closer to the Top 5 and the big fights that come with it.
It seems that gone are the days when streaking fighters are matched up against each other for the sake of seeing who takes a big next step in their respective careers. What seems to be the norm these days is booking a fighter on a run against someone who is barely hanging on. That seems to be the case in the Light Heavyweight matchup between Philipe Lins and Ion Cutelaba. Lins is on a three-fight win streak and 3-1 over his last four matchups. When we look at Cutelaba, we see someone who is 1-3 over his last four fights and recently snapped his three-fight skid with a knockout win over Tanner Boser. I get that neither man is in the Top 15, but enough with these types of bookings.
Original Card Vs. Actual Card:
Khusein Askhabov was yanked from his bout against Daniel Pineda after he was arrested for his alleged connection with a kidnapping in Thailand. In the end, a replacement was not found for Pineda, who was removed from the event altogether. Stephanie Egger withdrew from her fight against Montana De La Rosa for undisclosed reasons. She was replaced by JJ Aldrich, who recently snapped her two-fight losing streak thanks to a knockout win over Liang Na. As for De La Rosa, she is trying to get back in the win column herself after losing her last two.
In addition, Montel Jackson was set to face off against Chris Gutierrez in a Bantamweight fight before he was pulled from the fight for undisclosed reasons. In turn, Gutierrez was booked to face Pedro Munhoz at UFC Kansas City on Oct. 14, 2023.
No injuries were reported for this event.
There are no newcomers scheduled to make their respective debut at this event.
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
Headlining the undercard is a women’s Strawweight scrap between Diana Belbita and former title contender, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, who has really turned it around. Indeed, Kowalkiewicz at one point was in danger of losing her spot on UFC’s bloated roster after losing five in a row. Luckily for her, she was given another opportunity to make things right, and she ran with it by winning her next three contests. Now, she has the chance to collect her first four-fight win streak inside the Octagon against Belbita, who is just 2-3 in her first five fights with the promotion. Belbita has also been rather inconsistent, fighting only once a year since 2019, so she needs to fight more often and pick up those wins along the way if she wants to gain any sort of traction.
In the lone Bantamweight fight of the night, Aori Qileng and Johnny Munoz Jr. will tango in a fight between two combatants coming off losses. Both men are 2-3 under the UFC banner, so one will take a big step forward with a win. In the women’s Strawweight division, Kanako Murata will take on Vanessa Demopoulos, who is coming off a loss to the aforementioned Karolina Kowalkiewicz. As for Murata, she saw her eight-fight win streak come to an end after losing to Virna Jandiroba this past summer as a result of an arm injury.
In Flyweight action, Nate Maness will face Mateus Mendonca. Maness currently finds himself on a two-fight losing streak with his last winning performance coming nearly two years ago. Mendonca, meanwhile, came up short in his UFC debut, losing to Javid Basharat via unanimous decision. Prior to that, “Bocao” was undefeated (10-0), so losing isn’t exactly a familiar feeling to the Chute Boxe-trained fighter.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Montana De La Rosa started her UFC career off promising with three straight wins, but after losing her first fight inside the Octagon against Andrea Lee in June 2019, she has been rather inconsistent, racking up a 2-3-1 record. She currently finds herself on a two-fight losing streak thanks to back-to-back defeats at the hands of Maycee Barber and Tatiana Suarez. Granted, those two combatants are far from slouches, but the fact remains she needs a win in the worst way when she goes up and JJ Aldrich. Another loss could put her on the chopping block.
Interest Level: 5/10
In the co-main event, Abdul Razak Alhassan will take on Joe Pyfer in a Middleweight bout. Again, this is another interesting booking based on what each man has done lately. Pyfer has won four straight fights and is perfect (2-0) inside the Octagon, while Alhassan is 2-4 over his last six fights. Alhassan does have the experience edge over Pyfer since he has 11 fights inside the Octagon to Pyfer’s two. Pyfer earned his spot on the roster after earning a knockout win on Contender Series, and then proceeded to win his first two bouts for the promotion all while getting on Dana White’s good side.
In one of the more intriguing fights of the night, Drew Dober will battle Ricky Glenn in a Lightweight bout. Dober has proven to be a bonafide knockout artist, with his last six wins coming by stoppage via strikes. In fact, half of his wins have come by knockout. As for Glenn, he is coming off a knockout loss himself, losing to Christos Giagos, while Dober was stopped by Matt Frevola. If I had to put my money on it this is my early pick to win “Fight of the Night” honors and the $50,000 that comes with it.
Alex Morono has quietly gone on a nice little run, winning five of his last six bouts. But, since he fights in the stacked Welterweight division it’s going to take a bit more than that to crack the Top 15. A win over Joaquin Buckley — who is unranked himself — does help his cause a bit. Buckley is still an exciting fighter and a tough draw for anyone, but a recent two-fight skid slowed him down a bit. He bounced back with a nice knockout win over Andre Fialho, so he will look to build on that momentum.
In the opening fight of the main card, Bill Algeo will go for two straight wins when he takes on the always-game Alexander Hernandez, who snapped his two-fight skid thanks to a dominant unanimous decision win over UFC’s iron man, Jim Miller, his last time out. Algeo is looking to ride the wave of momentum built off his submission win over T.J. Brown. He is 3-1 in his last four fights so another win raises his stock tremendously.
Enjoy the fights!
Full UFC Vegas 80 Fight Card:
UFC Vegas 80 Main Event On ESPN+:
155 lbs.: Grant Dawson vs. Bobby Green
UFC Vegas 80 Main Card on ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Joe Pyfer
170 lbs.: Joaquin Buckley vs. Alex Morono
155 lbs.: Drew Dober vs. Ricky Glenn
145 lbs.: Bill Algeo vs. Alexander Hernandez
UFC Vegas 80 ‘Prelims’ Card on ESPN+ (4 p.m. ET):
205 lbs.: Ion Cutelaba vs. Philipe LinsSCRATCHED (details here)
115 lbs.: Diana Belbita vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
135 lbs.: Chris Gutierrez vs. Montel Jackson— SCRATCHED (details here)
135 lbs.: Johnny Munoz vs. Aori Qileng
115 lbs.: Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Kanako Murata
125 lbs.: Nate Maness vs. Mateus Mendonca
125 lbs.: JJ Aldrich vs. Montana De La Rosa
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights remain subject to change.*
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 80 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 80 news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive here. For the updated and finalized “Dawson vs. Green” fight card and ESPN+ line up click here.