The Octagon heads to Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 29 for ESPN 4.
It’s been previously announced the headliner will be a five-round welterweight rematch between former champions Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler, and now we know four of the other fights on the card, including a title eliminator in the flyweight division. These bouts are official as per the UFC. The new spells are recorded below, together with my first ideas on them.
Jussier Formiga vs. Joseph Benavidez, UFC on ESPN 4
The most essential of this new batch of struggle announcements is a flyweight bout between Jussier Formiga and Joseph Benavidez, which is predicted to garner the winner a title shot 125lbs. Formiga (23-5) is 9-4 in the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win streak that includes a dominant win over Deiveson Figueiredo in his last outing. After several years as a gatekeeper, it finally looks like Formiga has turned the page, and it has entered competition status. Benavidez (27-5) is 13-3 in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back wins over Dustin Ortiz and Alex Perez. Both guys are tremendous fighters in the flyweight division, but given Benavidez’ restart and high quality of wins through time, I’d have to prefer him going into this battle.
Maurice Greene vs. Junior Albini, UFC on ESPN 4
Heavyweights Maurice Greene and Junior Albini are scheduled to battle. Greene (7-2) is 2-0 in the UFC with back-to-back wins over Jeff Hughes and Michel Batista. The triumph over Hughes was especially impressive as Greene was an underdog heading into the bout. Albini (14-5) is 1-3 in the UFC and has dropped three straight fights including a TKO loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik in his final outing. This is a weird matchup considering one fighter is about a win series and the other is on a losing skid, but should you believe Greene is the hometown fighter, then it looks like that the UFC is throwing him a bone here to find an easy win in front of his fans. Greene should be a big favorite in this one.
Drew Dober vs. Marco Polo Reyes, UFC on ESPN 4
An exciting lightweight bout sees Drew Dober take on Marco Polo Reyes. Dober (20-9, 1 NC) is 6-5, 1 NC overall from the UFC and is coming off of a submission loss to Beneil Dariush. Prior to this Dariush fight, Dober had won three straight struggles, but once again his lack of submission defense cost him his win streak. Reyes (8-5) is 4-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a TKO loss to Damir Hadzovic. He has knockout power himself, but Dober includes a solid chin so that may not come into play. Both guys have been very inconsistent in the UFC, but Dober seems to be a bit stronger and that is why I would slightly favor him in what should be a stand-up struggle.
Vinicius Moreira vs. Roman Dolidze, UFC on ESPN 4
And finally, light heavyweights Vinicius Moreira and Roman Dolidze are place to fulfill. Moreira (9-2) is 0-1 in the UFC with a brutal KO loss to Alonzo Menifield within his Octagon debut which snapped a five-fight win series. Dolidze (6-0) is undefeated so far in his MMA career with all of his wins coming by stoppage. Moreira looked awful in his UFC debut and you have to fade him here and figure Dolidze should be able to finish him in devastating fashion.
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