UFC 252 will close out what has been an unusual summer for the UFC, but it could also be the close of the career of one of the best heavyweights in MMA. While the main event between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic will settle their rivalry once and for all, there are a lot of fights to keep fans interested in the build-up to the main event.
Any fight could be “Fight of the Night”, but looking ahead, here are five fights to watch at UFC 252.
Junior dos Santos vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
“Cigano” and Rozenstruik are the other heavyweights on the main card and when a former champion like dos Santos fights the man ranked directly beneath him, it could make for an interesting shakeup in the heavyweight division. Currently, dos Santos is ranked number five, with Rozenstruik sitting at number six.
John Dodson vs. Merab Dvalishvili
With the bantamweight division seemingly set on fire with the departure of Henry Cejudo and the new champ crowned in Petr Yan, both Dodson and Dvalishvili should produce some high-paced action as they are both ranked in the top 15 of the division. Everyone wants to work their way to a title and when a new champ sits on top, it seems to refresh the whole division. Look for fireworks in this one.
Jim Miller vs. Vinc Pichel
Miller is a longtime staple in the UFC and, win or lose, he makes for fun fights to watch. Coming off a submission victory in June, Miller has shown there is plenty of fight left in him. Pichel, who won his last fight in June of last year has been away from competition due to injury so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Coincidentally, it seems both men won against Roosevelt Roberts in their last fight. Miller won by submission, Pichel by decision so take from that what you will.
Felice Herrig vs. Virna Jandiroba
In martial arts, losses are lessons and in most cases, great motivators to pick up a win. Herrig has lost her last two fights and sits at number 15 in the UFC’s strawweight rankings. This is a chance for Jandiroba to get ranked, and coming off a win also serves as a great motivator. It should make for an interesting match up.
Herbert Burns vs. Daniel Pineda
Burns is the brother of number one ranked welterweight, Gilbert Burns, and competing in martial arts is a way of life in the Burns household. He’s currently on a two-fight win streak in the UFC and a five-fight win streak overall. Still, Pineda is coming off his own rough road competing in the Professional Fighters League. While the wins were overturned, originally he won two in a row. This has “Fight of the Night” potential written all over it.
Of course, there are plenty of other fights to watch but these are five that may be going under the radar. Which fights are you looking forward to?