The Amway Center in Orlando, Florida will be the venue for today’s UFC on FOX 28 and the four fight main card on FOX will be headlined by a key matchup in the featherweight division as Josh Emmett will look to continue his rise up the 145 pound rankings when he takes on UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens in a matchup between two fighters ranked in the top ten of the UFC featherweight division.
While the winner of the main event will most likely not secure a title shot, the winner of the co-main event will likely be next for a shot in the UFC women’s strawweight title as former UFC title challenger Jessica Andrade will meet Ultimate Fighter 20 alum Tecia Torres. Also on the main card, Ovince St-Preux will look to extend his winning streak when he takes on Ilir Latifi in a light heavyweight bout and the opening matchup on the main card will feature Orlando’s own Mike Petty as he will take on Max Griffin in a welterweight bout.
Now I will be in attendance today at UFC on FOX 28 as I will be taking in the fights with three of my friends. Personally, I prefer to sit in the stands to watch the fights as it gives me a good idea of what fans truly think about the fights and the fight game. I remember being in attendance at the last UFC on FOX event in Orlando and I had two major takeaways: the love fans have for Nate Diaz (matchup before he faced Conor McGregor at UFC 196) and not many fans cared about the women’s bout (Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Randa Markos) that was on the main card. On next week’s podcast, I will let you know what my takeaways are from being in attendance.
When it comes to the fights, there are fights that have me interested. The main and co-main are fights that have a lot of meaning, which always gives you excitement to watch the fights. If Josh Emmett can pull off another win, he clearly would put himself into a number one contender type fight and I could see him facing Jose Aldo later this year. However, do not count out Jeremy Stephens in this matchup. Stephens is actually my pick in this fight. I am interested to see if Emmett decides to attempt to wrestle with Stephens or if he will give fans what they want to see: Essentially a kickboxing match in a MMA cage with four once gloves.
When it comes to the co-main event, I would recommend watching the video that Jimmy Smith put on his Twitter about this matchup. I believe that this will be a very close fight and will likely go all 15 minutes. I was kind of surprised to see that Torres is a two and a half to one betting underdog in this fight and if you do gamble on fights, I think she’s worth a flyer. My pick in this fight is Andrade, but I would not be surprised if Torres can walk out of Orlando with a victory.
The other two matchups on the main card are interesting and I have a feeling that Perry vs. Griffin will be the fight of the night bonus winner. It’s the perfect matchup to kick off the main card and St-Preux vs. Latifi is a significant matchup in the light heavyweight division. If St-Preux pulls off the victory, I would not be shocked if the UFC booked him against Gustafsson in a interim light heavyweight title fight. On the prelims, the fight that sticks out to me is Renan Barao vs. Brian Kelleher. What’s Barao at this stage of his career and can Kelleher pull off the upset? The other fight that has me interested on the prelims is actually the opening fight of the card as Albert Morales will take on Manny Bermudez. All of the hype is around Bermudez, but can he live up to the hype? We will find out later today.
UFC on FOX 28 Pre-Fight Stats (via Fight Metric):
– Stephens has the 4th most cage time (5:39:29) in UFC history (Frankie Edgar #1, 6:27:49).
– Stephens has 17 knockdowns landed in UFC competition and he’s tied with Donald Cerrone for the 2nd most in UFC history (Anderson Silva #1 with 18).
– Stephens has the 8th best takedown defense (74.5%) in UFC featherweight division history (Jose Aldo #1, 90.6%; Minimum 5 UFC fights and 20 takedown attempts by opponents).
– Emmett currently has 5 knockdowns landed in UFC featherweight competition and he needs one more knockdown to tie multiple fighters for the 3rd most in divisional history (Stephens #1, 10).
– Andrade has the 6th best strikes landed per minute (6.45) in UFC history (Leslie Smith #1, 7.56; Minimum 5 UFC fights).
– Barao has the 2nd best takedown defense (97.1%) in UFC history (Tyron Woodley #1, 97.6%; Minimum 5 UFC fights and 20 takedown attempts by opponents).
– Barao has the 6th longest average fight time (13:56) in UFC bantamweight division history (Dominick Cruz #1, 21:00; Minimum 5 UFC fights).
– Barao has the 5th most cage time (2:19:17) in UFC bantamweight division history (Urijah Faber #1, 3:29:04).
– Alan Jouban has the 5th most knockdowns landed (7) in UFC welterweight division history (Thiago Alves #1, 13).
– Jouban has the 5th best significant strike accuracy (52.7%) in UFC welterweight division history (Kamaru Usman #1, 54.4%; Minimum 5 UFC fights and 350 significant strike attempts).
– Jouban has the 5th best strikes landed per minute (4.95) in UFC welterweight division history (Duane Ludwig #1, 6.72; Minimum 5 UFC fights).
– Jouban has the 9th best strike differential (+1.55) in UFC welterweight division history (Georges St-Pierre #1, +2.39; Minimum 5 UFC fights).
– Ben Saunders has the 9th best significant strike accuracy (51%) in UFC welterweight division history (Kamaru Usman #1, 54.4%; Minimum 5 UFC fights and 350 significant strike attempts).
– Sam Alvey has the 4th best takedown defense (84.1%) in UFC middleweight division history (Krzysztof Jotko #1, 86.8%; Minimum 5 UFC fights and 20 takedown attempts by opponents).
– Rani Yahya has the best strikes absorbed per minute (1.05) in UFC featherweight division history (Minimum 5 UFC fights).
– Yahya has the 7th most submission attempts (9) in UFC featherweight division history (Darren Elkins #1, 21).
– Yahya is tied with Eric Perez for the 4th most takedowns landed (19) in UFC bantamweight division history (Urijah Faber #1, 26).
– Russell Doane has the 5th best strikes absorbed per minute (1.80) in UFC bantamweight division history (Chico Camus #1, 1.31; Minimum 5 UFC fights).
– Doane has the 6th best takedown accuracy (43.5%) in UFC bantamweight division history (Brad Pickett #1, 61.9%; Minimum 5 UFC fights and 20 takedown attempts).
– Morales has the 9th longest average fight time (13:19) in UFC bantamweight division history (Dominick Cruz #1, 21:00; Minimum 5 UFC fights).
My UFC on FOX 28 Picks: Jeremy Stephens, Jessica Andrade, Ovince St-Preux, Mike Perry, Renan Barao, Sara McMann, Angela Hill, Alan Jouban, Marcin Prachnio, Rani Yahya, Alex Perez, and Manny Bermudez.