UFC Fight Night 128 will take place tonight at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey and the main card on FS1 (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) will be headlined by a matchup of top ten lightweight contenders as Edson Barboza will take on Kevin Lee.
The matchup between Barboza and Lee is not a fight that I would call a title eliminator type fight, but the winner will clearly be in a great position as that man will likely be waiting to see what happens with current champion Khabib Nurmagomdov and the former champion Conor McGregor. If the fight between Nurmagomedov and McGregor does happen next, it will seem very likely that the winner of this fight could face Dustin Poirier, Eddie Alvarez, or Tony Ferguson.
For me, this is a tough fight to call. Clearly the key to victory for Barboza is to keep this fight standing and keep his back off the fence. And for Lee, he will want to use his wrestling and stay out of a kickboxing match with Barboza. This will mark the first time we have seen Lee since his defeat against Tony Ferguson for the interim UFC lightweight title and he has been saying he’s healthy. This should be a good matchup and I do favor Lee in the matchup due to the advantage he’s got in the wrestling department.
The co-main event of tonight’s fight card is a rematch in the featherweight division as Cub Swanson will look to even up the score against Frankie Edgar. While you respect the warrior mentality that Edgar has, I wish the UFC would have not made this matchup as it was less than two months ago that Edgar was knocked out for the first time in his career against Brian Ortega at UFC 222. Edgar’s manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz recently said on The MMA Hour that he tried to get Edgar to not take this fight, and it was great hearing Abdel-Aziz say that. I just hope that after tonight’s event, we are not looking at the UFC in why they booked this fight. However, I do not see this rematch going any different that the first fight and I expect a dominating win by Edgar due to his grappling game.
UFC Fight Night 128 Pre-Fight Stats:
– Edson Barboza is tied with Michael Johnson for the 2nd most knockdowns landed (9) in UFC history (Melvin Guillard #1, 13).
– Frankie Edgar has the most fight time (6:32:33) in UFC history and has the 7th longest average fight time (17:04) in UFC history (minimum 5 UFC fights).
– Edgar has the 4th most takedowns (67) in UFC history (Georges St-Pierre #1, 90).
– Edgar has the 5th best strike differential (+1.69) in UFC featherweight division history (Conor McGregor #1, +2.51) – Minimum 5 UFC fights.
– Edgar has the 4th best significant strike defense (68.3%) in UFC featherweight division history (Gabriel Benitez #1, 73.4%) – Minimum 5 UFC fights and 350 strike attempts by opponents.
– Cub Swanson has the 4th most total fight time (3:16:12) in UFC featherweight division history (Darren Elkins #1, 3:24:55).
– Swanson is tied with Josh Emmett, Teruto Ishihara, Conor McGregor, and Chad Mendes for the 3rd most knockdowns landed (6) in UFC featherweight division history (Jeremy Stephens #1, 11).
– Swanson has the 4th best significant strike accuracy (52.2%) in UFC featherweight division history (Jimmy Hettes #1, 57.3%) – Minimum 5 UFC fights and 350 significant strike attempts.
– Swanson has the 7th best strikes landed per minute (4.68) in UFC featherweight division history (Max Holloway #1, 6.00) – Minimum 5 UFC fights.
– Chase Sherman has the 2nd best strikes landed per minute (6.25) in UFC heavyweight division history (Cain Velasquez #1, 6.49) – Minimum 5 UFC fights.
– Thiago Santos has the 3rd most knockdowns landed (9) in UFC middleweight division history (Anderson Silva #1, 13).
– Santos has the 2nd best strike differential (+2.54) in UFC middleweight division history (Jack Hermansson #1, +2.79) – Minimum 5 UFC fights.
– Santos has the 3rd best significant strike defense (66.1%) in UFC middleweight division history (Chael Sonnen #1, 67.7%) – Minimum 5 UFC fights and 350 strike attempts by opponents.
– Aljamain Sterling has the 5th best significant strike accuracy (47%) in UFC bantamweight division history (Alex Caceres #1, 50.9%) – Minimum 5 UFC fights and 350 significant strike attempts.
– Sterling has the 3rd best strike differential (+2.05) in UFC bantamweight division history (Johnny Bedford #1, +2.78) – Minimum 5 UFC fights.
– Brett Johns has the 10th most takedowns landed (14) in UFC bantamweight division history (Sterling #9, 15).
– Jim Miller has the most fight time (4:57:53) in UFC lightweight division history (Gleison Tibau #2, 4:46:30).
– Miller has the most submission attempts (39) in UFC history (Chris Lytle #2, 31).
– Ryan LaFlare has the 4th longest average fight time (15:14) in UFC welterweight division history (Tarec Saffiedine #1, 16:05) – Minimum 5 UFC fights.
– Patrick Cummins has the 4th most takedowns landed (34) in UFC light heavyweight division history (Corey Anderson #4, 33).
– Corey Anderson has the 5th best takedown accuracy (48.5%) in UFC light heavyweight division history (Lyoto Machida #1, 65%) – Minimum 5 UFC fights and 20 takedown attempts.
My UFC Fight Night 128 Picks: Lee, Edgar, Willis, Branch, Sterling, Hooker, LaFlare, Chagas, Anderson, Simon, Martin.