Although they have the inexplicable main event of rising contenders Thomas Almeida and Cody Garbrandt facing off, the card is shaping up to be a good free event. Yes, both fighters could be future contenders at 135, but they are not big names considering they have a former UFC champion in the co-main event. Almeida sits at 21-0 in his overall career but has won four straight int he Octagon with he last three via KO. His opponent is impressive as well sitting at 8-0 professionally with three straight wins under the Zuffa promotion.
Renan Barao will make the jump to 145 on this card where he takes on top ten Featherweight Jeremy Stephens in a pivotal matchup for both fighters. Barao will look to stop cutting weight to see if it reinvigorates his career while Stephens looks to prove his is not a stepping stone after losing to two young prospects in his last two losses. This match means a lot for both careers as they try to move forward.
Two people that are trying to reclaim some of their hype as well are Rick story and Tarec Saffiedine. Story had a win over former champion Johny Hendricks before anyone else and almost had a title shot, but a late replacement fight against Charlie Brenneman left that dream in the past. A few losses lost his momentum but he now sits at 3-1 with two straight wins but has not fought in over a year when he takes on Saffiedine whose own career was stymied by injuries as well.
The last bout that was just added, is a big match for women’s MMA where Sara McMann, a former title challenger will face off with Jessica Eye. Both were thought to be potential dangers to Ronda Rousey when she was unstoppable,. but they both have faltered. McMann was blown out of the water and is nearing the back half of her 30s while Eye seems to be a little too small for the division. Whoever loses this may be out of a job, so who will win and secure another fight in the Octagon?