UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Volkov Preview

On Saturday night, the heavyweights will take center stage on UFC’s “Fight Night” event from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. At the top of the show, ranked heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov will face off. Along with the matchup is 11 other bouts set to take place on the show. Here’s a preview of tomorrow’s festivities.

Click here to skip to the main card preview.

Prelims (5:00PM EDT / 2:00PM PDT) (ESPN / TSN 1, 4 & 5)

Bout 1: Austin Hubbard (11-4) vs. Max Rophskopf (5-0) (Lightweight)

A somewhat fast turnaround for Austin Hubbard kicks off the card, as he’s matched with Max Rophskopf. The matchup was originally meant to be a battle between Hubbard and Joe Solecki, although plans had to change after Solecki withdrew from the card. Hubbard’s new opponent, Rophskopf, is an undefeated fighter who earned five wins on the regional MMA scene.

Hubbard’s last fight was a decision loss to undefeated prospect Mark Madsen.

Bout 2: Roxanne Modafferi (24-16) vs. Lauren Murphy (12-4) (Flyweight)

Roxanne Modafferi and Lauren Murphy will battle on the undercard of the show. Modafferi’s last fight was an upset, defeating up-and-coming flyweight Maycee Barber via decision. The fight was a bounce back for Modafferi, who lost her previous fight to Jennifer Maia. Murphy has won her last two, with the most recent victory being a split decision over Andrea Lee.

Bout 3: Frank Camacho (22-8) vs. Justin Jaynes (15-4) (Lighweight)

Hubbard isn’t the only lightweight with a short notice opponent, as Frank Camacho fights Justin Jaynes on the prelims. Camacho’s first matchup was set to be against Matt Frevola, although Frevola was taken off the show after one of his cornermen and fellow UFC fighter Billy Quarantillo tested positive for COVID-19. He now fights Jaynes, who enters the UFC on a four-fight winning streak from a 2018 to 2019 run. Camacho looks to bounce back from an October loss to Beneil Dariush via rear naked choke.

Camacho missed weight for his battle, coming in two pounds over the lightweight non-championship limit (156-pounds).

Bout 4: Cortney Casey (9-7) vs. Gillian Robertson (7-4) (Flyweight)

After winning over Mara Romero Borella just a month ago, Cortney Casey returns to the octagon to fight Gillian Robertson. Robertson lost her last fight, being stopped in the first round with punches from Maycee Barber.

Bout 5: Marc-Andre Barriualt (11-4) vs. Oskar Piechota (11-3-1) (Middleweight)

Heading into his fourth UFC fight, Marc-Andre Barriualt is still in search for his first promotional victory. The Canadian will try again, being put against Oskar Piechota on Saturday. Piechota has won in the UFC before, but he finds himself in a similar scenario, having lost the last trio of fights he’s taken. A win is crucial for either of these middleweights on the prelims.

Bout 6: Tecia Torres (10-5) vs. Brianna Van Buren (9-2) (Strawweight)

After a successful UFC debut last year in July, Brianna Van Buren returns to the UFC to fight Tecia Torres. Van Buren had a streak of wins in regional women’s promotion Invicta FC before coming to the UFC. In her debut, Van Buren won a decision over Livia Renata Souza. The much more experienced Torres is her opponent, although Torres has had trouble as of late. Having lost her last four, Torres is in need of a win.

Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 5:00PM PDT) (ESPN / TSN 1, 4 & 5)

Bout 7: Clay Guida (35-19) vs. Bobby Green (24-10-1) (Lightweight)

 

MMA veterans Clay Guida and Bobby Green will kick off the main card for UFC’s show tomorrow night. Guida lost his last fight in the first round, as Jim Miller caught him with a guillotine choke. Before then, he picked up a win over BJ Penn, moving the Hawaiian’s losing streak to seven-in-a-row. Green has lost his last two, not being favoured on scorecards against Drakkar Klose or Francisco Trinaldo.

Bout 8: Roosevelt Roberts (10-1) vs. Jim Miller (31-14) (Catchweight 160 lbs)

Rising lightweight star Roosevelt Roberts will have a big test on the show, facing the experienced Jim Miller. Roberts has went 4-1 in the UFC since his 2018 debut, currently riding a two-fight winning streak. This fight is a fast re-appearance for Roberts, who defeated Brok Weaver in May. Miller lost in his last appearance, with a unanimous decision going to Scott Holtzman.

Bout 9: Lyman Good (21-5) vs. Belal Muhammad (16-3) (Welterweight)

Following wins in their recent fights, Lyman Good and Belal Muhammad look to build on their success come Saturday. Unfortunately, only one of them will be able to do so. Muhammad’s last fight came in September, where he defeated Takashi Sato at UFC 242. Good has competed much more recently, winning over Chance Rencountre at UFC 244.

Bout 10: Raquel Pennington (10-8) vs. Marion Reneau (9-5-1) (Bantamweight)

Two long-time UFC bantamweights in Raquel Pennington and Marion Reneau will meet for the first time on Saturday. Reneau has lost her last two, with this fight being her first appearance since March of 2019, where she lost to Yana Kunitskaya. Pennington’s last loss came to Holly Holm, with scorecards going to Holm at UFC 246.

Bout 11: Josh Emmett (15-2) vs. Shane Burgos (13-1) (Featherweight)

The co-main event of the evening gives Josh Emmett or Shane Burgos the opportunity to move up in the featherweight rankings. Emmett, who is seated eighth in the division, has won his last two, both via striking in 2019. Burgos has three wins, two of which were from decision. He last fought in November, defeating Makwan Amirkhani with punches in the third round.

Before COVID-19 cancelled cards, Emmett had a big-name opponent in Edson Barboza booked against him for early May. Unfortunately, that fight did not come to fruition.

Bout 12: Curtis Blaydes (13-2) vs. Alexander Volkov (31-7) (Heavyweight)

In the main event of the show, Curtis Blaydes fights Alexander Volkov. Blaydes has sat in the top half of the heavyweight division for long, with his only real challenge being against Francis Ngannou. Blaydes is currently on a three-fight winning streak, with the most recent victory being over Junior dos Santos.

Volkov’s previous six-fight winning streak which dated back before his UFC run was stopped in 2018 by Derrick Lewis. Volkov bounced back in the fall of 2019, picking up a decision victory over Greg Hardy. He looks to win again in his first main event fight in three bouts on Saturday.

The heavyweight division has been backed up for a while now, as UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic hasn’t fought since last summer. With his fight against Daniel Cormier coming up, the top half of the rankings looks to find who’s next in line, or even who comes after that. The winner of this fight has a high chance of being thrusted into one of those two spots.

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