Another main event was taken from us this year from Covid-19 as Curtis Blades tested positive. The card was originally scheduled for a heavyweight matchup between Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blades. This winner of this fight will add to the controversy of who will be the next title fight challenger.
Blades have lost twice to Francis Ngannou, Derrick Lewis beat Ngannou in what was more of a shadow boxing match, but Stipe Miocic convincingly beat Ngannou already by unanimous decision. Oh, and Jon Jones wants a heavyweight matchup next, so a lot to figure out in the heavyweight division when these two eventually fight. The fight is now being rescheduled as the company will try to book them next month.
Adapt and overcome has been the motto for fight cards this year as many fights have been canceled due to fighters testing positive for covid. Now, the co-main event has been upgraded to the main event between Devin Clark and Anthony Smith. The two even agreed to make it a 5-round fight. Credit to both fighters as the training for the main event fight is a lot different than a normal training camp.
Anthony Smith is now going to be fighting in his 7th straight main event and looks to use his experience as an advantage. While his last fight was only a 3-round main event, Smith has the experience to get fights finished in the championship rounds. He is coming off his first back to back losses since joining the UFC back in 2016, so a win will start his 2021 campaign to a better start.
Devin Clark was just as willing to make this fight a 5-rounder as well. Clark has talked about his aspirations to be a future champ, and this fight has allowed him to provide championship rounds experience. Clark has won three of his last four fights since 2019 but has yet to finish any opponent. If he were to pick up a victory over Lionheart, his best path to victory seems to be via decision. The extra rounds could pay dividends for Clarke if he pulls off the upset and looks to work his way up the rankings.
In the co-main event, we get to see the welterweight prospect, Miguel Baeza, as he takes on Takashi Sato out of Japan. We first saw Baeza on Dana White’s Contender Series last year and has been a highly talked about prospect ever since. He picked up back-to-back 2nd round knockouts, including his last one over veteran Matt Brown. Sato also brings his own power to this fight as he has won two of his three fights in the UFC, both by knockout. This should be one of the more entertaining fights on the card as it should not go the distance.
One other fight that stands out to me is Spike Carlyle and Bill Algeo. This is Algeo’s second fight in the UFC as he looks to use his 4” height and 2.5” reach advantage over Carlyle. In his last fight, he lost a decision to Ricardo Lamas, but it was a high energy fight that he gained a lot of experience from.
Spike Carlyle is just a fan’s fighter. He loves to go in and exchange with his opponent as he is always looking for a knockout. In his last fight, he even turned his back to his opponent as the round was ending and got caught with a couple of strikes to the head instead of waiting for the bell to ring to turn to his corner. This is a great fight stylistically and is contention for Fight of the Night.
This card should have a good balance of decisions and finishes as the UFC did a great job to make sure this card still went on. While this is a smaller card, we are still in for a good night of fights.
Some of my picks for the night are:
- Underdog: Rachael Ostovich
- Miguel Baeza
- Anthony Smith
- Parlay Ostovich/Mazany over 2.5 & Kai Kamaka