There is plenty to love about this card. Let’s take a look into what we can expect from the fighters competing on the main card.
Time: Prelims at 7 p.m. ET and Main Card at 10 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN+
Raphael Assuncao (+135) vs Marlon Moraes (-135)
This isn’t an official title eliminator bout but in essence that is exactly what this is. Both Raphael Assuncao (27-5) and Marlon Moraes (21-5) met back in 2017 with Assuncao coming away with the ultra close split decision victory in what was Moraes first fight under the UFC banner.
Since that loss Moraes has gone on to win three straight fights against impressive competition. John Dodson, Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera are not an easy trio to get victories against. Not only did Moraes defeat them but in his last two bouts against Sterling and Rivera he pulled off spectacular knockout wins. Those victories alone are enough to get you a title shot but a victory over Assuncao would be the icing on the cake to assure that he is next in line to get a crack at the title.
Assuncao surely will do his best to not allow that to happen. A repeat of what happened in their first bout is what he is banking on. Over the past eight years Assuncao has only lost to one man and that would be current Bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw. Assuncao is itching to get his rematch with the champion but will need to take care of business first tonight against Moraes.
Their first contest was very competitive. Both men have gotten better since then which should only lead to an even better contest this time around.
Jose Aldo (+115) vs Renato Carneiro (-135)
Don’t adjust your screens ladies and gentlemen you read that correctly. Jose Aldo (27-4) is coming into this contest as an underdog. Since an early loss in his career to Luciano Azevedo he went on to rip off 18 straight wins over a period of close to a decade without tasting defeat. That run included victories over Urijah Faber, Cub Swanson, Chad Mendes and Kenny Florian to name a few. Aldo has since tasted defeat at the hands of two fighters. Conor McGregor and Max Holloway.
Don’t mistake those defeats as an indication of him slipping as he has managed to get wins over both Frankie Edgar and Jeremy Stephens. His opponent tonight is Renato Carneiro (13-1). He has looked impressive in his brief UFC career with his only loss coming to Brian Ortega. This is a match that can put Carneiro over the hump and possibly to the top of the list in terms of title contention.
Listen Aldo has slipped a bit, he has been fighting for over 15 years so the slippage is understandable. With all due respect to McGregor and Holloway who both bested Aldo he is still the best Featherweight of all-time. Aldo has already said that he plans on retiring after this year but don’t expect him to simply lay down in this contest. If Carneiro plans on winning tonight he will have to earn it the hard way.
Lyman Good (+160) vs Demian Maia (-185)
At age 41 and riding a three fight losing streak Demian Maia’s time in the UFC seems to be coming to an end very soon. It wasn’t that long ago that Maia had won seven fights in a row and was a force in the division. He doesn’t seem to be that same fighter anymore but he is still someone that can give plenty of the top guys a run for their money. Everyone knows his game plan. Maia wants to get you to the ground and submit you. It’s that simple.
For his opponent Lyman Good (20-4) his route to victory is entirely different as he always wants to go for the knockout. This a fight that will be determined where it takes places. If this bout spends long durations on the feet then it’ll be Lyman that will have the decided edge. If things take place on the mat then expect Maia to make Lyman tap. However it plays out it should lead to a good fight.
Charles Oliveira (-125) vs David Teymur (+105)
Charles Oliveira (25-8) is having himself a nice run at the moment as he has won three straight fights and all by submission. David Teymur (8-1) is on an impressive run of his own as he has yet to taste defeat in the UFC. Both men would love to stop the winning streak of the other and place themselves on the brink of an actual title shot.
For Teymur a win against an accomplished fighter in Oliveira will begin turn heads in the division. If he is able to not only secure the win but do so emphatically than he will have officially stamped his arrival as a UFC contender.
Oliveira on the other hand knows that a defeat to the UFC newcomer no matter how good he is will place him at the very bottom of the ladder in terms of a shot at gold. He can’t afford that. Both men need this win bad. Expect them both to give the crowd a show as they’ll leave it all in the octagon tonight.