Five for Fighting: UFC Fight Night Jacksonville

Here are five bouts that I have particular interest this coming weekend at UFC Fight Night in Jacksonville.

Matt Brown (22-16)  vs. Miguel Baeza (8-0)

Matt Brown is always in exciting, violent match-up. He is coming off back to back wins against Diego Sanchez and Ben Saunders. Brown is going up against an up and comer from Dana White’s Contender Series Miguel Baeza. Baeza is undefeated and has 6 knockout wins from 8 fights. Brown won’t like to think he is being considered a stepping stone here. I think he’ll look to bring it to Baeza. He will have to tread carefully moving forward as Baeza does have heavy hands.

Quick Pick: Matt Brown

Yadong Song (15-4-1)  vs.  Marlon Vera (17-5-1)

Yadong comes into this encounter having won 7 out of his last 8 bouts with his last fight being a controversial draw with Cody Stamen. With 6 wins by knockout and 3 by submission Yadong is well rounded. Vera is no joke and he will be Yadong’s biggest test to date. Vera himself is on a 5 fight win streak with all of those coming by stoppage. This will be an entertaining fight for sure. 

Quick Pick: Marlon Vera

Claudia Gadelha (17-4-0)  vs.  Angela Hill (12-7-0)

Gadelha looks to keep her title aspirations alive here against an always game Angela Hill. Hill who seems to be fighting every other weekend is looking to make it four in a row here. Preferably a striker Hill has never won by submission in her career. Gadelha is no stranger herself to a striking battle but most of her wins have come by submission. This bout could turn into a real clash of styles. 

Quick Pick: Claudia Gadelha 

Alastair Overeem (45-18-0)  vs.  Walt Harris (13-7-0)

This is the first fight back for Walt Harris after the tragic loss of his daughter Aniah. You can watch the SportsCenter feature on the subject here. He fight veteran Alister Overreem. ‘The Reem’ will look to get back to winning ways here after his lip splitting loss to Jarzinho Rozenstruik. Both fighters have 36 KO/TKO wins between them. There is a strong possibility of another knockout here to add to that tally. There will be high emotion before, during and after this bout. 

Quick Pick: Walt Harris

Edson Barboza (20-8-0)  vs.  Dan Ige (13-2-0)

This one is the fight I’m looking forward to most on Saturday night. Barboza is making his debut at featherweight in the VyStar Arena. If he brings his ferocious striking and maintains stamina he will be a major player in this division. Ige is on a five fight win streak with his last victory over Mirsad Bektic being his most impressive. This is a good test to see where both fighters are at in their career. I just can’t wait to hear those Edson Barboza leg kicks with no crowd!

Quick Pick: Edson Barboza

Ian O'Neill is the host of the SevereMMA UFC Preview show and one of the co-hosts of The Auld Triangle - Irish MMA podcast. You can find more of Ian's work on the SevereMMA Patreon where he co-hosts The Chasing Pack and The Contender. Follow him on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma

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