The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s busy fall schedule continues tonight, as the promotion’s in Denver for its 25th Anniversary Event. While the card includes a couple of extremely promising bouts, will UFC Denver draw a big audience? Or get lost in the mix?
Fight Pass Prelims
Unlike most Fight Pass cards, tonight’s schedule only features two fights, and neither one features fighters who are likely familiar to casual fans. Joby Sanchez will take on rising bantamweight Mark De La Rosa, and in what could be one of the last, flyweight bouts to take place in the UFC, Joseph Morales will face Eric Shelton.
FS 1 Prelims
As has been the case in many of the recent, Fight Night cards, there’s really no household names scheduled to compete. Chas Skelly is likely the most recognizable names to MMA-lite fans, since he’s been competing in the UFC now since 2014. The veteran will take on Bobby Moffett.
In a bout that hardcore observers are likely invested in, undefeated lightweight John Gunther will fight Davi Ramos.
There’s no question that nearly all of the buzz tied to UFC Denver is for the main-event and co-main-event. In the co-headliner, fan favorite Donald Cerrone will throw hands with another, must watch fighter in Mike Perry. That’s a scrap that most hardcore fans marked down on their calendars weeks ago when it was first announced. After all, it features two very aggressive and dangerous fighters, and more recently, there’s been a lot of drama regarding Cerrone’s split from Jackson – Wink MMA, which Perry relocated to earlier this year.
The headliner is also a fight that dedicated fans are definitely buzzing about, as Chan Sung Jung will face Yair Rodriguez. Jung may not be a familiar name to newer fans, but longtime observers are well aware of the ridiculously, entertaining action “The Korean Zombie” brings. The same can be said for Rodriguez, one of the UFC’s most dangerous and dynamic strikers. Jung was initially scheduled to fight Frankie Edgar, however, who had to drop out due to injury.
The main card will also include Germaine de Randamie taking on Raquel Pennington in a pivotal, bantamweight bout, and Beneil Dariush against Thiago Moises, in what’s a pivotal bout for each lightweight.
So, will this line-up be able to draw decent ratings for FS 1? Any card that features Cerrone inaction has a solid chance of pulling both mainstream and diehard fans, and you would think that there’s a fair amount of interest in the main event too. But, due to the recent run of events, and the loss of the legendary Edgar, it will be kind of shocking if UFC Denver draws massive numbers.
MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1/10 p.m. ET)
Featherweight: Yair Rodriguez vs. Chan Sung Jung
Welterweight: Donald Cerrone vs. Mike Perry
Female Bantamweight: Raquel Pennington vs. Germaine de Randamie
Lightweight: Beneil Dariush vs. Thiago Moises
Strawweight: Maycee Barber vs. Hannah Cifers
Lightweight: Mike Trizano vs. Luis Pena
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1/8 p.m. ET)
Strawweight: Ashley Yoder vs. Amanda Cooper
Featherweight: Chas Skelly vs. Bobby Moffett
Lightweight: Davi Ramos vs. John Gunther
Lightweight: Devonte Smith vs. Julian Erosa
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/7 p.m. ET)
Flyweight: Joseph Morales vs. Eric Shelton
Bantamweight: Mark de la Rosa vs. Joby Sanchez