UFC Fight Night 170: Lee VS Oliveira: Main Card Preview

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UFC Fight Night 170 takes place on March 14th, 2020 at the Ginasio Nilson Nelson Arena in Brasilia, Brazil. This card features Kevin Lee VS Charles Oliveira as the main event and Demian Maia VS Gilbert Burns as the co-main event.

Kevin Lee VS Charles Oliveira

Kevin Lee

This is a story of redemption for Kevin Lee. He is currently 2-3 in his last five fights 18-5 overall. Before this hot and cold period, Lee was on a five-fight win streak that ended at the hands of Tony Ferguson in a fight for the interim lightweight title. Kevin Lee rebounded, with a win over Brazilian superstar Edson Barboza. Still, once again stumbled in matches against Al Iaquinta and Rafael Dos Anjos in a very brief stint at welterweight. Lee was very upfront that something needed to change and he was looking for answers on how to wright the ship. He apparently found those answers in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Lee started training at the famous Tristar gym under Firas Zahabi.

This seemed to be the right move for him, as in his next fight against Gregor Gillespie, he looked incredible. Lee stopped Gillespie in the first round via a brutal head kick. Lee was primarily thought of as a tough wrestler with heavy hands, but under the tutelage of Firas Zahabi, he has gained a terrifying kickboxing game. Not only has Kevin Lee grown his skills as a fighter, but he has also changed his mentality, abandoning the arrogance for a more humble and honest approach. This “new” Kevin Lee is a force to be reckoned with and come Saturday night we will see if he can keep his momentum going and vie for another shot at the title!

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Charles Oliveria

A workhorse of the lightweight division, Charles Oliveira returns beckoning for a shot at the champion. Oliveira is 5-0 in his last five fights and 28-8 overall. Oliveira has been fighting in the UFC for an entire decade, amassing a slew of records including nine performances of the night, three fights of the nights, and the most submission victories in the UFC at thirteen. This man is a reliable finisher, only seeing the judges’ scorecards three times in twelve years!

Oliveira is a battle-tested veteran that never fails to put on a show and has fought a who’s who in the UFC. Oliveira is a well known Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, proficient in chokes, but has now found his footing in the striking department, with his last two victories coming by impressive KOs over Jared Gordon and Nik Lentz. “Do Bronx” has finally got the attention of UFC brass and got a fight with major implications. If he can secure the win in impressive fashion, he could be one or two wins away from title contention!

Bottom Line

This is an amazing fight between two ranked fighters, Lee holding the number eight spot and Oliveira at number thirteen. This is a must-win scenario for both fighters. For Lee, he has to keep this forward momentum going. For Oliveira, after more than a decade of fighting, this may be his biggest fight yet. Both fighters are trying to bully their way into the long line of contenders at lightweight, with Oliveira being the dark horse when it comes to talks of potential contenders.

This fight has barn-burner written all over it, with the crispy striking and overpowering wrestling of Lee and the elite BJJ of Oliveira, you have a recipe of pure madness wherever this fight goes. It is always interesting when two hungry fighters meet, with Oliveira in his prime and Lee finding a new wealth of talent at Tristar, this has Fight of the Night written all over it. 

Demian Maia VS Gilbert Burns

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Demian Maia

Thirteen years, that’s how long Demian Maia has been fighting in the UFC. He has fought in the middleweight and welterweight division and competed for the title in both divisions. Maia is 3-2 in his last five and 28-9 overall, showing he can still compete with top competition. In his last fight against Ben Askren, Maia put on an absolute clinic on the ground, using beautiful sweeps and transitions on his way to a technical submission victory. Maia is decisively devastating on the ground and possibly the greatest Jiu-jitsu specialist to ever grace the Octagon. Even at 42, with thirteen years of fighting under his belt, Maia gives anyone he fights fits. He may never get another shot at the title, but he provides a difficult challenge for up and coming talent. Maia may have been downgraded from title challenger to gatekeeper, but don’t sleep on the veteran in this one.

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Gilbert Burns

Gilbert Burns is on an impressive run, and has now returned to welterweight and is 4-1 in his last five fights, and 18-3 overall. In his last fight, Burns faced Gunnar Nelson, in a late-notice fight. Burns surprised many by overwhelming Nelson on the feet and using his elite grappling to keep the fight standing. He was aggressive and dominant in his unanimous decision win over Nelson, where he proved he could compete with top competition. Burns will be facing a huge step up in competition in a former title challenger. It will be interesting to see what path he will take in this fight. Will he try to keep it standing, or will he truly put his jiu-jitsu skills to the test against the battle-tested veteran?

Bottom Line

This fight is a bit of a changing of the guard, Burns is a lot like a younger Maia, only with a more put together stand-up game. That being said, Demian Maia has been in the fight game for a long time and there is good reason for that. He is an incredibly intelligent fighter. Maia is going to avoid an all-out war on the feet and instead seek out a skirmish on the ground. This bout seems to be even everywhere, but on the feet, Burns has a moderate advantage. The only question is, where does Burns want this fight to take place? Will he keep it on the feet, or will he take the risk and fight on the ground? This is a recipe for an entertaining fight between two great grapplers!

Renato Moicano VS Damir Hadzovic

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Renato Moicano

Moicano is on a bit of a skid, coming into this bout on a two-fight skid. He is 2-3 in his last five fights and 13-3 overall. All three of Moicano’s losses have been at the hands of title challengers, his last defeat coming from the hands of Chang Sung Jung AKA “The Korean Zombie”. In that fight, Moicano got involved in a striking exchange and was brutally knocked out. Do not let this dim the shine of Moicano, he has faced elite competition like Cub Swanson, Kalvin Kattar, and Jeremy Stephens, and done very well.

In this fight, Moicano has moved up from featherweight to lightweight which may help him greatly, with less pressure of a huge weight cut, as he was tall for the featherweight division. Moicano is a rangy striker that likes to employ thunderous leg kicks. Renato is also no slouch on the ground, holding the rank of black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Six of his thirteen wins have come by way of submission. It will be interesting to see if Moicano can find his path in the stacked lightweight division and get back to his winning ways. 

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Damir Hadzovic

The Bosnian-born Damir Hadzovic is currently 3-2 in his last five fights and 13-5 overall. Hadzovic lives up to the moniker “Bosnian Bomber” throwing powerful shots and is willing to brawl with most opponents. Even though he likes to strike, he is very well-rounded, with powerful striking, explosive wrestling and crushing ground and pound.

In his last fight, Hadzovic lost to Christos Giagos in a unanimous decision, where he was frustrated by the superior wrestling of Giagos. Hadzovic looks to improve those flaws in his next fight and get back into the win column, Even in his losses, Hadzovic is a game fighter and always looking for a way to win the fight, whether it’s a fight-ending shot, or a round-winning takedown. Hadzovic is an interesting guy to watch grow in the octagon, and come Saturday night, we will see what growth he has made since his last bout.

Bottom Line

This is a scrap that may be skirting under the radar. Moicano brings a fun striking style to this match, especially with his tendency of getting drawn into brawls. Hadzovic brings explosive power to deal with the range of Renato Moicano. The odds of the fight ending in an entertaining fashion is high and is a dark horse contender for Fight of the Night. Both Hadzovic and Moicano like to strike, so it will be fun to see the exchanges on the feet, and the possibility of a ground fight is intriguing. All in all, this fight could be a lot of fun wherever the fighters decide to fight.

Johnny Walker VS Nikita Krylov

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Johnny Walker

Walker has a test in front of him that is bigger than his opponent. Can he recover from a devastating loss and get back on track to the title at light heavyweight? Walker is 4-1 in his last five and 17-4 overall, he saw massive success in his first three UFC fights. All three fights ended in the first round, and all three by brutal knockouts. In every victory, Walker earned a performance of the night bonus and earned him a lot of attention from everyone in the MMA community, fans and fighters alike.

Riding his massive hype train into his last fight against Corey Anderson, all eyes were on Walker after all his high profile performances and in-cage antics. Unfortunately for Walker, he was knocked out in the first round in a stunning upset, but that isn’t the end for Walker. The athletic and super explosive Walker still has massive potential and entertainment value. This fight will be a test of heart for Walker, Will he still fight with his crazy unorthodox and energetic style, or will he become timid and gun shy? Only Johnny Walker knows the answers to those questions. 

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Nikita Krylov

This is the second run in the UFC for Nikita Krylov and he is currently 1-2 inside the organization, after going on a four-fight win streak outside the UFC. In his last fight, Krylov lost to Brazilian veteran Glover Teixeira via a close split decision. Krylov has shown a lot of growth in his time outside. He no longer just hunts for the knockout. Instead, he is striking more technically and being more patient. Krylov is still an entertaining brawler, he just doesn’t spend his entire gas tank in the first round. In this fight, Krylov is looking for the upset, as Walker is the slight favorite at -170. We will see if Krylov can use his heavy hands and pressure to beat Walker to the punch and get back to his winning ways. 

Bottom Line

This may be the most exciting fight, stylistically speaking. Both men are fast starters with a lot of power. Walker has a unique explosive style that a lot of opponents have a hard time adjusting to and Krylov brings a no holds barred brawling style. When these two fighters meet with their very similar styles, expect absolute chaos. If both men stick to how they have fought previously, it is very unlikely this bout will see a second stanza. Walker has a lot to lose coming into this fight and Krylov has everything to gain from it. If Krylov were to win, it would be a huge boost to his name and he could use it to leverage for higher-level competition. This is a fun high-stakes fight that holds a lot of value in entertainment. 

Francisco Trinaldo VS John Makdessi

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Fransico Trinaldo

At 41 years old and twenty fights in the UFC, Fransico Trinaldo is still doing the damn thing. Trinaldo is currently 3-2 in his last five and 24-7 overall. Trinaldo is not a title challenger, but he is always game for a good fight. He always comes forward with good boxing technique and chopping leg kicks. Trinaldo is no slouch on the ground either, with a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu, even though he rarely uses it. Even at his age, Trinaldo is still putting out good performances and it will be fun to see if he can keep it up. 

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John Makdessi

John Makdessi is always fun to watch. With smooth and powerful kickboxing, he is currently 4-1 in his last five fights, 17-6 overall. Makdessi is not the most well-rounded fighter in the world, but he has beautiful, technical kickboxing. He works in a lot of head kicks and spinning kicks from his background in Taekwondo and would prefer to keep fights standing up. In his last fight, Makdessi used said kickboxing to out-point Jesus Pinedo in a unanimous decision win. Makdessi flourishes when an opponent is willing to kickbox and it is beautiful to watch him fluidly work his kicks into his combinations. We will see if Makdessi can keep his winning streak going and gain some more forward momentum. 

Bottom Line

This is a good fight to start off the main card with, a fun bout to warm up the crowd. Makdessi’s style is very visually pleasing and Trinaldo is willing to participate in a stand-up battle. Makdessi can go from technical to brawling very fast if his opponent is willing to do so. Furthermore, this is a fun fight with not a lot at stake between two battle-tested veterans. The expectation for this fight is an entertaining scrap featuring two guys that always are always enjoyable to watch! 

Conclusion

From top to bottom, this a great card coming off the high of UFC 248. Featuring a surging Kevin Lee and the veteran Charles Oliveira in the main event, that holds a lot of significance in the lightweight division. Gilbert Burns will be testing his ability against the highly-skilled Demian Maia. Also, this card highlights the return of the highly-touted Johnny Walker versus the always entertaining Nikita Krylov. All in all, this will be a great fight night, with a plethora of big names to entertain the masses.       


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