Main Event: Thiago “Marreta” Santos (#5 21-9-0) vs. Johnny Walker (#10 17-5-0)
This fight has huge implications for the Light Heavy Weight Division. Santos is coming off three defeats in his last four fights. His last victory was over now current Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz. He then has a decision loss to then Champion Jon Jones. Despite tearing his ACL in that Jones fight, many believe this fight was much closer than the judges’ scorecards showed, even going so far as to say Santos should have gotten the nod on that night. Unfortunately since returning from surgery he has been submitted by now number contender Glover Teixeira and a unanimous decision to Alexander Rakic.
For Walker, this is his chance to break into the top five. Like Santos, Walker blasted into the UFC picking up three first-round KO/TKOs from November 18th, 2018 to March 3rd, 2019. Tipped as a contender, he was unfortunately stopped in the first round against Corey Anderson, then suffered a unanimous decision loss to Nikita Krylov. Last year in September 2019, he got back to his winning way by stopping Ryan Spann in the second round of their contest.
With this victory, either man will re-establish themselves to their early promise. Another victory after this could have them fighting for the belt. Here’s a breakdown of the main event.
Co-main event: Kevin “Trailblazer” Holland (#14 21-7-0) vs. Kyle Daukaus (10-2-0)
Baring winning a world title, Holland was the star of 2020. Nobody had a better year. Five fights (most on very short notice), five victories, four of which came by stoppage, and four performance of the night bonuses. 2021, unfortunately, has not gone so well. First, he ran into the hype train derailer Derek Brunson, who exposed a hole in Hollands wrestling, who was also exploited by Marvin Vettori.
Kyle Daukaus lost his 2020 UFC debut to the man who defeated Holland in 2019, but then rallied back to take a unanimous decision win over Dustin Stoltzfus. Like Holland, he started 2021 with a unanimous decision to Phil Hawes. Can he fight back again? If he needs any more motivation, his brother Chris Daukaus is coming off a huge victory and performance of the night at UFC 266.
A victory for Daukaus will propel him into the top 15 but this is a very difficult stylistic match for him. Both men prefer to strike and Holland has a five-inch reach advantage. Hollands kryptonite has been the wrestling and this has also been the downfall for Daukaus. Holland has purposely taken the time to round out his wrestling game. By not taking a short notice fight, will he be looking to display this here? Who’s version 2.0 is going to get the win? Here’s a breakdown of the co-main event.
Main Card Matchups
Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira (22-10-1, 2NC) vs. Niko “The Hybrid” Price (14-6-0 2NC)
This is a must-win fight for both men, as they have struggled recently. In his last four fights, Oliveria has had only one victory followed by two first-round stoppage losses. Price has had a draw sandwiched between two losses. Usually, three losses in a row is a very bad omen for most fighters’ UFC careers. This could be two fighters fighting for their jobs, and you can’t get more motivation to put on a great performance than that.
Misha Cirkunov (#13 15-6-0) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (22-5-0)
After a great start to his UFC career, Cirkunov had really struggled at Light Heavyweight. Now, he is testing the waters at Middleweight. Ready to welcome him to the division is Jotko. Jotko is looking to get back to his 2020 winning ways having gone 2 -1 in his last 3. Unfortunately, his last fight ended in a loss. A victory over a top 15 light heavyweight will make a big statement.
Aspen Ladd (#3 9-1-0) vs. Macy Chiasson (#11 8-1-0)
Ladd was in a three-fight win streak before being stopped by the Iron Lady. Since then, she is coming off a third-round stoppage of Yana Kunitskaya. A knee injury and subsequent surgery have caused her to be inactive since December 2019. Also coming off a foot injury herself Chiasson, is hoping to turn her two-fight win streak into a three-fight win streak and a big jump up in the rankings.
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images