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UFC 278 Sleeper Fights You Don’t Want to Miss

Back again with another show on the road this time in Salt Lake City, Utah for UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards 2. With a great main event title fight and some very interesting matchups on the main card. There are a couple of bouts that may seem to be buried in the prelims that could display some tremendous talent and action. Let’s check them out on this edition of UFC 278 sleeper fights!

UFC 278 Sleeper Fight #1 – Sean Woodson vs. Luis Saldana

This bout will feature the tallest featherweight on the current roster and someone possessing a reach that is comparable to light heavyweights! “The St. Louis Sniper” Sean Woodson will be stepping into the cage at 6’2″ with a 78″ reach this Saturday as he takes on Luis Saldana. At 5’11” many would think that Saldana would have a great height advantage over many of the featherweights he faces but not in this case, shorter by 3 inches and having a 5-inch reach disadvantage, it will be curious to see how Saldana has prepared for his taller opponent.

With great reach comes great responsibility, Woodson is great at using his advantages like superpowers as he has a stiff jab and fluid boxing skills to keep his opponents at bay and work the body without having to put himself in too much danger. Coming off of a great TKO victory over Collin Anglin, Woodson was able to land to the body and head before ultimately finishing the fight with multiple hooks to the midsection of his opponent. Barely getting touched due to spacing and head movement, Woodson has shown that he can be a striker’s nightmare if the preparation is not up to snuff.

Coming into his own as of late, Woodson is 3-1 since joining the UFC with his one loss coming after dominating the fight and gassing himself out in the end. Looking to continue to climb the ranks of the featherweight division, Woodson will be looking to continue his two-fight winning streak and add another finish to his record on a big stage in front of an arena full of fans.

Saldana is a craft veteran who will enter the octagon on Saturday night with more wins than Woodson has pro fights, with sixteen. With fourteen of those fights coming via stoppage, seven in both departments. He will look to put pressure on Woodson and see how he holds up. Expect this one to play mostly on the feet with someone hitting the canvas at some point throughout the three rounds. With over 10 significant strikes landed per minute between the two of them, this will surely end up being entertaining for however long it lasts.

UFC 278 Sleeper Fight #2 – Amir Albazi vs. Francisco Figueiredo

Right here is the third bout of the whole night, so make sure you are seated and ready to go for this one as it features a true contender in the flyweight division. Iraq’s Amir “Prince” Albazi is 14-1 (2-0 UFC), and if not for inactivity could easily be ranked inside the top five of the flyweight division. Having not fought in over eighteen months, Albazi will be stepping in to take on Francisco Figueiredo, the champ Deiveson’s brother. Already ranked #11, a win here would easily put Albazi inside the top ten and look to take on higher-ranked fighters down the line.

He may not be his brother but the man can fight, 13-4 (2-1 UFC), Francisco has shown he has got what it takes to be in the UFC and get solid wins. Unlike his brother, Francisco is much more grapple heavy winning a majority of his fights via submission and attempting almost three takedowns per fight. In the UFC, Albazi will be his toughest opponent today, and to be honest, I do not think he stands much of a chance.

This fight will be a showcase bout for Albazi plain and simple. Figueiredo is not even a ranked fighter and with alright performances inside the octagon, not many are considering him to replicate the success of his brother. Many consider Albazi to already be a rising prospect in the division and being one of the biggest betting favorites on the night (-350), an impressive win here could catapult him into true contender status.

Keep an eye out for the dominant wrestling and mat control that “Prince” possesses as a submission victory could be imminent early. Showing that the flyweight division is a lot deeper than many believe another diamond could be in the rough. Check out the “Prince” this weekend and watch out for him as he climbs atop the flyweight division.

Which UFC 278 sleeper fight(s) are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

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