The Octagon heads to Target Center at Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 29 for ESPN 4.
It has been previously announced the headliner will be a five-round welterweight rematch between former winners Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler, and we understand four of the other fights on the card, including a title eliminator in the flyweight division. These bouts are official as per the UFC. The new bouts are listed below, along with my first ideas on them.
Jussier Formiga vs. Joseph Benavidez, UFC on ESPN 4
The most essential of the new batch of fight announcements is that a flyweight bout between Jussier Formiga and Joseph Benavidez, which can be predicted to garner the winner a title shot 125lbs. Formiga (23-5) is 9-4 at the UFC and is now riding a four-fight win series that contains a dominant win over Deiveson Figueiredo in his final outing. After many years as a gatekeeper, it finally looks like Formiga has turned the page and has entered competition status. Benavidez (27-5) is 13-3 at the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back wins over Dustin Ortiz and Alex Perez. Both guys are tremendous fighters at the flyweight division, but given Benavidez’ resume and quality of wins through time, I’d have to favor him heading into this battle.
Maurice Greene vs. Junior Albini, UFC on ESPN 4
Heavyweights Maurice Greene and Junior Albini are scheduled to battle. Greene (7-2) is currently 2-0 at the UFC with back-to-back wins over Jeff Hughes and Michel Batista. The triumph over Hughes was particularly impressive as Greene was an underdog heading into the bout. Albini (14-5) is 1-3 from the UFC and has dropped three consecutive fights including a TKO loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik in his last outing. This is a bizarre matchup contemplating one fighter is about a win series and the other is on a losing skid, but should you consider Greene is the hometown fighter, then it looks like the UFC is throwing him a bone here in order to get an easy win before his supporters. Greene ought to be a big favorite in this one.
Drew Dober vs. Marco Polo Reyes, UFC on ESPN 4
An exciting lightweight bout sees Drew Dober take on Marco Polo Reyes. Dober (20-9, 1 NC) is 6-5, 1 NC total in the UFC and is coming from a submission reduction to Beneil Dariush. Before this Dariush fight, Dober had won three consecutive struggles, but once again his lack of submission defense cost him his win series. Reyes (8-5) is 4-2 at the UFC and is coming from a TKO loss to Damir Hadzovic. He has summoned electricity himself, but Dober has a good chin so that might not come in to play. Both men have been very inconsistent in the UFC, but Dober seems to be a little stronger and that is why I would marginally favor him in what ought to be a stand-up struggle.
Vinicius Moreira vs. Roman Dolidze, UFC on ESPN 4
And finally, light heavyweights Vinicius Moreira and Roman Dolidze are place to fulfill. Moreira (9-2) is 0-1 in the UFC with a brutal KO loss to Alonzo Menifield in his Octagon debut which snapped a five-fight win series. Dolidze (6-0) is undefeated so far in his MMA career with all of his wins coming by stoppage. Moreira looked terrible in his UFC debut and you need to fade him here and figure Dolidze should be able to finish him in devastating fashion.
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