With UFC Fight Night Nashville looming just a few days away, this is the perfect opportunity to explore a couple of the more intriguing match-ups flying under the radar.
After Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson tied Anderson Silva’s record for consecutive title defenses last weekend, it might seem as if the champ has cleaned out the flyweight division. It would be difficult to argue against this statement, but there is a very interesting match-up at Nashville’s UFC Fight Night 108 that could net the UFC a new 125-pound contender.
The UFC’s No. 8-ranked Dustin Ortiz takes on No. 10-ranked Brandon Moreno in what will no doubt be a “Fight of the Night” candidate. Ortiz is coming off a big split decision win over Zach Makovsky at UFC 206 in Toronto. He will not be satisfied with a decision win over Moreno. Ortiz will be out to finish this fight in front of his hometown crowd in Nashville.
The 23-year-old Mexican phenom Moreno is not an easy fight for anyone. He’s intent on showing the world why he is the next big thing in the flyweight division. Moreno is riding a 10-fight winning streak during which he has taken down some of the division’s toughest and most durable guys, most notably Louis Smolka and Ryan Benoit. “The Assassin Baby” seeks to continue his push for a title shot this weekend and silence all of the Ortiz fans in the process.
The clash between Ortiz and Moreno will air live as part of the Fox Sports 2 prelims, which begin at 8 p.m. ET. It’s not the only sleeper fight on the card, though.
It’s hard to believe that just a few short years ago Jake Ellenberger was on a tear in the UFC. He was even considered a serious threat to the title. However, “The Juggernaut” has now lost three out of his last four contests. He will have his hands full this Saturday night when he looks to get back on track against Mike “Platinum” Perry.
The controversial Perry is a solid welterweight fighter who had won eight straight before dropping his most recent outing to Alan Jouban via decision. Perry is basically a younger version of Ellenberger — a solid wrestler with knockout power.
The one primary difference is the level of competition these two men have faced. Ellenberger has competed at the highest level for many years. He has fought a who’s who of the welterweight division. Meanwhile, the only serious contender Perry has encountered was able to beat Perry rather handily.
The fight between Ellenberger and Perry, which kicks off the UFC Fight Night 108 main card on Fox Sports 1 at 10 p.m. ET, will have an impact on the future of the welterweight division.
The UFC’s trip to Nashville is full of fighters trying to make their way up the ranks. Fighters like Cub Swanson, Artem Lobov, Al Iaquinta and Diego Sanchez might get all of the attention, but fans should not overlook these two hidden gems.