This weekend’s UFC action will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, where there is a full card of exciting bouts and a headline event that will see a new lightweight champion crowned.
Iron goes for gold
This weekend’s headline event will see the unoccupied lightweight title claimed, as in-form veteran Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira faces off against UFC newcomer ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler.
Since returning to the lightweight division, Charles Oliveira has been in inspired form, winning nine of 10 bouts. He has recorded 16 finishes in the UFC, tied for most in UFC history, and has developed a reputation for being a submission master. He has secured 14 submissions in his last 18 bout victories and has won his last eight bouts in a row. Oliveira will feel he has earned this title bout and will be doing everything he can to win this weekend.
Despite going pro in 2009, Michael Chandler only fought in his first UFC bout in January. He had a very tricky debut coming up against Dan Hooker, but he dispatched him in the first round via TKO, which was the thirteenth first-round finish of his career. He is predominantly known for his powerful striking, but he has also proven himself to be an excellent wrestler, securing seven wins via submission.
Beware of the boogeyman
The co-main is another lightweight bout between two top 10 contenders in the division as Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson takes on Beneil Dariush.
Making a name for himself through his impressive performances on The Ultimate Fighter, on which he finished every opponent, Ferguson holds a 26-5 professional record. He is versatile, with 13 career wins coming KO and eight coming by submission. He can start and end bouts quickly, racking up nine first-round finishes to date.
On a six-bout win streak, which included three first-round finishes, Beneil Dariush will be hoping to maintain momentum. The Iranian has eight wins by submission, five via KO and seven by way of decision. He is entertaining to watch, and has compiled four UFC Post-Fight Awards, three for performance of the night and one for fight of the night, which he won for his last bout when he defeated Diego Ferreira.
This much anticipated flyweight bout sees no.2 contender Katlyn ‘Blonde Fighter’ Chookagian face the no.7 contender Viviane ‘Vivi’ Araujo.
Chookagian is a seven-year pro and has won seven of her last 10. Since turning pro she has secured two KO victories as well one win via submission. She holds wins over Joanne Calderwood, Sijara Eubanks and, in November, she bested Cynthia Calvillo.
Full of momentum, Araujo has won seven of her last eight and has been rapidly climbing the flyweight division. Since turning pro, she has finished her opponents in seven of her 10 wins, three viaand four via submission, and she boasts a 4-1 record since joining the UFC.
Let’s get Groovy
This featherweight bout sees the entertaining ‘Groovy’ Lando Vannata face Wigan-born Mike Grundy.
With flair and swagger, Vannata keeps fans entertained when he enters the Octagon. He has five UFC Post-Fight Awards, four fight of the nights and one performance of the night. He has finished his opponents nine times in his career, eight of these being first-round finishes. This will be his featherweight debut.
Winning nine of his last 10, Mike Grundy will have confidence coming into this bout. Before joining UFC, he had finished eight opponents, all via submission. On his UFC debut he defeated Nad Narimani via strikes for the first TKO of his career. The Englishman has secured seven first-round finishes.