UFC on Versus 3 Fight Card Primer: The Undercard

Steve Cantwell and Cyrille Diabate, photo via UFC.com

Two of the seven undercard bouts on the UFC on Versus 3 event will be streamed on Facebook.com/UFC. The others may make the Versus TV broadcast should time allow. Here's a quick rundown of the undercard action:

3 Must See Fights:

Thiago Tavares vs. Shane Roller - When Tavares (15-3) and Roller (9-3) face off in the cage it will be a battle of tremendous grapplers. The two men have a combined 17 victories by submission. In a lightweight division that is "overstocked" and seeing wrestlers cut after every show it is important for these men to impress every time out.

Rousimar Palhares vs. Dave Branch - The unfortunate thing about doing "Must See" lists for the undercard is that we won't get to see some of the fights mentioned. Palhares (11-3) and Branch (8-1) is similar to the Tavares/Roller fight in that it's two high level grapplers squaring off. Palhares has a rare ability to grab leg locks and finish fights with them, it will be interesting to see if Branch, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, can keep from having his leg taken home.

Joe Stevenson vs. Danny Castillo - Castillo (10-3) trains out of Team Alpha Male with Urijah Faber and brings a lot of those stereotypical Alpha Male characteristics to the cage. In Stevenson (31-12) he is facing a man who is fighting to remain relevant in the world of mixed martial arts. Stevenson won the second season of The Ultimate Fighter but has only gone 3-5 since 2008 and a loss here may mean that there just isn't room for him on the roster.

Also keep an eye on...

Steve Cantwell - Cantwell (7-3) was a highly regarded prospect after winning the WEC light heavyweight title from Brian Stann in 2008. After that bout the 205 pounders were brought into the UFC where he won his first bout against Razak Al-Hassan but lost an exciting battle with Luis Cane and then lost his rubber match with Stann. Injuries and serious health concerns have kept Cantwell out of action since September of 2009. Cantwell can't afford ring rust when he steps in against Cyrille Diabate (16-7-1). This is as close to fighting for your UFC life as it gets.

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