Generally we break these things down fight-by-fight, but for this event we're going to do one primer for most of the main card. There are a few fighters that you might not immediately recognize, so we'll provide a little background info on each and break down the matchups a bit. For a much more thorough breakdown of each of these fights, you can check out Dallas Winston's awesome undercard dissections which will be linked with each breakdown. There will also be a separate primer covering the main event.
The first five main card fights include bouts from five different weight classes. The main card will air Fuel TV, with the broadcast kicking off at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Here's a quick rundown of the fights.
Lopez is a disciple of the great Wanderlei Silva and came into the UFC with some expectations on his shoulders. He didn't live up to them at all with a disappointing decision loss to Justin Edwards last September. I'm guessing you know who Sadollah is by now - he constantly gets on TV. The TUF 8 winner has gone 5-3 in the promotion by is coming off a loss to Duane Ludwig last August. Sadollah is well-rounded but has been focusing on his Muay Thai of late, so you can expect a standup battle.
Stephens is in as a replacement for Yves Edwards. He's coming off a split-decision loss to Anthony Pettis. Cerrone lost for the first time in the UFC to Nate Diaz in his last outing. Stephens likes to pressure his opponents and has the ability to take fights to the floor, while Cerrone likes to fight from distance and has a good ground game. It'll be interesting to see if Stephens can land his popeye punch and how Cerrone will react if it does land.
Hougland was originally scheduled to face Renan Barao at UFC 148, but was moved back to this card when Mike Easton got hurt. Jabouin is 2-0 since dropping to bantamweight, picking up split decision wins over Ian Loveland and Walel Watson. Hougland won his only UFC bout to date over Donny Walker last July. This is pretty much striker vs. grappler. Can Hougland get the fight to the ground? We'll see.
In the only light heavyweight bout on the card, hard-hitters Maldonado and Pokrajac try to knock each other's blocks off. Maldonado is coming off a loss to Kyle Kingsbury in his last bout, while Pokrajac has won two in a row. Maldonado has very good boxing, while Pokrajac is probably a bit more well-rounded. Should be a good battle.
Lawlor will look to rebound from getting choked out by Chris Weidman when he faces MacDonald, who was beaten down by Alan Belcher last time out. MacDonald is on the road to retirement and would dearly love a win here. Lawlor's at a distinct disadvantage on the ground but has the hands to put away J-Mac early.
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