UFC on FOX 5 has seen the main card stay 100% healthy, but the preliminary card has been ravaged with injuries. Two fights were cancelled, including the heavyweight "prelim headliner" showdown between Brendan Schaub and Lavar Johnson.
Before you watch tonight's action, here's a brief rundown of the 7 scheduled bouts. Six will air on FX starting at 5 PM ET/2 PM PT, while Scott Jorgensen against John Albert airs on Facebook at 4:30 PM ET/1:30 PM PT.
As you may recall, this fight was cancelled on the day of UFC on FX 5 in Minneapolis when Stephens was arrested on an Iowa warrant for assault. Dana White handled this incredibly well, and Edwards was left without an opponent. While Stephens' future was in limbo, Edwards was booked against John Cholish. Incredibly, Cholish pulled out and Stephens is here again. As for their recent runs of form? Edwards lost his last fight, a closely contested battle with Anthony Ferguson, while Stephens was quite easily dominated by Donald Cerrone in May.
Would you believe this was supposed to be T.J. Dillashaw vs. Mike Easton? Assuncao is literally the 3rd option for Easton after Dillashaw and Bryan Caraway both withdrew due to injury. Easton is inching closer towards the title picture, and his admittedly ho-hum decision win over Ivan Menjivar at UFC 148 extended his winning streak to 8. Raphael is a former featherweight who fought the likes of Urijah Faber and Erik Koch, but he was finished by both men. He has since amassed a 2-0 record at bantamweight, most recently KOing Issei Tamura in July.
Nijem is a TUF 13 runner-up. He competed as a welterweight but ultimately came up short as Tony Ferguson knocked him out cold in the final. Ramsey has since dropped back to lightweight, scoring dominant wins over C.J. Keith and Danny Downes. Proctor was a TUF: Live quarterfinalist and won his UFC debut by knocking out Jeremy Larsen in less than 2 minutes in the show's finale card. Both men are relatively light on experience both in number of pro fights and age, with Nijem at just 24 years old and Proctor aged 27.
Cruickshank and Martinez were supposed to fight at UFC 151, but you probably know why this fight is at UFC on FOX. Daron competed on TUF: Live where he was knocked out by James Vick in his first fight "in the house. He did win his debut over the fantastically named Chris Tickle by unanimous decision. Martinez stepped up to fight Matt Riddle on short-notice up at welterweight back in February, and was on the wrong end of a split decision. He returned to lightweight and sent Bernardo Magalhaes out of the UFC.
Tim Means' sauna fall meant I had to re-write this piece. LeVesseur debuted in the UFC as a short-notice replacement against Cody McKenzie (a submission loss). He rebunded by sending Carlo Prater out of the organization in a dull fight. The three-time Division III national champion wrestler was a short-notice replacement to fight Michael Chiesa, then Chiesa pulled out, seemingly leaving him without a fight. Means' fall ... well ... "means" he fights fellow standout collegiate wrestler Abel Trujillo on less than 24 hours notice. This assuming that neither one of them throws out their back while sneezing 30 minutes before fight time.
This fight is the leading contender for Fight of the Night out of all the prelims. Phan fought on the last FOX card in August, defeating Cole Miller by decision to offset his loss to Jim Hettes. He is in for the injured Eddie Yagin. German kickboxer Siver made a successful debut at 145 lbs by beating Diego Nunes in Sweden, also by decision. They're both entertaining strikers with a penchant for going to the body with their strikes. While Phan has been essentially at gatekeeper status, a decent run of form by Siver could see him in title contention.
Jorgensen was the former #1 contender to Dominick Cruz's WEC-turned-UFC Bantamweight crown, but he has been unable to recapture his top contender status post-Cruz loss. While he defeated Ken Stone and Jeff Curran to start his UFC career, he's dropped his last 2 to Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland, and the latter was the first KO loss of his MMA career. Albert has also lost his last 2, although his armbar loss to Erik Perez has been disputed as he never tapped and it was recorded as a verbal submission. Presumably the reason this fight is on Facebook is because they're both on losing streaks, but it has the potential to be exciting as is customary for most Jorgensen fights.
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