UFC on FOX 15 promises to be a cracking card with lots of excitement from top to bottom. In the main event at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey is a battle between Lyoto Machida and Luke Rockhold. The winner could end up facing the Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort (UFC 187) winner next. But before we get to the main event, let's take a look at the very intriguing main card below it. "Jacare" won't be facing Yoel Romero, but his replacement is a familiar foe. Cub Swanson tries to avoid the first losing streak of his career against Max Holloway, and Felice Herrig takes on Paige VanZant in a pivotal women's strawweight duel.
The UFC on FOX 15 main card airs live on FOX at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT. Preliminary card action also airs on the same network starting at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT. The night's action begins on Fight Pass at 4:30 PM ET/1:30 PM PT.
Ronaldo Souza (21-3, 1 NC MMA; 4-0 UFC) vs. Chris Camozzi (21-9 MMA, 6-6 UFC) - Middleweights
The former Strikeforce middleweight champion has looked just about flawless in the UFC. He's finished all of his opponents except Francis Carmont, and recently exacted revenge on Gegard Mousasi by submitting his former DREAM rival with a guillotine choke last September. Unfortunately for Jacare, he's twice had to push back his scheduled fight against Yoel Romero, and another win vs. Camozzi probably won't be enough to get him a title shot. Either way, it's always a pleasure to watch this highly decorated BJJ black belt go to work on the mat.
If you recall, Camozzi fought Jacare on just two weeks notice back in 2013, losing by 1st round submission. Camozzi would go on to lose his next 3 and get unceremoniously bounced from the UFC, but a pair of stoppage wins outside the promotion, coupled with Yoel Romero's knee injury opened the door for Camozzi to get an unlikely second crack at both the UFC and Jacare.
Cub Swanson (21-6 MMA, 6-2 UFC) vs. Max Holloway (12-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) - Featherweights
Swanson's 6 fight winning streak put him in line for a #1 contender's showcase against former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar last November. It was expected to be a thriller, but Swanson was blown out of the water and finished with a neck crank with just 4 seconds left in the final round. The loss has seemingly put him out of the title picture for now, but he's still a very dangerous and talented fighter with fight-finishing power and underrated submission skills.
Holloway is on the hottest streak in the featherweight division, having won his last 5 fights, including 4 by stoppage. In fact, Max's last loss was a decision to Conor McGregor, making him the only man to go the distance with the #1 contender. You can see the clear improvement in the 23-year-old's game when compared to his 2012 debut, a submission loss to Dustin Poirier. Holloway has developed vastly improved hands and is now a regular threat for the knockout win.
Felice Herrig (10-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Paige VanZant (4-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) - Women's Strawweights
Herrig was part of the historic 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter, which introduced the women's strawweight division to the UFC. The six-year veteran of the sport got past Heather Jo Clark in the opening round of the 16-woman tournament, only to see her run at the inaugural title end via submission to Randa Markos. Herrig did compete on the season finale, getting an armbar win over Lisa Ellis in the 2nd round.
VanZant was deemed too young to be on TUF, because she was only 20 years old at the time and there was the presence of alcohol on the show. Nevertheless, she found her way into the Octagon and immediately made a lasting impression in her debut. VanZant pulled off a wildly entertaining 3rd round TKO over Kailin Curran and won FOTN honors in the process. The 21-year-old envisions herself as the one to break Jon Jones' record for youngest ever UFC champion, and with her own Reebok deal already in place, she could be the breakout star in the division.