The UFC makes their return to Brazil for the first time this year, on January 2, inside the Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste arena.
Two top bantamweight contenders face off in a highly anticipated rematch for a potential scrap with the 135-pound champion, TJ Dillashaw. Raphael Assuncao will take on rival Brazilian, Marlon Moraes. The last time these two met was in 2017, where Assuncao took a decision win.
The co-main event features the return of Jose Aldo, as he takes on featherweight prospect, Renato Moicano.
Below are the fights to watch at UFC on ESPN+ 2:
The fights to watch at UFC on ESPN+ 2
The UFC hasn't stacked the card with household names, however, the main event has major title implications as it could determine the next man to get a shot at the UFC men's bantamweight title. The card also feature Jose Aldo, who is making his return Renato Moicano. Also booked for the card is Demian Maia vs Lyman Good, and a few fighters from Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. Take a look at the fights you should keep an eye on during the UFC's return to Brazil. You definitely don't want to miss them!
Junior Albini vs Dmitriy Sosnovskiy
This is a fight between two very tough heavyweight prospects. Albini comes into the matchup with the more experience in the Octagon and is expected to put on a show for his people against the Ukrainian, Sosnovskiy.
Demian Maia vs Lyman Good
This is a great welterweight fight between Maia and Good. Maia is a dangerous grappler, one of the best to ever fight in the welterweight division. Maia looks to get back in the win column as he has fallen back a bit, dropping fights to the champion Tyron Woodley, Kamaru Usman, and Colby Covington. This is a must win for Maia, as he hopes to show the division and prove to himself that he is still able to scrap with the best of them. As for Good, this is a chance to beat a Brazilian legend, in hopes to make a name for himself in the UFC.
Ricardo Ramos vs Said Nurmagomedov
What catches the eye in this fight, is the last name Nurmagomedov. Said is another fighter who is part of Khabib's pack of Russian scappers. The Nurmagomedov's have been dominating the world of MMA through the European circuit as of late. Seeing the success from Russian fighters, it's evident they belong in the UFC amongst some of the best fights on the planet. Ramos looks to defeat Said Nurmagomedov and hope to gain some hype behind him. If Ramos wins, it would be huge for the Brazilian.
Thiago Alves vs Max Griffin
This is a battle between two welterweight warriors. Alves was once a title contender and Griffin is a fighter on a mission to break into the top-10 of the division. I feel there is more pressure on Griffin to get a big win, after his loss to Curtis Millender. However, it's evident that both men are looking to solidify a win to start of 2019 on the right foot, especially Alves who is on a two-fight losing streak.
Jose Aldo (#2) vs Renato Moicano (#4)
This is a fight that is a must watch with both Brazilians coming of huge wins. Moicano is looking to get into title contention and is looking to continue his win streak by defeating the former featherweight champion. This fight is very important for Aldo, as he's no longer chasing the belt. Both men are coming off wins over Jeremy Stephens and both want to prove why they are at the top of their division.
Raphael Assuncao (#3) vs Marlon Moraes (#4)
This main event is huge for the division, considering Dillashaw has no challengers for his undisputed 135-pound strap. Although Assuncao has a win over Moraes already, the scrap comes two years later with both fighters improving. Since his last lost in 2017 to Assuncao, Moraes has been on a nice win streak, knocking out both Jimmie Rivera and Aljamain Sterling. Moraes is very much improving, so this rematch is interesting.
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