As the new year swings into full effect with UFC Brooklyn, so does a new era. The ESPN era.
Since 2011, Fox Sports held the reigns to the UFC’s television appearances with a heavyweight slugfest between a Brazilian knockout artist, Junior Dos Santos and Mexican-American, AKA product Cain Velasquez. As new viewers watched eagerly to see what this “bloodsport” was all about, Cigano wasted no time blasting Velasquez with an overhand right that sent the wrestler crashing to the canvas in just under a minute.
Now, just over 8 years later, a bout between two kings will headline the next step in the UFC’s venture to become a household name. Current bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw, who is fresh off of two violent KO finishes over rival Cody Garbrandt and is 8-1 in his last 9 will meet newly crowned flyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo. Whether you are a casual or die hard MMA fan, this is a must see fight.
The co-main event features the UFC debut of former Dallas Cowboy, Greg Hardy. What about the rest of the card though? What fights aren’t getting enough attention?
The underrated fights at UFC Brooklyn
Alonzo Menifield vs Vinicius Alves
Gregor Gillespie vs Yancy Medeiros
This bout is crucial for both men, but for different reasons. Gillespie is undefeated in his pro career with all but one of his octagon appearances ending before the final horn. He is an outstanding wrestler whose boxing has come a long way since his debut in 2016. This is big step up in competition for “The Gift” as he hasn’t really fought anyone that is close to the level of Yancy Medeiros. With a win, it could catapult him into a fight with a top-10 opponent. For Medeiros, this is an opportunity to get back on the horse. He’s been inactive for almost a year as a bout with Mike Perry was cancelled due to a rib injury and in February of 2018 he lost an exciting battle with Donald Cerrone in the first round. Medeiros is one of the more exciting fighters with incredible striking, tricky submissions and loads of notable competition including fights with Dustin Poirier, Erick Silva, Jim Miller and Alex Oliveira. The big questions here are, can Gillespie get Medeiros to the ground? If he does can he hold him there without getting caught with something sneaky? Medeiros will enjoy a reach advantage and will have the striking edge as well. Can he keep Gillespie at bay with his punches to ward off any takedown attempts? This is a classic striker vs grappler bout that has promising implications for both men. Should Medeiros win, it could set up an extremely exciting matchup with Mike Perry.
Donald Cerrone vs Alexander Hernandez