The UFC will make its maiden voyage to the Czech Republic for UFC Fight Night 145 and the first card on European soil since Alexey Oleinik and Jan Blachowicz strangled their adversaries, Mark Hunt and Nikita Krylov respectably.
If you are diehard fan this is a nice follow up to the incredible UFC Phoenix card and will get us warmed up for the gigantic UFC 235 that is stacked from top to bottom.
I want to give you the three bouts that will likely cause your blood pressure to rise and your drinks to stay full.
Let’s start, shall we.
John Dodson vs. Petr Yan
This fight could prove to be a changing of the guard in logjammed bantamweight division. Dodson was once the biggest threat to the throne at 125 and 135-pounds but has been super inconsistent lately. Dodson has alternating wins and losses since 2015. He has fought the best in the UFC including Demetrious Johnson, Marlon Moraes, John Lineker, Jimmie Rivera and Tj Dillashaw. Currently ranked #9, Dodson needs an impressive win here to keep himself relevant especially after Aljamain Sterling dominated Rivera last week.
He will be squaring off with one of the UFC’s scariest rising prospects in Russia’s, Petr Yan. Yan is riding a six fight win streak and is 3-0 in the UFC with wins over Teruto Ishihara and Douglas Silva de Andrade. This will be a big jump in competition for the 26 year old and Dodson is the fastest opponent he’s faced. The styles of these men should make for a high-paced and explosive contest.
Polo Reyes vs Damir Hadzovic
This lightweight tilt is going to be fireworks and I am not convinced the fight will go 15 minutes. They have 16 finishes in 20 combined fights and both are ultra aggressive killers who oblige to stand and trade. “The Bosnian Bomber” has been finished once in his MMA career at the hands of Mairbek Taisumov. Taisumov is perhaps the most underrated fighter in the division and Reyes has also only been finished once by James Vick. Hadzovic is a former welterweight and is maybe slightly the more well-rounded fighter. This won’t make much of a difference because Reyes is equally as big and hits absurdly hard.
My guess is this fight will get Fight of the Night but not before someone goes to sleep.
Jan Blachowicz vs Thiago Santos
I should be introducing fighters who are still unknown to the casual, I know this. How can you not add this bout into the title “Fights to Watch”? Jon Jones has defeated virtually everyone there is to beat and the light heavyweight division is very much depleted. This fight could have title ramifications without a doubt. Santos personifies violence and has moved up from middleweight to collect stoppage victories over Eryk Anders and Jimi Manuwa.
This will be a classic battle of strikers and seeing that this is the main event, it will be 5…full…rounds. I can’t picture a universe where a Jan Blachowicz and Thiago Santos fight lasts 5 rounds. Poland’s Blachowicz is a powerful and high-level striker himself, as he has stoppage wins over Ilir Latifi and recently a submission win over hot prospect Nikita Krylov. The caveat to pay attention to here is, will Santos crumble to the Blachowicz’s resilience and power? As much as Thiago Santos is the hammer *no pun intended* he is equally as much of a nail. He has a tendency to fade and he does get hit a lot.
If “Marretta” lands clean on anyone in the division, he could certainly shut their lights out. This is a huge fight for both men and the division so don’t fall asleep before the main event and definitely do not blink.