The UFC is heading to Fox for the first time this year and it does so with one of the biggest cards on free TV in the early part of the year. The main event is a title eliminator in the light heavyweight division as Ryan Bader faces Anthony Johnson. Also, Josh Barnett faces Ben Rothwell and Sage Northcutt makes his welterweight division debut.
UFC Light Heavyweight Division Fight
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (20-5-0) vs. Ryan “Darth” Bader (20-4-0)
Johnson has won four of five fights in his second UFC run, with his lone loss coming to current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier. Bader will enter the fight riding a five fight winning streak, with two of those wins coming over former light heavyweight champions in Rashad Evans (UFC) and Rafael Cavalcante (Strikeforce). Johnson has only seen one of his five UFC bouts go to a decision, that bout was a unanimous decision win over Phil Davis at UFC 172. Bader has fought in a title eliminator before, but he lost that bout to Lyoto Machida at UFC On Fox IV. Johnson’s kryptonite is he lack of a wrestling game against top level wrestlers, but he will do what he did against Phil Davis at UFC 172 and use his striking to avoid Bader’s wrestling on route to a second round knockout.
UFC Heavyweight Division Fight
Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett (34-7-0) vs. “Big” Ben Rothwell (35-9-0)
Barnett has won two of three fights in his second UFC run, which includes a win over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir. Rothwell will enter the fight riding a three fight winning streak, most notably defeating Alistair Overeem at UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Mousasi II. Barnett did make it to the finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, losing to Daniel Cormier in the finals. Rothwell has been very inconsistent fighting over the years, as he hasnot fought twice in the same year in nearly three years. Barnett’s strength is to get Rothwell against the cage and use his clinch, but Rothwell will counter late with strikes to earn a split decision.
UFC Bantamweight Division Fight
Iuri “Marajo”Alcantara (32-6-0-1NC) vs. Jimme “El Terror” Rivera (18-1-0)
Alcantara has won four of his last five under the UFC banner and he holds the record for the fastest knockout in UFC Bantamweight Division history. Rivera is currently undefeated under the UFC banner, most notably defeating Marcus Brimage at UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Leites. Alcantara is dangerous wherever the fight winds up, but Rivera has a suffocating wrestling game and he uses that to get the decision win.
UFC Welterweight Division Fight
Bryan “Bam Bam” Barberena (10-3-0) vs. “Super”Sage Northcutt (7-0-0)
Barberena will be looking to rebound from his first UFC defeat, which came to Chad Laprise via decision at UFC 186. Northcutt will be making his welterweight division debut in this fight after a two fight stint at lightweight. Barberena will want to attack Northcutt with ground and pound, but Northcutt will eventually catch him with a submission for a second round tap out.
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