Coming off an action-packed return to live sporting events with UFC 249 last Saturday night in Jacksonville, Florida, at the VyStar Arena. The leading promotion in mixed martial arts is getting back up on that horse this Wednesday night, again, at the VyStar arena. The first of two cards this week.
UFC 249 was the company’s first card produced under COVID-19 quarantine conditions in the United States. The protocols in place seem to have done their job, pre-fight testing revealed ‘Jacaré’ Souza was positive for the coronavirus and his fight with Uriah Hall was removed from the card. Let’s hope COVID-19 doesn’t affect the lineup for UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira. Headlined by a fight in the light heavyweight division between Anthony Smith (32-14) against Glover Teixeira (30-7). Both men have challenged Jon Jones for the light heavyweight crown. Smith is ranked 3rd., while Teixeira remains ranked in the top ten, it is conceivable the winner of this fight may be one more win away from another title shot.
The co-main event will take place in the heavyweight division. Making his heavyweight debut, Ovince Saint Preux (24-13) takes on Ben Rothwell (37-12). Rothwell was set to fight on April 18th. at the originally scheduled UFC 249 against Gian Villante. Saint Preux picked up another Performance of the Night bonus and the submission victory over Michaƚ Oleksiejczuk in his last outing using his modified version of the Von Flue choke, for which he holds the UFC record with a total of four.
Coming off a TKO victory and Performance of the Night bonus at UFC 246, Drew Dober (22-9) will take on Alexander Hernandez (11-2) in a lightweight fight. Hernandez hasn’t fought in nearly a year after picking up a controversial unanimous decision win over Francisco Trinaldo. His most high-profile outing came against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone earning Fight of the Night honors despite a second-round TKO loss at UFC Fight Night Brooklyn in January of 2019.
A bantamweight fight between Ricky Simon (15-3) versus Ray Borg (13-4) has Fight of the Night written all over it. This match-up is a tale of two streaks. Simon is coming off two consecutive losses, against Urijah Faber via knockout, and most recently a decision loss to Rob Font which earned Fight of the Night honors. Borg has won two in a row. With Borg, it’s never a question of whether or not he will bring his exciting style to the octagon. The question is whether Borg can make weight or not. Borg has missed weight four times since his last Performance of the Night bonus, including his last two fights.
Starting off the main card, in a middleweight contest Karl Roberson (9-2) squares off with Marvin Vettori (14-4), former Venator FC welterweight champion, originally from Italy, this Kings MMA prospect has won two in a row since his split decision loss to current UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya.
Notable preliminary bouts include Michael Johnson (19-15) vs. Thiago Moises (12-4) and a heavyweight fight between former champion Andrei Arlovski (28-19) against Philipe Lins (14-3). Also, the 15th. ranked bantamweight Sijara Eubanks takes on Sarah Moras.