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Opinion: That UFC on ESPN 9 Card…

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons this card will be better than expected.

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Tomorrow night, UFC on ESPN 9 goes down in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex and no one was sure of where this event would occur until last week. Yet this is a card that has some really fun fights to look forward to that no one is talking about! Let’s take a look at some of the reasons this card will be better than expected.

Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns – This fight has fireworks all over it. Gilbert Burns (18-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) is riding a five-fight win streak and has “title contender” written all over his resume. With six KOs and eight submissions in his eighteen-fight career, this man likes to finish his work early and go home.


Across the cage, Tyron Woodley (19-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) is a former UFC welterweight champion, only one fight removed from his title. When a bout with Leon Edwards fell through in March, Woodley took on the next best challenge he could find and he appears hungry to regain his title…and some of his fans he lost with that rap album.

Blagoy Ivanov vs. Augusto Sakai – This is a heavyweight fight that closely resembles something you might see on Nat Geo. Augusto Sakai (14-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has eleven wins by KO. His opponent, Blagoy Ivanov (18-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is evenly matched with KOs, submissions and decisions. There is also a near 6 in height difference between these two sluggers and one can only imagine how hard these shots are going to sound echoing across the quiet halls of the crowd less stands. This one will be a guilty pleasure fight, for sure.

Katlyn Chookagian vs. Antonina Shevchenko – Sometimes when you get beaten up by someone, you take out your aggression on someone their close to. Like a sister, perhaps. In this case, Katlyn Chookagian is coming fresh off a TKO loss to current champion Valentina Shevchenko, so she picked a fight with her sister, Antonina Shevchenko. This should be an entertaining and exciting battle, with a fun backstory, to boot.

Casey Kenney vs. Louis Smolka – Casey Kenney (13-2-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) walks so much larger than his bantamweight frame suggests, one might think he has banty rooster DNA in his bloodline. Likewise, Louis Smolka (16-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC) is looking to make big things happen in his second stint in the UFC. Having never lost a bout outside of the octagon, Smolka will be a game opponent for the fiery Kenney. All in all, we can expect some fast exchanges and lots of action in this one.

Chris Gutierrez vs. Vince Morales – Chris Gutierrez (14-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Vince Morales (9-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) are going to beat the snot out of each other to open this show, and it’s going to be a potential Fight of the Night. Both of these guys are too tough for their own good, fight at a ridiculous pace and have chins to make Gillette jealous — you can’t knock them out. Don’t miss this one, it will be like tying two cat’s tails together and throwing them over a clothesline.

We also get Brok Weaver versus Roosevelt Roberts, a Mackenzie Dern fight and the ever-scrappy Tim Elliott, all for free. So tune in tomorrow night for a great ending to a wild May!

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Written by Justin Adams

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