It was less than a week ago that UFC 217 treated spectators to one of the most historic nights in UFC history, now the promotion will look to emulate such entertainment with the stacked Fight Night 120 card this weekend which takes place at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia.
Pettis looking bounce back
The card which is headlined by a lightweight battle between former 155lb champion Anthony Pettis and #8 ranked Dustin Poirier. Since being dethroned by Rafael Dos Anjos back in 2015, Pettis has endured mixed success fighting in both the UFC lightweight and featherweight divisions having won only 2 of his last 5 bouts.
‘Showtime’ looked impressive in his last bout as he secured a dominant decision victory over Jim Miller in July of this year. The victory came off the back of Pettis’ wasted opportunity to make history after a botched weight cut denied the former champ the chance to win the the UFC interim featherweight belt last December against Max Holloway at UFC 206.
Now the 27-year old will look to make it two wins on the bounce as he aim’s to work himself back up the rankings in the hope for a shot at the title.
Much like his opponent, Poirier has experienced mixed success at both featherweight and lightweight in recent times. After his loss to Conor McGregor in September 2014, Poirier moved up to lightweight where he went 4-0 defeating the likes of Carlos Diego Ferreira and Joseph Duffy not to forget his two highlight reel KO’s against Yancy Medeiros and Bobby Green.
But this win streak was snapped however after being on the receiving end of a first round knockout to loss Michael Johnson but it didn’t take ‘The Diamond’ long to bounce back however as he would earn a decision victory over the veteran Jim Miller.
The 28-year old looked to have carried his good form into his most recent bout with former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 211; all was going well for Piorier who looked to be winning the bout late in round two, that was until Alvarez threw an illegal knee which left Poirier unable to continue. The American can take some confidence from that bout knowing he was beating a former champion until the knee, now he will hope to have better fortune as he looks to add a former champion to his list of defeated opponents.
One last walk to the Octagon for Brown
In the co-main event out of form UFC veterans Matt Brown and Diego Sanchez will face off in a mouthwatering welterweight, fan friendly bout which potentially has ‘Fight Of The Night’ written all over it.
Brown who is 1-5 in his last six bouts will look to secure one last victory before bow’ing out of the sport with the 36-year old hoping that he can emulate the blistering run form he experienced prior to his slide which saw him defeat the likes of Stephen Thompson, Mike Swick and Erick Silva.
Diego Sanchez has endured a mixed UFC career which has stemmed across four different weight classes. The 35-year old is no stranger to brutal fights having been involved in some of the sports greatest scraps.
In the the past Sanchez earned a reputation for his resilience and iron glad chin however recently Jackson-Wink trained has been on the wrong end of a pair brutal KO’s in two of his last three bouts.
‘The Nightmare’ was one of two original winners of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, could well be fighting for his place in the promotion, with anything but a win could see him following his opponent out of the UFC.
Do or die for Arlovski
Elsewhere on the card former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will take on Júnior Albini in what will be only his second UFC bout. Having lost his last five bouts with four coming by way of stoppage, Arlovski is undoubtedly fighting for his place in the promotion in a bout which is do or die for the 38-year old.
Albini will look to go 2-0 in the promotion when he faces Arlovski this weekend and enters the bout off the back of a successful UFC debut where he needed less than three minutes to dispatch of Tim Johnson and the 26-year old’s will look to test Arlovski’s weakening chin when the pair meet inside the octagon.
Moraes still in search of first UFC win
Despite what is a stacked main card we now look towards the preliminary card for a bantamweight bout which could see sparks fly as John Dodson takes on Marlon Moraes.
Dodson who is two time title challenger at flyweight holds a KO victory over newly crowned bantamweight champion TJ Dillishaw but The 33-year old has endured mixed success since making the move to bantamweight, holding a record of 2-1 defeating Manny Gamburyan and Eddie Wineland in his most recent bout.
His loss is nothing to be ashamed of however having been on the wrong end of a split decision to one of the biggest hitters at 135 in John Lineker.
Marlon Moraes enters the Octagon this weekend for only his second UFC bout, the former WSOF bantamweight champion will look to bounce back from his debut split decision loss to Raphael Assuncao in June. Prior to this loss Moraes held a 13-fight win streak which stretched over a five year period and will no hope to put together a a fresh streak starting with John Dodson.
Main Card FS1, 10 p.m. ET
Lightweight: Dustin Poirier vs Anthony Pettis
Welterweight: Matt Brown vs Diego Sanchez
Heavyweight Junior Albini vs Andrei Arlovski
Middleweight: Cezar Ferreira vs Nate Marquardt
Bantamweight: Raphael Assuncao vs Matthew Lopez
Lightweight: Clay Guida vs Joe Lauzon
Preliminary Card FS1, 8 p.m. ET
Bantamweight: John Dodson vs Marlon Moraes
Strawweight: Viviane Pereira vs Tatiana Suarez
Lightweight: Sage Northcutt vs Michel Quinones
Strawweight: Nina Ansaroff vs Angela Hill
Preliminary Card UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET
Welterweight: Court McGee vs Sean Strickland
Light Heavyweight: Jake Collier vs Marcel Fortuna
Light Heavyweight: Karl Roberson vs Darren Stewart