The UFC rolls into California this weekend with another stacked PPV card, the last numbered event before the highly-anticipated UFC 200. While it has suffered some setbacks due to injuries, UFC 199 is shaping up to be another huge event.
Even though the injury bug seems to be back in full swing in the UFC, it appears as though the matchmakers have learned from past mistakes and are rescuing cards on a monthly basis. 2016, thus far, has been a year for the late replacements, with Diaz submitting McGregor on 11 days notice, Bryan Barberena submitting Sage Northcutt on eight days notice and Ovince St. Preux giving Jon Jones an extremely tough night on just two weeks notice.
At UFC 199 Michael Bisping will look to emulate Diaz and Barberena in winning his Middleweight Title fight on short notice against bitter rival Luke Rockhold. In Part 1, we look at the Feature Fight on the Prelims and the first two fights on the Main Card.
Brian Ortega vs Clay Guida (Featherweight)
Ortega (10-0, 1n/c) returns to fight in California for the first time since failing a drugs test during his UFC debut. The native of California has won two fights since his debut, which was ruled a no contest retroactively by the CSAC. Ortega, still technically undefeated, will look to make amends in his home state with a win over a tricky Clay Guida.
Guida (32-16) will be making his 23rd walk to the octagon on Saturday night, with a killers row of past opponents. By far the more experienced of the two, ‘The Carpenter’ will look to stifle Ortega’s slick submission skills with his strong wrestling base and control his opponent with his unrelenting pressure.
Dustin Poirier vs Bobby Green (Lightweight)
Poirier (19-4) has looked revitalised upon his return to Lightweight, winning three in a row and seeing the Louisiana-born fighter jump up into the rankings. With 15 finishes in his 19 victories, Poirier possesses a killer instinct in the octagon and can finish the fight anywhere.
Green (23-6) returns to action after almost 18 months on the sideline with a torn ACL. His last fight was a loss to Edson Barboza in November 2014, which snapped an eight-fight win streak. The California native will be hoping to get back to winning ways on Saturday night on his return.
Dan Henderson vs Hector Lombard
Henderson (31-14) at 45 years of age is coming towards the end of his career and although he always has that ability to KO his opponent, one has to fear for him in this bout. With six losses in his last eight, three of which were KOs, ‘Hendo’ is not the tough, durable brawler he once was and Lombard is a man who is not a stranger to a KO victory of his own.
Lombard (34-5-1, 2n/c) is no spring chicken himself at 38 and hasn’t tasted victory in the octagon since March 2014, partially because he was suspended for a period of time. He still has many advantages over ‘Hendo’ however, including his athleticism and speed. The Cuban-born fighter will be looking to bounce back from his recent loss to Neil Magny.
Additional reading: UFC 199: Fight Predictions – Part 2
Paul O’Dea, Pundit Arena
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