It’s fight week again. Just days removed from UFC’s first foray into Croatia, the UFC sets up its shop a little bit closer to home, just up the west coast in Tampa, Florida. Yet another card this year that has been hit by the injury bug, UFC on FOX 19 still has plenty of exciting fights all the way down the card.
In a slightly different format to usual, the UFC has set up the fight card with five fights on the Fight Pass Prelims, four fights on the Fox Prelims and another four on the Main Card. So in the spirit of the changes in format, instead of predicting the results of the Main Card fights, we are going to attempt to predict the results of the four Main Card fights, the feature fight on the Fox Prelims, and the feature bout on the Fight Pass Prelims.
In Part 1 we take a look at the feature fights on both the Fox Prelims and Fight Pass Prelims, as well as the first bout on the Main Card.
Fight Pass Prelims Feature Fight:
John Dodson v. Manny Gamburyan (Bantamweight)
John Dodson (17-7), makes his return to Bantamweight having suffered two losses to current flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. Dodson has only lost to Johnson in the UFC since beating former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw in the final of The Ultimate Fighter season 14. Dodson will be extremely quick at Bantamweight, and has shown in the past that he still possesses knock-out power at the heavier weight.
Gamburyan (15-8) has only recently come down to bantamweight from featherweight, but has already notched up two wins in a row since dropping the weight. Gamburyan will likely have a big size advantage come fight night, but will give up the speed advantage to the smaller man.
Fox Prelims Feature Fight:
Beneil Dariush v. Michael Chiesa (Lightweight)
Beneil Dariush (12-1) has been on a tear in the lightweight division, racking up a five fight win streak with his last three coming against notable names, finishing Daron Cruickshank before decision victories against Jim Miller and Michael Johnson. Looking to break into the top five, Dariush will be looking for a top ranked fighter should he get past Chiesa.
Chiesa (13-2) himself is just coming off a submission victory over Jim Miller to make it two wins in a row, but three wins in a row has proved to be a hurdle too far thus far in his UFC career. Having won two in a row twice before, ‘Maverick’ has fallen at the third attempt, most recently to Joe Lauzon. He will be looking to buck the trend on Saturday night.
Cub Swanson v. Hacran Dias (Featherweight)
Swanson (21-7) is looking to climb his way back to the top of the featherweight division, after a terrible five months saw him lose to both Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway in his last two bouts. Before that, the Jackson-Wink fighter won six in a row and looked a certainty for a title fight, before being passed over by a certain Irishman.
Dias (23-3-1), a team mate of Jose Aldo and Renan Barao, has two of the best training partners in the world at featherweight. Having won three of five in the UFC, he will be looking to get his first victory over a top ranked opponent after previously losing to Ricardo Lamas and Nik Lentz.
Sure to be a card full of wild and entertaining fights the UFC has stacked this one from top to bottom. Plenty of former champs and long time contenders, UFC Tampa is one not to miss. The main card kicks off at 1am GMT.