Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is set to stage a “Fight Night” event outside of the friendly confines of UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada for the first time in a long time when the promotion touches down in Austin, Texas later TONIGHT (Sat., June 18, 2022). The ESPN/ESPN+-streamed event will go down inside The Moody Center and will feature a five-round Featherweight scrap between Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett. In the co-headlining act, Donald Cerrone will battle Joe Lauzon.
For the last few years, the UFC’s Featherweight division has all been about Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway. You then have the other players such as Brian Ortega, Chan Sung Jung, and Yair Rodriguez in the mix. But it’s the mid-tier guys that are looking for some shine, and two of the best will collide tonight in Austin. After getting battered by Holloway, Kattar returned to his winning ways by defeating Giga Chikadze in rather dominant form early in 2022. Now he is looking for the first two-fight win streak in two years. Against Emmett, he will have a willing stand-and-trade partner if that’s what he’s looking for.
Emmett is currently riding a four-fight win streak and has looked like a legit and solid contender for the strap. Kattar is one more major obstacle in his way on his quest to score a fight against a Top 3 opponent. If it stays on the feet — which it more than likely will — Emmett has the distinct power advantage. Though that’s not to say Kattar is a slouch in that area. While Emmett does have several knockouts on his resume, Kattar has proven that he can take a licking and keep on ticking, so trying to finish him isn’t exactly a walk in the park. In fact, he only has one stoppage loss early on in his career via submission. I honestly don’t see a finish from either side, but I do expect a Texas-sized war.
Original Card vs Actual Card:
Other than the late addition of the Donald Cerrone vs Joe Lauzon fight, there were no major changes to this card’s original lineup unrelated to injury.
Wellington Turman suffered an orbital injury and was forced out of his scheduled bout against Julian Marquez. Stepping in for him will be Gregory Rodrigues, who is looking to bounce back from a split-decision loss to Armen Petrosyan. As for Marquez, he is currently on a two-fight win streak, recovering nicely from the big “L” he took from Miley Cyrus.
Submission specialist Natalia Silva will be making her UFC debut opposite Jasmine Jasudavicius in women’s Flyweight action. Owner of a six-fight win streak, Silva has won them all via submission, four in the very first round. Her lone loss in six years came against current top contender Marina Rodriguez. Her opponent, meanwhile, is on a three-fight win streak and impressed in her UFC debut by defeating Kay Hansen at UFC 270.
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
Kyle Daukaus and Roman Dolidze will headline the undercard. Dolidze is 3-1 in his young UFC career and is coming off a huge win over Laureano Staropoli. Daukaus, meanwhile, is coming off a submission win over Jamie Pickett, putting him back in the win column after a No Contest (NC) against Kevin Holland, which was preceded by a loss to Phil Hawes.
Speaking of Hawes, he will make his return to face off against Daniel Cormier-trained Deron Winn. Hawes is hungry for a win after he saw his seven-fight win streak go up in smoke in his previous fight against Chris Curtis. Things won’t get much easier for “Megatron” because Winn is back on track after snapping his two-fight skid by defeating Antonio Arroyo in Dec. 2020.
In Welterweight action, longtime UFC veteran Court McGee eyes his first three-fight win streak in nearly a decade when he battles Jeremiah Wells, who is on a four-fight win streak and is 2-0 inside the Octagon.
In the Bantamweight division, Tony Kelley and Adrian Yanez will collide in what could be favorite to win “Fight of the Night” honors. Yanez is on an eight-fight win streak and has won all four UFC bouts so far, accompanied by four “Performance of the Night” bonuses, too. As for Kelly, he is 2-1 inside the Octagon and is fresh off a knockout win over Randy Costa at UFC 269. He recently came under fire for making racist comments towards Brazilians, so it’s safe to say some people are rooting for him to fail here.
In further action at 135 pounds, longtime veteran Eddie Wineland is on the hunt for a win after losing two straight and four of five overall. He will be battling Cody Stamman, who is also in desperate need of a win having lost three straight fights. It’s safe to assume that the loser of this fight could be on his way out of the promotion.
And finally, Ricardo Ramos will take on Danny Chavez in a Featherweight bout, while Maria Oliveira attempts to pick up her first UFC win when she tangos with Gloria de Paula, who is coming off a big win over Diana Belbita.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Having lost five of his last six fights inside the Octagon, longtime veteran Donald Cerrone needs a win in the worst way. “Cowboy” has looked like a shell of his former self over the last three years, which is sad to see because he has long been one of the most entertaining fighters in the sport. His last win came in May of 2019, a unanimous decision win over Al Iaquinta. If this is “Cowboy’s” last ride — which it could very well be — it would be a sad sight to see one of the most entertaining and loved fighters ever not going out with a win. And Joe Lauzom has a tendency to send his opponenents feeling the blues.
Interest Level: 5/10
Kevin Holland and Tim Means will collide in a pivotal Welterweight clash that is sure to deliver. Holland has quickly become a fan favorite for as many of the things he does outside of the cage as in it. Superhero antics aside, Holland has earned some impressive stripes inside the Octagon thanks to big wins over Ronald Souza and Alex Oliveira. He has also hit some speed bumps along the way after back-to-back losses to Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori, but “Trailblazer” has a ton of time to leave an impression on the sport. A showdown against Means pairs him up against another longtime veteran who brings it night in and night out.
In the Middleweight division, Joaquin Buckley will look to extend his win streak to three when he battles Albert Duraev who is on an impressive 10-fight win streak. He made his UFC debut at UFC 267 against Roman Kopylov, defeating him via unanimous decision.
In one of the more intriguing fights of the night, Damir Ismagulov will battle Guram Kutateladze. Owner of an 18-fight win streak, Ismagulov is 4-0 so far inside the Octagon, winning all of his fights via unanimous decision. The former M-1 Lightweight champion has wasted no time in opening up people’s eyes and is now staring down at one of his biggest challenges to date. Currently having won nine straight fights, Kutateladze earned a tough split-decision win over Mateusz Gamrot in Oct. 2020, and now returns after a lengthy layoff to continue his run and attempt to break into the Top 15.
Enjoy the fights!
UFC Austin Main Event On ESPN/ESPN+:
145 lbs.: Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett
UFC Austin Main Card On ESPN/ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon
170 lbs.: Kevin Holland vs. Tim Means
185 lbs.: Joaquin Buckley vs. Albert Duraev
155 lbs.: Damir Ismagulov vs. Guram Kutateladze
185 lbs.: Julian Marquez vs. Gregory Rodrigues
UFC Austin Preliminary Card On ESPN2/ESPN+ (4 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Kyle Daukaus vs. Roman Dolidze
185 lbs.: Phil Hawes vs. Deron Winn
125 lbs.: Jasmine Jasudavicius vs. Natalia Silva
170 lbs.: Court McGee vs. Jeremiah Wells
135 lbs.: Tony Kelley vs. Adrian Yanez
145 lbs.: Danny Chavez vs. Ricardo Ramos
115 lbs.: Gloria de Paula vs. Maria Oliveira
135 lbs.: Cody Stamann vs. Eddie Wineland
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights remain subject to change.*
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Austin fight card right here, starting with the ESPN2/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET.
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