The UFC will return to Saitama, Japan for the first time since 2015 for a rare Friday night card. RotoWire MMA Analyst Jon Litterine makes his picks and breaks down the top bouts.
Fantasy AnalysisColombo, a veteran of two UFC fight (0-1-1), was set to welcome the newcomer to the Octagon in the Brazil event. Instead, he'll await a replacement opponent with the card a little over a month away.
Fantasy AnalysisFelipe recorded a failed out-of-competition sample for a drug test collected in July, and it will ultimately cost him his first opportunity with the UFC. It's unlikely he has the resources to fight this ruling at just 22 years old and with eight fights under his belt, so a suspension is likely forthcoming, barring an unexpected turn of events. Nonetheless, the young Brazilian heavyweight will likely see another opportunity down the road. A prospect with his propensity to finish fights surely has a place with a larger promotion.
Fantasy AnalysisMacDonald, a former UFC title challenger, will likely enter the bout as the favorite. He was victorious in his Bellator debut, defeating Paul Daley by rear naked chokehold back in May. Lima most recently defended his belt by defeating Lorenz Larkin by unanimous decision back in late June.
Fantasy AnalysisWhile MacDonald, a former UFC title challenger, should enter as the favorite, Lima has a quality resume himself. He most recently defended his belt by defeating Lorenz Larkin by unanimous decision back in late June. In a prepared statement, Lima added, "I haven't been this healthy in a long time."
Fantasy AnalysisCondit has long been considered one of the best welterweights in the world, and at 33 years old, there should still be plenty left in the tank. Although he exited the UFC with a 2-5 record in his last seven bouts, each of those defeats were to former champions or title contenders. He'll now look to be booked for a fight more than a year after his last appearance under the UFC banner -- a submission loss to Demian Maia, who later went on to challenge champion Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title (and lost). There are many matchups for Condit that hold high drawing power, some of which include a Robbie Lawler rematch, a showdown with Rafael dos Anjos after his move to welterweight, or even a bout with up-and-comer Mike Perry.
Fantasy AnalysisThe current UFC heavyweight champion began contract negotiations following his second title defense over Junior dos Santos. Since defeating dos Santos and Alistair Overeem, Miocic has been arguing for better compensation before he accepts another fight. He hasn't seen action since May but says talk continues and he's aiming to rejoin the fight scene at the end of the year or early in 2018. Miocic's next fight to retain his belt could lead to a new heavyweight title defense record -- he is tied with the current record at two.
Fighters Who May Be Returning Soon