A highly anticipated grudge match and unprecedented three title fights will take place in Anaheim this Saturday. Jon Litterine has the full fantasy breakdown.
Fantasy AnalysisWhite did acknowledge that he plans to meet with St-Pierre's team later Wednesday afternoon, at which point more details would be sorted out. It's been nearly six months since St-Pierre announced his plans to return to the UFC, but the original plan was to face Michael Bisping for the middleweight title. Injuries ended up delaying this matchup, and now White says that "the Bisping ship has sailed." Physically, a welterweight fight makes a lot more sense for GSP, as it's a weight class he's previously competed in for the majority of his career, and he wouldn't be at a such a size disadvantage. That said, an instant title opportunity after a three-year layoff is a lot to ask of anyone, let alone a man who turned 36 in May.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's not enough for a fighter to simply win if they want a UFC contract after a fight on the Tuesday Night Contender Series -- they have to do it in style. Roberson was able to do just that. "Baby K" started the fight by landing a side kick to the body, but the attempt put him on his back and he quickly got back up. While that was happening, Spann then closed the distance to attempt a takedown, but when the two were clinched, Roberson was able to land multiple devastating elbows from close range. Those shots sent Spann to the canvas, where Roberson earned the finish before fans could process what had happened. Needless to say, it's a big win for the former Glory Kickboxing product, who will compete at middleweight upon entering the promotion.
Fantasy AnalysisNeal earned a first-round knockout just 11 days earlier at LFA 16, and was called on as a last-minute replacement for Gabriel Checco. He certainly didn't disappoint in the biggest opportunity of his career, securing yet another first-round stoppage. Neal successfully defended Waldon's first takedown attempt, but later in the round was pulled away from the cage by a single-leg takedown before Waldon switched to the double to complete the move. Waldon was never able to do anything from top position, however, and Neal eventually got back to his feet. Once standing, "Handz of Steel" became the aggressor, and a clean, short left hook started the sequence of punches that ended the fight. The 26-year-old Neal is now 8-2 in his professional career, earning stoppages in his last four victories.
Fantasy AnalysisDespite having an 11-3 career record as a fighter, all three of White's losses have come over his last four bouts, so he's desperately in need of a bounce-back effort. That will come against Mitch Clarke, who hasn't fought since July of 2016 and could have some serious rust after such a long layoff. Clarke is good on the ground, with seven submissions in his 11 wins, so White will have to do everything he can to eliminate the takedowns.
Fantasy AnalysisClarke has had a rough 12 months, losing to Joseph Duffy at UFC 90 in July of 2016, before being placed on a lengthy medical suspension to get clearance from a knee injury. He's now lost two straight fights and the long layoff could pose some issues against White. However, White has lost three of his last four fights, so both fighters are in serious need of a bounce-back win. With seven submissions over his 11 career wins, look for Clarke to try and take it to the ground.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter moving up from the lightweight division to welterweight, dos Anjos made a strong impression at UFC 111, defeating Tarec Saffiedine by unanimous decision. He'll now have an even tougher task ahead of him, as Magny is 4-1 in his last five fights and recently took down Johny Hendricks at UFC 207 in December. Adding to that, Magny stands 6-foot-3, which could pose a problem to dos Anjos' much smaller 5-9 frame. Dos Anjos will likely try and take this one to the ground to eliminate the reach issues, which shouldn't be anything new for the 32-year-old considering his career 26-9 record includes eight submissions.
Fighters Who May Be Returning Soon