The UFC is back at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas after a wild UFC 263 event in Glendale, Arizona. In the headlining bout, we have Dan Ige getting his wish as he fights The Korean Zombie in what will be his eighth UFC main event. Ige wants to take all of the Zombie’s steam, while the Korean Zombie wants to get back in the win column. However, if you look past the main event, there are some under-the-radar storylines.
Khaos Williams vs. Matthew Semelsberger
I have to start by mentioning that it’s a shame that this fight isn’t on the main card. This fight has fireworks written all over it, and one of these guys is going to sleep. Williams burst onto the UFC scene last year by knocking out Alex Morono and Abdul Razak Alhassan in a combined 57 seconds – and that was his first two fights in the promotion. He would lose a closely contested fight against Michel Pereira on the fight card of the year, so he is coming for blood. Semelsberger is coming off a 16 second of Jason Witt to kick off his 2021. ‘Semi the Jedi’ is riding a five-fight win streak and will be looking to take Williams’ steam. Both fighters throw heat, DON’T BLINK.
Julian Erosa vs. Seung Woo Choi
While I think Willams vs. Semelesberger will be great, Erosa vs. Choi has the chance to be even better. Between the two of them, they have 16 knockouts. For Erosa, he has been on fire since his return to the UFC. He submitted Sean Woodson and knocked out Nate Landwehr. Choi didn’t fight all of 2020, but then he defeated prospect Youssef Zalal in February. Both Erosa and Choi always look to finish the fight in any way possible.
Murata makes her second walk to the octagon on Saturday with a chance to get into the strawweight rankings with a win. The Japanese fighter absolutely dominated Randa Markos in her UFC debut and came onto many people’s radar. She is 12-1 and riding an eight-fight win streak. She is a former Invicta strawweight champion and fought in RIZIN. She has an adamant opponent in front of her, No. 13 ranked Virna Jandiroba. With a win over Jandiroba, not only will she take her ranking, but she will get most likely get a top 10 opponent in her third fight in the organization. Murata is the real deal.
They took a year off, and now they’re back.
A few fighters didn’t fight in 2020, but they are finally making their return to the octagon this Saturday.
- Rick Glenn actually hasn’t been in action since November 30, 2018, when he lost a unanimous decision to Kevin Aguilar. He returns against Joaquim Silva, who himself hasn’t been in action since 2019. Glenn holds a win over Gavin Tucker.
- Joaquim Silva hasn’t been in action since being knocked out against Nasrat Haqparast. The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 alumni is fun and exciting; hopefully, he says healthy and is more active than in years past. He has been in the promotion since 2015 but has only fought six times.
- Nick Negumereanu lost his UFC debut to Saparbeg Safarov via unanimous decision back at UFC on ESPN+ 5: Till vs. Masvidal. The Romanian has a 100% finish rate with six knockouts and three submissions. He faces another knockout artist in Aleksa Camur. Banger of a fight.
Marlon Vera vs. Davey Grant II
Vera and Grant fought all the way back in 2015, with Grant winning a unanimous decision. Both fighters have grown and are different since that matchup six years ago. Grant is riding a three-fight win streak, with two of those wins being nasty knockouts that earned him Performance of the Night. Grant has only been to the judges twice in his 17 fight career and one of those being against Vera. ‘Chito’ is coming off the biggest fight of his career, former featherweight champion José Aldo. He lost a unanimous decision, and all of his steam halted. He is coming into this fight with Grant angry and wanting to prove something.
‘King’ Casey O’Neil makes her second appearance in the UFC, following her destruction of Shana Dobson back in February at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis. O’Neil is undefeated at 6-0 and is riding an 11 fight streak going back to her AMMY career. The 23-year old Scottish-Australian fighter has a lot of potential and marketing appeal. She faces a tough Lara Procópio, who also dominated her last opponent, Molly McCann. If O’Neil can get past Procópio, her presence will be felt.
Matt Brown is back and fighting for his job?
‘Immortal’ faces another potential three-fight losing streak, something that he has had two times prior. It would have been crazy talk to think that the UFC would cut Brown a few years ago; however, with them releasing UFC veterans left and right, he might be fighting for his job. He faces Dhiego Lima and says that it is going to be a violent war. I believe him.
Welcome to the UFC Bruno Silva
No, not that Bruno Silva. This Bruno Silva has not fought since 2018 and was suspended for two years due to a USADA violation. He has 16 wins by the stoppage and hasn’t lost since 2016. He faces the almost dangerous Wellington Turman. The two Brazilians are going to throw down.
MMA and Entertainment Journalist. Graduated from CSUN with a B.A in Journalism. I love MMA and have been watching consistently since 2004.