After a successful first pay-per-view last weekend with UFC 270, the promotion returns to the UFC Apex for UFC Vegas 47. Two top 10 middleweights will throw as No. 6 ranked Jack Hermansson fights No. 7 Sean Strickland in the main event. The fight has pretty significant title implications as the loser will be eliminated from title contention for a good while. However, if you look past the main event, there are some under-the-radar storylines.
The “real” TUF finale
In August of last year, Bryan Battle defeated Gilbert Urbina to win season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter. The original finale matchup was Battle vs. Tresean Gore; however, Gore suffered a nasty knee injury, and the fight was scrapped. Well, this Saturday, Gore and Battle will do battle. (pun intended) During their media day interviews, both fighters said this isn’t the real TUF finale because Battle already won, but it really is the real TUF finale for everyone else.
This weekend, the best welterweight that barely anyone is talking about is back in action. Shavkat Rakhmonov is the real deal, and hopefully, after UFC Vegas 47, “Nomad” will be on talked about more. Rakhmonov holds a 100% finish rate and is 2-0 in the UFC. In his UFC debut in 2020, he made easy work of UFC veteran Alex Oliveira. He became the only man to finish Michel Prazeres in his last outing. Rakhmonov plans to fight three times in 2022 and break into the rankings. He first has to get through Carlston Harris, who has also finished his first two opponents in the UFC.
Banger of the Week
We got a good one for the banger of the week. Julian Erosa vs. Steven Peterson will be bonkers because they both come forward and do not step backward. Erosa has been on fire since returning to the UFC, finishing all three of his opponent’s winning Performance of the Night in his return fight. Peterson completely dominated Chase Hooper in his only fight of 2021 at UFC 263 and is riding a two-fight win streak. There is a lot of heat on this fight as well as Erosa called for this fight, and Peterson got annoyed by the way he did it. Someone is going to sleep in this one.
Puna Soriano vs. Nick Maximov
Puna Sorino and Nick Maximov throw down in the co-main event. This will be Sorino’s first fight since losing for the time in his career, so it will be very interesting how he bounces back. The Hawaiian has ridiculous power and real one-punch knockout power. Maximov, who is a Diaz brother protege, sees himself being trusted into the co-main in only his second fight in the UFC. He defeated Cody Brundage in his UFC debut at UFC 266. This is the ultimate ‘who is the better prospect fight,’ and we will find out on Saturday.
Welcome to the UFC, Jailton Almeida
Another very, very bright prospect on this weekend’s card is Jailton Almeida. Almeida won a contract last season on Dana White’s Contender Series when he dominated Nasrudin Nasrudinov. The 30-year-old Brazilian is riding a nine-fight win streak and holds a 100% finish rate. He faces fellow Brazilian Danilo Marques. Almeida is a black belt but also loves knocking people out. Watch for this guy.
MMA and Entertainment Journalist. Graduated from CSUN with a B.A in Journalism. I love MMA and have been watching consistently since 2004.