The UFC is back at the Apex this weekend for UFC Vegas 55 aka UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Vieira. There is a potential number one contender fight between No. 2 ranked bantamweight Holly Holm and No. 5 ranked Ketlen Vieira in the main event. However, if you look past the main event, there are some underrated storylines.
Jailton Almeida at heavyweight???
One of the biggest and brightest prospects in MMA returns this weekend, but he is up a weight class. Jailton Almeida was scheduled to return for his second fight in the UFC against Maxim Grishin. However, four weeks ago, Grishin pulled out, and Parker Porter stepped in, and the fight was set for heavyweight. Almeida turned heads in his UFC debut by running through Danilo Marques in less than three minutes. The Brazilian is on a ten-fight win streak and holds a 100% finish rate. Almeida plans to return to light heavyweight, but with him fighting at heavyweight, he is becoming a dual threat.
Welcome back, Chase Hooper
Chase Hooper returns to action after being off for about a year. In his last outing, he lost a dominant unanimous decision to Steven Peterson at UFC 263. Hooper has alternated wins and losses in his UFC career, and at just 22-years old, he needs a win. Hooper has taken some time to hone his skills and just get better. He faces Felipe Colares, who has also alternated wins and losses in his UFC career. Corales has never been submitted, but Hooper believes he has the skills to do so.
Banger of the week
There were three excellent choices for the banger of the week; however, I think one stands above the rest. Jonathan Martinez vs. Vince Morales has the makings to be a good ol’ Mexican on Mexican violence. Martinez has won two straight wins getting knocked out against Davey Grant and is always down to stand & bang. Morales has turned a leaf since moving to Syndicate MMA and tearing his Achilles, winning two straight as well. Another interesting aspect of this fight is Morales’ last loss came to Martinez’s teammate and main training partner, Chris Gutierrez. Both fighters love their boxing and should put on a show.
Michel Pereira gets his ranked opponent
Michel Pereira finally gets his shot at the welterweight top 15 rankings. He was supposed to fight then-ranked Muslim Salikov in January; however, Salikov pulled out, and Pereira instead fought Andre Fialho. Pereira has been on the verge of cracking the rankings and has won four straight, with wins over Khaos Williams, Niko Price, and Zelim Imadaev. He faces No. 14 ranked Santiago Ponzinibbio, who has alternated wins since returning from his major layoff. Ponzinibbio is not going to give up his ranking easily, so this should be a fantastic fight.
MMA and Entertainment Journalist. Graduated from CSUN with a B.A in Journalism. I love MMA and have been watching consistently since 2004.