Six Under-The-Radar Fights For UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Daukaus
After a wild last pay-per-view event with UFC 269, the UFC returns to the Apex for their final event of the year. In this UFC Fight Night main event, No. 3 ranked heavyweight Derrick Lewis defends his spot at the top of the division as No. 7 ranked Chris Daukaus tries to take it. In the co-main event, another contender is coming for a top ranking as No. 10 ranked Belal Muhammad fights No. 5 ranked Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. However, if you look past the main and co-main event, there are some under-the-radar storylines.
Comeback Fighter Of The Year?
This time last year, Gerald Meerschaert was riding a two-fight losing streak, and a few months prior, he was flatlined by Khamzat Chimaev in 17 seconds. Everyone seemed to be counting the longtime MMA veteran out. Fast forward to April of this year, and ‘GM3’ got back into the win column by submitting Bartosz Fabiński. He returned four months later, and again, he submitted hot prospect Makhmud Muradov, in which he was a +400 underdog. Meerschaert received Performance of the Night for both of his submission wins. He returns for the third time in 2021 against Dustin Stoltzfus, and if he gets another submission win, ‘GM3’ should be in the conversation for the 2021 Comeback Fight of the Year.
Banger of the Week
Raoni Barcelos vs. Victor Henry is the final banger of the week of 2021. Whenever Barcelos is on a fight card, you’re in for a treat. In his most recent fight, he had his nine-fight win snapped against Timur Valiev via majority decision. The Brazilian was supposed to fight Trevin Jones this weekend, but an injury forced Jones out of the fight. (That would have been an incredible fight too) Barcelos fights UFC newcomer Henry instead. Henry is coming off a bantamweight title win over Albert Morales at Lights Out Xtreme Fighting 6. He had his seven-fight win streak snapped last year. He also holds a win over UFC prospect Kyler Phillips. Both men have 10+ finishes on their resumes and are looking to put a stamp on this year.
Andre Ewell Featherweight Debut
After spending his entire career at bantamweight, Andre Ewell is making a move to featherweight. While he has never missed weight once in his career, the struggle to get down to 135 has taken its toll on Ewell’s body and performances. Ewell told me last week that he had to throw up multiple times on weigh-in day to make weight. Enough was enough. The move to featherweight comes at a pretty good time as Ewell sees himself on the first two-fight losing streak of his career. As for getting a layup for his first fight in the division, the UFC did him no favors. He fights Charles Jourdain, who is looking to get back into the win column himself. This fight will be awesome and could easily get Fight of the Night.
Macy Chaisson Finally Fights…(at 145)
It has been a rough six months for the No. 10 ranked bantamweight Macy Chaisson. In July, she was supposed to fight top contender Aspen Ladd but had to pull out of the fight with an injury. The pair would get rebooked three months later, but the fight would get scrapped because of a botched weight cut by Ladd. Thankfully, Chaisson gets to fight this weekend. She is scheduled to fight former title challenger Raquel Pennington on short notice. It was revealed last week that the fight will take place at featherweight instead of bantamweight, mostly likely due to the short notice. This will be the first time since Chaisson has fought at 145 since winning The Ultimate Fighter in 2018. Pennington has never fought at featherweight.
Loser Gets Cut
Justin Tafa and Harry Hunsucker are most likely fighting for their jobs on Saturday. Tafa is on a two-fight losing streak and is 1-3 in the UFC. The New Zealand fighter is coming off a Fight of the Night loss against Justin Vanderaa back in May. Hunsucker is looking for his first UFC win. He was knocked out in his UFC debut by Tai Tuivasa. Both heavyweight fighters have one-punch knockout power. The fighter will either last four minutes or be a 15-minute slog. I’m betting a nasty knockout.
Mateusz Gamrot returns for his third fight in 2021 this weekend. The Polish fighter had a lot of hype behind him when he entered the UFC, rightfully so. He would lose his UFC debut via a very questionable split decision, but he has been on a roll since then. He knocked out Scott Holtzman in April, and in his most recent outing, he tapped Jeremy Stephens in a little over a minute with a kimura. He fights Diego Ferreira on Saturday, and with a win, he will be launched into the top 15 rankings. He is for real and could be at the top of the division this time next year.
- Ricky Simon is in the top 15 win a win
- Amanda Lemos coming out party?
- Return of The Monkey King, Jordan Leavitt
- Sijara Eubanks second fight back at flyweight
- Swanson vs. Elkins – 10 years in the making
MMA and Entertainment Journalist. Graduated from CSUN with a B.A in Journalism. I love MMA and have been watching consistently since 2004.