Six Under-The-Radar Storylines For UFC 265
The UFC is back on pay-per-view this weekend for UFC 265, and they are bringing an interim heavyweight title fight with them. No. 2 ranked Derrick Lewis fights No. 3 Ciryl Gane, and the winner gets an interim title and Francis Ngannou. Champ-champ Amanda Nunes was supposed to defend her bantamweight title against Juliana Pena, but COVID put a halt to that, so in the co-main, we have Pedro Munoz vs. Jose Aldo. Fireworks. However, if you look past the main and co-main events, there are some under-the-radar storylines.
Vince Morales returns from more than a year’s layoff. In his most recent fight, he lost to Chris Guiterrez via leg kicks, and then three months after his fight, he tore his Achilles tendon, a sports injury that is very serious. Thankfully, ‘Vandetta’ is all healed up and ready to go. On top of returning from a major injury, he is most likely fighting for his job as well. He faces Drako Rodriguez, who got finished in his UFC debut against Aiemann Zahabi. Morales beat Zahabi in 2019. MMA Math is so fun.
Fiziev vs. Green
This is the Banger of the Week. Rafael Fiziev finally returns to the octagon after a strange period where he couldn’t get a fight and wasn’t getting booked. He faces UFC veteran Bobby Green, who will stand and trade with the Kyrgyzstani. We haven’t seen Green since he fainted backstage during weigh-ins at UFC 258. It’s kind of insane that this fight isn’t on the PPV, but the UFC knows exactly what they are doing putting this on free TV. The winner of this fight can easily be slotted into the top 15 lightweight rankings. This is going to be a fun one.
Starboy Needs A Win
Manel Kape makes his third appearance this weekend, and he needs a win to avoid going 0-3 and receiving his pink slip. In actuality, he should probably be 1-1 as most of the MMA media scored his fight against Matheus Nicolau in his favor. Kape hasn’t lived up to his expectations yet in the UFC, which were almost out of the world. He faces Ode Osbourne, who is moving down to flyweight and is looking to make a name off of “Starboy.” This might be Kape’s coming-out party as Osbourne will be him in the middle of the octagon. If Kape manages to go 0-3 in the UFC, he will go down as one of the biggest UFC busts.
Welcome back, Polish Princess.
After not fighting during the pandemic, fan-favorite Karolina Kowalkiewicz returns at UFC 265. It has kind have been a theme so far in his article, but she also desperately needs a win and is most likely fighting for her job. Kowalkiewicz is on a four-fight skid and hasn’t won a fight since 2018. Granted, the losses are to Jéssica Andrade, Michelle Waterson, Alexa Grasso, Yan Xiaonan. The Polish fighter faces Jessica Penne, who was almost in her exact position in April, having lost three straight and not won since 2017. This should be a very entertaining fight.
Melissa Gatto makes her UFC debut this weekend. She hasn’t fought since 2018, but the win was a big one-she beat Karol Rosa, who is currently ranked in the bantamweight top 15. The Brazilian was supposed to make her UFC debut at UFC 239 against Julia Avila but withdrew due to an injury. Travel restrictions messed up her next scheduled appearance against Mariya Agapova. While it’s hard to get excited for someone making a debut that hasn’t fought in 2018, she is riding a six-fight win streak, and I’m sure, is very eager to fight. She fights Victoria Leonardo, who is looking for her first UFC win.
Hill vs. Torres II
Angela Hill vs. Teccia Torres’ first UFC fight at UFC 188 back in 2015 was voted one of the worst fights of all time. However, they both said during their media day that their fight wouldn’t be bad this time. They were scheduled to fight at UFC 256 last December, but Hill tested positive for COVID. There is heat in this fight as both women don’t like each other and have been talking trash for months. Hill is coming off a win over Ashley Yoder, and Torres is coming off a win over Sam Hughes. Torres snapped a four-fight losing streak last year. Both women are ranked with Torres No. 10 and Hill at No. 12.
UFC 265 Quick hits
Luque vs. Chiesa fighting for a No. 1 contender fight?
Song Yadong vs. Casey Kenney could be Fight of the Night
Ed Herman pulled out of his most recent fight so that he could fight in front of fans. Well, he’s got Alonzo Menifield in front of him Saturday.
MMA and Entertainment Journalist. Graduated from CSUN with a B.A in Journalism. I love MMA and have been watching consistently since 2004.