UFC Fight Night 35 Preview

ufc_fn35The year continues for the UFC with the second event in 2014 and the first meant for North American viewers. With the better time frame for fans in North America the UFC has put together a fight card full of up and coming fighters that will all look to make an impression at UFC Fight Night 35. Two of these fighters will face off in the first North American fight looking to start their years off with wins. Luke Rockhold and Costas Philippou will be hoping to take advantage of a new look middleweight division. The end of 2013 would bring a new era in the middleweight division as Anderson Silva would fall for a second time. For the first time since 2007 a new year will start without Anderson Silva holding the Middleweight belt. Instead Chris Weidman is taking his turn at the top of the division and is looking to start a new reign. With Silva gone from the top for now the fighters that were not a good matchup for him or those that had already lost to him are back in the hunt once more. With Chris Weidman yet to be tested by anyone except Silva there is plenty of room for almost anyone in the division to make their way to the top of the heap and hope they can earn a shot at the title against Weidman. The two first fighters to take their shot at moving up will be Rockhold and Philippou as they will kick off the year, hopefully, on the right foot. For Rockhold the main event will mark his second fight in the UFC after spending most of his career in Strikeforce. Rockhold would come to the UFC as the former Strikeforce Middleweight champion and would get a tough debut against Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 8. The fight would not last too long as Belfort would take the win with a first round KO that would go a long way to determining his standing as the #1 contender in the division. Rockhold looks to get back to his winning ways not as the #6 ranked fighter in the division hopes to move closer to the title shot he came to the UFC for. In his ay will be Costas Philippou who has taken a longer route to become the #10 ranked middleweight in the UFC. Beginning his UFC career in 2011 Philippou has put together a 5-2 record in the promotion. At the start it seemed like he was ready to rocket to the top after recovering from his debut loss to Nick Catone he would string together 5 straight wins. That would give him a chance to move up the rankings but he would be halted by Francis Carmont in his last fight and is looking to gain his winning mojo back against Rockhold. The fight will match two fighters that like the standup game but have experience on the ground. Philippou is much more comfortable on the feet as he is a former boxer that has won all of his fights in the standup. He would prefer not to go to the ground but has just enough skill on the mat to stay away from the submissions. There is no doubt that Philippou will be looking to keep the fight standing and look to pick apart Luke Rockhold. That will not be the strategy for Rockhold though as he was caught in that situation in his first UFC fight. He loves to stay standing but when he tried to compete in the stadnup game with one of the best in Vitor Belfort he would be knocked out. Philippou is not as good as Belfort is on the feet but he is a boxer and so Rockhold will likely look to change things up. Rockhold is good on the feet but he is much better on the mat with a total of five submission wins in his career. Rockhold may stay standing for some part fo the game but he will likely look to take the fight to the ground and attack Philippou where his weakness is, on the mat. Both fighters are looking to make an impression after 2013 saw both of them only have one fight as they hope to open up their year with a win.

The rest of the card will feature many fighters that are not very well-known to most UFC fans but that is not necessarily a bad thing. These fighters will get their chance to put their stamp on the year with a big win. For hard-core UFC fans the names will be somewhat familiar as they have been the fighters that have sat in the online fights and the undercard fights for the last couple of years and now are trying to make their mark. Many of them have struggled to string together wins and are looking to begin a streak and make their year a good one. Then there are the fighters that seem to be on the edge of making a very big impact in the UFC and are only a few fights away from being recognized as the next fighter to watch. Last year Chris Weidman would become that fighter and would end the year becoming the middleweight champion. There are plenty of potential breakout stars in this card but one who has the best chance will be Yoel Romero who has come on to the undercard scene in a big way. Romero has won all of his 6 fights via KO and that has a lot of people excited. He would show his potential last year at Fight for the Troops when he KO’d Ronny Markes in the third round. He is currently unranked and is going into Fight Night 35 with the hopes that he can break into the top 15 of the division and make his way to the top of the division. He will be taking on Derek Brunson who is on a two fight winning streak and is looking to make his own impact by beating a fighters that is on the rise and fast. Although the big names will not be on the card at UFC Fight Night 35 there is plenty of opportunity for any fighter to take the chance to make an impact with fans and with the UFC making this a very important fight for many fighters.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Luke Rockhold vs. Costas Philippou (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Main Card:
Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin vs. Brad Tavares (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

TJ Dillashaw vs. Mike “The Hulk” Easton (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Yoel “The Soldier of God” Romero vs. Derek Brunson (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

John Moraga vs. Dustin Ortiz (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Cole “Magrinho” Miller vs. Sam Sicilia (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Undercard:
Ramsey Nijem vs. Justin “Fast Eddy” Edwards (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Isaac Vallie-Flagg vs. Elias Silverio (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith vs. Brian “BHue” Houston (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Alptekin “The Turkish Delight” Ozkilic vs. Louis “Da Last Samurai” Smolka (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Vinc “From Hell” Pichel vs. Garett “Goodnight” Whiteley (UFC Fight Pass)

Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman vs. Beneil Dariush (UFC Fight Pass)

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