UFC Fight Night 42 Preview

ufc_fn42The UFC returns after a busy weekend where they held two fights in one day as they travel to a city that has been waiting for an event for a long time. Albuquerque, New Mexico will host it’s first UFC game ever which is a strange for a city that has become one of the hotbeds of the sport in the USA. There is one simple reason for that type of title as one of the biggest and best MMA gyms in the USA is located in Albuquerque. Jackson’s MMA has become one of the premier training facilities for the sport as they have trained some of the best fighters in the world. The stable of fighters includes Clay Guida, Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. They have been widely recognized as one of the best gyms in the world for MMA and it would all start from nothing. Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn would combine their knowledge of different types of fighting to establish a gym. Jackson would bring the wrestling and ground fighting while Winkeljohn would bring the boxing and stand-up game. Together they would establish a gym in the middle of the dry desert in New Mexico. That environment would help them to establish a tough reputation in training as they would use the mountains around them and the hot weather to help train their fighters. The runs up the mountains have become legendary as fighters have taken the worst of these runs that push them to the limits. The gym has been a constant source of great talent in the UFC and has made the city synonymous with MMA. Now the UFC will travel to the MMA hotbed for the first time ever as they bring the biggest promotion to the city with plenty of talent. Much like when the UFC travels to a new country the first fight in this new city will feature fighters from the local circuit. Unlike the other countries that means the UFC will feature fighters from Jackson’s MMA including in the main event. Rustam Khabilov is not a name that many would associate with an American gym but the native Dagestan, Russia is one of the more promising prospects in Jackson’s MMA. He is one of the many Dagestan natives to make the transition to the UFC as they continue to take over the smaller weight classes. That has a lot to do with their experience in Combat Sambo that many grew up learning. Combat Sambo is a version of MMA mainly seen in Russia and it has proven to translate into mainstream MMA very well. Khabilov himself is a Combat Sambo world champion and travelled to Jackson’s to get more knowledge on mainstream MMA. It has worked out for him as Khabilov is riding a three-fight win streak in the lightweight division including two TKOs. Khabilov will look to continue his hot streak and bring some pride to the home gym when he takes on a former UFC champion in Benson Henderson. The fight will be an important tone for both fighters as the winner could se a title shot in the very near future. Khabilov is looking to impress against one of the best fighters in the division to launch him into the title conversation. Meanwhile Henderosn is on a mission to get back his belt from Anthony Pettis and is looking to run through Khabilov to get there. Both fighters are well-balanced but have their preferences. Khabilov is a Sambo fighter which means that he has an aggressive wrestling style with a good stand-up game. Henderson on the other hand is more of a traditional wrestler with come very good stand-up that made him a dominant champion for just over a year. It will be an even matchup between the two as they are both very good at what they do although both may want to avoid the dangers of taking their opponents to the ground. When the fight is over it will be the more experience Henderson who will spoil the party for the Jackson product with a unanimous decision win as he gets closer to a rematch with Pettis.

The Jackson fighters are not limited to the main event though as three more fighters will not have to travel far for their next fights. Opening the card for Jackson’s will be Erik Perez who will open the main card against Brian Caraway. Both bantamweights are looking to gain some momentum in the division as they sit outside of the top 10. They have both had some mixed results in the division with neither being able to establish themselves despite plenty of talent but they will hope to change that in this fight with Perez having a little extra motivation fighting close to his home gym. John Dodson will follow the fight and continue to carry the banner for Jackson’s MMA when he takes on John Moraga. In a matchup of two former top contenders in the Flyweight division there is sure to be plenty of fast paced action. Both will be looking to get back to the title as they try to win and win impressively in this fight. Dodson is much closer to a rematch with Demetrious Johnson as he sits at #1 in the fighter rankings, tied with Joseph Benavidez, and will be trying to solidify his ranking to earn a title fight. Moraga is at #5 in the division and a win against the top contender is sure to make some noise for a rematch. After Dodson and Perez fight one of the fan favourites from Jackson’s will step into the octagon as Diego Sanchez takes on Ross Pearson. After an amazing fight and early fight of the year candidate against Gilbert Melendez, Sanchez would lose his second fight in a row to Myles Jury. He is looking to get back on track against Ross Pearson who is looking for some respect in the lightweight division. One thing is for sure in this fight as fireworks will be seen anytime Sanchez enters the octagon. It will be a busy night for Greg Jackson and the Jackson’s MMA team as they look to a busy night in their hometown to show just how great their gym is in the world of MMA.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
“Smooth” Benson Henderson vs. Rustam “Tiger” Khabilov (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Main Card:
Diego “The Dream” Sanchez vs. Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

John “The Magician” Dodson vs. John Moraga (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Jason “The Kansas City Bandit” High (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Yves Edwards vs. Piotr Hallmann (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Erik “Goyito” Perez vs. Bryan “Kid Lightning” Caraway (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Undercard:
Yaotzin Meza vs. Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Bobby “Vicious” Voelker vs. Lance Benoist (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen vs. Danny “The Gremlin” Martinez (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Jon “The Super Saiyan” Tuck vs. Jake “The Librarian” Lindsey (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Patrick Cummins vs. Roger “Silverback” Narvaez (UFC Fight Pass)

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