UFC on FOX 19 Preview

ufc-fox19It was to be the return of one of the best lightweight fighters in the UFC as Khabib Nurmagomedov was set to headline.

He was the top contender in the lightweight division before injuries sidelined him for a year and pushed him out of the title conversation.

He was set to make his return and take on Tony Ferguson to earn his way back into the title conversation but an injury to Ferguson ended that fight and pushed Nurmagomedov out of the main event.

He will still make a major return but at a catchweight against Darrell Horcher who will be making his UFC debut.

With the spotlight off of the former top contender, the focus was shifted to a great match-up between two veteran light heavyweights both looking bring some excitement back to the division.

Much like the heavyweight division the light heavyweight division has suffered from inactivity and a change on top caused by Jon Jones’ poor decisions.

Also, like the heavyweight division though the UFC is seeing a number of fighters getting the spotlight to showcase that the division is still one of the most exciting in the UFC.

For years, it was the main division in the promotion with some of the best fighters and fights in the UFC.

Now with Jones set to make his return that excitement is beginning to build again and that includes the new main event on FOX.

Rashad Evans continues his comeback bid when he steps into the octagon opposite Glover Teixeira who is making another run at the title.

Evans was once on top of the division during that period of excitement and was one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC.

Then came his loss to Lyoto Machida and despite a run of four straight wins after losing he began to drop more fights and began suffering from injuries.

One leg injury kept him out of the octagon for almost two years before he finally returned in November.

It wasn’t the best return for the former champion as he dropped the fight to Ryan Bader but he is ready to get back to fighting.

He is not going to have it easy though as he takes on Teixeira who has won his last two fights after losing two in a row including a title shot.mma-sidebar.fw

The two fight win streak is not any normal one though as he has beat Patrick Cummins and the man that will fight Jones for the interim title, Ovince St. Preux.

Neither were easy outs but both were finished before the final bell and that has put him right back into the title conversation.

Teixeira has never been finished and is easily one of the most rounded fighters in the division with great BJJ but even better boxing.

That is a lot to deal with for the former champion but the re-energized Evans is ready to get back to his classic style.

He prefers to see his last fight as a ring-rust loss and sees this as his true return and if he returns to his old form he can give Teixeira a tough fight.

Evans had always been one of the most awkward fighters with his unique movement and boxing ability to go along with his wrestling background.

His style gave people problems for a long time but he needs to find it again because if he gets hit by Teixeira it will be a quick night.

Taking a note from last week when Junior dos Santos avoided the power of Ben Rothwell and put on a boxing clinic.

If Evans can do that he gets the win but if he tries to get into a brawl he won’t survive against the power of Teixeira.

Both fighters are looking for the same thing when they enter the octagon as they try to erase recent issues and show that they still belong among the elite in the division.

For the UFC, it is another chance at reviving their once crown jewel in the light heavyweight division.

Both fighters are exciting and this will be a major fight in the determination of the title race if Jones can get past St. Preux and take on Daniel Cormier to unify the belt.

Whoever wins this has a good shot of finding their way to the title as both look to find their way back to contention.

There may be too much unknown for Evans though as his last fight was not great and with the ability of Teixeira both on the ground and on the feet makes him the favourite to win this fight although he might have to go the distance.

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