UFC Fight Night 88 Preview

ufc-fn88When the UFC puts together a card they generally put the most interesting fights at the top to ensure people watch with big names on the bill.

Not every card has the most interesting fight as the main event though and that is the case at UFC Fight Night 88.

The main event will be an intriguing one as an unranked but rising bantamweight takes on a top ten talent in the division.

Cody Garbrandt has gone 8-0 in his career and is looking to make a run at the UFC rankings with a massive test.

He takes on Thomas Almeida who is the #7 bantamweight in the division hoping to make an impact on a division that will be pretty busy in the next few months.

Both fighters seem to be matched up for a great fight but this won’t be the most interesting fight of the night.

That will come a fight earlier in the co-main event where Renan Barão will make his return to the octagon after almost a year.

Barão was a member of an elite club at a time when change was not considered a sure thing as the UFC was in a period of dominant champions.

He was just one of a group of champions that were considered absolutely dominant and ones that were not going to be beaten anytime soon.

For Barão, the fact was that most people believed he was going to run through the division until he could face Dominick Cruz, who had multiple fights cancelled against Barão due to injuries.

Then came T.J. Dillashaw and one of the biggest upsets in UFC history as so many thought Dillashaw was simply someone for Barão to fight before Cruz made his return and the true bantamweight champion was determined.

Dillashaw’s striking was too much for Barão though, and the title was lost with Dillashaw taking over the division.

After the loss an immediate rematch was cancelled after Barão fainted on weigh-in day as a result of his weight cut.

A win over Mitch Clarke brought Barão back to the title shot and after another cancellation, he got his chance at revenge.

Once again the striking of Dillashaw was too much and Barão left with his second loss against the champion.

Since that fight in July 2015 Barão has been inactive but now he finally returns looking to get back into the title conversation in the division.

When Cruz returned he fought Dillashaw and took the belt back and now is set to take on a long-time rival, Urijah Faber next month for the belt.mma-sidebar.fw

Barão sits as the #2 fighter in the division behind Dillashaw and is sure to be in the conversation for a fight that people have been waiting for, for a long time.

With Barão and Cruz supposed to meet multiple times, there was always the debate about which fighter is better.

Before their first scheduled fight many thought that Barão could be the biggest challenge that Cruz had ever faced.

Nobody got to see that fight after multiple injuries to Cruz kept him out of the octagon for two years.

Barão is looking for that fight though as he wants his belt back and he wants to prove that he is the biggest challenge for Cruz.

To do that though he will need to shake off the ring rust and beat Jeremy Stephens in the co-main event.

It is a constantly debated subject but ring-rust has been a factor in the past and although a year is not the most time off it still might affect the former champion.

He doesn’t get the biggest challenge in Stephens who has struggled with consistency recently but that might be a good thing.

If Barão is off Stephens might not take advantage and a win is sure to give the UFC a few things to think about for the next championship fight.

Then again Stephens is a veteran fighter who has been in the octagon with the best of them and there is not much he hasn’t seen.

Despite his issues recently he might be able to take advantage and put Barão on the losing end of another massive upset.

Despite the co-main event distinction the Barão-Stephens fight could be the most interesting of the night although Garbrandt and Almeida will look to overshadow them in the main event.

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