UFC on ESPN 4: Dos Anjos vs. Edwards Preview

While UFC has made numerous appearances on ESPN’s internet streaming service “ESPN+,” on Saturday the promotion will be making only it’s fourth appearance on the network’s flagship channel. Main eventing UFC on ESPN 4 will be Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards. Dos Anjos will arguably play gatekeeper against Edwards, who is on a seven-fight winning streak. Before the main event is a dozen other MMA bouts.

Bout 1: Domingo Pilarte (8-1) vs. Felipe Colares (8-1) (Bantamweight)

Starting off the evening will be a string of three bantamweight bouts. With equal records, Domingo Pilarte and Felipe Colares will open the night. Pilarte impressed Dana White on the second season of the Contender Series, earning a contract which will begin off this weekend. Colares is hoping to bounce back from his debut in February when he lost via decision, giving him his first career loss.

Bout 2: Mario Bautista (6-1) vs. Jin Soo Son (9-3) (Bantamweight)

The second bout will be a battle of two fighters hoping to come back from a debut loss in the UFC. Mario Bautista got his first professional L back in January, losing to Cory Sandhagen. Jin Soo Son lost to Petr Yan in his respective debut. Soo Son trains out of Korean Zombie MMA, who’s top talent is of course “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. Mario Bautista trains at The MMA Lab. Prior to his UFC career, Soo Son was a veteran fighter in the JMMA promotion “DEEP.”

Bout 3: Ray Borg (11-3) vs. Gabriel Silva (7-0) (Bantamweight)

In the final men’s bantamweight fight of the night, Ray Borg will face the undefeated Gabriel Silva. Borg lost in March against Casey Kenney after struggling to find a fight throughout 2018. Kenney was actually the second replacement fighter for the bout, with Pingyuan Liu and Kyler Phillips being injured and pulled from the bout previously. Before then, Borg’s last fight was a championship loss to Demetrious Johnson. Gabriel Silva will defend his undefeated streak in his UFC debut. He got a quick round one win in his last fight in the LFA promotion.

Bout 4: Roxanne Modafferi (23-15) vs. Jennifer Maia (16-5-1) (Flyweight)

Roxanne Modafferi, one of women’s MMA’s biggest names, faces Jennifer Maia, who started her UFC run around this time last year. While Modafferi has fought since 2003, he UFC career started in only 2017, having a 2-2 record since. Similarily, Maia has a 50/50 win rate in the UFC, only fighting twice though. They’re both coming off of wins, both via decision.

Bout 5: Sam Alvey (33-12) vs. Klidson Abreu (14-3) (Light Heavyweight)

Entering his 18th UFC bout, Sam Alvey will face Klidson Abreu, who will only be experiencing his second walk to the octagon. Alvey will aim to break his two-fight losing streak, getting finished via punches two times in a row. Abreu will try to get his first victory in the UFC, losing to Magomed Ankalaev via decision in his first outing.

Bout 6: Raquel Pennington (9-7) vs. Irene Aldana (10-4) (Bantamweight)

Veteran UFC fighter Raquel Pennington will fight Irene Aldana in the next matchup. Pennington hasn’t won since 2016, losing to two high profile fighters in Amanda Nunes and Germain de Randamie, who have both main evented their last bouts. Meanwhile, Aldana sees herself attempting to improve to four wins in a row, turning her UFC career around after starting it off with two losses.

Bout 7: Alex Caceres (14-12) vs. Steven Peterson (17-8) (Featherweight)

The preliminary portion of the card will conclude with Alex Caceres and Steven Peterson. Throughout Caceres’ near decade long UFC career he has had a shaky record. He hopes to break even in his UFC career with a win, currently being 9-10 in the promotion. Peterson will also aim to break even, but with a much smaller record of 1-2 in the UFC so far.

Bout 8: Andrei Arlovski (27-18) vs. Ben Rothwell (36-11) (Heavyweight)

Both experienced fighters in the UFC, Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell find themselves in similar positions, attempting to snap losing streaks. Arlovski’s record has been 2-8 & 1 NC since the start of 2016. Arlovski hasn’t seen a victory in his last four fights, and has went to decision in his last seven. Rothwell is only on a two-fight losing streak, which ended his 2013-2016 run of victories, defeating names like Alistair Overeem, Matt Mitrione and Josh Barnett, all via stoppage.

Bout 9: Francisco Trinaldo (23-6) vs. Alexander Hernandez (10-2) (Lightweight)

Six months ago, Alexander Hernandez had a lot of eyes on him heading into a fight with Donald Cerrone. He was a big talker against “The Cowboy,” confident that he would win. The outcome ended up being anything but that, as Cerrone finished him in the second round with strikes. Hernandez makes his return after suffering his first UFC loss, facing Francisco Trinaldo. It’s another matchup of a younger Hernandez versus a veteran, although Cerrone was much more of a veteran than Trinaldo is. So far in 2019, Francisco Trinaldo has struggled to get a fight. He’s missed out on two different events so far due to opponents pulling out of getting injured. He hasn’t fought in just under 10 months, but his last fight was a victory over Evan Dunham.

Bout 10: James Vick (13-3) vs. Daniel Hooker (17-8) (Lightweight)

It has been seven months since Dan “The Hangman” Hooker has fought, and rightfully so. His recent loss to Edson Barboza was a beating of brutal proportions, even by MMA standards. He hung in the fight, but only by the smallest extent until it was ended. James Vick is on a two-fight losing streak. He lost a main event against Justin Gaethje last year, and wasn’t favoured in a decision against Paul Felder back in February. 

Bout 11: Greg Hardy (4-1) vs. Juan Adams (5-1) (Heavyweight)

Two very fresh heavyweights in Greg Hardy and Juan Adams battle on the main card. Controversy continues to follow Hardy through his UFC career, as many object to him fighting in the UFC due to his domestic violence case in 2014. He was found guilty of assault and communicating threats, with 18-months of probation and 60-days of jail. However, the sentence was dropped after the victim in the case didn’t appear in court during the appeal. Hardy avoided any punishment over the case. He has since come through the UFC series “Dana White’s Contender Series,” and has a 1-1 record in the promotion. Adams comes into the fight after facing his first career defeat to Arjan Bhullar. Before then he defeated Chris De La Rocha in his UFC debut. 

Bout 12: Alexey Oleinik (57-12-1) vs. Walt Harris (12-7) (Heavyweight)

In the co-main event slot is a heavyweight clash between Alexey Oleinik and Walt Harris. Harris is coming off his quickest victory ever, finishing Sergey Spivak in under a minute. He will face a much more experienced Oleinik, who is returning after a one round loss to Alistair Overeem. If you’re looking for a fight that will finish, it should be this one, as Oleinik has only went to decision eight times in his 70 fight career. Similarily, Edwards has only went to decision three times in his 20 fight career.

Bout 13: Rafael dos Anjos (29-11) vs. Leon Edwards (17-3) (Welterweight)

The main event of the show will be Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards. Anjos has had double the amount of professional bouts as Edwards, but his matchup with dos Anjos can be justified by his seven-fight winning streak. Dos Anjos defeated Kevin Lee in a four round battle back in May, which was a bounce back from two five round decision losses, losing to Kumaru Usman and Colby Covington. Edwards defeating dos Anjos would make it the highest profile victory of his career yet, with the biggest one besides that being a win against Donald Cerrone. Continued success in the welterweight division could lead Edwards to a bout with the Champion Kumaru Usman. If the fight were to be made, it would not only be a title shot, but also a chance for Edwards to avenge a loss from 2015.

Similar to many of UFC’s recent fight nights, the show will start at an earlier time than the usual PPV time (10PM E/7PM P). The main card will begin at 9 PM Eastern Time, with the preliminary card starting three hours prior to that. 

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