The UFC is Moncton, New Brunswick this week for the promotion’s latest Fight Night card, and the event will be headlined by a light-heavyweight showdown between Volkan Oezdemir and Anthony Smith. With the massive, UFC 229 card still in the rear-view mirror, and UFC 230 right around the corner, will UFC Moncton pull decent numbers?
The Fight Pass Prelims
As far as mainstream, household names, the line-up for Saturday’s Fight Pass prelims doesn’t feature any. In fact, a lot of loyal, regular viewers may be hard pressed to rattle off any facts about the fighters who are scheduled to compete. The most established fighter is likely Stevie Ray, who will battle Jessin Ayari in an interesting bout between two, European lightweights.
There’s also a compelling bout between heavyweight prospects Arjan Singh Bhullar and Marcelo Golm, which hardcore fans likely have their eyes on.
FS 1 / TSN Prelims
The line-up for the televised prelims also doesn’t include any names that will likely pop with casual, MMA – lite fans, but there are some interesting fights scheduled.
Case in point, Cage Warriors champ, Chris Fishgold, will make his Octagon debut against featherweight Calvin Kattar, in another bout prospect observers likely have on their must see list. Fishgold has only lost one bout to date, and that was back in 2015. The British fighter has recorded 17 wins to date.
In a lightweight contest that should deliver some compelling action, Nasrat Haqparast will take on Thibault Gouti. Canadians fans will have Sarah Moras to root for, in a bout with Talita Bernardo, as well as Nordine Taleb, who will battle Sean Strickland. That’s a welterweight fight that could also deliver some fireworks.
FS 1 / TSN Main Card
There are certainly several fights scheduled for the main card which should draw some interest from the hardcore base, but not necessarily, casual observers. Alex Garcia vs. Court McGee and Ed Herman vs. Gian Villante both have the potential to be entertaining fights, and Canadian fans will be looking to see if Misha Cirkunov can get back on track, against the always tough, Patrick Cummins.
Artem Lobov will throw hands with Michael Johnson, in a featherweight bout that will almost certainly deliver thrills. But, there’s no question that if Conor McGregor’s buddy was still facing Khabib Nurmagomedov’s teammate, Zubaira Tukhugov, then there would be a lot more buzz for the main card. Especially if the UFC had been running promos featuring the post-fight brawl, and all the drama tied to UFC 229.
Since Tukhugov has been pulled from the bout, however, there’s no question that much of the spotlight is on the headliner between Smith and Oezdemir. It’s a bout that hits on a couple of levels: one, both guys are ridiculously dangerous, and two, it’s a pivotal fight for both light-heavyweights. Oezdemir is looking to get back on track, after losing to the champ Daniel Cormier earlier this year, and Smith could move into title shot contention with the win.
But, will Smith – Oezdemir and the rest of the main card draw a lot of eyes to FS1? It will be kind of surprising if it does, considering this event is wedged between UFC 229 and UFC 230. That said, it has been two weeks now since the promotion’s last card, so, that might help.