Hey Buzz fans! Sammy here coming to you the Friday before the kickoff of primetime UFC action for the month of January. Unique to the other cards, these fights can be seen on ABC instead of being seen on ESPN. This is the very first card of the new year and man its gonna be an action packed one to say the least!
The first fight on the main card is between two men that come to us from the contender series between Punahele Soriano and Dusko Todorovic. Two men who have come to us from Dana White’s contender series, and another fun fact is that they have both won UFC middleweight debuts. Although its been almost a year since Soriano’s debut when he knocked out Oskar Piechota with heavy punches in the very first round. He also has a very strong wrestling game as well which could give him the edge in this fight.
Todorovic on the other hand, called “Thunder,” reminds me a lot of Randy Couture with his dirty boxing and grinding style against the catch and willingness to mix it up and get ugly. So who knows how this fight is going to go but expect fireworks early from Soriano. Both are young and both are undefeated so we’re definitely in for a real treat.
Then, the man who had possibly the greatest knockout of the 2020, Joaquin Buckley is taking on Alessio Di Chirico, another middleweight fight on the main card. Everyone knows that Buckley can strike, given his quick knockout of Impa Kasanganay. Buckley is on a two fight win streak as Di Chirico has lost his last three. Di Chirico, I would describe, is a middle of the pack fighter, he’s well rounded but nothing really stands out with him. More than likely this is just another fight to build up Buckley’s hype and move him more into the spotlight.
Then it’s the return of “the Argentine Dagger” Santiago Ponzinibbio taking on replacement fighter Li Jiangling. Ponzi is on a seven fight win streak but it’s been over almost two years since we’ve watched him compete. In the other corner Li Jiangling who has yet to break into top contention but is an extremely entertaining fighter who is not afraid to stand in the pocket and exchange blows. Ponzi hasn’t lost since 2015 and when he is not injured he is definitely a top ten welterweight who always puts on an entertaining fight.
Next we stay in the welterweight division bringing two longtime UFC welterweights who always show up. Carlos “The natural born killer” Condit taking on “The Immortal” Matt Brown. These two have been scheduled to fight each other two other times but Brown has had to pull out both times citing injuries. In my opinion Brown is tailor made for Condit’s sporadic style and striking. Although Brown does throw knockout power with his striking, elbows, and punches, this fight has “fight of the night” written all over it to me. No matter who wins the fight the fans are the ultimate winners in this welterweight bout.
Then to the main event we have Max “Blessed” Holloway taking on Calvin Kattar. This is Holloway’s first non title contest since 2016 after the back to back fights with champion Alexander Volkonoski. Both Holloway and Kattar are high volume, smooth strikers, but neither one is really known for their ground game so you can expect a stand up fight. I think the only edge that Holloway might have against Kattar is the fact that hes been in the spotlight a little more than Kattar and definitely has an edge in the experience department. He fought the very best in his division and was up to competing every fight.
Kattar has four finishes in his six UFC wins so he’s definitely a threat to Holloway. Kattar’s fight IQ is extremely high so this match up with Max could easily turn into a chess match in the octagon.
The UFC didn’t disappoint with the first main card of the New Year, tune in tomorrow at 3 pm eastern time on ABC to see just who prevails at UFC Fight Island 7.