Featherweight Bout: Calvin Kattar (22-4) vs. Max Holloway (21-6)
Luke Irwin: Holloway fell twice to Alexander Volkanovski and has lost three out of his last four. Max desperately needs to get back on track with an emphatic win, but in Kattar, he has someone who knocked out the notoriously tough Jeremy Stephens with his elbows, then pulled the brake on the Dan Ige hype train. Kattar is looking to use this fight to get into title contention, while Max needs to rebound to stay relevant. Holloway isn’t shot, as both fights against Volkanovski could have gone his way, and it was very reassuring to see he bounced back the right way after losing his title. He may have some serious miles on him, but he’s still fighting at a world champion-level. Holloway via UD.
Welterweight Bout: Carlos Condit (31-13) vs. Matt Brown (22-17)
Luke: MAN, would I have loved to see this a decade ago. Unfortunately, in 2021, both fighters are a step above being a corpse, and two of the toughest, most violent scrappers in UFC history will be reduced to pitter-pattering and have nothing left in the tank. Brown via SD.
Welterweight Bout: Li Jingliang (17-6) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (27-3)
Luke: Ponzinibbio has won seven straight in the UFC, including wins over Gunnar Nelson, Mike Perry, and Neil Magny. Jingliang isn’t going to be the fighter that derails that. Ponzinibbio is riding too high right now, and loss here would be tumultuous. Ponzinibbio via UD.
Middleweight Bout: Alessio Di Chirico (12-5) vs. Joaquin Buckley (12-3)
Luke: I think that knockout of the year over Impa Kasanganay brought out a new confidence in Buckley, as I loved how he came out against Jordan Wright in his next fight. He’s got a hell of a head of steam, with his only blemish in 2018 coming in his UFC debut against 2020 Superman Kevin Holland, with all of his wins via T/KO. Against Di Chirico, on a three-fight losing streak, that won’t stop anytime soon. Buckley via R2 TKO.
Middleweight Bout: Dusko Todorovic (10-0) vs. Punahele Soriano (7-0)
Luke: Both of these men are in their mid-late 20s, graduated from Dana White’s Contender Series, and won their UFC debut by knockout, have the majority of their wins by knockout, have some submission wins, and are undefeated. Maybe the most evenly-matched bout I’ve seen in some time. Coin flip. Todorovic via SD.