Edson Barboza (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)UFC Fight Night 57: The Madman’s Predictions RJ Gardner November 21, 2014 Events, Previews, Spotlight UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs. Swanson takes place this Saturday, November 22, 2014, at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX. How can you not be excited for this card? For a free card, the fans are really getting a strong offering from the UFC; God knows the fans deserve it as well. Rather than bore you with tedious breakdowns and picks of every fight on the card, I have handpicked several fights to look at along with the main and co-main events. Ruslan Magomedov vs. Josh Copeland Capping off the preliminary card is a heavyweight bout between Ruslan Magomedov and Josh Copeland. Considering the state of the UFC heavyweight division, both Magomedov and Copeland will prove to be welcome additions. Magomedov will be making his second Octagon appearance, coming off of a unanimous decision victory in his debut back in May. Copeland, on the other hand, will be making his UFC debut. There is a lot to like about both of these fighters and the division is in desperate need of the new blood. Neither fighter sports the bravado of Conor McGregor, but they are both fighters fans can relate to with their workmanlike approach to the sport. On the feet, Magomedov should have the advantage, but Copeland has real knockout power. On the ground, Copeland is sneaky good, but Magomedov has excellent takedown defense. These guys are very evenly matched and I expect this bout to go the distance. Prediction – Copeland via Unanimous Decision Matt Wiman vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg Kicking off the main card is a bout featuring exciting lightweight scrappers Matt Wiman and Issac Vallie-Flagg. The UFC lightweight division is about as stacked as it gets and both Wiman and Vallie-Flagg need to prove that they truly belong. Wiman will be making his first Octagon appearance after nearly two years away due to injuries. Vallie-Flagg, on the other hand, really has his back against the wall. having lost his last two bouts in the UFC. Expect to see a lot of emotion and a lot of grit as both of these men have a lot to prove. Wiman is clearly the more complete fighter of the two, as he has sound technical striking and an underrated ground game. On paper, Wiman should have no problem with Vallie-Flagg. But fights aren’t won on paper. Vallie-Flagg is a gritty, tough MMA veteran who has seen it all and he is at his best when the fight gets ugly. He may not be the most technical fighter in the sport, but he doesn’t need to be because he forces opponents to fight his fight. It’s that gritty, tough aspect that has me leaning towards Vallie-Flagg in this one. Wiman hasn’t fought in almost two years — cage rust will be a factor. With that length of layoff, expect to see Wiman have an adrenalin dump early, so fatigue will also play a role here. Vallie-Flagg just has to weather the early storm and out tough Wiman. Prediction – Vallie-Flagg via Unanimous Decision Bobby Green vs. Edson Barboza In the co-main event of the evening, surging lightweight contender Bobby Green takes on striking specialist Edson Barboza. Both fighters are looking to make a title run in 2015 and a victory here will be key. Green is one of the hottest fighters in the UFC right now, as he is riding an eight-fight win streak — four of which have come inside the UFC Octagon. Then you have Barboza, who is 8-2 in the UFC and has proven to be one of the most dynamic strikers in the sport today. Green is a tough fighter and he has a lot of momentum behind him, but Barboza is very dangerous. For Green to win this fight, he is going to need to stick to the basics and get this fight to the ground, because on the feet, Barboza’s length and speed will be tough to handle. The problem with that is that Green is confident in his striking and that will be disastrous against Barboza. Green is good on the feet, but Barboza is elite. With a good reach advantage and devastating leg kicks, Barboza is going to put a beating on Green. Prediction – Barboza via second round TKO Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson In the main event of the evening, featherweight title contenders Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson will battle it out to prove they deserve the next shot at featherweight champion Jose Aldo. It’s more than just a title shot on the line for these fighters, as both men are looking for their redemption against the champion; both Edgar and Swanson have losses on their records at the hands of Aldo. While he doesn’t have the hype train McGregor does, with Dennis Bermudez’s loss at UFC 180 Swanson is the hottest fighter in the division with six straight wins in the Octagon. Edgar, on the other hand, is coming off of one of the most impressive victories of his career, finishing the great BJ Penn in the third round of The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale. Swanson is hungry to become a champion, but he is running into one of the most complete fighters in MMA. Edgar does everything well and he has put away some of the best fighters in the world. Swanson may be a little faster and more explosive, but Edgar does the little things well. And it’s the little things that win titles. Prediction – Edgar via fourth round submission Follow RJ Gardner on Twitter for additional information.