Two major sporting events are taking place around the Boston-area on Sunday night and both of them have major championship implications.

On the same day as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC Championship and look to ensure their spot in the Super Bowl, Conor McGregor will meet Dennis Siver and a victory for McGregor would put him in line for a shot against the UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.

When the main card begins at 10 p.m. ET, the fate of the Patriots will most likely already have been decided (the AFC Championship kicks off at 6:40 p.m. ET), but the fates of several UFC stars such as McGregor, Uriah Hall (put that one in pencil), Benson Henderson, and Donald Cerrone will be unfolding right before us.

Besides the previous mentioned fighters, there are also a couple of other names to pay attention to when the UFC returns to the TD Garden in Boston, Mass.

Here’s what to watch for at UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver:

The Fightin’ Irish

Besides the obvious one, there are a couple of Irish fighters that will be trying to give the nation a clean sweep on Sunday night.

Cathal Pendred hasn’t lost a fight since 2010 and has started his UFC career by going 2-0 last year. Funny enough, Pendred was actually born in Boston but moved to Ireland at an early age and now looks to pick up his third UFC victory in return to his hometown.

Joining Pendred is Patrick Holohan who has gone 1-1 in the UFC since failing in his fight to enter the house for The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate. The loss was the first of his career, but he managed to win Fight of the Night honors for the effort. Holohan’s rebound effort will be against Shane Howell. Howell lost his last bout, which was his UFC debut, back in June of 2014.

It’s very likely and wouldn’t come as surprise to anybody if the Irish go 3-0 when everything is said and done in Boston.

Will Uriah Hall actually get to fight?

Uriah Hall was originally scheduled to fight middleweight veteran Costa Philippou, but an injury forced Philippou to drop out of the bout.

Philippou was then replaced by former Strikeforce and Bellator fighter Louis Taylor, but news broke on Sunday that Taylor had to drop out of the fight as well due to injury and has since reportedly had his contract pulled by the UFC.

As of Sunday night, the UFC and Dana White have yet to announce whether Hall will be moved from the card or whether they have found a replacement to take the fight on a week’s notice.

Hall has won back-to-back fights against Chris Leben and Thiago Santos since losing the TUF 17 season finale to Kelvin Gastelum and dropping a split-decision loss to John Howard.

If he does indeed remain on the card against a replacement fighter, the question becomes: will we continue to see the potential that Hall has shown in the past?

Will Cerrone vs. Henderson be Fight of the Night?

I don’t claim to have a crystal ball and MMA is impossible to predict with 100% accuracy, but I’d be willing to put money on Donald Cerrone vs. Benson Henderson taking home Fight of the Night honors.

To me, this is one of those bouts where both guys could come out as winners (although unfortunately that literally cannot be the case). I simply mean that if this turns out to be a war and a comes down to a close decision, the UFC isn’t going to really penalize either fighter.

Both Benson and Cerrone have a ton on the line with Benson trying to avoid losing two consecutive fights for the first time in his career and Cerrone possibly looking at a title shot with a victory.

If Cerrone loses, however, I still think he is a top contender to challenge for the UFC lightweight championship. If Benson loses, it’ll be a good amount of time before he finds himself back in a title fight, especially if Anthony Pettis is still the champion.

On any card featuring Conor McGregor, it’s hard to be the people’s main event, but Cerrone vs. Henderson is undoubtedly just that.

Don’t expect that fight or the rest of them to disappoint; we’ll have an exciting night on our hands.

About The Author

Blane Ferguson
Associate Editor/Senior Staff Writer

Blane can trace his MMA roots, like many others, to the finale of the first Ultimate Fighter season between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin. After watching that incredible fight and cleaning the local Blockbuster of any recorded UFC pay-per-views they had, Blane was hooked on watching the sport and he carried that passion with him to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Blane is a four-year broadcasting veteran of ASU's campus radio including a founder and co-host of the station's combat sports show, The Final Round.