The UFC’s return to Colorado looks significantly different from the original card planned to take place at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo. on Saturday night.

Matt Brown was scheduled to fight Tarec Saffiedine on Feb. 14, but Saffiedine pulled out of the bout because of an injury and Brown was moved to UFC 185 to take on former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.

After that shake-up, the main event was intended to be between rising welterweight prospects Stephen Thompson and Brandon Thatch, but Thompson had to drop out because of injury as well leaving Thatch, who was born and trains in Denver, without an opponent. It appeared as Thatch, a native of Denver, was in danger of not having an opponent for his first UFC main event taking place right in his backyard. That is, however, until former lightweight champion Benson Henderson said he’d make the temporary move to 170 pounds and headline the card opposite Thatch.

Besides the main event, this card might be one of the most intriguing ones in regards toward prospects that we’ve seen in a long time within the UFC.

Here’s what to watch for at UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Thatch:

Prospects galore

There may not be many names that jump off the page for casual MMA fans, but there are a lot of interesting prospects worth keeping an eye on.

Neil Magny is starting 2015 after tying the UFC record for most wins in a calendar year in 2014 when he got his hand raised five times in the Octagon. Magny is fighting Kiichi Kunimoto, who hasn’t lost since 2012 and is on a seven-fight win streak (3-0 UFC).

Dan Kelly was on the Australian Olympic Judo team during the past four Summer Olympics and has transitioned into MMA with an 8-0 professional record. He was a member of Team Australia in the The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Team Canada vs. Team Australia, but lost his only fight on the show (0-1 exhibition record) and won his debut fight in the UFC in Sydney at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Bisping. The only thing holding him back from being called an up-and-coming prospect is the fact that he’s 37 years old, but maybe he has a later prime than everybody else (Dan Henderson anyone?).

Kevin Lee (9-1) is only 22 years old with his sole loss coming from Al Iaquinta by decision. The 21-year-old Ray Borg (7-1) is fighting Chris Kelades (8-1) who, although he is 33, last picked up a win against Patrick Holohan in Oct. Nik Lentz, Zak Makovksy, the list of talented “up-and-comers” goes on and on for UFC Fight Night 60.

Cole Miller tries to avoid becoming a gatekeeper

Miller, back in July of 2014, was scheduled to fight Conor McGregor in what would have surely been tense to say the least. Miller has been one of the more vocal fighters in the sport about his distaste for the brash Irishman, but he withdrew from the bout with an injury.

McGregor has since moved on the bigger and better things, but a man he beat on the way, Max Holloway, will now be meeting Miller inside the cage. Holloway’s only 23 years old and his two career losses come from Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor. He bounced back from the loss to McGregor with four consecutive wins and will look to Miller as someone to open the gate for him at 145 pounds.

Is Thatch too much for Henderson’s first UFC fight at 170?

There has been speculation for awhile now that Benson Henderson could make a move to the welterweight division, but nobody thought it would be on short notice, coming off back-to-back losses, and against one of most notable rising stars in the promotion.

Brandon Thatch is going to be a tough fight for everybody at 170 pounds, let alone somebody making his debut in the weight class. Henderson, however, is absolutely elite and has a vast amount of championship experience behind him leading into his contest with Thatch.

Born and training in Denver, Thatch will be headlining his first UFC card in Broomfield, which is a suburb on the northwest border of his hometown. The storyline to watch for when it comes to Thatch is whether or not the pressures of fighting in front of so many friends and family will be too much and that he’ll be outmatched in his hometown. No matter the result, Thatch will be a name to keep watching in the welterweight division.

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.