UFC Fight Night 62 will no doubt be overshadowed by UFC 185 the week before, and a number of stacked, intriguing upcoming UFC cards that follow it. That said, there are some interesting match-ups on the card next Saturday, and while it lacks star power, it could very well bring the action.

In the main event, former middleweight title challenger Demian Maia, now making his home at welterweight, takes on the up and coming Ryan LaFlare in an old guard vs. new sort of match-up. Also on the card is the struggling Josh Koscheck, filling in last minute for Ben Saunders against Erick Silva. Koscheck’s career may be on the line in this contest, his 25th in the UFC, which will tie him with Gleison Tibau for the lead among active fighters.

Elsewhere on the card, 9th ranked women’s bantamweight Amanda Nunes looks to rebound from her first UFC loss against the struggling Shayna Baszler. “The Queen of Spades” hasn’t won since 2012, and while this is just her second UFC fight following her TUF 18 appearance, she may be looking at a cut should she fall to Nunes, who at one point was looked at as a long-shot contender for Ronda Rousey’s title.  The undefeated Gilbert Burns, former head grappling coach for Team Belfort on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil also appears, meeting Alex Oliveira.

What should you be watching for at UFC Fight Night 62?

Josh Koscheck’s Last Stand

Look for a sense of desperation. Josh Koscheck is taking a quick turnaround fight at UFC Fight Night 62, and more than anyone else on the roster, his back is against the wall. Having lost in his return fight at UFC 184, submitting to a north-south choke by Jake Ellengberger, “Kos” is on a 0-4 streak currently, and hasn’t won since 2012. That’s an incredible fall for a big name welterweight who once fought Georges St. Pierre for the title, but the reality is, Koscheck has never really been the same since that bout. Though he did win twice more before falling into his current skid, the GSP fight seems to have been his peak.

Against Erick Silva, he has a tough opponent who has bounced back from his loss to Matt Brown, and in enemy territory. Koscheck may be fighting with a sense of desperation, and he probably should be. How the quick turnaround will turn out is anyone’s guess, but it’s clear that Koscheck is reaching the end of his run in the UFC. This may, in fact, be it.

A Return to Form For Amanda Nunes

After winning her first two fights in the UFC, Amanda Nunes was being touted as a potential title challenger for the dominant Ronda Rousey. It wasn’t that Nunes was a real threat to “Rowdy” but rather that, with the division not exactly being all that deep, she had a solid record, enough to get her into a number one contender’s bout with Cat Zingano in the fall. She lost, and Zingano got the shot, losing in 14 seconds to Rousey at UFC 184. Now Nunes looks to bounce back and get back in the title hunt.

Shayna Baszler, meanwhile, is looking for her first UFC win. She was highly touted by Rousey on TUF 18, but never panned out, despite being something of a pioneer in women’s MMA. Though she has only one loss in the UFC and bantamweight isn’t exactly deep, she could be on her way out with a loss given that she was also a bust on the reality series.

Expect a return to form for Nunes here. Baszler just hasn’t been active enough, and Nunes is on home turf, and highly motivated.

A Battle For Relevancy

While the main event isn’t exactly anything to get worked up over, there is a battle to be found in Demian Maia vs. Ryan LaFlare — a battle for relevancy. That’s on the part of Maia, as he has struggled of late at welterweight (1-2 in his last three) after making an auspicious start in the division. Having already dropped down from middleweight, Maia needs to turn things around, quickly, lest he find himself the next Jake Shields or Yushin Okami: banished from the promotion while still in his prime simply because he has likely peaked and has too big of a contract (Maia is making over $60,000 to show).

LaFlare, meanwhile, is an undefeated prospect who matches up well against Maia. A state champion in wrestling, LaFlare is a sound fighter who has the ability to grind out a win while avoiding Maia’s submission game. The pressure will be on the Brazilian as much as LaFlare, as it will be Maia’s first time main-eventing in Brazil. LaFlare, 11-0 as a pro, has also won in Brazil before. In fact, in four UFC bouts, he has won in four different nations.

This should be an even match, but should Maia lose, he may soon find himself in a tailspin.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.