While I generally try to always look for the positives on fight cards, I’ll be completely honest, I’ve been overwhelmingly disappointed by the UFC Fight Night cards as of late. While some have turned out to be good, they still lacked a level of star power that loyal fans deserve.

Granted, I don’t expect the UFC to put their big name talent of Fight Night cards, but I do expect to see at least a true contender or two. That’s why I’m so excited for UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas on Saturday, April 4, 2015.

The card is stacked with interesting matchups and it has solid name value. The matchmaking on this card really reminds me of what Dave Sholler used to do when the WEC was still up and running. Chad Mendes vs. Ricardo Lamas is a great main event and it will have a direct effect on the UFC featherweight title picture.

Dustin Poirier vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira

Kicking off the main card is a lightweight bout between Poirier and Ferreira. After a solid four year run at featherweight, Poirier has decided to move back up to lightweight following his loss to Conor McGregor. Poirier is a tremendous talent and still very young at just 26, so he has plenty of time to thicken up and develop into a high level lightweight. Ferreira is a tough opponent, but Poirier has too many weapons for him to contend with.

Pick: Poirier via second round TKO

Clay Guida vs. Robbie Peralta

In the second bout of the evening, long time UFC veteran Guida looks to get back in the win column against Peralta. Peralta too is in need of a win, but it’s going to be difficult for him to do that against Guida. Guida’s tempo and aggression are difficult to contend with and Peralta just doesn’t have an answer for it.

Pick: Guida via Unanimous Decision

Julianna Pena vs. Milana Dudieva

In the third bout of the evening, TUF 18 women’s bantamweight tournament winner Pena finally makes her return to the Octagon. After a brutal knee injury in training, Pena has been sidelined for over a year and it will be good to see her back in action. Pena will be taking on Dudieva who is coming off of a split decision win over Elizabeth Phillips in her UFC debut. Dudieva is a crafty fighter with a well-rounded game, but Pena has defeated much better competition.

Pick: Pena via second round Submission

Michael Chiesa vs. Mitch Clarke

The fourth bout of the evening could end up stealing the as tremendously talented lightweight grapplers Chiesa and Clarke square off. With 15 combined wins by submission, there’s a good chance this bout turns into a high level grappling affair. If that’s in fact the case, then expect to see Chiesa come home with the victory.

Pick: Chiesa via unanimous decision

Jorge Masvidal vs. Al Iaquinta

The UFC lightweight division is as deep as it gets and the co-main event between Masvidal and Iaquinta is a great example of that. Both fighters have won three in a row over strong competition yet both find themselves barely in the official UFC rankings at 14th and 15th. Considering just how good both men have looked as of late, expect to see a brilliant battle. Iaquinta has won three in a row by TKO, but I expect Masvidal to bring that streak to an end. Masvidal is a much more technically sound striking and he hold a significant experience advantage.

Pick: Masvidal via Unanimous Decision

Chad Mendes vs. Ricardo Lamas

The main event of the evening between Mendes and Lamas is going to be a good one. Both men are in the featherweight top five and both are desperately seeking to earn another opportunity against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Mendes is a big favorite heading into the bout, but Lamas is as tough as they come. With a 5” reach advantage, Lamas has the length to give Mendes problems. But look for Mendes to close the distance and show off his improved striking game.

Pick: Mendes via Unanimous Decision