The UFC returns this Saturday with their fourth event of the month and fifth within four-weeks. UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Romero, or commonly known as UFC Fight Night 70, takes place June 27, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

The main event is a chance for former light-heavyweight champion and No. 3 middleweight Lyoto Machida (22-6, UFC: 16-6) to regain his status at the top as he takes on rising star and Olympic silver medalist No. 6 middleweight Yoel Romero (9-1, UFC: 5-0). Machida looked less than stellar is his last outing against No.1-contender Luke Rockhold, and Romero is coming off a controversial stoppage victory over No. 8 Tim Kennedy, in what has become known as “Stool Gate.”

Due to visa issues, this card has had several ups and downs in the lead up. Originally supposed to serve as the finale for the latest edition of TUF: Brazil, it saw the complete removal of anticipated welterweight bout Rick Story vs. Erick Silva. The issues not only prompted a changing of venue, but opened the door for a much higher profile main event in Machida vs. Romero.

A Contender Will Emerge

With Rockhold getting the next crack at 185-lbs kingpin Chris Weidman, No. 2 Ronaldo “Jacre” Souza is left in the wings, however since the title fight is yet to receive a date or venue, and likely won’t take place until much later this year, it would be wise for the next likely contender to take a fight before then. Enter the winner of Machida vs. Romero. Machida is a perennial contender no matter what weight class he fights at, and has almost always received a title-eliminator right after finishing top-10 opposition. Romero by contrast was originally scheduled to fight Jacre last April, however had to pullout due to injury. With Jacre left to once again defeat Chris Camozzi and Rockhold finishing Machida, there was little doubt with regard to who would get the next titleshot. So either way, at least one of these three will fight for the belt sometime next year.

Prospect Watch – Santiago Ponzinibbio (20-2, UFC: 2-1)

We’re finally starting to see the fruits of the seeds planted by TUF: Brazil start to bloom. Ponzinibbio was on the second-season, and will look to make it three-straight and prove his co-main event status is no fluke. While he came up short in his debut against Ryan LaFlare, he rebounded after a ten-month layoff with a first round stoppage of Wendell Oliveira, and followed that up with a three-round domination of Sean Strickland last February. Let’s see if the Argentinian-born welterweight can prove his loss was the fluke.

Prospect Watch – Antônio “Cara de Sapato” Carlos Júnior (4-1, UFC: 1-1)

If anyone is the dictionary example of prospect, it is Cara de Sapato. With just three-professional fights (all wins by first round stoppage), he entered and won the TUF: Brazil 3 as a heavyweight, and scored first round stoppages of all three of his preliminary-round opponents on his way to to finale. He will also be appearing in his third weight class in the UFC in just as many bouts. Unfortunately his hype train was quickly derailed when he face Pat Cummings in a light-heavyweight bout last December. He came up on the short end of a decision, but anyone who can go from heavyweight to middleweight in the UFC in this day and age, proves they have the work ethic to compete at this level. Now let’s see if he has the skill set to go with it.

About The Author

Justin Fuller
Associate Editor/Senior Writer

Justin Fuller is a writer, broadcaster, and political analyst. With a background in sports talk radio, he now runs his own podcast, "The Fuller Fight Factor LIVE."