UFC on Fox 17 takes place this Saturday evening at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. If a night of fights isn’t enough to sell you, the lightweight title is on the line in a rematch between Rafael dos Anjos and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.

After the mega-weekend the UFC recented hosted, with three events back-to-back-to-back, we are again heading into another exciting fight card, and thanks to the outcome of UFC 194, the lightweight title fight became a little more interesting than it initially was. Conor McGregor has already stated he is going to be challenging for the lightweight belt to fulfill his prophecy of becoming a two-division champion.

We are getting a little ahead of ourselves, so let’s begin to break down the final UFC card of 2015 as we look to, ‘What to Watch for’ in the upcoming event UFC on Fox 17Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone II.

The Return of ‘The Barn Cat’

For those who have been following the UFC for a decade or so will remember a self proclaimed ‘nerd’ by the name of Tamdan ‘The Barn Cat’ McCrory, who started fighting for the UFC promotion back in 2007. Then he just disappeared from MMA, for five years, before resurfacing in Bellator MMA in September 2014 and riffled the waters by knocking out Brennan Ward in just 21 seconds with a lethal combination. He then turned around five months later and submitted Jason Butcher with an armbar, seconds after the first minute, in the first round, and with that, McCrory had made a statement. The Barn Cat was back.

After some contractual disagreements with Bellator, McCrory is back to the UFC, and he is booked to fight the 12-2, Josh Samman. This contest has the potential to be ‘Fight of the Night’, and expect some fantastic stand up fighting from these two, even though none of them are a cakewalk on the ground, their striking is what has been highlight reels worthy recently.

Finally, #2 Junior dos Santos Vs. #9 Alistair Overeem is happening

After years of waiting for this fight, we are just days away from it actually happening. This is a fight the UFC has tried to produce ever since Overeem kicked and dropped the mountain that is Brock Lesnar in his stomach before Lesnar left the promotion to return back to the WWE. Injuries, losses, drug failures is all to blame for not making this long awaited striker vs striker matchup with dos Santos sooner.

Overeem has changed up his tactical approach to the game awhile back, something that has treated him well, going 3-1 in his last four fights. In the contrary, dos Santos only losses in the UFC are to Cain Velasquez, who is booked to fight for the heavyweight title, in another rematch against Fabricio Werdum.

The winner of dos Santos Vs. Overeem could be considered in the front of the line for a title shot at heavyweight next.

A lot riding on the RDA Vs Cowboy fight beside the lightweight title belt

To be the lightweight champion in the UFC, it means you are not only the best fighter in that weight class, but also a title holder in what has been recognized as one of the toughest weight divisions in the world. The accolades of that is something special. However, admiration and respect is all well and good, but not only is there a gold belt on the line this Saturday, but a potential matchup with the golden goose in McGregor.

Beside the selling point of a super-fight between two champions, McGregor has already called out both dos Anjos and Cerrone, with more heated exchanges with the latter.

Let’s for one second visualize the lead-up to a showdown between McGregor and Cerrone. Lord, help us now.

The hometown fan support for native Florida fighters

  • Josh Samman
  • Jim Alers
  • Hayder Hassan
  • Kamaru Usman

Look for the extra ‘pop’ from the audience for these guys, especially when Samman steps into the Octagon. Samman is a CEO of a regional MMA organization out of Florida called ‘Combat Night’, showcasing amateur martial artists, so he is already involved in the MMA scene. There’s a lot to look forward to on fight night.

 

Stay tuned for the latest news and updates revolving around UFC on FOX 17.

About The Author

Christian Larusson
Staff Writer

Christian Larusson is a passionate Mixed Martial Arts fan. With experience in writing for Swedish MMA sites, he now solely writes in English through blogging, PunchDrunkSports and The MMA Corner. Got his heart broken early in his life when a friend, ‘Judas’, told him that WWE/WWF wasn’t real. Then one day, he saw MMA on a friend's computer, he was overwhelmed with emotions from what his eyes had just seen. He´s been in love ever since. Christian has been published in different Swedish papers and books, nothing to do with MMA though, so who gives a shh-.