Although much of the attention for the UFC on Fox 5 event is focused on the top three bouts, and rightfully so, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some pivotal battles on the undercard. The prelims, which will be airing on FX, feature some fights that could produce a future world champion.

Perhaps no fight is more important than the contest between Dennis Siver and Nam Phan. Siver was originally supposed to face Eddie Yagin, but a brain injury forced Yagin off the card. He was replaced by former Ultimate Fighter competitor Phan.

Phan is 2-1 in his last three fights, but a meager 2-3 in his UFC tenure. The fight against Siver could provide a springboard for Phan to catapult himself into title contention in the division. He’s displayed quite a bit of talent in the Octagon and the win over Cole Miller was huge for Phan.

Now he faces perhaps his toughest test in kickboxing specialist Siver. The former lightweight is no stranger to UFC fans, as he’s been around the promotion for years. Featuring a signature spinning back kick, Siver is a handful for anyone as long as the fight stays on the feet.

With a lack of title contenders in the featherweight division and some high-profile lightweights dropping down, the time is now for either man to insert himself in the title picture. Siver already has the big name given his long tenure with the company, but Phan has had exposure as well due to being on TUF. They both possess enough talent to challenge some of the better fighters in the division, but neither has put together enough wins to earn a crack at the UFC’s featherweight elite.

For Phan, it will mean winning back-to-back fights for the first time in his UFC career. Wins over Miller and Siver would undoubtedly give Phan enough reason to warrant a stiffer test in his next outing.

For Siver, it’s just a matter of winning and making weight. The fighter has long competed at lightweight and has only fought once in the featherweight division. Making the weight cut will be a struggle the first few times out, but it seems as if it hasn’t hampered his performance in the Octagon.

The fight will ultimately come down to who can impliment their game plan on the other. Both are known for their crisp striking, but Siver will undoubtedly look to utilize his kickboxing to prevent Phan from getting into a rhythm and stringing together combinations.

Phan will likely look to utilize a clinch and use some dirty boxing, but don’t be surprised if he looks to take it to the ground as well.

Whoever emerges victorious will likely find themselves “in the mix” and that’s why this stands to be the most important fight on the FX prelims.

Photo: Dennis Siver (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.