The Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota plays host to UFC on FX 5: Browne vs. Bigfoot on Friday with a full card of newcomers and veterans vying for their place in the UFC hierarchy. The event will open with a preliminary fight between welterweights Mike Pierce and Aaron Simpson on Facebook.com before seven more prelim bouts take place on FUEL TV starting at 5 p.m. (ET) with the main card kicking off on FX at 8 p.m. Here’s a look at some of the top UFC on FX 5 undercard fights… Consistently hovering around the middle of the pack are featherweights Bart Palaszewski (36-15) and Diego Nunes (17-3). Both fighters have come within a win or two of contendership in the deep featherweight division, but neither fighter can seem to string more than a few wins together since they have made the transition from the WEC to the UFC. Palaszewski lost a close fight to Hatsu Hioki at UFC 144 in Saitama, Japan while Diego Nunes has only been able to defeat Manny Gamburyan in his three-fight UFC tenure. Both men are coming off losses, and each has what it takes to finish the other, except Nunes has not been able to end a fight since joining the Zuffa ranks of the WEC in 2008. Palaszewski has solid KO power and is decent on the ground, but Nunes can outclass him there. Nunes opened as a solid favorite according to the MMA odds at -205 (bet $205 to win $100) compared to Palaszewski, the +165 underdog (bet $100 to win $165). Politically outspoken Division 1 wrestler Jacob Volkmann (14-3) attempts to bounce back from his five-fight winning streak-snapping first-round loss to Paul Sass at UFC 146 with another smothering notch to his belt with a win over the dangerous Shane Roller (11-6). It’s no secret how Volkmann will approach this fight, as he looks to take Roller down and hold him there for as long as it takes until he gets his hand raised. Some people call Volkmann’s way of fighting boring, others call it effective. No matter what you think of his lay-n-pray style since dropping to 155 from 170, Volkmann has looked strong. Roller has had an up and mostly down run since the WEC was absorbed by the UFC. He is currently 2-3 in the organization with a Knockout of the Night performance, but bettors can’t expect Volkmann to stand with him long enough to make a knockout possible. Volkmann is still favored to win though at -180 unless the underdog Roller (+150) is able to sweep and keep the fight standing. In the featured fight of the FUEL TV prelims, “Thugjitsu Master” Yves Edwards (41-18-1) takes on “Lil Heathen” Jeremy Stephens (20-8) to help shake out the lightweight division. Stephens is reeling after losing back-to-back bouts against some of the UFC’s better lightweights in Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone over the last year while Edwards returns to the Octagon for the first time in 10 months after falling to TUF 14 winner Tony Ferguson. The 36-year-old Edwards may be well-worn, but he seems to have a lot left in the gas tank, as he is solid on the ground and can finish the fight anywhere on the feet. Stephens’ power lies in his standup game, and he will test the chin of Edwards. This is a fight that should be entertaining, with Edwards needing to take it to the ground, although he probably will not be able to make that happen. Stephens opened as a clear favorite at -245 compared to Edwards at +195. The full list of UFC on FX 5 preliminary bout opening MMA odds are listed below… UFC ON FX-5: FUEL TV PRELIMS YVES EDWARDS +195 JEREMY STEPHENS -245 DANNY CASTILLO +120 MICHAEL JOHNSON -150 SHANE ROLLER +150 JACOB VOLKMANN -180 BART PALASZEWSKI +165 DIEGO NUNES -205 PHIL HARRIS +215 DARREN UYENOYAMA -275 MARCUS LEVESSEUR -115 CARLO PRATER -115 UFC ON FX-5: FACEBOOK PRELIMS AARON SIMPSON +140 MIKE PIERCE -170
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