Two of the best featherweight fighters on the planet will throw down this fall, with a possible title shot on the line. The UFC yesterday announced that Frankie Edgar will take on Cub Swanson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 57, which is set for November 22 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. The fight will be contested for five rounds. This is a fight that has been talked about for a long time now, and I’m glad it’s finally coming to fruition. Both men are at the top of their games and with no clear-cut contender at 145lbs, the winner of this bout will surely vault themselves near the top of the title picture. It’s a really good fight, and either man has the tools to take it, but I am leaning towards Edgar here ever so slightly to take a decision, and I believe the betting public will agree as I expect him to be a moderate favorite heading into this contest, although it’s a very competitive fight either way. Bobby Green vs. Edson Barboza, UFC Fight Night 57 In addition to Edgar vs. Swanson, a lightweight bout between Bobby Green and Edson Barboza was also added to UFC Fight Night 57. Green is on a nice win streak right now and is coming into this matchup off of the biggest win of his career, a split decision nod over Josh Thomson. Barboza, on the other hand, has been inconsistent in the Octagon, but he’s coming into this fight off of an impressive stoppage win over Evan Dunham. This is a very interesting fight as far as styles go and it’s hard to pick. I do think Green is the faster fighter and the better all-around mixed martial artist, but Barboza is the cleaner striker and has way more power. It can go either way and I expect a close line slightly in Green’s favor, although I do think Barboza is a very live dog based on the matchup. But besides those new additions to UFC FN 57, a slew of other new bouts were also announced yesterday, and here’s my brief thoughts on those matchups. Nina Ansaroff vs. Juliana Lima, UFC Fight Night 56 A women’s strawweight bout between UFC newcomer Nina Ansaroff and Juliana Lima was added to UFC Fight Night 56, which takes place November 8 at Ginasio Municipal Tancredo Neves in Uberlandia, Brazil. Of all the fights announcements that were made yesterday, this is the one I care least about, although Ansaroff is at least coming into this fight off of a brutal KO in Invicta. This is a striker vs. grappler matchup with Ansaroff the striker and Lima the grappler. It could go either way but if Ansaroff can keep it on the feet she should have the edge in this one, although I expect a close betting line either way. Jessica Eye vs. Leslie Smith, UFC 180 A violent women’s bantamweight clash between Jessica Eye and Leslie Smith was added to UFC 180, which takes place November 15 at Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico. Both Eye and Smith are two of the best strikers in the women’s bantamweight division and this should be a real slugfest when it goes down. Eye is a bit more technical than Smith, but Smith is a bit longer and lankier and I think packs a bit more punch. This is a really competitive fight on paper and likely goes to the judges’ scorecards, where we know anything can happen, but I slightly lean towards Eye because of her technique, and I’m expecting her to be a slight favorite heading into this one. Abel Trujillo vs. Tony Ferguson, UFC 181 And finally, a lethal lightweight bout between Abel Trujillo and Tony Ferguson was added to UFC 181, which takes place December 6 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. This should be a high-action affair between two 155lbers on the rise and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how it plays out. Trujillo has shown massive improvements in his last few fights, knocking out Roger Bowling and Jamie Varner, but has been injured for most of 2014. As for Ferguson, he’s been nothing short of outstanding as of late, beating Mike Rio, Katsunori Kikuno and Danny Castillo to re-emerge as a future lightweight contender. This is a fun fight but I believe Ferguson is the most complete mixed martial artist and I think he should be the favorite heading into the contest.
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