Another day, another fight substitution. Word came out yesterday that the upcoming UFC Fight Night 80 main event has been changed, as a teammate of Paige VanZant dished the details on her upcoming main event against Joanne Calderwood. Calderwood is out, but VanZant will still fight this upcoming December. Instead, she’ll face another young talent in former title challenger Rose Namajunas. Paige VanZant vs Rose Namajunas – UFC Fight Night 80 Both Namajunas and VanZant burst onto the scene after debuting in Invicta in 2013, but they were handed early career losses to Tecia Torres. They’ve sinced bounced back in a big way as VanZant has won four straight bouts including all three of her UFC appearances while Namajunas was a finalist on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter, eventually losing a title fight to former Invicta champion Carla Esparza. Namajunas recently made quick work of Angela Hill via standing rear naked choke at UFC 192 earlier this month, while VanZant obliterated Alex Chambers at UFC 191 in early September. I feel this bout will be more compelling than the original contest between VanZant and Calderwood because Calderwood doesn’t offer much off her back in case VanZant took her down, while Namajunas has an incredibly tricky guard and could actually have some counterplay off her back. Look for VanZant to open as the betting favorite anyways, but this fight should be very close both standing and on the ground. It all depends on whether or not VanZant can continue to be successful with her strategy of wearing her opponents down with a relentless pace and high output.
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