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3 fights to look forward to and 2 that will likely disappoint at UFC Fight Night: Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker

UFC Fight Night: Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker [Photo credit: ufc.com]
UFC Fight Night: Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker [Photo credit: ufc.com]
Rafael Bandayrel
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After putting on one of the most stacked pay-per-views of the year, the UFC returns to Las Vegas for UFC Fight Night: Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker at the Apex Center. The event will kick-off the month of October with a card filled with promising matchups.

The main event will see a collision between two Brazilian contenders at different stages in their careers. Former title challenger Santos will look to return to relevance while the up-and-coming Walker attempts to reach new heights.

Aspiring contenders Kevin Holland and Kyle Daukaus will square off as they look to climb the rankings in the middleweight division. With both coming off losses, the competitors are in need of a timely rebound win.

However, fans can't expect Fight Night 193 to be as entertaining as the recently concluded UFC 266. As is the case with non-pay-per-view events, the card doesn't boast too many high profile fighters. With that in mind, here are three fights to look forward to and two that will likely disappoint at UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Walker.


Fight to look forward to at UFC Fight Night 193: Alex Oliveira vs. Niko Price

UFC Fight Night 193: Alex Oliveira vs. Niko Price [Photo via @hybridufc]
UFC Fight Night 193: Alex Oliveira vs. Niko Price [Photo via @hybridufc]

Alex Oliveira, a.k.a the other 'Cowboy' in MMA, will take on Niko Price in what should be a Fight of the Night frontrunner at UFC Fight Night 193.

One of the most active competitors on the roster, Oliveira has consistently been putting on entertaining fights since 2015. Saturday night's event will mark his 21st appearance in the UFC and his second outing this year. Despite losing two in a row, Oliveira still poses a danger to any welterweight competitor in the octagon.

Meanwhile, Price has proven that hearing the judges' scorecards has never been his thing. He'll either finish his opponents off or get himself finished trying. Out of 19 professional fights, 'The Hybrid' has only gone the distance twice.

Right now, though, Price is on a slippery slope. The Florida native landed on the wrong side of a unanimous decision against Michel Pereira at UFC 264 in his last time out. He's in danger of suffering his second consecutive loss and his fourth in six fights.

Oliveira vs. Price is frankly a great piece of matchmaking on the UFC's part. It makes sense to pit two unranked standouts against each other to see which one will take a step closer to the top 15.

Fight that will likely disappoint at UFC Fight Night 193: Misha Cirkunov vs. Krzysztof Jotko

UFC Fight Night 193: Misha Cirkunov vs. Krzysztof Jotko [Photo via @krzysztofjotko on IG]
UFC Fight Night 193: Misha Cirkunov vs. Krzysztof Jotko [Photo via @krzysztofjotko on IG]

After an unremarkable run as a ranked 205-pounder, Misha Cirkunov will make his middleweight debut at UFC Fight Night 193. Eager to welcome him is Polish veteran Krzysztof Jotko.

Cirkunov kicked off his UFC tenure with an impressive four consecutive wins. He appeared to be on his way to becoming a legitimate top contender at light heavyweight until he ran into the division's top dogs. He suffered back-to-back stoppage wins against Volkan Oezdemir and Glover Teixeira.

Cirkunov then went back and forth between wins and losses from 2018 to 2021. After getting TKO'd by Ryan Spann at Fight Night 187, the Latvian finally decided it was time to make a change.

On the other side of the cage is longtime stalwart Jotko, who owns a 9-5 record inside the UFC. The 32-year-old entered 2021 with a three-fight winning streak, only to run into surging contender Sean Strickland in May. The Polish fighter will attempt to break through the glass ceiling at UFC Fight Night 193 as he takes on a formidable challenge in Cirkunov.

However, it's puzzling to imagine how Cirkunov could pull off a massive drop from 205 pounds to 185 safely. For that reason alone, he might not be in his best shape come fight night, which could lead to the fight being disappointing.


Fight to look forward to at UFC Fight Night 193: Aspen Ladd vs. Macy Chiasson

UFC Fight Night 193: Aspen Ladd vs. Macy Chiasson [Photo via @macychiasson on Instagram]
UFC Fight Night 193: Aspen Ladd vs. Macy Chiasson [Photo via @macychiasson on Instagram]

Top contenders Aspen Ladd and Macy Chiasson will collide in an important battle for position at women's bantamweight. Originally booked for UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw, the showdown will feature a classic wrestler vs. striker matchup.

Ladd will be returning to active competition for the first time since a knee injury kept her out of action last June. The 26-year-old fought thrice in 2019 to push her record to 9-1. The surging star defeated Sijara Eubanks before a horrific weight cut led to her first career loss against Germain de Randamie. She quickly scored an impressive rebound win against Yana Kunitskaya via TKO.

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Chiasson is on a successful two-fight run after back-to-back wins over Shanna Young and Marion Reneau. Although Chiasson has been impressive thus far, she hasn't faced high-level competitors just yet. At UFC Vegas 32, she'll take on the toughest test of her career so far in Ladd.

The UFC women's 135-pound weight class is not particularly stacked at the moment. That means a victory for either Ladd or Chiasson could potentially earn them a title shot in the not-too-distant future.

Fight that will likely disappoint at UFC Fight Night 193: Kevin Holland vs. Kyle Dauskas

UFC Fight Night 193: Kevin Holland vs. Kyle Dauskas [Photo via @kyle_daukaus on IG]
UFC Fight Night 193: Kevin Holland vs. Kyle Dauskas [Photo via @kyle_daukaus on IG]

Kevin Holland and Kyle Dauskas will meet at the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 193 as they both attempt to return to the win column.

Once a rapidly-rising star in the middleweight division, Holland has fallen on hard times as he's presently on a two-fight skid. 'Trailblazer' was outgrappled by Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori, losing via unanimous decision in back-to-back outings.

Holland's wrestling-related troubles led him to seek the tutelage of former two-division UFC champ Daniel Cormier. For the past several weeks, the 28-year-old has been training at the American Kickboxing Academy with 'DC'.

However, it appears that Holland won't be able to showcase his supposed improvements against Daukaus. The Pennsylvania native isn't necessarily known for his wrestling unlike Holland's previous opponents.

On top of that, Daukaus will be Holland’s lowest-ranked opponent since Charlie Ontiveros in October 2020. All signs point to an easy win for 'Trailblazer' which is why this matchup will likely disappoint.


Fight to look forward to at UFC Fight Night 193: Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker

UFC Fight Night 193: Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker [Photo via @tmarretamma on IG]
UFC Fight Night 193: Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker [Photo via @tmarretamma on IG]

Top Brazilian contenders Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker headline Saturday's event as they look to climb further up the light heavyweight rankings.

Santos enters Saturday’s contest on a three-fight slide. It comes after 'Marreta' pushed Jon Jones to the brink of defeat in his first title opportunity. While Santos ultimately failed in his quest for UFC gold, many believed he should have gotten the decision win against 'Bones'.

Unfortunately for Santos, he would not be able to recapture the magic of his UFC 239 performance. The veteran went on to lose back-to-back bouts against Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic. Just like that, the man many believed defeated Jones is out of the title picture.

Meanwhile, Walker returns to action after spending over a year on the sidelines. Walker's last appearance was at UFC Fight Night 178, in a bout where he made short work of Ryan Spann.

Now that Jones is out of the equation, every win in the light heavyweight division is significant. This main event clash could easily produce a near-future title challenger if Walker wins in impressive fashion. In that respect, this fight is definitely one to look forward to.

Edited by John Cunningham
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