UFC Vegas 28 is largely flying under the radar in terms of fan interest, but it’s actually a sneakily good card with plenty of fun-sounding fights on tap. On that note, let's have a look at five reasons to watch UFC Vegas 28: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs Augusto Sakai.
#1 The main event could produce a knockout for the ages
Both men are coming off losses: Rozenstruik to Ciryl Gane and Sakai to Alistair Overeem. But the nature of the UFC heavyweight division means neither man is too far away from title contention. More to the point, after suffering losses in their last outings, both men will probably be gunning for a major knockout to impress the UFC brass.
Rozenstruik, in particular, probably has some pressure on him, as his fight with Gane was a poor one to watch. Prior to that, though, Bigi Boy was responsible for some truly vicious knockouts against Junior Dos Santos, Overeem and Andrei Arlovski.
With Sakai winning eleven of his 15 career victories by KO or TKO, the chances of one of these two getting knocked unconscious seem high. That alone means it could be a fight well worth the watch.
#2 Miguel Baeza might be the best welterweight prospect in the UFC
The UFC’s welterweight division is one of the promotion’s most stacked right now, and UFC Vegas 28 will see one of its best prospects in Miguel Baeza in action.
Caramel Thunder is 10-0 in the MMA and has three UFC victories to his name, but it’s the nature of those victories that have made him stand out. Baeza smacked around Hector Aldana on his octagon debut before destroying UFC veteran Matt Brown with vicious strikes. In his most recent fight, he choked out fellow rising star Takashi Sato with an arm-triangle choke, making it look easy.
Essentially, Baeza has skills in all areas, a ruthless finishing instinct and plenty of charisma as well. He’s just the kind of fighter who could easily go on and enjoy serious UFC stardom.
If he can win against Santiago Ponzinibbio – once one of the most feared welterweights in the UFC – next weekend, the UFC will probably have to push Baeza up the ladder quickly. That makes this fight a must-see.
#3 Francisco Trinaldo is one of the UFC’s most underrated fighters
The UFC has a number of underrated fighters in its roster, but Francisco Trinaldo might just sit at the top of that list.
Massaranduba has been in the UFC for almost a decade now, having debuted in the promotion back in 2012. His UFC record of 16-6 is outstanding, given that he has been competing in the promotion’s deepest division – lightweight.
Now 42, Trinaldo has continued to defy Father Time and is currently on a three-fight win streak. UFC Vegas 28 will mark his first appearance at welterweight, as he’s moving up to 170lbs to take on flashy striker Muslim Salikhov.
The Brazilian probably won’t move into UFC title contention with a win here. But if he can pull it off, it’ll be further evidence that he remains a fighter to watch and could well be one of the most underrated UFC fighters of all time.
#4 Walt Harris almost guarantees a violent finish
Very few fighters in the UFC can guarantee a violent finish every time they step into the octagon, but Walt Harris comes pretty close.
The Big Ticket has 15 UFC appearances to his name. While his record of 7-8 isn’t that impressive, his finishing rate is simply phenomenal. Harris has gone to decision three times in the octagon – losing each time – but all of his seven UFC wins have come via KO or TKO.
While he’s on a two-fight losing streak right now, he's not too far removed from one of the best runs of his career that saw him stop both Sergey Spivak and Aleksei Oleinik in a combined 62 seconds.
Harris faces Marcin Tybura in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 28. While Tybura has a more grinding approach than the Big Ticket, in all likelihood, Harris’ sheer aggression could make for a wild, enjoyable fight with a violent ending.
#5 The Violence Queen is back in action
Ariane Lipski has one of the best nicknames in the UFC – the Violence Queen.
While she was defeated in her last Octagon appearance, her fight with Montana De La Rosa at UFC Vegas 28 could be one worth watching. That’s because her previous bout in the UFC saw her deliver one of the most memorable submissions in recent years. She dealt a vicious kneebar to Luana Carolina that saw Lipski wrench her opponent’s leg as if she was attempting to rip it off.
De La Rosa may have more UFC experience than the Brazilian fighter, but she lacks the violent instincts and sheer athleticism of Lipski. That means the Violence Queen is likely to get her hand raised, and hopefully, at least, it could be in explosive fashion once again.