Esparza (10-2) vs. Namajunas (3-1) – “Cookie Monster” vs. “Thug” if this fight went strictly by nicknames it would be a no contest — lucky for both these warriors their skills will lead to a great fight — taking place mostly on the ground.
Look out for a battle of dominant position while these ladies hit the ground, it could make the difference in who may get the finish. Namajunas looking to pull off submissions from any angle, and Esparza looking to establish her vicious ground and pound. A new champion will be crowned for the new Straw Weight division
Stephens (23-10) vs. Oliveira (18-4) – In what I believe will be the fight of the night — the scrappy “Lil Heathen” will go to war with the always dangerous “Do Bronx” — both fighters ranked #10 and #14 respectively. Look for Stephens to be the aggressor by setting the tone in the stand up game, and look for Oliveira to take the more calculated approach, and jump on any mistakes Stephens may make through his aggressive style.
Both fighters are looking for a statement win to move up the divisions ladder, to be one of the next fighters in line, in a very tough division.
Noons (12-6) vs. Cruikshank (16-5) – Knockout of the night or at least most likely to be an all out brawl has to go to this fight. Both fighters are at the top of their games when it comes to the stand up game — each dangerous in different approaches — but both with the ability to earn a finish at any time.
This is a chance for Cruikshank to start to make some noise and gain the eyes of the MMA world. For the once highly touted Noons this a chance to show why people should still hold him to the high praise he once owned.
Proctor (10-2) vs. Medeiros (10-2-1 NC) – This is my pick to be the surprise of the night — both these warriors are extremely tough — and have an instinct that is unmatched in the octagon. Look for Medeiros to try to stand toe to toe with Proctor and establish himself as one of the surprises in the division.
Proctor will need to simply outclass Yancy, with an all around game if he wants to come out with the win — no grind it out for multiple rounds this fight — look for Joe to work some submissions early and often.
Penne (11-3) vs. Markos (4-2) – Submission of the night honors might come early in this card full of great fights — watch these fighters transition all over the octagon — to set themselves up with a win and a nice bonus to take home. Penne is known for her composure and Markos is associated with determination and heart.
Some great exchanges will be had in this overlooked but potentially exciting fight, exchanges that the world should keep an eye on. These women are coming to show the world that it’s not only about one star, but a bunch of stars firing their way to the top.