Featherweight prospect Yair “Pantera” Rodriguez (8-1, 2 KOs, 2 SUBs) will meet Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres (12-8, 2 KOs, 5 SUBs) at UFC Fight Night 92 on Saturday, August 6, 2016 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The UFC is letting one of the brightest prospects in the featherweight division carry its first card in Utah. Mexican native Yair “Pantera” Rodriguez, winner of TUF: Latin America, will meet the charismatic Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres in the main event of UFC FIght Night 92.
The rest of the card is an interesting mix of dark horse contenders, new faces and fun fights. Let’s take a look at some of the more intriguing fights on the card.
Featherweights - Yair Rodriguez vs. Alex Caceres
Both men have a flair for flashy kicks, which should lead to some exciting exchanges. However, Rodriguez has an obvious trump card with his wrestling. He is a ridiculously strong fighter and an explosive takedown artist, something which has always troubled Bruce Leroy in the past.
However, true to his Mexican heritage, Rodriguez seems to have an aversion to boring fights. Even if he’s on top, expect him to stay active with guard passes, ground and pound and constant submission attempts. And if he opts to stay on his feet and duke it out, fight fans will be treated to one helluva kickboxing match.
Featherweights - Cub Swanson vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Considering some of the brutal wars these men have been through, this matchup projects to be the Fight of the Night. Swanson has an offbeat rhythm to his boxing, but he is a super technical slugger nonetheless. Dude hits so hard you can practically hear the thud of his punches throughout the entire arena.
Tatsuya Kawajiri is always willing to brawl, although he prefers to wrestle. If he can’t get this fight to the ground, we could see another classic Crusher fight, reminiscent of his Fight of the Year candidate against Joachim Hansen in Dream. Keep your fingers crossed.
Middleweights - Thales Leites vs. Chris Camozzi
No. 12 ranked Thales Leites has had an interesting pro career. In 2009, he challenged then middleweight champion Anderson Silva for the UFC title. Two fights later, he was booted from the UFC and had to take the long road back through regional promotions. Earning his ticket back to the big show, Leites reeled off five straight wins to get back into the top 15. However, he’s fallen on tough times again, with two straight losses against now champion Michael Bisping and contender Gegard Mousasi.
He gets a high-risk, bounceback fight against Chris Camozzi. Having already been given a pink slip before, Leites should be fully aware of the possible consequences of a third straight loss against a midlevel opponent. Let’s see how he performs with his back against the wall.
Welterweights - Zak Cummings vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
Ponzinibbio is one of those guys that’s good enough to be considered a prospect, but just quite hasn’t captured the title yet. A win over Zak Cummings, who is 4-1 in the UFC, could help him graduate into a fighter to watch. Ponzinibbio’s punching power makes him particularly exciting, and he’s racked up 13 KOs in 22 career victories.
Cummings, on the other hand, is a good submission artist with nine subs in 19 wins. His only loss so far has come against Gunnar Nelson, who is quickly climbing the welterweight ranks. Like his opponent, Cummings has a great opportunity to climb out of the middle class with a win.
One of the featherweight division’s most exciting prospects, Yair “Pantera” Rodriguez (8-1, 2 KOs, 2 SUBs) will headline a card for the first time when he meets the charismatic Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres (12-8, 2 KOs, 5 SUBs) this Saturday. Just nine fights into his career, Rodriguez is already 4-0 inside the octagon and quickly become the Mexican star the UFC is so desperately craving. Continue...
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