The 10: Closing Out 2019 In Style

UFC News

Petr Yan vs. Urijah Faber

This is a perfect fight for both guys, so kudos to the matchmakers for putting it together and props to both men for signing on the dotted line.

Yan has been as good as advertised since arriving in the UFC in the summer of 2018, winning five straight to climb into contention in the talent-rich bantamweight division. He outworked John Dodson in February and did the same to Jimmie Rivera at UFC 238 in Chicago, but doesn’t yet have the kind of marquee victory that is going to vault him to the front of the queue of contenders in such a loaded weight class.

Beating Faber would certainly do the trick, but that’s easier said than done, as the 40-year-old “California Kid” ended his 31-month retirement with a first-round stoppage win over Ricky Simon in July to put himself back into the mix in the 135-pound ranks. The proud new father has still only lost to elite competition and showed he’s still sharp by finishing Simon, so while Yan is running hot, he will need to be careful against the crafty veteran from Sacramento.

Marlon Moraes vs. Jose Aldo

Up until a couple months ago, this was one of those fights you could only make on EA Sports UFC 3. Now, it’s an ultra-compelling reality and one of several incredible fights slated for the UFC 245 main card.

Moraes cemented his place as the No. 1 contender in the bantamweight division with a first-round submission win over Raphael Assuncao in February, but came up short in his bid to claim the vacant title in June, losing to Henry Cejudo. The New Jersey-based Brazilian is a fast starter with punishing kicks and an opportunistic submission game, and after getting out to an early lead and then faltering at UFC 238, you can be sure Moraes has been chomping at the bit to get back to work and back into the win column.

Aldo picked up a stoppage win of his own on the same card where Moraes tapped Assuncao, but followed it up with a flat performance in a loss against Alexander Volkanovski three months later. While this move to bantamweight caught many by surprise, he’s looked to be in great shape in the lead-up to this bout, and if relocating lights a fire in the former featherweight titleholder, the 135-pound weight class could be even more exciting and intriguing in 2020.

Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie for the UFC women’s bantamweight title

Nunes heads into this one looking to continue her historic run of success, while the criminally underappreciated de Randamie looks to join her as only the second woman to hold UFC titles in two weight classes.

The defending champion has earned nine consecutive victories during her ascent to being recognized as the greatest female fighter of all-time, a run that includes back-to-back first-round finishes of Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm. Nunes has worked hard to shore up any previous shortcomings in her game and fights with a ferocity and power that is unmatched in the women’s ranks.

The challenger hasn’t lost since these two first met all the way back in November 2013. Since then, “The Iron Lady” has collected five straight victories, capped by her blistering stoppage win over Aspen Ladd in July. A decorated kickboxer, de Randamie has a slight height and reach advantage and might be the only competitor in either the bantamweight or featherweight division capable of going toe-to-toe with Nunes.

Expect these women to come out of the gate quickly and this one to be electric for as long as it lasts.

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