UFC Fight Night 30 Preliminary Card Preview on Fox Sports 2 Today (Oct. 26)

aliaquintaWe take a trip across the pond to Manchester, England, with an interesting night of fights that should still deliver awesome action despite many being torn apart and reshaped due to injuries. The prelims will be on Facebook and YouTube before we switch to to FOX Sports 2 for the main card. In the prelims main event, we have Al Iaquinta (6-2-1), finalist of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 before falling to Michael Chiesa in the finals via rear naked choke. Iaquinta was supposed to fight the ever-exciting Anthony Njokuani, but Njokuani got hurt, so we’ll now see Iaquinta battle against Piotr Hallmann (14-1) a Polish stud who is 1-0 in the UFC with a Kimura finish over Francisco Trinaldo at UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader. Hallmann has seven KOs and six subs on his resume, with his one sole loss coming due to his own utter exhaustion in a championship fight. In his most recent fights, he hasn’t finished his opponents in the first round like he usually does, instead going to a decision two fights ago then seeing the second round a few times. When he fought Trinaldo in Brazil, he was outsized and even dropped by a kick to the body, but he was able to come back and win by awesome submission. That’s not great for Iaquinta, as you could say Hallmann was a green tough guy with a massive heart a few fights ago, now he’s just a tough guy with massive heart. Iaquinta, however, has the grinding mentality needed to shut down Hallmann’s strengths. All the strengths, except Hallmann’s ability to step up to the plate despite the odds. This could be a really good fight. Middleweights next, as Luke Barnatt (6-0) hopes to continue to build upon his win at the TUF 17 finale after getting knocked out in the show’s quarterfinals by Dylan Andrews. Barnatt will bring his massive 6’6′ frame into the Octagon to face Andrew Craig, straight off a win over Chris Leben at UFC 162. This is a fight that could either be full of standing and banging violence, or it could be Andrew Craig completely overwhelming the extremely “hittable” Barnatt. Craig is a grinder through and through, and his style in this particular fight could be to his advantage. Craig has a great jaw, and as we saw in the Leben fight, he’ll kind of wade through good shots in order to get into a position that he wants to fight from. Unless Barnatt uses his range early, this will get ugly. It’s the Andrew Craig way. In the only women’s division the UFC has, the bantamweight division, a trailblazer of female MMA looks to right the wrong that was her UFC debut. Rosi Sexton (13-3) lost to Alexis Davis at UFC 161, after years of winning. Her opponent, hoping to be the woman who makes Rosi lose two fights in a row for the first time in her career is Jessica Andrade (9-3) who lost to Liz Carmouche at UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Moraga in July. Carmouche is tough, but MMA math leads the discerning viewer to believe that Sexton should be able to defeat Andrade with relative ease. That’s not taking away from Carmouche, but she has a history of wilting to good competition. Before Andrade’s Octagon debut, she put together a decent record journeying through the underbelly of the WMMA indie scene. Carmouche was absolutely her toughest test, but now that title has been transferred to Sexton, who is good everywhere. Sexton is a crafty veteran who has lost to, and beaten the best in the world. She’s lost a slight step in her later years, and at 36-years-old, she’s not a spring chicken. Still, this is her fight to lose. Next up we have another TUF 15 vet, this time at featherweight, with Andy Ogle (9-2) fighting for his first two-fight win streak in the Octagon against TUF 5 alum Cole Miller (19-8). Miller is off a highly-disappointing loss against Manny Gamburyan at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen, a fight which many thought he won, and should’ve been stopped in the first round in Miller’s favor. While most move down in weight to rejuvenate their careers, Miller has gone 1-3 in his featherweight tenure. Yes, the fights he has lost have been extremely close, and Miller should have a huge height advantage over Ogle (4 inches to be exact) he doesn’t really use his size advantages that well. It’s very disappointing. Ogle isn’t a world beater, and Miller could be problematic for him on the ground. Ogle lost his own bad decision in his UFC debut against Akira Corrassani at UFC on FUEL TV: Struve vs. Miocic, but had since defeated Josh Grispi in February of this year. It could be a submission battle, or it could be a sloppy stand-up fight. If Miller uses his jab, it could be an easy win, but will he?

Written by Jason Nawara

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UFC Fight Night 30 Bet: Andrew “Highlight” Craig (-185) vs Luke Barnatt (+160)

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