Five Fights To Get You Excited For UFC Fight Night 55

UFC 172: Rockhold v BoetschUFC Fight Night 55 will be live on the afternoon of Saturday, November 8th from Sydney, Australia (which means it will be airing on Friday for those of you reading this in North America). The 11-fight card will be shown in its entirety on UFC Fight Pass. Even though I’m not receiving any kickbacks from the UFC (feel free to start sending those checks through any time, Lorenzo), Fight Pass is unquestionably a worthwhile tool for fight fans, but many aren’t necessarily using it to its full potential. With that said, this is a new column that will be released prior to each UFC event. In it, I will highlight five bouts that should get the blood pumping to watch the fighters on that card compete. Due to the library on Fight Pass, many of the bouts will be from that platform, but the occasional one may come from YouTube or another source. Without further ado, here are the five fights to get you excited for UFC Fight Night 55: 1. Luke Rockhold vs. Paul Bradley – Strikeforce Challengers 4 Upcoming Bout: Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping

As the calendar flipped over to 2010, Luke Rockhold was certainly an MMA prospect to keep an eye on. He was 6-1, and fresh off a victory over TUF alumnus Jesse Taylor. However, Rockhold was seen almost exclusively as a grappler at that point in his career. That would change against Paul Bradley, as Rockhold flashed impressive counterstriking skills, and flashed the kicking game and body attack which has become synonymous with the 2014 version of the fighter. It’s a quick bout, but impressive work by Rockhold, and good to go back and see one of his impressive early performances. This bout also earned Rockhold a title shot against ‘Jacare’ Souza, and really helped deliver him to prominence.

2. Ross Pearson vs. Edson Barboza – UFC 134 Upcoming Bout: Ross Pearson vs. Al Iaquinta

After winning TUF 9, Ross Pearson added an additional two wins at lightweight. He suffered a surprising loss to Cole Miller but rebounded by posting an impressive victory over Spencer Fisher. That earned him a prominent PPV slot against Edson Barboza on the UFC’s return to Brazil. Although the fight is a loss on Pearson’s record, many believe he bested the talented Brazilian that night, and it remains one of his most impressive UFC performances, against one of his most difficult tests.

3. Al Iaquinta vs. Myles Jury – TUF 15, Episode 4 Upcoming Bout: Al Iaquinta vs. Ross Pearson

As of this writing, Myles Jury is the 8th ranked lightweight according to the UFC’s own rankings. So the fact that Iaquinta holds a win over him is no small feat, even if it was an exhibition bout from the TUF house. The loss is the only blemish on Jury’s record, which includes 15 professional and 6 amateur victories. This fight is also a big reason why Iaquinta was so highly touted coming off of his season of the reality series, and why he has so often been a large favorite in his bouts. In fact, the last time Iaquinta was an underdog was in this Jury fight. Will he be able to pull off another upset against another talented striker in Pearson this week?

4. Guto Inocente vs. Vitor Miranda – Shooto Brazil 17

Upcoming Bout: Guto Inocente vs. Anthony Perosh

Once upon a time, Guto Inocente was an extremely highly touted prospect. Injuries and layoffs have almost completely erased the hype on the now 28-year-old Brazilian, but he still has the skills to make an impact at light heavyweight. Take this fight against recent TUF Brazil finalist Vitor Miranda, for example. Inocente showed off tremendous striking skills that kept his opponent off balance the entire fight. His control of distance, combination striking, and body attack were particularly impressive, and if he can replicate this type of performance against Anthony Perosh, he should get back on track.

5. Marcus Brimage vs. Jimy Hettes – UFC 152 Upcoming Bout: Marcus Brimage vs. Jumabieke Tuerxun

By far the most impressive performance of Brimage’s career, his September 2012 bout against Jimy Hettes showed off potential that Brimage hopes to finally reach down at bantamweight. That evening he was able to stop seven of nine takedown attempts from Hettes, and showed off a far superior arsenal on the feet. Seeing as his upcoming opponent Tuerxun will need to employ a similar strategy to Hettes in order to pick up the victory, this bout could be a preview of what Brimage’s performance may look like come Friday night.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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