Early Look at the Fight Pass Prelims for UFC 203

Sean-SpencerThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is headed to Cleveland, OH for the first time in promotional history with UFC 203: Miocic vs Overeem. The stacked 13 fight card, which includes the debut of WWE superstar Phil “CM Punk” Brooks is set to kick off with preliminary action at 6:15pm ET on UFC Fight Pass, which will follow at 8pm ET on FOX Sports 1, culminating with the main card at 10pm ET only on Pay Per View. If interesting in wagering on any of the bouts for this fight card, all betting lines will be made available at Several Bookmakerss. Getting the action started for UFC 203 on the Fight Pass prelims will be a lightweight contest between Bosnia’s Damir Hadzovic and Japan’s Yusuke Kasuya. Hadzovic made his promotional debut nearly five months ago at UFC Fight Night 86, suffering a first round knockout at the hands of Mairbek Taisumov, marking the first time he has been finished in his professional mixed martial arts career. Kasuya is also in need of a victory in this contest, as he dropped a unanimous decision to Nick Hein his last time out nearly a year ago at UFC Fight Night 75. This is potentially a “loser goes home” match-up, so I expect both 155-pounders to leave it all inside the Octagon in an effort to earn their first UFC victory. Lightweight action continues with the next Fight Pass bout, as Colorado’s Drew Dober and promotional newcomer Jason Gonzalez take center stage. Dober will be looking to make it two in a row for himself inside the Octagon following a unanimous decision win over Scott Holtzman nine months ago. Gonzalez, who carries with him an impressive six fight winning streak into his Octagon debut, with all six wins coming inside the distance, aims to make waves in the UFC’s 155-pound division by taking out Dober and extending that streak to seven. This is the type of fight where if it doesn’t end early, it could end up being a sleeper for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors. It is a big fight for Dober and Gonzalez, so both lightweights are expected to show up and deliver. After dropping three fights in a row to Lyoto Machida, Michael Bisping and Nate Marquardt, respectively, CB Dollaway has opted to make a move up to the UFC’s light heavyweight division, and greeting him there will be Nova Uniao’s Francimar Barroso. The Brazilian is coming off a second round rear naked choke submission loss to Nikita Krylov and will be looking to return to the win column with an impressive victory over the TUF 7 veteran. Another fighter will be moving up a weight class at UFC 203, as Yancy Medeiros heads up to 170-pounds following a unanimous decision loss to Francisco Trinaldo at lightweight to take on Sean Spencer. It could be argued that Medeiros has lost three fights in a row, because he has a very controversial split decision win (over John Makdessi) sandwiched between the aforementioned Trinaldo loss and a first round TKO at the hands of Dustin Poirier. It is worth noting that he missed weight for the Poirier bout, and it is also worth noting that he competed at middleweight prior to his UFC debut, for which he dropped two whole weight classes. Spencer is coming off a third round knockout against veteran Mike Pyle at UFC Fight Night 82 seven months ago. The loss put him at a two fight defecit, following a very controversial unanimous decision loss to Cathal Pendred. Wrapping up the UFC 203 Fight Pass prelims, these welterweights will go toe to toe in an effort to get their hand raised and save their jobs, which could potentially be in jeapordy. Update: Due to VISA issues for Hadzovic, his bout against Yusoke has been removed from the UFC 203 fight card and has been moved to October 15’s UFC Fight Night 97 in Manila.

Written by Gabe Killian

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