Which undercard fights stand out the most to you from the week, and why?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Trick question. If there are 100 fantastic undercard fights that stick out, how can you tell that they’re sticking out? The entire UFC 200 card is the answer. The whole damn card sticks out (sans Sage Northcutt). First you look at Lesnar vs. Hunt, then you realize that Cain Velasquez beat Lesnar and has his first fight outside of JDS/Bigfoot/Werdum since he fought Lesnar in 2010, then you realize that arguably the best bantamweight in the world is fighting the last guy to beat him before his title run, and on and on it goes like a run-on sentence that will never die.
In a normal week, Roy Nelson vs. Derrick Lewis would stand out. But during this week? Forgot it was even booked. In a normal week, Will Brooks making his UFC debut would stand out. But this week? Nope. It’s all about UFC 200, and everything else is fluff. At the expense of two Las Vegas cards, South Dakota, Chicago, and Atlanta, but let’s not worry about the fact that they’re killing good markets while flooding Vegas.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt is the easy answer. It’s a fight I’m eagerly anticipating. At the same time, T.J. Dillashaw vs. Raphael Assuncao will be a way better fight, and a more important one for the their division. Both fights are on UFC 200, the most stacked card of all-time. Lesnar-Hunt will boil down to if Lesnar can take Hunt down. If he does, he should win in explosive fashion. If he can’t, he should lose in explosive fashion. It’ll be an exciting fight and the atmosphere will be electric, but I’m equally as excited to see Dillashaw-Assuncao 2. Assuncao beat Dillashaw about three years ago, but he’s a different fighter now. I want to see how this plays out. There are some other really good undercards fights coming up, but those are my main two.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Assuncao vs Dillashaw has a lot riding on it for both guys, and it’s going to be pivotal to the future of the division, so a lot of eyes will be focusing on that. Another very important undercard bout is Pena vs Zingano to see if Cat can fight her way back into contention or if Pena will become a perennial contender.
JAMIE PENICK, MMATORCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Brock Lesnar’s return stands out above the rest, but it’s also getting close to top billing on Saturday’s event. The bantamweight rematch between T.J. Dillashaw and Raphael Assuncao is as good as you’re going to get in an FS1 prelim spot, and the entirety of the UFC 200 card is certainly worth watching. On the other two events this week, Roy Nelson vs. Derrick Lewis could be three minutes of awesome or 15 minutes of awful, but we’re in for a fun bout if it’s the former. Will Brooks making his debut on Friday is also well worth watching, and we’ll see if he can move his way into contention from there.
[Photo (c) Bob DeChiara via USA Today Sports]
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