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UFC On FOX 7: Preliminary Breakdown

UFC is back on FOX with a lightweight championship main event. Before that, there’s the preliminary card which features eight bouts from flyweight to middleweight.

The first two fights air on Facebook at 4 p.m. ET. The remainder of the preliminary card airs on FX, starting at 5 p.m. ET. The main card starts at 8 p.m. ET on the FOX channel.

UFC on FOX 7 comes from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA this Saturday, April 20. FightLine will be there with the play-by-play and news that follows.

Below is a breakdown of the eight preliminary fights.

Lightweight: Clifford Starks vs. Yoel Romero
The Facebook portion opens with lightweight action. Clifford Starks looks to improve his 1-1 UFC record after a loss to Ed Herman in February 2012. The reason for the fighter’s yearlong inactivity wasn’t revealed. Yoel Romero was the 2000 Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling. He’s 4-1, suffering that loss to Rafael Cavalcante for Strikeforce. He makes his return to the sport since September 2011.

Middleweight: Anthony Njokuani vs. Roger Bowling
After going through a tear of the WEC in 2009, Anthony Njokuani is 2-3 since joining up with the UFC. All of his fights went to the judges. Roger Bowling comes in directly from Strikeforce, where he was 3-1. The loss came in his final fight for Strikeforce over the summer, where the decision went to the eventual final Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine.

Bantamweight: TJ Dillashaw vs. Hugo Viana
The FX part of the preliminary card opens with the only bantamweight contest of the evening. Since TJ Dillashaw lost The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14, he’s on a three fight win streak. He comes in off finishes over Vaughan Lee and Issei Tamura. Hugo Viana entered the UFC as featherweight with a split-decision win. In his bantamweight debut, he knocked out Reuben Duran in just over four minutes.

Lightweight: Tim Means vs. Jorge Masvidal
Tim Means wants to keep up whatever he’s been doing as he sits on 10 straight wins. He’s fought mostly out of KOTC, where he took their junior welterweight and lightweight championship. He holds a pair of wins from the UFC last year. It took 10 years, but Jorge Masvidal has landed in the UFC. He spent time in Bellator during their first season and lost a Strikeforce lightweight title shot in late December 2011. He came back with a split-decision against Justin Wilcox.

Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Joseph Benavidez entered the UFC as bantamweight with two wins. He cut to flyweight when the belt was introduced and made it to the finals, when he dropped a close split-decision to Demetrious Johnson. He returned at February’s UFC 156 with a decision win opposite Ian McCall. Darren Uyenoyama has made two appearances inside the Octagon and left the victor each time. In his flyweight debut, he submitted Phil Harris in round two in October.

Lightweight: Myles Jury vs. Ramsey Nijem
Myles Jury doesn’t know what defeat is as he stands with 11 wins. Even more impressive is that 10 of those fights haven’t gone past round one, with four not seeing the second minute. His last fight with Michael Johnson went to the scorecards. After Ramsey Nijem lost TUF 13, he’s returned with a statement. He has three consecutive wins, which includes a round one TKO to C.J. Keith.

Middleweight: Francis Carmont vs. Lorenz Larkin
Francis Carmont fought across Europe before he entered the UFC in October 2011. Of his four wins, he’s chocked out Magnus Cedenblad and Karlos Vemola. Lorenz Larkin comes in out of Strikeforce. He held four wins for them and was defeated by light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. That was changed to a no contest when Lawal tested positive for steroids.

Featherweight: Chad Mendes vs. Darren Elkins
The preliminary card ends with featherweights making their first and only appearance on this show. Chad Mendes is looking to avenge his lone defeat from featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Of his 13 wins, five have ended in the first round. His last two UFC wins went a total of 2:26. Since dropping to featherweight, Darren Elkins has five more wins to his name. All were decisions, expect for last month’s UFC 158 where Elkins finished Antonio Carvalho in the opening round. Both are looking to close in on a featherweight championship shot.

Check back tomorrow for a breakdown of the main card.