The prelim card for UFC 189 is one that could likely fill a main card slot for a FOX Sports 1 event.
Instead, we’ll see it all before the pay-per-view lineup kicks off this Saturday night.
But in particular, there is one bout that is sure to knock your socks off.
Matt Brown vs. Tim Means.
The welterweight clash is going to “headline” the FS1 card from Las Vegas and the MGM Grand Garden Arena. And you can bet they will do everything in their power to get the fans on their feet.
Let’s start with Means, as the 31-year-old has come on like gangbusters since returning to the UFC in 2014.
Means went 2-2 over a four-fight stint between 2012-13, dropping a pair of decisions to Danny Castillo and Jorge Masvidal. He decided to hit up 170 pounds after competing as a lightweight, finding success with a pair of first round finishes for Legacy FC.
That netted Means a return to the Octagon, as he stepped in and fought Neil Magny, falling via decision. Since, though, he’s won four in a row, including back-to-back finishes this year vs. George Sullivan and Dhiego Lima.
But in Brown, he’ll be facing a monumental step-up in competition. “The Immortal” is on a two-fight losing skid, but they have been decision defeats to former champion Johny Hendricks and current champion Robbie Lawler.
Prior to that, Brown had reeled off seven wins in a row, including a stretch of five consecutive finishes that placed him in a title-eliminator vs. Lawler last July.
This is a critical moment for Brown, as no fighter wants to feel the heat of a three-bout losing skid on their resume. And with the division getting deeper and more competitive with every passing day, now is not the time to fall by the wayside.
And don’t forget the prelim lineup also includes the return of Mike Swick, Ireland’s “second-favorite-fighting-son” in Cathal Pendred taking on John Howard and a handful of other matches.
As always, FightLine will have you covered all week with pre-fight coverage and fight-night play-by-play.