The UFC is planning to tie up almost your entire Saturday – if you are into that sort of thing.
Two events are scheduled to take place, with the first – UFC Fight Night 48: Bisping vs. Le – starting bright and early at 6:30 a.m. ET from China. Later in the day, UFC Fight Night 49: Henderson vs. Dos Anjos goes down with the more customary 7:30 p.m. ET start time.
All total, 21 fights are in order.
Here’s a few things you can look forward to if you plan on filling your day with MMA action:
The Octagon debut of Jon Jones’ college teammate
Colby Covington roomed with Jones and fellow UFC fighter Joe Soto during his wrestling career at Iowa Central Community College. Now, he’ll compete on the big stage.
Covington faces Wang Anying and has won all five of his pro fights, including three via submission. He fought in May, defeating Jay Ellis with an arm-triangle choke.
“Stun Gun” looks for his fifth straight over “T-Wood”
Dong Hyun Kim will be trying to push himself towards a potential welterweight title fight when he faces Tyron Woodley in the co-main event. Kim, better known as “Stun Gun,” has won his last four, including a March knockout of John Hathaway.
Woodley saw his two-fight win streak snapped by Rory McDonald in June, bringing him back down a few notches in the pecking order. After facing some intense talk from Dana White, the former Strikeforce title-challenger needs a strong showing.
Can Bisping back up his talk, or will he fall victim to Le?
Michael Bisping did exactly what Michael Bisping does before fights? Talk and talk and talk. “The Count” got under the skin of Cung Le with his comments, and the two have traded verbal jabs since.
Now, they will get locked inside the Octagon with 25 minutes to settle their differences.
Bisping lost to Tim Kennedy earlier this year via decision after spending a year on the sidelines recovering from an eye injury, while Le hasn’t fought since 2012. The former Strikeforce champion knocked out Rich Franklin that year – also in China.
Who will surprise on the UFN 49 prelims?
Neil Magny, Alex Garcia, Beneil Dariush, Tony Martin, Aaron Phillips, Matt Hobar, Ben Saunders, Chris Heatherly, Wilson Reis and Joby Sanchez all have an opportunity to steal the show on the prelims.
If I had to give out an early pick for the “show-stealer” it would be Saunders, as the veteran knows what it takes to compete at the highest level. He’s fought in Bellator tournaments and previously for the UFC.
Pyle or Mein? Carmont or Leites?
The two bouts leading up to the main event feature four fighters looking to make a stand, as Mike Pyle faces Jordan Mein and Francis Carmont battles Thales Leites.
Of the four, Leites is a former UFC title contender. Mein, though, has won four of five with the lone loss coming to Matt Brown. If he can solve the veteran Pyle, he might make a good case for a Top-10 opponent next.
Carmont, meanwhile, is the most desperate of the four after losing two straight. Only a short time ago, the had won 11 in a row, including five inside the Octagon.
What can “Smooth” do for an encore?
He’s been involved in over a half-dozen main events, but many are still critical of Benson Henderson. The former UFC lightweight champion has won two straight since falling to Anthony Pettis for the title.
Rafael dos Anjos is no slouch, having won six of his last seven. His lone loss came to top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov in April, to which he rebounded with a TKO victory over Jason High.
Henderson has his spot marked as a contender to the title, whenever it becomes available, but dos Anjos could vault right back near the top with a win.