Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the hurt business today (Sat., Oct. 28, 2017) for UFC Fight Night 119, which is set to go down inside Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The FOX Sports 1-televised event will feature a Middleweight scrap between Derek Brunson and Lyoto Machida. In the co-main event, Colby Covington will face local legend Demian Maia.

What’s Hot:

It’s been 18 long months since the mixed martial arts (MMA) world saw Lyoto Machida in action after he was suspended for failing a drug test prior to his scheduled bout against Dan Henderson.

Now that he’s back, “The Dragon” is determined to get back on the winning track after dropping his previous two bouts to Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero. Standing in his way is Derek Brunson, the hard-hitting 185-pounder who recently got back on the winning track after suffering a two-fight skid of his own against top combatants Anderson Silva and Robert Whittaker.

It’s an interesting fight to say the least, but it won’t exactly have any major title implications for the time being, as the Middleweight division is stacked with worthy contenders and has been pretty much on hold with Michael Bisping’s injury and his on again, off again … and then on again title fight against Georges St-Pierre.

Colby Covington has been doing a lot of talking lately. Actually, he’s been doing a lot of talking for quite some time now.

His fight against Demian Maia — which will be the toughest of his career — will allow him the opportunity to back it up. Should he get an impressive win over the jiu-jitsu ace, “Chaos” can prove his worth and jam the 170-pound title scene a bit more. As for Maia, he wants to get another crack at the strap after a stinker against Tyron Woodley back at UFC 214. A win over Colby won’t get him there just yet, but it will get him closer.

Original Card vs. Actual Card:

Originally, a Light Heavyweight showdown between Misha Cirkunov and Glover Teixieria was linked to this event, but was eventually moved to UFC on FOX 26 in December after Glover needed time to heal from an injury. Carlos Felipe was set to face off against Christina Colombo, but after Carlos was notified of a potential United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) violation, and was replaced by Marcel Golm.

Injuries:

Augusto Mendes was forced out of his bout against Boston Salmon (yes, that’s his name) with a leg injury. After Salmon was re-booked to face off against Raoni Barcelos, Salmon was forced out with an injury of his won and Raoni was taken off the card altogether. Luan Chagas pulled out of his welterweight bout against Niko Price due to a fractured foot and was ultimately replaced by Vicente Luque.

New Blood:

Marcelo Golm will look to remain undefeated (5-0) when he steps into the cage for the first time against Christian Colombo on short notice.

How The “Prelims” Look:

There isn’t a whole lot to get excited about, however, Niko Price will look to remain undefeated (10-0-1, 2-0-1 UFC) and continue his ascension up the Welterweight ladder when he takes on Vicente Luque in the headlining preliminary bout. Another interesting out will see Antonio Carlos Junior take on Jack Marshman as he attempts to collects his fourth straight win and continue to put his stamp on the Middleweight division.

Who Needs A Win Badly:

Machida, despite losing two in a row, is getting headlining duties. That said, he needs a win in the worst way, as losing three in a row could be detrimental to his combat career.

His drop to Middleweight has been less than stellar, going 3-3 after dominating the Light Heavyweight division during his best years in the Octagon. And Brunson is far from a pushover and isn’t an easy fight back after such a long layoff, so “The Dragon” dropping three straight is a very real possibility.

Interest Level: 6/10

It’s a pretty decent card, actually, as I’m eager to see what Machida has left — or if he’s improved — following such a long layoff. Can he return to his once dominate ways? Is his time in MMA up? Can Brunson score a big win inside the Octagon when it counts? The headlines are bountiful with this fight.

The co-main event between Covington and Maia could have easily headlined this event, as Colby has done his part to promote his fight with his best Chael Sonnen impressions. Colby can prove he’s more than talker if he can pick up a huge win against the former two-time title contender. The rest of the main card looks good, too, as it’s always a good time when Jim Miller competes, and when he has a willing foe like Francisco Trinaldo who likes to bang, it could be “Fight of the Night.”

Opening up the main card is a bantamweight bout between two heavy hitters, as John Lineker will look to get back into the win column after losing to T.J. Dillashaw when he faces off against Marlon Vera, who has been on a roll as of late, winning three straight bouts in dominate fashion. A win over Lineker will give “Chito” the biggest of his career and catapult him up the rankings.

We should be in for an interesting night of fights.

Full UFC Fight Night 119 Fight Card:

UFC Fight Night 119 Main Event:

185 lbs.: Lyoto Machida vs. Derek Brunson

UFC Fight Night 119 Main Card On FS1 (10 p.m. ET):

170 lbs.: Colby Covington vs. Demian Maia
135 lbs.: Rob Font vs. Pedro Munhoz
155 lbs.: Jim Miller vs. Francisco Trinaldo
185 lbs.: Jack Hermansson vs. Thiago Santos
135 lbs.: John Lineker vs. Marlon Vera

UFC Fight Night 119 Prelims On FS2 (8 p.m. ET):

170 lbs.: Niko Price vs. Vicente Luque
185 lbs.: Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Jack Marshman
155 lbs.: Hacran Dias vs. Jared Gordon
170 lbs.: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Max Griffin

UFC Fight Night 119 Prelims On Fight Pass (7 p.m. ET):

125 lbs.: Jarred Brooks vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
265 lbs.: Christian Colombo vs. Marcelo Golm

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