After a week of no action, the UFC is back in full force with fantastic cards until August. The summer months are coming, and Dana White has put together some great fights for fans to look forward to for the next few weeks. Kai Kara-France and Amir Albazi will headline the first flyweight main event of 2023, in what should be a very exciting fight. Let's take a closer look at the main card as it shows on Verdict.
The quadrilogy between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno is settled, and new champion Moreno has his next title challenger in Alexandre Pantoja. They will fight at International Fight Week at UFC 290. This main event is an important one for many reasons. Despite losing to Brandon Moreno for an interim flyweight title, a win for Kai Kara-France keeps him alive in title talks, and if Pantoja is able to defeat Moreno, Kai could be on a very short list of next possible opponents. On the other hand, if Albazi is able to crack the top five, this gives the division a new contender and another option for a title shot, regardless of who wins in July. This fight is almost certain to end in a finish. Both men are born finishers with their respective styles, Kara-France on the feet and Albazi on the ground. There have been fourteen flyweight fights in 2023, and twelve of them have not gone the distance. This sets up two guys with a combined 28 finishes to get the job done inside the distance on Saturday.
Alex Caceres will be defending his #15 ranking in the featherweight division against Daniel Pineda in the co-main event. These two are pure grapplers, which should set up some really fun exchanges between two fighters that are very good at their craft. Both men are suceptible to getting submitted, as they both combine for thirteen submission losses, so if this fight hits the mat, expect this fight to end before the judges scorecards.
Jared Gordon took this fight on very short notice against Jim Miller, with a lot of people saying it may have been too soon. Gordon competed just a few weeks ago, where he was brutally knocked out by Bobby Green due to a clash of heads. Gordon has stated during media week that he had to get over a minor concussion, and that he is also cutting a lot of weight to get down to the 155 pound limit. Jim Miller, the man with a lot of UFC records including the most fights in the company's histroy, has a tough test ahead of him, despite Gordon taking this fight on short notice, but we will see how this week has been treating Gordon in the octagon on Saturday.
In addition to Jared Gordon, it's been an interesting fight week for Tim Elliott to say the least. Elliott recently made his relationship split with fellow UFC fighter Gina Mazany public, which has garnered a lot of public support. Elliott faces the Dana White's Contender Series alum Victor Altamirano, who is looking to build off of a 2-1 run thusfar in the UFC. Elliott currently holds the number eleven spot in the flyweight rankings, and so we will see how Tim handles these outside issues and if we will have a new member of the top fifteen come next week.
Karine Silva is a prospect that should be on everybody's radar. Very rare do we find a female fighter with as much finishing ability as Silva posseses, but the 29 year old has a 100% finish rate, with eight knockouts and seven submissions. She made quick work of her opponent on Dana White's Contender Series, and followed that up with her fifth consecutive submission win against Poliana Botelho in her UFC debut. Her opponent, Ketlen Souza, will be making her UFC debut, and has fought the likes of Ariane Carnelossi on the regional scene.
The main card opener will feature Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. These are two veterans that have a lot of experience in the UFC, and should be an appetizing opener to this main card. Both men have struggled to find consistency as of recent, so a win for either could really set themselves up for success with another big fight later this year.