UFC officials did a solid job in putting together a seven-fight prelim lineup for this Saturday night’s UFC 187 card.
It features a top flyweight contender, former champions from Bellator MMA and the World Series of Fighting, a rising star out of The Ultimate Fighter and a finalist from TUF.
The event takes place inside MGM Grand Garden Arena and FightLine will have complete coverage of all the action.
Here’s a closer look at the fights set for UFC Fight Pass (at 6:30 p.m. ET) and FOX Sports 1 (at 8 p.m. ET):
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
Flyweights will open up the action, as Justin Scoggins (9-2) and Josh Sampo (11-4) square off. During their careers, these two have amassed several finishes, and each knows coming into a big card that another spectacular stoppage could vault them into the Top-15.
Scoggins prefers the knockout for his offensive attack, while over 50-percent of Sampo’s finishes have been via submission. Wrestling is also to the advantage of Scoggins, while Sampo has proven an effective defensive fighter.
Lightweights Islam Makhachev (11-0) and Leo Kuntz (17-1-1) have impressive records to their credit, and both will be making their official Octagon debuts. Kuntz is the more effective striker, while Makhachev has shown power in the past, but also sports a strong submission game.
The early prelims will conclude with a battle of the veteran vs. the prospect in Mike Pyle and Colby Covington. Pyle (26-10-1) has fought the who’s who of MMA at welterweight, while Covington (7-0) is unbeaten and has looked very strong in his UFC career.
FOX Sports 1 Prelims
Nothing like a good old female strawweight affair to begin things, as Rose Namajunas (3-2) takes on Nina Ansaroff (6-4). Namajunas advanced to the finals of TUF, falling to Carla Esparza for the title. She has a 100-percent finishing rate via knockout for her career, with Ansaroff coming in at 67-percent in terms of knockout stoppages.
From there, we’ll shift to the middleweight ranks with fellow TUF finalist Uriah Hall (11-4) taking on Rafael Natal (19-6-1). Hall has come on like gangbusters since a loss to John Howard, connecting with over three strikes per minute. Natal has a strong ground game, averaging almost three takedowns per, and is sound with the submissions.
Dong Hyun Kim and Josh Burkman own 47 career wins to their credit, and Burkman is a former World Series of Fighting champion. Burkman (28-11) and Kim (19-3-1) each like the takedown, averaging a combined six per fight. Kim, though, holds an 81-percent takedown defense rate.
The final fight of the prelims boasts John Dodson (17-6) and Zach Makovsky (19-5). Dodson fought for the title in the UFC once before, and many believe a win over “Fun Size” would position him right back for a shot at Demetrious Johnson. Makovsky, who is ranked inside the Top-10, is a former Bellator champion and averages 4.5 takedowns per fight.