The final UFC card of the year is almost here, with the main event having Middleweight title implications. Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland headline the card with a sprinkle of established veterans during the night.
The co-main event will see two Lightweight fighters looking to move up the rankings, with Arman Tsarukyan taking on fellow Russian Damir Ismagulov.
UFC Vegas 66: Main Card Preview
Jared “The Killa Gorilla’ Cannonier vs Sean ‘Tarzan’ Strickland
Both fighters will be looking to redeem themselves after losses in their last fights. Strickland went into the Octagon with one of the best strikers in the world with the worst game plan. He stood right in front of Alex Pereira and got put to sleep. Cannonier has a lot of power; if Strickland does what he did against Pereira, he will be put to sleep again.
This fight is precisely what Cannonier needs to get back on track. In their bout, he was left frustrated by former Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya, and he needs someone who is game enough to face him head-on in the Octagon. Strickland is just that kind of fighter; he doesn’t take a backward step, whether it’s good for him or not.
Odds on Neds: Jared Cannonier $1.87 Sean Strickland $1.94
Arman ‘Ahalkalakets’ Tsarukyan vs Damir Ismagulov
This fight is a chance for Ismagulov to break into the Lightweight top 10. Since joining the UFC in 2018, he has gone undefeated, and his only loss dates back to 2015, which was his sixth fight.
Tsarukyan will be looking to rebound from his loss to Mateusz Gamrot. He has headlined a card before, so going on second last won’t daunt him, though I doubt that Ismagulov will be put off being the co-headliner.
This fight is a chance for both fighters to make their mark in the 155lb division; it should be a cracker.
Odds on Neds: Arman Tsarukyan $1.48 Damir Ismagulov $2.65
Amir ‘The Prince’ Albazi vs Alessandro ‘Nono’ Costa
Two up-and-coming fighters get their chance on the final card of the year. Albazi has won his first three fights inside the Octagon; two have been submissions, while the other was a unanimous decision. Can ‘The prince’ make it four from four?
Costa, on the other hand, will be making his UFC debut. He did fight on Dana White’s Contender Series, getting the win via a split decision, but it wasn’t enough to get a contract. In his next fight, which took place in Lux FightLeague, he won via a 12-second knockout. After that impressive win, he is now fighting on the main card of a UFC event.
Odds on Neds: Amir Albanzi $1.22 Alessandro Costa $2.25
Alex ‘Bruce Leeroy’ Caceres vs Julian “Juicy J’ Erosa
Who doesn’t love a ‘Bruce Leeroy’ fight? The man has been entertainment plus in the past, and he has only fought once this year, a loss to Sodiq Yusuff. Finishing the year with a win would be a bonus for Caceres, and doing it in style will be even better.
After losing to Seung Woo Choi in June 2021, ‘Juicy J’ has won three fights in a row. In his last fight against Hakeem Dawodu, Erosa looked comfortable in the standup and even landed a flying knee. When Dawodu started to find his rhythm, he returned to his wrestling. He may have to do the same if Caceres picks him apart on the feet.
Odds on Neds: Alex Caceres $2.40 Julian Erosa $1.57
Drew Dober vs Bobby ‘King’ Green
This fight is set to be a barn burner. Both of these fighters like to put on a show. Dober had a great win in his last bout against Rafael Alves, defeating the Brazilian with a body shot. While Dober won’t be getting a title shot soon, putting on a fight-of-the-night performance will surely get him a performance bonus.
Two weeks after beating Nasrat Haqparast, Green stepped up to face Islam Makhachev when Beneil Dariush got injured. That wasn’t to be Green’s night, as he lost via TKO against the future Lightweight champion. This fight is Green’s first back from a six-month USADA suspension.
Odds on Neds: Drew Dober $1.60 Bobby Green $2.35
Cody Brundage vs Michael ‘Hussar’ Oleksiejczuk
Not a bad fight to open the main card. Like Costa, Brundage came from Dana White’s Contender Series and had to win outside of the promotion before getting a shot in the UFC. Losing in his debut, Brundage has won his last two fights. A win against a formidable opponent like Oleksiejcuk will do wonders for him.
Oleksiejcuk returned to the winner’s circle with a win over Sam Alvey in his return to the Middleweight division. He had a rough trot in the Light Heavyweight division. Will Middleweight be better for the Polish fighter? Time will tell.
Odds on Neds: Michael Oleksiejczuk $1.35 Cody Brundage $3.25
Enjoy the fights!