weather icon Overcast

Here’s a preview of the UFC on Fox 26 main card bouts

Updated December 16, 2017 - 2:40 pm

A breakdown of the fights on the main card of UFC on Fox 26 on Saturday at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with picks from the Review-Journal’s Adam Hill and Heidi Fang:

Robbie Lawler (28-11, 1 No Contest) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (27-9)

Class: Welterweight

Line: Dos Anjos -125

Storyline: A matchup of former champions, though dos Anjos held his belt at lightweight. He has won both fights since moving up to 170 pounds and says he feels much better without the brutal weight cut. One of the best illustrations of just how much weight he was cutting is that dos Anjos really won’t be at too much of a size disadvantage in this fight. The bigger issue for him is that he has become far too willing to engage in a brawl. That’s never a good idea with Lawler. The former welterweight champion has proven the ability to take a shot and his power may be too much for dos Anjos if this devolves into a face-punching contest.

Hill’s Pick: Lawler by third-round knockout

Fang’s Pick: Lawler by fourth-round knockout

Ricardo Lamas (25-3) vs. Josh Emmett (11-1)

Class: Featherweight

Line: Lamas -275

Storyline: Lamas signed up for this fight when he thought he was going to fight former champ Jose Aldo for the opportunity to leap into title contention. Aldo was pulled from the event when featherweight champ Max Holloway needed an opponent earlier this month because of an injury to top contender Frankie Edgar. While Emmett is a tough opponent and poses some problems to Lamas, there could be a question of motivation in a fight that doesn’t have near the title implications Lamas is a veteran, however, and he’s worked too hard to get back to this point to suffer a letdown now. Emmett showed resolve in bouncing back from his first career loss to get back in the win column last time out. This may just be too big a step up in competition at this point in his career.

Hill’s Pick: Lamas by decision

Fang’s Pick: Emmett by decision

Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1)

Class: Welterweight

Line: Ponzinibbio -175

Storyline: There’s a reason this fight was booked for a network television main card. This is going to be an entertaining brawl for as long as it lasts. Neither guy is going to back away from the pocket and they both have exceptional power. That could mean there is great value in the underdog because it really just comes down to whose chin holds up better. Ponzinibbio is probably a justifiable favorite here, however, as he is the better technical striker and does have the option of going to the ground where his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu signifies his superiority on the mat. Perry’s power is legit, though.

Hill’s Pick: Ponzinibbio by third-round knockout

Fang’s Pick: Perry by second-round knockout

Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. Misha Cirkunov (13-3)

Class: Light heavyweight

Line: Cirkunov -160

Storyline: Cirkunov appeared destined for stardom in a 205-pound division before he was derailed by the fists of Volkan Oezdemir when he was knocked out in just 28 seconds back in May to end an eight-fight winning streak. He’s still an immense talent, but this fight against a perennial contender will gauge his confidence and ability to handle adversity. Cirkunov has power and a vicious submission game. Teixeira is solid in all aspects, but is slipping a bit after enduring a lot of wars in the cage.

Hill’s Pick: Cirkunov by second-round knockout

Fang’s Pick: Teixeira by third-round knockout

More MMA: Follow all of our MMA and UFC coverage online at CoveringTheCage.com and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
Greg Hardy, former NFL star, on MMA knockout
The former NFL star needed just 17 seconds to score a knockout on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series (Adam Hill/Review-Journal)
Marlon Moraes says Henry Cejudo will regret stepping up to bantamweight - VIDEO
UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo is coming up to the bantamweight division to battle Marlon Moraes for the vacant belt on June 8 at UFC 238. Moraes said Cejudo will regret going after a second title in a new division and added that he thinks his path will cross with former champion TJ Dillashaw in the future.
Paige VanZant details her arm injury, when she can return - VIDEO
UFC strawweight Paige VanZant was briefly linked to fight at UFC 236, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken arm. As a guest on the RJ Ringside Podcast, she detailed the injury and also spoke about joining the M-1 Global booth as a color commentator.
UFC 236 Press Conference Highlights
UFC 236 will feature a pair of interim title fights. In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will face lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will collide in the co-main event. UFC 236 will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on Apr. 13.
Jon Jones retains light heavyweight belt at UFC 235 - VIDEO
Jon Jones retained the UFC light heavyweight belt when he earned a decision over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235.
Kamaru Usman crowned new champ at UFC 235 — VIDEO
Kamaru Usman became the first African-born fighter to claim a UFC belt when he defeated Tyron Woodley to become the promotion's new welterweight champion.
UFC 235 Official Weigh-in Results - VIDEO
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 235 at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2 stepped on the scale prior for the official fight card weigh-ins. All four fighters competing in the title bouts slated for the event made weight.
UFC's Jones says he has no shame after recent drug test results are released - VIDEO
Though recent drug test results still show trace amounts of Turinabol in his system, UFC light heayvweight champion Jon Jones says he has no shame and is hiding nothing as he prepares for his UFC 235 title bout against Anthony Smith.
Anthony Smith stays level-headed prior to UFC 235 title fight - VIDEO
Despite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones being in the spotlight for drug test discrepancies and other outside the cage struggles, Anthony Smith says he is tuning out the noise and remaining focused on the challenge of beating the reigning champion in the cage.
UFC 235 Media Day Highlights
Highlights and staredowns from the top three fights on the UFC 235 fight card taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2.
Dustin Poirier beats up Max Holloway at UFC 236

Dustin Poirier bloodied Max Holloway and won a unanimous decision for the UFC interim lightweight title on Saturday night, denying Holloway his chance to become only the fourth fighter to hold two belts at the same time.

Poirier bloodies Holloway, wins UFC interim lightweight belt

Dustin Poirier bloodied Max Holloway and won a unanimous decision for the UFC interim lightweight title on Saturday night, denying Holloway his chance to become only the fourth fighter to hold two belts at the same time.