Preview and picks for UFC on Fox 30 card in Calgary

A breakdown of the fights on the main card of Saturday’s UFC on Fox 30 card at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with picks from the Review-Journal’s Adam Hill and Heidi Fang:

Eddie Alvarez (29-5, 1 No Contest) vs. Dustin Poirier (23-5, 1 No Contest)

Class: Lightweight

Line: Poirier -165

Storyline: This had all the makings of an instant classic when they first stepped in the cage to fight one another in May 2017. Both landed big shots until Poirier dropped Alvarez only to have the former champion rally back to drop Poirier. Alvarez looked for the finish, but landed two illegal knees and the bout was declared a no-contest. Expect more fireworks in the rematch as the fight now has the added dimension of all the bad blood that has built since that night. Alvarez is one of the toughest lightweights on the planet and Poirier is an explosive athlete with power in his hands and a slick ground game.

Hill’s Pick: Poirier by fourth-round submission

Fang’s Pick: Poirier by third-round knockout

Jose Aldo (26-4) vs. Jeremy Stephens (28-14)

Class: Featherweight

Line: Stephens -120

Storyline: Aldo is one of the most successful featherweights in mixed martial arts history. The last World Extreme Cagefighting champion entered the UFC as its first 145-pound champ and held the belt for more than four years before Conor McGregor ended his reign with one punch in December 2015. He won the vacant belt back with a virtuoso performance in a win over Frankie Edgar six months later only to drop back-to-back fights to Max Holloway. So while Aldo has lost three of his last four after starting his career 25-1, all of the setbacks have come against elite opponents. Stephens doesn’t quite fit that bill. While he’s powerful, incredibly durable and in the midst of a career resurgence since moving his training camps to Alliance in San Diego where he works with Dominick Cruz, Stephens still doesn’t have that marquee win on his resume. This is his big opportunity to get it, but it will be an uphill battle if Aldo looks like he did in the win over Edgar.

Hill’s Pick: Aldo by decision

Fang’s Pick: Stephens by decision

Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-2) vs. Tecia Torres (10-2)

Class: Women’s strawweight

Line: Jedrzejczyk -300

Storyline: Rose Namajunas made Jedrzejczyk look very human in her two title bout wins. It remains to be seen if other fighters in the division can exploit whatever weakness she was able to find. Jedrzejczyk insists it won’t happen. She asked for a fight immediately after losing the rematch against Namajunas and believes she will be in line for another title shot should she find a way to beat Torres decisively. It will be a bit of a different challenge. Torres is short even by strawweight standards, but she’s powerful and can throw punches from many different angles. She’s also very effective in the clinch and with her transitions as she’s able to exploit her low center-of-gravity. Jedrzejczyk has a lethal jab when she’s able to settle into a comfortable distance. It will be a very long night for Torres if she can’t get inside.

Hill’s Pick: Jedrzejczyk by second-round knockout

Fang’s Pick: Jedrzejczyk by decision

Alexander Hernandez (9-1) vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (12-2)

Class: Lightweight

Line: Aubin-Mercier -125

Storyline: There wasn’t a whole lot known about Hernandez before he accepted a short-notice fight and laid waste to the heavily-favored Beneil Dariush in March. Now he gets a chance to show that spectacular performance was no fluke. Hernandez came out like he was shot from a barrel and overwhelmed Dariush. That’s about the exact opposite of how Aubin-Mercier likes to fight. He’s a phenomenal grappler who is fantastic in the clinch and can really wear opponents down when he gets top position on the ground. He will almost certainly look to grind the fight to a halt and see if Hernandez can be as effective with his frenetic style as the fight wears on. One of these fighters will make a huge move in the lightweight division in this showcase bout.

Hill’s Pick: Hernandez by second-round knockout

Fang’s Pick: Aubin-Mercier by second-round submission

More MMA: Follow MMA and UFC coverage at CoveringTheCage.com and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

Covering The Cage Videos
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.
UFC 235 press conference highlights
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman have a heated exchange and Ben Askren enjoys his time on the stage by interacting with UFC president Dana White.
UFC president Dana White talks UFC 235 and more
UFC president Dana White joined Heidi Fang and Adam Hill to discuss the UFC 235 card set for Las Vegas on Mar. 2 at the T-Mobile Arena and also spoke on Colby Covington and Khabib Nurmagomedov's and Conor McGregor's disciplinary measures given by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Full version available on Facebook at Review-Journal Sports
Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman Have Heated Exchange At UFC 235 Presser - VIDEO
UFC 235 opened with Jon Jones returning after his meeting at the Nevada Athletic commission, Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman arguing on stage and Ben Askren making his UFC debut.
NAC Chairman says it's time to tone down MMA smack talk ahead of fights
After announcing the fines and suspensions given to Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for their involvement in a melee at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman Anthony Marnell said it may be time to address "mouthy fighters" smack talk and conduct leading up to a fight.
Jones, NAC Chairman issue statements following Jones' licensing approval for UFC 235
The Nevada Athletic Commission issued UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones a conditional one-fight license to compete at UFC 235 taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on Mar. 2. Jones had to reapply for a license in Nevada after failing a drug test which led to UFC 232 being moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, California.
UFC donates $240,000 to Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
UFC presents Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada with $240,000 donation and promises to grant more wishes as the partnership goes forward.
Benavidez on his new contract, future of the UFC flyweight division
UFC flyweight Joseph Benavidez, who is booked to fight Dustin Ortiz at UFC Fight Night 143 on ESPN Plus, discusses his role as an alternate for the title fight between T.J. Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo, his new 4-fight contract and the future of the 125-pound division.
Covering the Cage: Jones, Nunes win at UFC 232
Amanda Nunes defeats Cyborg in the women's featherweight division and Jon Jones returns to UFC as the light heavyweight champion. Covering the Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill recap the UFC 232 main and co main events.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing