UFC Fight Night has the world’s top MMA promotion going to Wichita, Kansas for the first time in company history. That first time should be memorable with a heavyweight showdown between former title challenger Derrick “Black Beast” Lewis and former UFC heavyweight champion Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos headlining the event which will be held on Saturday, March 9th at the Intrust Bank Arena.

Aside from the fantastic main event, an explosive undercard has been assembled for the event which is also dubbed as UFC on ESPN+ 4. The preliminaries will start at 5pm ET while the main card is set to get underway by 8pm ET all on ESPN.

Here are the key fights of the UFC Fight Night:

“Fighting" Junior Dos Santos vs Derrick Lewis

Derrick Lewis is coming off the first submission loss of his career after he was submitted by Daniel Cormier when he challenged for the UFC heavyweight title last November. Like Dos Santos, Lewis is known for his one punch knockout power. 18 of the Black Beast’s 21 wins have come via knockout. Despite his size, Lewis is good at throwing leg kicks and uses his knees well in the clinch. He isn’t known for his cardio but he’s durable and has a decent chin although he’s been stopped before.

Derrick Lewis vs Junior Dos Santos Odds

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Dos Santos


Odds from betonline.ag as of 3/05/19

Dos Santos is probably the best boxer the heavyweight division has ever seen. Cigano won the UFC heavyweight title by knocking out Cain Velasquez. However, Velasquez beat him twice after that.  In his prime, JDS had scary knockout power and excellent counter punching skills. But since his two losses to Cain, he’s never looked the same. Dos Santos has won two fights in a row since losing the belt. His last win over Tai Tuivasa proved he still has the knockout punch.

JDS is the better fighter and has the better resume however, we know that he is no longer in his prime. Dos Santos used to have a granite chin but after getting knocked out by Cain and Alistair Overeem, he looks like a completely different fighter. It’s tempting to pick JDS because he’s the favorite and he’s the more decorated fighter. But remember we were in this boat when Cain fought Ngannou. We know how that ended. This is the heavyweight division and all it takes is one punch to win the fight, Between the two, I think Lewis can pull the trigger better and faster. The one thing I learned from the Cain vs Ngannou bout is that you don’t think twice about the plus money on a one-punch knockout artist.  It’s power over reputation here.

Prediction: Derrick Lewis by knockout

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“Fighting" Elizeu Zaleski vs Curtis Millender

Zaleski is tearing up the welterweight division with six straight victories. The 32 year old Brazilian is a striker who relies on athleticism and quick combinations. He also has a creative arsenal which includes spinning back kicks and flying knees. What’s impressive about Zaleski is that he’s never been knocked out despite his exciting style.

Elizeu Zaleski vs Curtis Millender Odds

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Odds from betonline.ag as of 3/05/19

Millender is also on a roll himself, winning his last nine bouts. He is 3-0 in the UFC and made his UFC debut by knocking out Thiago Alves at UFC Fight Night 126. Millender is dangerous with his hands and violent with his legs and knees. I think this could be fight of the night because these are two exciting fighters who are not shy to trade strikes. I think this will be a striking affair that will go the full route because both are tough fighters. I love Zaleski’s skillset but Millender has a three inch advantage in height and a three inch edge in reach. Sometimes, size and length are enough to win these type of fights.

Prediction: Curtis Millender by decision

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“Fighting" Tim Means vs Niko Price

Mean has been around for a while and it’s safe to say he’s a gatekeeper at welterweight. Dirty Bird is tough and a good finisher as we saw in his November win over Ricky Rainey. But while he’s a durable dude, Means has a tendency to get outworked by his opponents, especially during slow paced fights.

Tim Means vs Niko Price Odds

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Odds from betonline.ag as of 3/05/19

Price is excitement guaranteed when he fights. Only one of his 15 bouts has gone the distance. 8 of his 12 wins are by knockout and 3 by submission. Likewise both his losses have come via stoppage as well. Means likes this fight because Price is aggressive and that has always been a double-edged sword for him. However, I don’t think Means has the power to stop Price and at 35, I don’t think he can cope with Hybird’s aggression. Price is a value pick with plus money here.

Prediction: Niko Price by stoppage

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“Fighting" Blagoy Ivanov vs Ben Rothwell

Ivanov will be looking for his first UFC win. He came to the promotion last year as the WSOF heavyweight champion but the combat sambo legend was a disappointment against Junior Dos Santos as he was outstruck by JDS and never got his clinch or ground game going.

Blagoy Ivanov vs Ben Rothwell Odds

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Odds from betonline.ag as of 3/05/19

The last time we saw Ben Rothwell was when he was defeated by JDS in 2016. Big Ben sat out two years after a USADA ban and I’m not sure what shape he is in, especially at age 37. But hey, this is the heavyweight division and it takes just one punch to change one’s destiny and the good thing is that Rothwell has that punch. Ivanov isn’t the best technical striker but given Rothwell’s case and Ivanov’s toughness, I think he does enough to win on points here. If neither fighter gets a KO here, this could be a snoozefest.

Prediction: Blagoy Ivanov by decision

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“Fighting" Beneil Dariush vs Drew Dober

Dariush has been on the losing end of two knockouts from Edson Barboza and Alex Hernandez with a draw against Evan Dunham in between the two defeats. In his last bout though, the Iranian got back on the winning side with a dominant points win over Thiago Moises

Beneil Dariush vs Drew Dober Odds

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Odds from betonline.ag as of 3/05/19

Dober has been in the UFC since 2014 but you probably never heard of him because he’s won some fights and lost other but none relevant enough to make him elite. He owns a choke win over Jamie Varner but his last two losses were via chokes too. Dober has good  power and is good on the stand up but he doesn’t have the same kind of power that Barboza or Hernandez had when they stopped Dariush. Dariush has excellent Muay Thai and if Dober takes him down, the Iranian has one of the best ground skills at 155. I don’t see how Dober wins here really and Dariush is a steal at -180.

Prediction: Beneil Dariush by submission

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“Fighting" Alex Morono vs Zach Ottow

Morono is 15-5 overall and began his UFC career with two straight wins. But after a KO loss to Niko Price was overturned, Morono has alternated wins and losses. In his last fight though, he earned Fight of the Night honors for his win over Kenan Song in Beijing. Morono is a free-swinger but he has more victories by submission than by knockout at six against four, respectively.

Alex Morono vs Zach Ottow Odds

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Odds from betonline.ag as of 3/05/19

Ottow has also struggled to put together victories as he has a 4-3 octagon record. Three of Ottow’s four UFC wins were by split decision  In his last bout, he earned a close split decision win over knockout artist Dwight Grant. Ottow looks to be the better skilled fighter but what Morono lacks in ability, he makes up for with aggression and a solid chin. Ottow fights at a monotonous pace while Morono keeps coming on. Morono’s aggression wins this fight by decision.

Prediction: Alex Morono by decision

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