Tonight the UFC returns to Minnesota for the first time since Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones made their Octagon debuts. Yes, the Twin Cities haven’t seen the UFC since UFC 87 when Georges St. Pierre defeated Jon Fitch for his [somethingth] title defense. Since then, a lot has changed. Brock Lesnar is a professional wrestler, Jon Jones is a champion and Georges St. Pierre is still a champion. OK, I guess not much has changed but most of the guys fighting tonight weren’t around 4 years ago.
The headliner is Travis Browne versus Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Travis Browne is undefeated, but his biggest win came against Stefan Struve a year ago. Only 3 of Browne’s 14 fights have gone the distance with most ending with his opponent knocked out. Knocking out Bigfoot will be quite a task since his head is built like a Brink’s truck. OK, so his last two fights ended with knockouts, but still. Silva beat Fedor then lost back-to-back fights to Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez. If Browne can do the same, that’s pretty good company.
The rest of the card is solid, but without names to get excited about. Jay Hieron returns to the Octagon to face Jake Ellenberger who is coming off a loss. John Dodson and newcomer Jussier Formiga face off in a fight that is supposed to be a flyweight title eliminator. Josh Neer and Justin Edwards are both coming off losses, but Neer is always exciting.
The undercard is really solid on Fuel. Dennis Hallman missed weight and had his fight canceled, which left Mike Pierce versus Aaron Simpson as the only poor saps on the Facebook prelims.
MAIN CARD (FX, 8 p.m. ET)
Travis Browne (13-0-1, 3-0-1 UFC) vs. Antonio Silva (16-4, 0-1 UFC)
Jake Ellenberger (27-6, 6-2 UFC) vs. Jay Hieron (23-5, 0-2 UFC)
John Dodson (13-5, 2-0 UFC) vs. Jussier Formiga (14-1, UFC Debut)
Josh Neer (33-11-1, 6-7 UFC) vs. Justin Edwards (7-2, 1-2 UFC)
PRELIMINARY CARD (FUEL TV, 5 p.m. ET)
Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens
Danny Castillo vs. Michael Johnson
Dennis Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares
Shane Roller vs. Jacob Volkmann
Diego Nunes vs. Bart Palaszewski
Phil Harris vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Marcus LeVesseur vs. Carlo Prater
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 4 p.m. ET)
Mike Pierce vs. Aaron Simpson
[gif via Zombie Prophet]