The opener on the main card is an intriguing lightweight bout between the revamped Jamie Varner and fan favorite Joe Lauzon.
Varner returned to the UFC on short notice in his latest bout, which saw him knock out hot prospect Edson Barboza. That knockout has immediately made Varner a player in the division, which could be why he is getting this top-notch bout on short notice once again.
Meanwhile, Lauzon is coming off the most devastating loss of his career. In Japan, Lauzon was leveled by a huge head kick by Anthony Pettis, which set Lauzon back a bit.
The striking advantage would go to Varner in this bout. He has more knockout power, as well as a more versatile striking arsenal. Lauzon has solid boxing, but is just edged out in this department.
The grappling is almost even, but Lauzon's aggressive attack earns the nod here. He is more submission oriented, while Varner is the better wrestler.
When it's all said and done, I think Lauzon is the all-around more complete fighter.
Prediction: Lauzon def. Varner via submission