UFC on Fox events are typically preceded by loud rumblings from the MMA community. But when Demetrious Johnson defends his flyweight title against John Moraga during Saturday's Fox main event, it will instead be after a bit of fanfare and some hushed whispers.
Though Johnson and Moraga possess the skill, speed and raw athleticism needed to put on an exciting bout, the question lingers as to whether or not the lighter weight classes will draw a casual crowd.
The headlining flyweights will enter the cage supercharged with a dose of electricity, enough to power them as them blitz through tons of flurried exchanges. Wherever you may stand on the lightest men in the UFC roster, these two 125-pound speed devils are likely to close out the evening with impressive performances.
Yet if we put aside the implications of the title fight for a moment, we're left with a fight card filled with heavy hitters who routinely deliver with each Octagon appearance.
Let's take a peek at three potential bouts that'll build the energy up to that main event.
Weight Class: Lightweight
Where to See It: FX Prelims
MMA veteran Yves Edwards (42-19-1) will be aiming for his 42nd career victory on Saturday night. Those are some serious fight years racked up on his clock. Yet at the ripe age of 36, Edwards still knows how to unload with his fists—18 of his wins came via knockout, with his most recent victory marked by a destruction of an otherwise-durable Jeremy Stephens.
But at UFC on Fox 8, Edwards will be squaring off against another fighter who's familiar with all kinds of striking mechanics.
Daron Cruickshank (12-3-0) is no stranger to exotic kicks—his official UFC fighter profile describes his favorite striking technique as a ball kick, in which the ball of the foot slams into the opponent's sensitive parts.
If both Edwards and Cruickshank throw down in a test to see who's the fiercer striker of the two, fans will be in for an explosive treat.
Weight Class: Women's Bantamweight
Where to See It: Fox Main Card
Liz Carmouche (8-3-0) made it into the history books when she co-headlined UFC 157 alongside the women's bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, in the organization's first female fight.
But that title shot didn't end well for "Girl-Rilla"—she tapped to an armbar at the end of the first round.
On Saturday night, she'll be looking to avenge that loss against Jessica Andrade (9-2-0) and set a course for another shot at the women's championship belt. Andrade is no slouch, though—the Brazilian-born fighter has finished all nine of her victories by way of brutal punches or her go-to submission: the guillotine choke.
Female fighters have established a habit of delivering savage wars inside the venerable Octagon. UFC on Fox 8 will be no different when these two warriors face off.
Weight Class: Welterweight
Where to See It: Fox Main Card
When welterweight star Rory MacDonald (14-1-0) fields questions asking whether he'd include the word psycho in his nickname, it speaks volumes to how intriguing of a character he really is.
Just don't ask his UFC on Fox 8 opponent for any favorable opinions—Jake Ellenberger (29-6-0) is unimpressed by the myth of "Ares."
In reality, they're far more similar than either would like to think—both men possess top-tier striking arsenals and the confidence to engage in grappling on the canvas. MacDonald employs kicks and jabs courtesy of the training received at the famed Tristar Gym in Montreal, whereas Ellenberger has been honing brutally explosive knockout power of the course of his past several fights.
Perhaps that's what makes this co-main event so riveting: two hyper-talented athletes are willing to duke it out in a contest to determine who really deserves a shot at the heralded welterweight crown.
When the referee signals them to fight on Saturday night, something makes me think they'll hunt each other until only one is left standing.