Before the network television coverage of UFC 168 begins, two potentially entertaining bouts kick off the action. There's an elevated chance for a knockout finish in both fights.
Aside from making the strip to see the festivities in person, the only way to see the first bouts of the evening at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is via online stream. Facebook is perhaps the most prominent source, but click here to see all of the viewing options.
The matchups feature four fighters who have won the majority of their fights by KO.
"Vicious" Bobby Voelker has become a gatekeeper of sorts in the welterweight division. However, after losing his last two bouts to Patrick Cote and Robbie Lawler, Voelker needs a win to maintain his place in the UFC.
A three-fight losing streak isn't a good look heading into the new year. Opposing him will be 22-year-old William "Patolino" Macario.
He was submitted in his UFC debut by Leonardo Santos in June. Chances are, he won't have to worry about Voelker looking for a submission on Saturday night. The vicious one has never earned a win in his MMA career via a submission hold (he does have four via submission from punches).
Five of Macario's six professional wins have come by TKO. It's a good bet this one ends via strikes and that's generally the way MMA fans prefer to see the prelims conclude.
In the second online prelim, Robbie "Problems" Peralta will battle "El Terrible" Estevan Payan in what should be an all-action featherweight scrum.
In Payan's last bout, he lost a unanimous decision to Jeremy Stephens. El Terrible was battered into a bloody mess during the fight, but his willingness to fight never wavered.
Peralta and Payan average 4.78 and 3.46 strikes landed per minute in their bouts. Needless to say, the fists should be flying in this one as well.
A sense of urgency will be in the air since Peralta and Payan are coming off losses. If either hopes to gain traction and ascend in the featherweight ranks, a win is paramount.
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