Will "The California Kid" become a UFC champion on Saturday night?
UFC 169 should be an outstanding event from Newark, N.J., on Saturday night. The evening is headlined by two title fights as Jose Aldo defends his featherweight title against Ricardo Lamas, while Renan Barao defends his bantamweight title against "The California Kid" Urijah Faber.
This card is stacked full of great matchups, and here is a quick look at every fight you will see on Saturday night.
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
Neil Magny vs Gasan Umalatov
The first fight features Neil Magny vs UFC newcomer Gasan Umalatov. Umalatov brings a 14-2-1 record into the UFC and has shown an ability to win fights by submission. Magny is looking to shake off back-to-back losses that he suffered at UFC 163 and UFC Fight for the Troops 3.
Unfortunately, for Magny, his slide will continue tonight though. Umalatov may be a UFC newcomer, but he has proven himself in the past.
Umalatov, Submission, Round 2
Tony Martin vs Rashid Magomedov
Tony Martin and Rashid Magomedov each make their UFC debuts in the second fight of the night. Martin is 7-0 in his MMA career and is a fighter who wants to get you on the ground for a submission. Rashid Magomedov brings a 15-1 record into the fight and has won 47 percent of his fights by KO/TKO—a very different style to Martin.
Magomedov should get his UFC career off to the right start tonight.
Magomedov, TKO, Round 1
Clint Hester vs Andy Enz
Clint Hester has been on a roll of late. He has five straight victories and has won his last four fights by KO/TKO. On the other side, Andy Enz makes his UFC debut after starting his MMA career out 7-0 in the AFC. Enz has won five of his fights by submission, but he is an underdog tonight against Hester.
The roll Hester has been on will continue tonight.
Hester, TKO, Round 2
Fox Sports 1 Prelims
Al Iaquinta vs Kevin Lee
After coming off The Ultimate Fighter 15, Al Iaquinta has won his last two fights in the UFC by decision and hopes to turn in a little more dominating performance tonight against UFC newcomer Kevin Lee.
Lee has won his last four fights by submission, but this is certainly his toughest test to date as he begins his UFC career.
Iaquinta, Unanimous Decision
Nick Catone vs Tom Watson
Nick Catone and Tom Watson both have no problem standing up to one another and trying to knock the other one out. Do not expect to see a lot of grappling and submission attempts in this fight. Both fighters feature a lot of power, but Watson is the better fighter in this matchup.
Watson, TKO, Round 2
Chris Cariaso vs Danny Martinez
Chris Cariaso has worked his way into the top 10 flyweight contenders in the UFC and he is looking to justify his ranking with a victory over Danny Martinez. Martinez makes his UFC debut tonight and has a very tough test against a veteran UFC fighter.
The test will be too tough tonight for Martinez.
Cariaso, Submission, Round 2
John Makdessi vs Alan Patrick
John Makdessi is a veteran in the Octagon, while Patrick will be in his second UFC fight. Makdessi has been fighting well since picking up his second career loss in April of 2012. This is almost a pick 'em fight, so it's hard to not pick the veteran in the Octagon—even though Patrick has an undefeated MMA record.
Makdessi, Unanimous Decision
Jamie Varner vs Abel Trujillo
This is an outstanding fight to get a great main card underway. Both of these fighters are very evenly matched and it will be exciting and interesting to watch the striking power of Trujillo against the defense of Varner (who has never been knocked out).
There's a first for everything, though, and I like the power from Abel Trujillo.
Trujillo, TKO, Round 2
John Lineker vs Ali Bagautinov
A typical battle between two fighters with very different styles. John Lineker will be looking to use his striking ability tonight, while Ali Bagautinov will be looking to take the fight to the ground and use his submission skills.
Lineker has not faced many solid wrestlers yet, so this will be a tough test for him tonight.
Bagautinov, Submission, Round 2
Frank Mir vs Alistair Overeem
I love watching Overeem fight and I love his stand up and striking ability much more than that of Frank Mir. Mir is going to have to take this fight to the ground if he wants to survive for more than a round against Overeem.
It looks like Mir does not really have much of a chance in this fight.
Overeem, TKO, Round 1
Jose Aldo vs Ricardo Lamas
Ricardo Lamas is a very good fighter, but he needs to be beyond very good and enter the realm of greatness if he wants to beat Jose Aldo. Aldo is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC today and has the power, speed, and striking ability to knock out Lamas at any moment in the fight.
Lamas will put together a good fight tonight, but too much Jose Aldo will be his demise and Aldo will retain his title.
Aldo, TKO, Round 3
Renan Barao vs Urijah Faber
I watched this fight again last night just to jog my memory of how outstanding it is to watch these two fighters go at it. Barao won the first fight because of how well he was able to defend himself from the striking of Faber.
Faber attempted a couple of takedowns in their first fight, but they were quickly stopped by Barao. Faber is certainly much better now in his career than he was when these two fighters first met, but Barao certainly is better as well.
I think Faber may have improved more over this time than Barao has though.
Has he improved enough to reach the level of Barao?
We will find out tonight, I guess, but that is what I am banking on for this matchup.
Faber, Unanimous Decision