UFC 173: 3 Prelim Fighters Worth Keeping Tabs on

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2014

Anthony Njokuani celebrates after beating Roger Bowling during the second round of a UFC welterweight mixed martial arts fight in San Jose, Saturday, April 20, 2013. Njokuani won by knock out in the second round. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

UFC 173 is a star-studded card that promises to deliver on all fronts. The card, which is headlined by Renan Barao and TJ Dillashaw, also features names such as Dan Henderson, Daniel Cormier and Robbie Lawler, which will support the bantamweight championship.

The main card is going to be a great pay-per-view to watch. However, a stacked preliminary card also features a bunch of talented up-and-coming fighters.

Who are three guys worth keeping tabs on in the Saturday night prelims? Let's take a look right now.


Anthony Njokuani

We haven't seen Anthony Njokuani in over a year. That is disappointing, as the Nigerian-American striker is always in exciting fights when they revolve around his striking.

Njokuani is a devastating striker. We saw it in his WEC days when he won three straight Knockout of the Night bonuses. It has carried over to the UFC, where he has knocked out such fighters as Edward Faaloloto and Roger Bowling.

This time around, Njokuani meets Vinc Pichel in a bout that should be an interesting one. Njokuani is vastly superior on the feet, and if the fight stays upright, expect to see a masterful performance by the muay thai maniac.


Chris Holdsworth

The Ultimate Fighter has produced some top-notch season champions and some duds. With Chris Holdsworth, it looks like the UFC may have a future title contender if he continues improving as quickly as he has been.

Holdsworth was undefeated going into the reality show. Then, he choked out everyone en route to the championship. He fought at the live finale for the tournament championship, where he again won by submission over Davey Grant.

He now has a tough opponent by the name of Chico Camus. Camus is a tough out for any fighter, as he is well-rounded and durable.

A win over Camus would really give Holdsworth the momentum he needs to move toward the top-20 ranks.


Al Iaquinta

Remember Al Iaquinta? The guy who lost in the TUF finale to eventual tournament champion Michael Chiesa? Yeah, since then, he has been really good.

Since the lost, Iaquinta has won seemingly simple decisions over the likes of Ryan Couture, Piotr Hallmann and Kevin Lee. He has looked better and better with each fight, putting together great boxing combinations to complement his already solid wrestling.

He now has Mitch Clarke on his plate, a tough-as-nails Canadian who also looked very improved in his latest outing. A win for Iaquinta could earn him a top opponent in his next bout.