UFC Fight Night 111: 3 Fights You Can't Miss in Singapore

Scott Harris@ScottHarrisMMAMMA Lead WriterJune 14, 2017

Holly Holm
Holly HolmKamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes "can't" feels like such a strong word.

The UFC traveled halfway around the globe to Singapore for UFC Fight Night 111. It airs this Saturday on UFC Fight Pass, the company's subscription streaming service.

But here's the kicker: The first prelim bout starts at 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time. That's not going to get it done for a large number of UFC fans.

A glance at the lineup might lead one to conclude that they simply can't justify the unusual alarm clock setting. Is it good? No, it's not good. But where's your can-do attitude? Where's your sense of duty? Not to mention that a closer look at the card reveals a few hidden gems shiny to entice the early risers among us. 

Want to feel like you did more before 10 a.m. than most people do in a day, or something? Here are three fights you can't—or at least shouldn't—miss when they beam out to all corners of the globe from Singapore Indoor Stadium.


Women's Bantamweight

Holly Holm (10-3) vs. Bethe Correia (10-2-1)

It doesn't feel like Holm deserves her current losing streak. She's one of the best strikers in the (admittedly short) history of women's MMA, or at the very least one of the most accurate, landing 99.1 percent of her significant strikes on the feet, according to an analysis from Mike Bohn and Abbey Subhan of MMAjunkie.

On the other hand, losing three fights one after the other on the heels of that Ronda Rousey kick (see below for a refresher) was just plain old bad optics, and it has shackled her with the Buster Douglas label.

Correia is shackled mainly with her own grandeur. Famed in some corners for an outsized self-opinion, Correia regularly and publicly wars with opponents and the media despite a 1-2-1 record in her last four dating back to her own meeting with Rousey.

Holm likes to stick and move, circling away from aggressive opponents. Correia certainly isn't terrible; she has good movement herself, looks for counters a lot and definitely likes a good old-fashioned brawl (see Rousey fight). She's not just exceptionally skilled or athletic—she's exceptionally OK.

Neither of these women is a ground threat, so don't expect any action in that phase. 

Holm is a -350 favorite (bet $350 to win $100), according to OddsShark. If Correia couldn't strike with Rousey, she can't strike with Holm. Holm floats and stings her way to a conservative and badly needed win.


Welterweight 

Colby Covington (11-1) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (22-3-1)

You might take a look at this matchup and assume the more well-known, more accomplished Kim is the favorite. But it's not so. Covington has the slight -159 edge.

The oddsmakers know who he is. Now for the rest of the fight-going public. This could be his ticket. At 29 years old and now 6-1 in the UFC, that prospect label is probably past its shelf life. The Californian improves every fight, especially in the striking phase. He's already a world-class wrestler and grappler, so to be fair there's not a lot of room for improvement there.

Dong Hyun Kim (right) hits Tarec Saffiedine.
Dong Hyun Kim (right) hits Tarec Saffiedine.John Locher/Associated Press

Don't count out Kim, though. He's got judo for days and is a heavy-handed southpaw striker. He's always putting pressure on his opponents, including with extended clinch-based riding time. 

This could become a bit of a grindfest, an exciting chess match, or Kim could flatten him with a spinning back elbow. Bit of a mixed bag here—just the way fight fans should like it. Give me the South Korean to pull the mild upset.

    
Welterweight 

Rafael Dos Anjos (25-9) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (16-6)

The particulars of this contest stand out for one easy reason: it's the welterweight debut for dos Anjos.

It wasn't even a year ago that RDA was deposed as lightweight champion, but here he is. When announcing the move, dos Anjos proclaimed to Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting that "I don't think I ever came close to my best at 155" pounds. Scary if true.

Dos Anjos is the -203 favorite over a longtime veteran in Saffiedine, who could really use a win.

Interestingly, Saffiedine's last fight came to the aforementioned Kim, who took a split decision from the Belgian at UFC 207 in December. He fought three times in 2016 but lost twice. He's a vaunted striker with great takedown defense, piecing you up from distance. Leg kicks are his most celebrated weapon, but he has others, mainly in the kick department.

Rafael does Anjos (left) kicks Tony Ferguson.
Rafael does Anjos (left) kicks Tony Ferguson.Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports

He'll have a hard time plying that game against dos Anjos, a pressure fighter through and through. He backs you up, clinches you up, beats you up and twists you up. I know he's not a great microphone man, but if you're not entertained by Rafael Dos Anjos, you may need to seek new forms of entertainment.

It's a successful 170-pound debut for the ex-champ, and he'll submit Saffiedine sooner rather than later.