UFC Fight Night 127 Preview: 3 Can't-Miss Fights

Scott Harris@ScottHarrisMMAMMA Lead WriterMarch 14, 2018

Fabricio Werdum
Fabricio WerdumJosh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Time to fire up the Fight Pass. It's UFC Fight Night 127, going down Saturday, March 17—St. Patrick's Day!—from London, England.

Hope you didn't have any March Madness plans, because the action gets going at 1:45 pm Eastern, and it all airs on the UFC's subscription streaming service.

It's not the brawniest fight card in MMA history, but there are some good scraps to be found. In the main event, Fabricio Werdum aims to continue his march back to bona fide title contention against former Bellator champ Alexander Volkov.

It's the main event, but is it a can't-miss affair? Read on for the three must-see bouts from London town.

          

Heavyweight

Fabricio Werdum (23-7-1) vs. Alexander Volkov (29-6)

Odds (per OddsShark): Werdum minus-235, Volkov plus-185

Airs on: UFC Fight Pass

    

I didn't do a great job of building the suspense there. Yes, the main event is a can't-miss affair.

As you may know, I like to look outside the main event for some hidden gems. But the gems have to be hidden there. It takes two to tango, you know?

Alexander Volkov (left) punches Stefan Struve
Alexander Volkov (left) punches Stefan StruveJosh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

In fairness, injuries took a toll on this card, but it was never really a firecracker.

Werdum followed up a 65-second armbarring of last-minute replacement Walt Harris in October with a more nutritious decision over Marcin Tybura a month later. He's an even 40 years old now, so he doesn't have an infinite stretch of runway left, but that world-class jiu-jitsu can still carry him through.

Werdum's standup is much better than it once was, but it will be tested against 6'7" kickboxer Volkov. Unlike other tall guys (cough-Stefan Struve-cough) Volkov knows how to use his length to keep opponents at range. He'll be going for his sixth consecutive win Saturday and can absolutely get it.

Neither man is what you'd call a specialist, but this is essentially a striker vs. grappler matchup. Since Werdum has proved to be more dominant with his specialty than Volkov is at his, at least at this level, give a shaky nod to the former UFC champ to grab an early flash tapout.

Werdum, submission, Rd. 1

          

Bantamweight

Tom Duquesnoy (15-2) vs. Terrion Ware (17-7)

Odds: Duquesnoy minus-256, Ware plus-202

Airs on: UFC Fight Pass

     

Two bright prospects tangle on the main card, and both need a win to right the ship.

Tom Duquesnoy (right) gets taken down by Cody Stamann in his last bout.
Tom Duquesnoy (right) gets taken down by Cody Stamann in his last bout.Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Duquesnoy won his UFC debut in April, but he then lost five months later to a tough wrestler and rising star in Cody Stamann. The Frenchman is a poised, standup fighter with a magnetic killer instinct, but he'll need to work on his takedown defense if he wants a sustained UFC career.

Ware has two consecutive losses of his own (one to Stamann, as it happens) and needs this one bad. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't have the offensive wrestling to strike at Duquesnoy's weak spot. 

This should play out on the feet, with the more ballyhooed prospect taking the W.

Duquesnoy, unanimous decision 

      

Welterweight

Leon Edwards (14-3) vs. Peter Sobotta (17-5-1)

Odds: Edwards minus-200, Sobotta plus-159

Airs on: UFC Fight Pass

     

If you haven't heard of Leon Edwards yet, take this opportunity to rectify that.

The 26-year-old has quietly assembled an impressive streak, winning six of eight in his UFC career, including a four fight win streak. He has beaten bigger names along the way, including Albert Tumenov and Bryan Barberena.

Leon Edwards
Leon EdwardsZuffa LLC/Getty Images

Edwards has legitimate knockout power, but he's not a headhunter, per se. He's also powerful in the clinch and can pull off a submission. His grappling is solid, but it's not as good as Sobotta's.

The Pole is a leather-tough veteran, and he has won four of five in his current UFC run. You don't want to be in a compromising position on the mat with Sobotta.

Edwards has the wrestling to fend off Sobotta's submissions (for a while) and should have a standup edge. The Brit has been open about his desire to challenge compatriot and knockout sensation Darren Till if he wins Saturday, as he told ESPN.com's Will Kent. After this bout, expect that challenge.

Edwards, unanimous decision

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