The UFC is in New Mexico this weekend for UFC Rio Rancho, a fight night event that could pick the next light heavyweight title challenger. The key word there is could, mainly because neither Jon Jones nor the promotion itself seem all that interested in having Corey Anderson challenge for gold.
Yet Anderson is topping the card against fellow contender Jan Blachowicz, and with a win, little else would make sense for ‘Overtime.’
The picture is a little more murky for Blachowicz. While Anderson has won four straight, including victories over ex-title challenger Glover Teixeira and a knockout of the hyped-up Johnny Walker, Blachowicz’s last two wins came against middleweights heading north. Victories over Luke Rockhold and Jacare Souza would mean more at middleweight, but even with a win over Anderson, a title shot at 205lbs might be a hard sell.
There are a number of other names worth keeping an eye on Friday morning, when the full card weighs in. Those include co-main event fighter Michel Pereira, the flashy Brazilian whose fight style has often been compared to Capoeira. Pereira missed weight last time out, and he’s a hulking specimen at 170lbs.
Also of note, Ray Borg attempts to move back down to flyweight for UFC Rio Rancho.
Come Friday morning, both Anderson and Blachowicz weighed in early, hitting the light heavyweight limit with ease. That made the main event official. A pair of fighters had to weigh in a second time — Kazula Vargas removed a bandana to shed a final pound after the scale initially showed him heavy. Nathaniel Wood was also over 136lbs the first time he stepped on the scale — but a second attempt, still clothed and without the barrier, saw him hit the mark.
Ray Borg was the only fighter to actually come in over the limit, at 128lbs — although he was given an extra hour to cut weight. However, he remained at 128 on his second attempt and will be fined 30% of his purse.
The weigh-in gets underway at 11AM ET — check back then for updates!
UFC Rio Rancho Official Weigh-In Results
Main Card (ESPN+/TSN, 8PM ET)
Light Heavyweight: Corey Anderson (205) vs. Jan Błachowicz (206)
Welterweight: Diego Sanchez (171) vs. Michel Pereira (170)
Women’s Flyweight: Montana De La Rosa (126) vs. Mara Romero Borella (125)
Lightweight: Brok Weaver (156) vs. Kazula Vargas (156)
Flyweight: Rogério Bontorin (126) vs. Ray Borg (128)*
Lightweight: Lando Vannata (156) vs. Yancy Medeiros (155)
Preliminary Card (ESPN+/TSN, 5PM ET)
Welterweight: Tim Means (171) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (171)
Bantamweight: John Dodson (133.5) vs. Nathaniel Wood (136)
Lightweight: Jim Miller (156) vs. Scott Holtzman (156)
Light Heavyweight: Devin Clark (205) vs. Dequan Townsend (202)
Bantamweight: Casey Kenney (135.5) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (136)
Women’s Bantamweight: Macy Chiasson (135) vs. Shanna Young (134)
Flyweight: Mark De La Rosa (126) vs. Raulian Paiva (126)
*Ray Borg missed weight at 128lbs on his first attempt and was given one hour, starting after face-offs, to cut the final two pounds. However, his second attempt also saw Borg weigh in at 128.