Women's fights now routinely headline cards, and that's the case Saturday as Brazil's Amanda Nunes puts her bantamweight title on the line against American Raquel Pennington, the second-ranked fighter in the division.
Co-headlining the main event is a middleweight fight between another Brazilian in Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Kelvin Gastelum.
Let's start with the two veteran legends, Belfort and Machida and move towards the main event.
Lineker has been listed as a -255 favorite of Brian Kelleher at +215 and I think these odds are quite fair. Mackenzie Dern is 6-0 and a Jui Jitsu practitioner and seems to be getting a big push from the UFC to be one of their future stars.
The 38-year-old Souza has yet to fight for a title in his career. The champion needed a bout and Pennington happens to be the one who has the best resume for a shot at this point. Belfort is a former UFC light-heavyweight champion who claims this will be his final fight. Lineker has fought just once since, a unanimous decision win over Marlon Vera last October.
What also will help Raquel Pennington against Amanda Nunes is her will. Nunes carries a six-fight win streak into the bout. Gastelum is a fantastic wrestler but will lose in a grappling match with Souza.
That aside, following Nunes' split decision win over Valentina Shevchenko, which came after the champ withdrew from their UFC 213 bout, the day off, the "Lioness" is looking to turn heads tonight. "I absolutely believe it, and I think that's why we're going to get a fantastic performance this weekend". What he can't afford to do is try to take Jacare down. Though Souza has the home crowd edge, I think Gastelum scores the upset.
"I'm sure there are gay fighters in the UFC that are on the male side of roster at the moment". Pennington is engaged to UFC strawweight Tecia Torres, who used to train with Nunes in South Florida. Raquel Pennington is a puncher with a strong chin. She's going to have to show more if she wants to live up to the potential that has been affixed to her since she even discussed a transition to MMA. "This is the first time", Nunes said.
It's not hard to see the way this fight is "supposed" to go and the weight difference should only work as an advantage in the grappling department which is where this fight will likely take place. So it actually might be worth it to just throw a few bucks on Pennington who is a longshot at +600.