Rio Rancho: A Stealthy Card in the UFC’s Opening Quarter
By James Lee
With UFC 247 taking place in Houston last weekend, it was surprisingly a lacklustre card, however this week’s upcoming event in Rio Rancho surprisingly looks set to outshine it with a plethora of exciting contests throughout the card, with Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz headlining in a light-heavyweight title eliminator.
One in particular that stands out is the main card opener between Lando Vannata and Yancy Medeiros. Victory for both is a necessity, which adds an intensity to the contest that is likely to claim the fight of the night honour.
Both have struggled to capture continuous success in the organisation but have always been dangerous and exciting. The fight isn’t between two of the sport’s best, but it doesn’t have to be.
The contest should create an energetic atmosphere with anything possible at any moment throughout the fifteen minutes.
Similarly, Tim Means will headline the preliminary card against promotional newcomer Daniel Rodriguez in an equally exciting contest. ‘The Dirty Bird’ is a fan-favourite for his aggressive fighting style and with Rodriguez making his debut, he will want to impress more than anybody on the card.
Englishman Nathaniel Wood has everything to prove as well when he fights John Dodson in away territory. Although a spot on UFC London has seemingly eluded him, a win over the former title challenger will do ore for his international status and spot amongst the best at 135 lbs. The American will also be desperate to keep his rank; adding extra pressure.
Aside from those fights, the main event isn’t perhaps the most exciting fight, but has serious title implications. Both Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz have long been staking their claim for a chance at Jon Jones’ title and the winner should likely achieve that goal.
Veteran’s Jim Miller and Diego Sanchez have their own fights respectively that will continue their own legacies in the sport, with the event in Rio Rancho being stealth-like in the UFC’s upcoming schedule.