UFC on Fox 30 preview: Alvarez and Aldo to bag big wins?
Odds and tips ahead of a stacked event
The UFC returns to Calgary for the first time in six years as the Scotiabank Saddledome hosts a world-class card of MMA action.
In the previous event here back in 2012, UFC 149 became a farce as the card was decimated due to pull-outs. But Dana White and co. have looked to treat the Canadian fans to a cracking line-up this time around.
Eddie Alvarez takes on Dustin Poirier in the main event live on BT Sport beginning at 03:00am, with Jose Aldo up against Jeremy Stephens in the co-main event. Joanna Jedrzejczyk clashes with Tecia Torres, while Alexander Hernandez vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier rounds off the main card.
The Coral News Team previews each fight with some tips, too…
Alvarez v Poirier
This is a highly-anticipated rematch of the no-contest at UFC 211. Herb Dean stopped the fight after Alvarez floored Poirier with an illegal knee.
There was some bad blood between the pair afterward and that’s set this second fight up to be a bit of a humdinger.
Alvarez is the outsider for this clash at 7/5, with Poirier the 10/17 favourite. The latter arguably has a better stand-up game, but Alvarez – the former Lightweight champion – has got heavier hands, better wrestling skills, and excellent takedown defence.
Expect this to be a bit of a strike-fest with both fighters going toe-to-toe. Although Poirier is five years younger, Alvarez has got the artillery to win the fight.
Aldo v Stephens
Jeremy Stephens finally has the chance to stake a claim for a world title shot as he takes on MMA legend, Jose Aldo in a welterweight clash.
Stephens has indulged in a lot of smack talk, saying he’ll “take Aldo’s soul”. But the American – despite being on a three-fight win streak – is nowhere near the level of Aldo’s best.
However, the Brazilian hasn’t really looked the same since getting snuffed by Conor McGregor. Although he beat Frankie Edgar in an interim title fight, he’s lost the last two championship fights to Max Holloway.
It’s possible his best days are behind him after a lot of wars. But he’s still younger than Stephens. And if he fights anywhere near the level he can, Aldo – no doubt stung by Stephens’ thrash talk – can bag a win.
Jedrzejczyk v Torres
Joanna Jedrzejczyk will look to put back-to-back championship defeats to bed as she takes on Tecia Torres in a strawweight bout.
It’s the Polish star’s first non-title bout since 2014 and her first octagon appearance since her defeat to Rose Namajunas.
Torres returns to the octagon for the first time since her defeat to Brazil’s Jessica Andrade. ‘The Tiny Tornado’ was on a three-fight win streak up until that loss. And a win against the former champion will put her in the frame for a title shot.
This should be a really interesting fight on a number of levels. Jedrzejczyk is a much bigger fighter than Torres, but the American has an aggressive come-forward style that could knock the Pole out of her stride.
It’d be a shock to see Joanna lose again. But after her dispiriting losses to Namajunas, it’s not unthinkable she goes down again here.
Hernandez v Aubin-Mercier
The main card begins with an exciting match-up between two highly-rated lightweight prospects.
Hernandez made a thrilling impact on his debut at UFC 222, knocking out Beneil Dariush in 42 seconds after stepping in on just eight days’ notice.
Aubin-Mercer is another impressive upstart and a finalist from The Ultimate Fighter Nations series. At UFC 223, he took just 53 seconds to spark out veteran contender Evan Dunham.
Hernandez is a little greener in the UFC than his opponent. But it’s clear he’s an explosive, dangerous opponent. If he can avoid Aubin-Mercer in the clinch, stand at range and fire off bombs, he could be in line for another big win.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing