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UFC Fight Night 38: 5 Reasons to Watch

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2014

UFC Fight Night 38: 5 Reasons to Watch

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Fresh off an outstanding welterweight title fight not involving Georges St-Pierre, the UFC will look to make a quick turnaround this weekend for UFC Fight Night 38.

    Headlined by a long-awaited rematch between mixed martial arts legends Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Sunday's affair should produce in front of an always-eager Brazilian crowd.

    It's a tricky night to showcase Octagon brutality, but any fan would be in their right mind to tune in for some free fights.

    Here are five reasons to watch UFC FN 38 even if you're dying to catch up on The Walking Dead or Shameless.

5. The Flyweights

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    As one of the shallowest divisions in the UFC, the 125-pound weight class is constantly in search of new top contenders.

    When former bantamweight standout Scott Jorgensen made his divisional debut back in December he was supposed to fill that void, but it didn't work out that way.

    Zach Makovsky pulled off what many would consider an upset and set the 31-year-old veteran back.

    However, "Young Guns" will have another opportunity to showcase his elite skills as a Fight Night gamer when he takes on former top prospect Jussier Formiga on Sunday.

    Formiga will give Jorgensen everything he can bargain for and then some. Look for this to be a true back-and-forth fight offering split-second scrambling, in-and-out strikes and potentially a devastating finish.

4. The Kids

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    Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    With a combined age of 49, Diego Brandao (26) and Will Chope (23) will do battle this Sunday in order to determine the next true top prospect in the featherweight division.

    Each coming off their own respective defeats, Brandao and Chope will be sure to bring their absolute best. And their absolute best features a killer's instinct and addicting style of fighting.

    Now while neither fighter will challenge for a title this year or next, it's still interesting to see which budding prospect can escape the divisional depths on the heels of Erik Koch's departure to lightweight.

    This preliminary card headliner should offer excellent action from bell to bell.

3. The Doberman

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    Eric Jamison/Associated Press

    While C.B. Dollaway isn't the greatest fighter we've ever seen, he's still very exciting to watch.

    His striking has evolved exponentially, his wrestling remains top-level and he's grown accustomed to producing memorable Octagon brawls.

    Now while Dollaway does in fact possess the skills and overall fortitude to someday scratch the middleweight division's top 10, sort of like what Matt Brown has done at welterweight, most of the attention come Sunday will be on Brazil's own Cezar Ferreira.

    The 29-year-old Capoeira master has racked off three straight victories since making his debut back in 2012. He's done so by overpowering opponents on the feet and against the cage.

    It will be one heck of a throwdown so long as Dollaway is able to keep the fight standing and test Ferreira's chin.

2. The Chin

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    Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

    Capable of sustaining damage like one of those plastic blow-up dummies that bounce back, Fabio Maldonado's chin commands its own following.

    Now while that may overshadow his skills as an in-close boxer equipped with devastating power and technique, you'd understand the notion completely if you've ever seen him fight.

    Knowing knocking out Maldonado would be tougher than bench pressing a tank, New York native Gian Villante will be looking to outpoint and outscore the thick-headed 34-year-old.

    Villante is without a doubt the more promising divisional name, but unless he can get off first, utilize his athleticism and stay away from his opponent's one-punch power, Maldonado will secure his third straight UFC victory.

1. The Rematch

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    What is not to like about this rematch?

    As two of the more accomplished fighters still competing today, Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua II is a fight fan's dream.

    Their first meeting back in 2011 at UFC 139—which happens to be Henderson's last victory inside of the Octagon—surpassed all expectations by producing one of the very best MMA fights of all time.

    Now while neither guy is the same fighter they once were, the recipe for greatness is still there. Especially if you consider "Hendo" is trying to end the worst losing streak of his entire professional career.

    This is truly one you cannot miss as two generational champions add another five rounds to their already-epic rivalry.

     

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