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The Ultimate Fighting Championship will make its debut in Greenville, South Carolina, as UFC Fight Night 154 takes place this Saturday. A number of ranked fighters are competing on the card, so let’s take a look at them and the possible implications their fights could have on the rankings.
In the main event, Renato Carneiro will take on Chan Sung Jung in a pivotal featherweight headliner. Carneiro (13-2-1), or “Moicano” as he is more commonly known, is coming off a TKO defeat to Jose Aldo earlier this year. However, he is still one of the top dogs in the division, owing to wins over Jeremy Stephens, Calvin Kattar and Cub Swanson. A couple more victories could see him earn a title shot. The Brazilian is currently rated as the sixth-best featherweight in the world by Sherdog, seventh by ESPN and is the No. 5-ranked contender in the UFC rankings.
As for Jung (14-5), he has more to gain with a win as his inactivity inside the Octagon has seen him drop in the rankings. His last outing was a stunning knockout defeat with one second remaining to Yair Rodriguez late last year. However, it was also just his second defeat in six UFC fights. As of now, he is ranked No. 12 in the UFC rankings, and a win over solid contender in Carneiro could see “The Korean Zombie” jump right back into title contention.
In the co-main event, John Lineker meets Rob Font in a bantamweight rematch. Their first meeting in 2016 saw Lineker (31-9) emerge victorious via unanimous decision. Since then, “Hands of Stone” would go on to win four of his next six fights. However, his most recent outing was a split decision loss to young prospect Corey Sandhagen in April. As a result, he is currently rated as the eighth-best bantamweight in the world and No. 10 in the UFC rankings.
As for Font (16-4), he has also won four of his last six fights since his loss to Lineker, having most recently outpointed Sergio Pettis. He will now be looking to make it two wins in a row following his defeat to Raphael Assuncao last summer. The American is unranked in Sherdog and ESPN’s Top 10 but is ranked No. 12 in the UFC rankings. Evening the score against Lineker could see him move up the rankings further.
Ranked women’s flyweights are also in action as Andrea Lee takes on Montana De La Rosa on the main card. Lee (10-2) is unbeaten in two UFC appearances, having most recently defeated Ashlee Evans-Smith earlier this year. She is currently ranked No. 10 in the UFC rankings and will be looking to climb the ranks further with a third consecutive win under the promotion. De La Rosa (10-4) will be looking to put an end to that run and extend her own winning streak. The Montana native is also undefeated in the UFC with three straight wins, including her most recent submission win over Nadia Kassem at UFC 234. She is ranked just below Lee at No. 11 in the UFC rankings.
Lastly, Ariane Lipski meets Molly McCann in the prelims in a women’s flyweight bout. Lipski (11-4) did not enjoy a successful UFC debut when she was outpointed by Joanne Calderwood earlier this year. However, the former Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki flyweight champion is still regarded highly, with ESPN rating her as the ninth-best flyweight in the world.
McCann (8-2) also suffered defeat in her UFC debut, but got her first win in the promotion with her decision win over Priscila Cachoeira earlier this year. The Liverpool native could climb up the ranks massively with a big win over Lipski.