UFC Lincoln Preview – Justin Gaethje is Fighting on Saturday and if you liked the movie Gladiator, you should be tuning in.

UFC Fight Night 135 will take place in the home of the Huskers in Lincoln, Nebraska. This is a solid Fight Night card with multiple fights that have serious rankings implications. There is an exciting Featherweight Tilt between Andre Fili and Michael Johnson, a Few good Welterweight clashes and an incredible Lightweight Main Event.

Middleweight: Eryk Anders (-975) Vs. Tim Williams (+675)

Wow, look at those odds. To be fair though, Eryk Anders’ skills warrant that ranking. Anders ran through Rafael Natal and Markus Perez before taking his first professional loss to Legend Lyoto Machida. Even then, the loss was a Split Decision… in Brazil! This fight looks like it was made to get Eryk Anders back on track as the UFC can promote the former member of the Crimson Tide. Oh yeah, Eryk Anders wins easily. Eryk Anders Def. Tim Williams

Flyweight: Deiveson Figueiredo (-158) Vs. John Moraga (+138)

John Moraga has been very impressive in this latest run at Flyweight. He dismantled Ashkan Mokhtarian, then knocked out -465 favorite in Magomed Bibulatov at UFC 216. He most recently defeated Wilson Reis by unanimous decision in his home state of Arizona. Figueiredo has also been rather impressive. The Flyweight prospect and Alcantara Family Protege, has gone 3-0 in the UFC with wins over Marco Beltran, Jarred Brooks and Joseph Morales. I like Figueiredo as a prospect but I think that Moraga has just been way too hot lately for Figueiredo to end his tear. Moraga keeps up his momentum and wins via Decision. John Moraga Def. Deiveson Figueiredo

Welterweight: Bryan Barberena (-474) Vs. Jake Ellenberger (+374)

Jake Ellenberger was on the brink of getting cut by the UFC when they matched him up against Matt Brown at UFC 201. With a loss, he would have been out of work. He was able to get the upset over Brown with a first-round TKO and it saved his job. However, Ellenberger was unable to build off of that win and has lost three straight fights to opponents Jorge Masvidal, Mike Perry, and Ben Saunders. I believe that this will end up being Ellenberger’s last fight, as he is fighting in his home state of Nebraska and it would be fitting for him to end his career in Lincoln. Bryan Barberena is a tough customer, who has derailed the hype trains of prospects Sage Northcutt and Warlley Alves. Also, Barberena has already defeated Ellenberger’s brother Joe. Barberena will end up being 2-0 against the Ellenberger Brothers. Bryan Barberena Def. Jake Ellenberger

Women’s Strawweight: Angela Hill (-140) Vs. Cortney Casey (+120)

Hill and Casey are two talented Strawweights that have been unable to make the jump to the upper echelon of the division. Cortney Casey ended up on the losing end of two straight split decisions to Michelle Waterson and Felice Herrig while Angela Hill is coming off of a good victory over Maryna Moroz. Surprisingly, Cortney Casey has been more impressive in her two recent losses than Hill has in this second UFC run. I’m picking the slight underdog Casey. Cortney Casey Def. Angela Hill

Featherweight: Michael Johnson (-140) Vs. Andre Fili (+120)

Michael Johnson reminds me a lot of his teammate, Stefan Struve. Not in terms of style or stature, but in the fact that they have consistently performed under expectations. Given Johnson’s divisions are much more fluid than Struve’s. Johnson moved down to featherweight after being on the receiving end of a few tough losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje, he made his Featherweight Debut against Darren Elkins and unfortunately lost via Submission in round two. His opponent Andre Fili is a training partner of Darren Elkins and has garnered two straight wins over Artem Lobov and Dennis Bermudez (Even though I felt Bermudez won). Fili has some of the most precise striking in the division, however, Johnson is possibly the most powerful Featherweight in the world. I think Michael Johnson will be able to get the win and move up the Featherweight Ladder on Saturday. Michael Johnson Def. Andre Fili

Lightweight: Justin Gaethje (+131) Vs. James Vick (-151)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If Justin Gaethje is fighting and you don’t tune in to watch, you should not call yourself an MMA Fan. He has fought in the UFC three times against top caliber UFC opponents in Michael Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, and Dustin Poirier and was able to win three Fight of the Night Bonuses and a performance bonus on top of that. Oh, he also holds every record in WSOF/PFL Lightweight history. Justin Gaethje is just flat out entertaining to watch, even if he only went 1-2 in those fights. James Vick is no slouch though. As a professional, James Vick is 13-1 with impressive victories over Jake Matthews, Abel Trujillo, Polo Reyes, Joe Duffy and Francisco Trinaldo. His lone loss in the UFC came against Beneil Dariush back in early 2016. Vick uses his length to his advantage in his fights. He was able to keep Trinaldo’s advances away by circling and keeping him out of his range. When fighting an opponent like Justin Gaethje, who always moves forward, I see Vick’s length advantage being a major asset. I have James Vick winning, however, I think that it will be a back and forth fight and it goes all five rounds. James Vick Def. Justin Gaethje

Other Selections:

Welterweight: Warlley Alves (-400) Def. James Krause (+330)

Bantamweight: Iuri Alcantara (+195) Def. Cory Sandhagen (-230)

Middleweight: Markus Perez (+100) Def. Andrew Sanchez (-120)

Welterweight: Mickey Gall (-310) Def. George Sullivan (+260)

Women’s Flyweight: Joanne Calderwood (-170) Def. Kalindra Faria (+145)

Lightweight: Drew Dober (-200) Def. Jon Tuck (+170)

Bantamweight: Rani Yahya (-115) Def. Luke Sanders (-105)

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