After a couple of weeks of inactivity, the UFC returns in style on Saturday night with UFC 210 from the KeyBank Centre in Buffalo, New York.
At the top of the card, light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will be defending his belt against Anthony Johnson in a rematch of their May 2015 contest at UFC 187.
Cormier got his hand raised on that occasion thanks to a third-round submission finish, but only after surviving an early knockdown from the heavy-handed contender. So Johnson, who has won three bouts since then, all by knockout, will have reason to feel confident.
Outside of the main event, the rest of the card is stacked with potentially thrilling match-ups, with a mix of wily veterans hoping to make one last title run to promising prospects looking for a breakout performance.
Here are three fights from UFC 210 that you don’t want to miss.
Chris Weidman vs Gegard Mousasi – Middleweight
Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman will be hopeful of bouncing back from a devastating knockout loss at the hands – or, more accurately, the knee – or Yoel Romero at UFC 205 in November last year.
That defeat was Weidman’s second on the bounce following the fourth-round TKO loss to Luke Rockhold which cost the 32-year-old his title at UFC 194, so the New York native is fighting to re-establish himself as a key player in the 185lbs division on Saturday night.
Standing across the cage from Weidman will be a man in the form of his life. Somehow still only 31, Gegard Mousasi is a veteran of the global MMA scene and, riding a four-fight win streak – which includes stoppages of Vitor Belfort and Uriah Hall – the Dutchman is on the cusp of title contention.
Thiago Alves vs Patrick Côté – Welterweight
The 170lbs contest between Thiago Alves and Patrick Côté is a meeting of two vastly experienced fighters who have both fought for UFC gold in the past.
Both men prefer to keep their fights on the feet, with Alves a powerful and precise Muay Thai stylist and Côté packing heavy leather with his hands, so this contest promises to deliver excitement.
At 33 and 37 respectively, Alves and Côté will not be relishing the prospect of a 15-minute war of attrition, so expect both men to pursue an early stoppage.
Will Brooks vs Charles Oliveira – Lightweight
At lightweight, former Bellator champion Will Brooks will be making just his third Octagon appearance when he takes on experienced submission artist Charles Oliveira to open the main card.
The well-rounded Brooks saw a nine-fight win streak snapped in his last outing by Oliveira’s compatriot and namesake Alex Oliveira, who forced a knockout stoppage of the American Top Team standout in the third round of their bout in October last year.
Jiu jitsu black belt Oliveira is a dynamo on the ground, capable of wrapping up his foes in elaborate and technically outstanding submissions. Brook will be looking to keep the fight standing, so an intriguing tactical battle should ensue.