In the wise words of Timon the Meerkat in our childhood preferred movie The Lion King, “You’ve got to put the past behind you.” This is precisely what MMA fans are doing now that the dust has actually decided on the consequences of UFC 229. It stands without question why it was such a memorable moment in MMA history, but for all the wrong reasons. The UFC intends to provide fans what they are looking for when UFC Fight Night 138 rolls around on Saturday in Canada.
The centerpiece includes 2 increasing light heavyweight contenders aiming to seal their location in the department and lock down an opportunity to capture UFC gold. Anthony “Lionheart” Smith takes on Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir in a fight that fans need right now. Both males are on the rise. Oezdemir is coming off a failed title quote, while Smith has actually been hectic taking out 2 former champs. It’s a fight that could quickly propel Oezdemir back into the title image or could enable Smith to emerge as a true force within the division.
The co-headliner, which has its ties to the UFC 229 brawl, originally was set to include Conor McGregor teammate Artem Lobov versus Khabib Nurmagomedov teammate Zubaira Tukhugov. After the brawl, Tukhugov was eliminated from the bout and Michael Johnson was pegged as his short-notice replacement. It’s a difficult fight for both males, who will look for to show why they belong in the sharktank called the UFC’s featherweight department.
UFC Fight Night 138 begins with the initial card at 6:30 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass, followed by the remaining prelims at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2. The main card starts at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.