UFC Fight Night 63 will be held on April 4,2015 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax Virginia. The main event features a clash of two top five Featherweights as #1 ranked Chad Mendes (16-2) 7-2 in UFC will take on #4 ranked Ricardo Lamas (15-3) 6-1 in UFC in what will be a fast paced match up.
Making his UFC debut back in 2011 Mendes has always possessed elite wrestling that not many fighters can match up with. We are witnessing is his last few fights however that his striking is improving with leaps and bounds and out of his last five wins, four are by way of KO/TKO. His all time dream is to become a UFC champion and a win on Saturday will make him one step closer to another world title shot. His opponent has also fought for the belt as well, Lamas made his UFC debut also in 2011 and has only lost one time inside the octagon. With his constant pressure and high level submission game he is currently on a two fight win streak and a victory over the number one ranked featherweight outside of the champion will put him right into the talk of another championship opportunity.
The co-main event is a battle of two experienced lightweights, as #14 ranked Jorge Masvidal (28-2) 5-1 will face off against #15 ranked Al Iaquinta (11-3-1) 6-2 in the UFC in what will be two lightweights trying to make a statement. Ever since coming to the UFC in 2013 Masvidal has shown a true passion for this sport and is currently on a three fight win streak. If he wants to move one step closer to the top 10 however he will need to get an impressive victory over another fighter who is also on a win streak. His opponent in Iaquinta is also on a three fight win streak, all coming by way of TKO. With victories over veterans Joe Lauzon and Ross Pearson during that win streak. With his knockout power and elite technique Iaquinta is quickly becoming a name in the UFC and we will see if he can get his fourth straight win against one of the most experienced fighters he has ever faced.
The middle fight on the card features Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Chiesa (11-2) 4-2 in UFC will square off against Mitch Clarke (11-2) 2-2 in UFC. Ever since winning The Ultimate Fighter in 2012 Chiesa has shown what it takes to be an Ultimate Fighter, as three of his UFC wins have come by submission. His last fight was the fight of the night against Joe Lauzon, the fight was stopped due to doctor stoppage however and handed Chiesa his second loss in the UFC. He will be looking to bounce back and start 2015 with a statement against a fellow lightweight. His opponent will also be trying to start their 2015 with a bang. Clarke made his UFC debut in 2011 but lost his first two fights. He has currently won two straight however and will be trying to make a statement against the Ultimate Fighter winner. With his top-notch submission game this will be an interesting match up and we will see who will climb that lightweight ladder on Saturday.
The only women fight on the main card features Ultimate Fighter 18 winner and #13 ranked Bantamweight Juliana Pena (5-2) 1-0 in UFC will take on Milana Dudieva (11-3) 1-0 in UFC. In 2013 Pena made history by becoming the first ever women Ultimate Fighter winner by getting a TKO victory over Jessica Rakoczy. Her success was cut short however as a knee injury kept her out of the cage for the entire year of 2014, she is fully recovered now and will be looking to send a message to the rest of the division in Virginia. Her opponent will be looking to steal the spotlight from Pena though, Dudieva made her UFC debut in 2014 and made it a successful one. She will be looking to make it two straight by taking out the Ultimate Fighter winner and moving one step closer to the UFC Bantamweight top 10.
The most experienced fighter on the card will be apart of the second fight on the main card. As #12 ranked Featherweight Clay Guida (31-15) 11-9 in UFC will take on Robbie Peralta (18-5-1) 4-2-1 in what will be a fast paced battle of 145 pound fighters. Making his UFC debut back in 2006 Guida started out as a lightweight, after seven years at lightweight he made the decision to move down to featherweight. With his fast paced fighting style and never give up attitude he is one of the most experienced fighters on the UFC roster. If he wants to stay among the elite of the 145 pound division he will need an impressive victory on Saturday to prove that he still belongs with the best the UFC has to offer. His opponent will be trying to make a statement against one of the true veterans of the UFC. Peralta made his UFC Debut in 2011 and has looked impressive with the victories he has picked up. With his knockout power and impressive accuracy 13 of his 18 victories have come by way of knockout and we will see if he can start 2015 with a win over what will be the biggest test of his career.
Kicking off the main card features a clash of another two top fighters, as Dustin Poirier (16-4) 8-3 in the UFC will make his return to the lightweight division as he takes on Carlos Diego Ferreira (11-1) 2-1 in UFC. Making his UFC debut back in 2011 as a featherweight Poirier has shown the heart of a champion and an ever improving striking and submission game. After losing to top contender Conor McGregor last year Poirier decided to move back to 155 pounds. It has been a while since he has been at this division and we will see how he favors against the lightweights of the UFC today. His opponent is also coming off a loss and will be trying to make a statement, Ferreira made his UFC debut last year and secured two victories in his first two UFC fights, including a win over Ultimate Fighter Winner Colton Smith. With his world-class submission game and improving striking game Ferreira will be looking to take out a true veteran in Poirier and make a name for himself and climb the ladder in the 155 pound division.
Which Fighters will be victorious and move one step closer to Title Shots? Find out April 4, 2015 at UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas.
By: Joey Blood
Photo credit Jeff Gross/Zuffa LLC