UFC Ft. Lauderdale has an incredibly stacked main card to feature on ESPN+ at 7:00pm MT. The early prelims start on ESPN 2 at 3:30pm MT and the prelims at 5:00pm MT on ESPN. This is not a card you want to miss, featuring fights like Roosevelt Roberts vs Thomas Gifford and John Lineker vs Cory Sandhagen.

The fights keep going, but the end result is the main event at middleweight where, Jacare Souza tries to assert himself into title fight talks and fend of Jack Hermansson who has skyrocketed into the rankings, and hopes to continue his fast rise in a quick turnaround.

Roosevelt Roberts vs Thomas Gifford (Lightweight)

Jordan: In what should be an exciting match-up to kick off the main card, we have unbeaten prospect Roosevelt Roberts taking on UFC newcomer Thomas Gifford. Both men are known for finishing fights, with 21 wins between them all coming by either KO or submission. Gifford appears to be something of a whiz on the mat with 14 submission wins and with Roberts preferring to do his work on the ground, things could get interesting as these two men go at it.

Roosevelt Roberts def. Thomas Gifford via TKO in round 2.

Connor: I have heard good things about Gifford from staff at The Scrap, but I have seen Roberts fight, and he is a problem at lightweight. Roberts is 6’2”, lightning quick hands, power that demands respect, and a strong ground game overall. I expect this to be a good fight, and I expect Roberts to come out on top.

Roosevelt Roberts def. Thomas Gifford via TKO in round 2.

John Lineker (#8) vs Cory Sandhagen (Bantamweight)

Jordan: They say size matters but when you hit like John Lineker, it really doesn’t. The 5’3″ bantamweight will enter this fight vastly outsized against Cody Sandhagen who stands at 5’11″ and has previously competed at featherweight. Lineker is a long time UFC veteran who consistently beats the best guys. In contrast, Sandhagen is a relative newcomer and despite going 3-0 in UFC, this appears to be a considerable step up. He does however, have a lot on his side with age, height, weight and reach. Certainly, one of the more interesting match-ups of the night. I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

John Lineker def. Cory Sandhagen via KO in round 1.

Connor: If we are going to be fair, Lineker’s last loss was to TJ Dillashaw in 2016 and this is the coming out party for Sandhagen. With a win over Lineker, Sandhagen will jump into the rankings at bantamweight, a division which remains in limbo in its current state.

Cory Sandhagen def. John Lineker via submission in round 3.

Glover Teixeira (#11) vs Ion Cutelaba (Light Heavyweight)

Jordan: Longtime light heavyweight contender, Glover Teixeria, is always a fun watch. Despite being slightly past his best years, he remains among the top guys at 205-pounds. A win over Ion Cutelaba will see Glover collect back-to-back wins for the first time since 2016. Cutelaba has gone 3-2 in the UFC, looking unspectacular. If you believe in MMA math, Glover Teixeria is a dead cert in this fight. Holding recent wins over Misha Cirkunov and Jared Cannonier, who both inflicted defeats on Cutelaba. I don’t believe in MMA maths and despite these wins, I believe Glover has his hands full come fight night.

Glover Teixeira def. Ion Cutelaba via unanimous decision.

Connor: Teixeira remains relevant still as the essentially gatekeeper of the rankings at light heavyweight. This is a fight where we learn a lot about Cutelaba. Teixeira has another chance to show that he is relevant still and that Cutelaba still has some work to do before becoming a legitimate contender.

Glover Teixeira def. Ion Cutelaba via unanimous decision.

Alex Oliveira vs Mike Perry (Welterweight)

Jordan: In pretty much everyone’s pick for fight of the night, we’ve got Alex Oliveira taking on the always entertaining, Mike Perry. In his first fight of 2019 Oliveira is looking to get back to winning ways after falling to Gunnar Nelson last time out. As is Mike Perry, who quickly succumbed the unheralded Jiu Jitsu game of Donald “Cowboy Cerrone”. With 23 knockout victories between them, I’m expecting a stand up war. It’ll probably come down to two things: who wants it the most and who can take the most.

Mike Perry def. Alex Oliveira via TKO in round 2

Connor: Platinum Mike Perry will face his second cowboy in a row as he faces Alex Oliveira in a dynamite welterweight fight. Perry looking to right the ship a little bit after going 3-3 since 2017, a win would be big for him here. Oliveira was building some momentum and looking like an upcoming contender before his bout with Gunnar Nelson. A win against a big name like Perry, would put Oliveira right back on track to aim for a ranking in the near future.

Alex Oliveira def. Mike Perry via split decision.

Greg Hardy vs Dmitrii Smoliakov (Heavyweight)

Jordan: For some crazy reason Greg Hardy has got a co-main event slot once again. After being DQ’d last time out, the UFC have decided to continue pushing Hardy despite MMA fans showing little to no interest in the NFL veteran. Unless vast improvements have been made since January, Hardy will struggle once again. A big guy and powerful athlete, he’s capable of landing a shot that can win this fight for him. Most likely he’ll be outclassed by a guy despite never winning in the UFC. He’ll be eager to grasp this opportunity on a big stage with plenty of eyes on this fight.

Dmitrii Smoliakov def. Greg Hardy via submission in round 1.

Connor: Smoliakov is 8-2 as a professional, but he is 0-2 in the UFC. This fight is meant to be another fight for Hardy to get used to fighting, the UFC has him pegged as a start with his one-punch KO power, and bad intentions in every punch, the fight is never far from over. Hardy had a hard time dealing with a longer fight and tired as the fight went on, he later was disqualified for an illegal knee to the head of a grounded opponent.

Greg Hardy def. Dmitrii Smoliakov via KO in round 1.

Ronaldo Souza (#4) vs Jack Hermansson (#10) (Middleweight)

Jordan: Fortune favours the brave and that’s exactly what Jack Hermansson is for taking this fight at such short notice. Hermansson currently riding a 3-fight win streak has looked phenomenal. Thales Leites, Gerald Meerschaert and David Branch have all been stopped as “The Joker” has catapulted himself into the top ten at 185 pounds. As impressive as he’s been, this is a whole different level of opposition. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is one of the biggest and best middleweights of all-time, consistently beating elite level fighters with a scarily varied MMA game. On the back of a highlight reel knockout of Chris Weidman, “Jacare” will be disappointed his original opponent Yoel Romero pulled out. A win in that one would pretty much guarantee him a title shot. It’s important he remains focused, respects his opponent, and comes out victorious as the middleweight title shot is within touching distance for Souza.

Ronaldo Souza def. Jack Hermansson via TKO in round 2.

Connor: Hermanson’s last loss came to Thiago Santos back in 2017, no shame there. But since then, he has been on an absolute tear through the middleweight division. Jacare is never far from the title picture and is even closer to victory each night, and threatens fighters at every level. It will be interesting to see how Hermansson fairs coming off a quick finish and turnaround after fighting at the end of March.

Ronaldo Souza def. Jack Hermansson via submission in round 3.

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