Happy New Year! – Preview of UFC 195

By Owen Phillips     28/12/15     

It’s not the replay of the Sydney Harbour Bridge fireworks display, it’s a potential fight of the year candidate to start the year. ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler stands opposite Carlos ‘The Natural Born Killer’ Condit at UFC 195 to vie for the 170 pound (77.1kg) championship title on Sunday (Australian time). Lawler’s last defence of the title against Rory MacDonald was an absolute masterpiece – a back and forth battle, blood-soaked and pure brutality. MMA Files considered this fight to be the best fight of 2015.

The next opponent for the welterweight champion is Condit who also has a penchant for exciting, violent contests. In his last fight he finished a very tough Thiago Alves and looks to do the same against Lawler. Condit is a technical striker with great Muay Thai combinations and a fantastic ground game.

The champion Lawler is one of the toughest competitors to ever put on a pair of mixed martial arts (MMA) gloves. He can withstand tremendous pressure and generally finds a way to win. He likes to keep the fight standing, has great takedown defence, uses the power in his hands to hurt his opponents and mixes in kicks as well. Lawler has so much experience and has had ups and downs in his career but now is at the peak of his powers.

In the co-main event, Andrei Arlovski takes on Stipe Miocic in a curious heavyweight matchup that could provide a future title contender. ‘The Pitbull’ Arlovski was underwhelming in his last fight in a decision victory over Frank Mir, whilst Miocic put on a record-setting beatdown on our own adopted Australian hero Mark Hunt. Both competitors have fight-ending power in their hands and will be looking to impress the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) executives.

A fight that was supposed to be on the main card was Australia’s own Kyle Noke, who was looking to build on his impressive front kick stoppage of Peter Sobotta at UFC 193 in Melbourne, meeting up with rising star Kelvin Gastelum. Gastelum had to pull out of the bout with an injury and in steps Alex Morono on less than two week’s notice. Morono currently has a smaller organisation title to his name (Legacy Fighting Championship welterweight champion) and it is a great opportunity to make his name in the UFC. He has 11 wins and 3 losses in his career and has finished 10 out of 11 wins. He has decent striking whilst standing with a history as an amateur kickboxer and is always looking for submissions when things hit the ground. Zane Simon from Bloody Elbow covered all you need to know about Alex Morono. Kyle Noke is a veteran who is still evolving. He has always shown good boxing and has been developing his kicking. As a long-time member of Jackson/Winklejohn MMA in Alberquerque, New Mexico, it will be interesting to see what he displays in this next fight which will now be placed on the Fox Sports Preliminary card.

One fight not to miss is on the UFC Fight Pass Preliminary card between Dustin Poirier and Joseph Duffy. This sensational lightweight shootout was originally scheduled for an Ireland main-event position a few months ago. Duffy has great boxing and an all-round MMA game. Dustin ‘Diamond’ is very creative and has good power in his hands. Both competitors have been looking fantastic in the 155 pound (70.3kg) division. Brett Okamoto from MMA Live analysed on ESPN’s SportsCenter what to expect prior to the original matchup.