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UFC on Fox Milwaukee: Questions, answers, predictions

After a five-year run, the UFC's run on "big" Fox ends tonight with an interesting card that isn't exactly star-laden but, well, that's the UFC today. (In retrospect, I should have added tonight's Bellator show from Hawaii which features some interesting fights as well.)

Helping me look at the show are our friends Ryan Frederick and Paul Fontaine. Note that the card has likely kicked off by the time you're reading this as the main card starts at 8 PM Eastern.

The card

  • Kevin Lee vs. Al Iaquinta II
  • Edson Barboza vs. Dan Hooker
  • Rob Font vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Jim Miller vs. Charles Oliveira
  • Zak Ottow vs. Dwight Grant
  • Bobby Green vs. Drakkar Klose
  • Jared Gordon vs. Joaquim Silva
  • Gerald Meerschaert vs. Jack Hermansson
  • Dan Ige vs. Jordan Griffin
  • Adam Millstead vs. Mike Rodriguez
  • Trevor Smith vs. Zak Cummings
  • Chris de la Rocha vs. Juan Adams

What are you most looking forward to?

Paul: There’s a lot of good stuff on this card. I’m very interested in the opening Fight Pass fight because heavyweight prospects are few and far between and Juan Adams is a good one with four first round finishes in just four pro fights and Chris De La Rocha has been knocked out in both of his losses. S,  it’s a recipe for an impressive KO for the UFC newcomer Adams.

Ryan: I really like the feel of the main card. It’s not the most stacked one for a Fox show, but it is really good. Lee and Iaquinta should be a good rematch and they are both worlds better than when they first fought. Barboza and Hooker is a fireworks fight that will show whether Hooker is a real threat at 155 pounds. Pettis has a chance to show he can be a real player in a deep bantamweight division, and Miller and Oliveira always bring it. Solid stuff there.

Josh: Yeah, the main card isn't big on any type of star power but all the fights have some meat and some intrigue to them. It's fascinating to think back on the first Fox show that featured a heavyweight title fight to this one which has two lightweight contenders in the main event. The ratings probably won't be that great, but the action should be.

Anything being slept on?

Ryan: It’s not the most exciting event, but there are a lot of good fights on this show. The entire thing is being slept on with it being such a busy time and weekend in combat sports. 

Paul: The whole card in general. It’s the last UFC card on Fox and is the very definition of going out with a whimper. They peaked at over 10 million viewers for their Fox debut just over seven years ago and this show will be lucky to average two million. That’s no aberration because the last TUF Finale on Spike did 2.5 million viewers while the last one on FS1 did a shade under 400,000.

Josh: I have found myself looking at that Bobby Green/Drakkar Klose fight with some intrigue. Green is a big talker but hasn't been able to sustain any momentum over the last few years due to injury and losses. Klose is a guy you forget about until he fights on the prelims three times a year, but he's kinda good! 

Anything not doing it for you?

Josh: Not at this point, but I feel like the middle of the card is going to feature a lot of decision fights which isn't fun. I have no scientific evidence, but it just feels like that kind of show. 

Paul: Miller vs. Oliveira could be fun and both guys have had great fights in the past, but Miller is a couple steps below him and this could be embarrassing. I have thought Miller was done a few times in the last couple of years and I really hope he isn’t a shell of his former self on Saturday night.

Ryan: Maybe the Trevor Smith against Zak Cummings fight because it could be boring if it gets dragged out the full 15 minutes. It’s a solid, if unspectacular, show we have here.

What will be people talking about most after the show is done?

Paul: "That’s it?" I think it’s finally going to sink in to people after this show ends that the Fox era is over and maybe there wil be a lot of talk about where we now compared to the end of 2011 when this all started.

Ryan: Kevin Lee should still be mentioned as among the best at 155 pounds, and that Dan Hooker is going to be right there with him soon.

Josh: I feel like Lee will be doing all the talking after this one is done. I still don't buy him as an upper-tier lightweight, but his performance against Iaquinta could sway me.

Do you have a favorite Fox fight(s) of all time?

Paul: There’s a lot of good fights to choose from, obviously. For me, I’ll go with Urijah Faber’s retirement fight where he beat Brad Pickett to snap a two fight win streak and go out on a winning note. That show did a really good rating (Paige VanZant also fought on the card) and I remember being very optimistic for the future of MMA coming out of that show.

Ryan: I don’t know about fight as there’s so many and so many good moments that have come out of the Fox events. To me, the most memorable moment wasn’t a fight, but a promo by Nate Diaz after he beat Michael Johnson that led to him calling out Conor McGregor, which eventually led to two of the biggest fights in company history.

Josh: I'm going to tackle this topic on a future JNPO, but at a quick glance, that Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic banger from December 2014 is right up there.

Who wins?

  • Paul: Lee, Barboza, Pettis, Oliveira
  • Ryan: Lee, Hooker, Pettis, Miller
  • Josh: Lee, Hooker, Pettis, Miller