UFC 228: Woodley vs. Till is set to take place this Saturday, September 09, 2018 live from Dallas, TX inside the American Airlines Center. The main event is set to feature UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, defending his title for the fourth time this reign, this time taking on Darren Till.
The co-main event features another title fight with UFC women’s flyweight champion, Nicco Montano defending her title for the first time against striker Valentina Shevchenko. The UFC 228 conference call featured the headliners, but what about the fights not quite getting their just due? Here are three under-the-radar matchups though to look out for on Saturday. One fight was selected from each broadcast; main card, FX preliminary card, and UFC Fight Pass card.
Three Under the Radar Matchups for UFC 228
Main Card Under the Radar Matchup
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Niko Price
“Judo Thunder” Abdul Razak Alhassan will make his fifth appearance inside the UFC octagon. Thus far in the UFC, Alhassan is 3-1 with three first-round knockouts. Overall he is 9-1 with all nine wins coming by first-round knockout. His lone loss was a split decision loss to Omari Akhmedov at UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Teixeira in May 2017. Two of his three UFC victories have earned him Performance of the Night bonuses.
Opening the main card, this is a huge chance for Alhassan to show his knockout ability to set the bar high for the rest of the pay-per-view matchups. Also a two-time Performance of the Night winner, Niko Price, will make his seventh appearance in the UFC cage. Price also has a knack for the finish with 11 of his 12 victories coming by submission or knockout. Of their 24 combined MMA professional bouts, only one has gone to the judges. This is a recipe for fireworks.
Preliminary Card (FX) Under The Radar Matchup
John Dodson vs. Jimmie Rivera
The obvious spotlight of the prelims is squarely on the rivalry that is building between Aljamain Sterling and Cody Stamann. The other matchup in the bantamweight division on this section of the card could be just as important. John Dodson makes an appearance after his split decision victory over Pedro Munhoz in March 2018. The 13-time UFC veteran will take on the dangerous striker, Jimmie Rivera.
It will be interesting to see how Rivera rebounds after his 33 second head-kick knockout by Marlon Moraes in June 2018. Rivera had not suffered a loss since November 2008. During his impressive run, Rivera earned victories over the likes of Thomas Almeida, Urijah Faber, and Iuri Alcantara. A victory would be crucial to Rivera’s psyche as a victory for Dodson will help his momentum as he has flip-flopped wins and losses since May 2015.
UFC Fight Pass Under the Radar Matchup
Jim Miller vs. Alex White
The reason this is a must-see fight and under the radar is purely based off of the sense of urgency both fighters must feel heading into UFC 228. The long-time UFC veteran, Jim Miller, who made his UFC debut at UFC 89 has lost his last four in a row and is 4-8 in his last 12 UFC matchups. Though Miller may get a longer leash than most due to his tenure, five losses in a row at age 35 cannot be a good sign for his career. Alex White, Miller’s opponent for Saturday, has flip-flopped his last five matchups with wins for losses. The 29 year needs to string together consecutive victories if he wants to make up any ground in the stacked lightweight division. Both fighters need to win, and win in fashion.
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