UFC on FOX 30 - Canada Breakdown & Predictions
When is UFC on Fox 30? Sunday 29th April, 2018 - 01:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC on Fox 30? Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Canada
What channel is UFC on Fox 30 on? BT Sport 2
Where can I stream UFC on Fox 30? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
Eddie Alvarez vs Jeremy Stephens
These two warriors finally meet again after their controversial fight back at UFC 211. As expected, the fight was fiercely gripping until the second round where Eddie Alvarez came back from being rocked by Dustin Poirier and landed his own heavy shots in vintage Alvarez fashion. However, he then proceeded to land a couple of illegal knees while Poirier was on the ground and, due to the damage, the fight could not go on and ended in a ‘no contest’.
Since this bout, they have exchanged some heated words while boosting their record with their most recent fights, both consisting of wars with Justin Gaethje, getting the better of the durable slugger with tremendous knockout finishes.
Their first fight was a ferocious stand-up battle with an abundance of technique and aggression and we are very likely to see a repeat of that but hopefully without any illegal blows.
They both landed heavy shots in the first round with Poirier enjoying slightly more success as he used his reach advantage superbly. As a result, Alvarez may look to throw more feints while shooting in for takedowns to close the distance and throw explosive combinations. He knows he can knock Poirier out but he will have to absorb as few shots as possible.
Exactly the same can be said for Poirier who nearly put Alvarez away in the second round. He outclassed his fellow veteran until the illegal knee and knows Alvarez is never out of a fight until he is unconscious.
They are likely to approach this fight in similar fashion so it could go either way but Poirier continues to improve, looked phenomenal against Pettis and Gaethje and knows he has the technique to overcome Alvarez.
Winner: Poirier via KO/TKO
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.
José Aldo vs Jeremy Stephens
We have another barnburner for the co-main even in Alberta as Jeremy Stephens has been awarded with a match-up he has been dreaming about for the majority of his fighting career. José Aldo returns but he is coming off two devastating TKO finishes to Max Holloway. Contrastingly, Stephens is coming off three wins with two blistering knockouts to Doo Ho Choi and Josh Emmett.
These two veterans are arguably the two heaviest hitters in the division which makes any fight they are involved in exciting but as they meet each other we expect nothing less than fireworks in the octagon.
With the power they both possess, either man can wake up to a flashlight and this fight will have all the fans on the edge of their seats for as long as it lasts. Movement - particularly head movement - will be key for both men with Stephens relying on his scary one-punch knockout power whereas Aldo will rely more on his combinations and thunderous leg kicks.
Stephens has the form but interestingly, Aldo has not prepared for a three-round fight since 2009 so could come out even more explosive than usual. On the feet, Aldo has only had trouble against taller rangy fighters (Holloway and Conor McGregor) but he has to prepare for the knockout threat of Stephens.
Leg kicks will be key for Aldo in interrupting the rhythm of Stephens and avoiding his right hand. If he has put those losses to Holloway behind him we will surely see that stand-up quality that made him a featherweight legend but the durability of Stephens may take this to the final bell.
Winner: Aldo via Decision
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Tecia Torres
The pay-per-view queen, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, now graces the UFC on Fox card and takes on Tecia Torres as she works towards getting her strawweight title back. The former champion suffered her first two losses to Rose Namajunas. She suffered a shock knockout at UFC 217 and then was outpointed in their rematch at UFC 223.
A win in her first fight with Namajunas would have broken the record of female UFC title defences and would have solidified her legacy as one of the best female fighters ever so this will be a real test of character to see how she responds after those losses.
Torres has also only lost two fights in her career and we have seen her develop and evolve drastically during her eight UFC fights. She will be a very tough assignment for Jedrzejczyk as she has the cardio and athleticism to match.
This is going to be a fast-paced chess match with both ladies showcasing their exceptional movement and combinations. They are both very hard to hit as well as possessing an overwhelming output as illustrated in the stats.
On paper they are very evenly-matched however, as although Torres is a great technical striker, Jedrzejczyk is a world champion calibre striker. She is a decorated Muay Thai and Kickboxing champion and the only fighter she has not utterly dominated on the feet is Namajunas. This is a good match-up for the Pole who has a significant reach advantage and is simply in a different league to Torres when it comes to striking.
Winner: Jedrzejczyk via Decision
Alexander Hernandez vs Olivier Aubin-Mercier
The main card for UFC on Fox 30 kicks off with two rising stars who are on an absolute tear at the moment. Olivier Aubin-Mercier always has the fans behind him but will have most of the arena behind him in Calgary. The Canadian is 7-2 in the UFC and is on a four-fight winning streak with a rare but fantastic TKO after attacking the liver of Evan Dunham with knees and punches in his last fight.
Not to be out-done, Hernandez blew away the seasoned striker Beneil Dariush with a ferocious knockout in his UFC debut. This stretched his own winning streak to seven and now his pedigree is being tested again in what could be the toughest fight of his career so far.
This will be a fascinating contest. Hernandez is a rapid, aggressive and powerful striker and Aubin-Mercier is an elite grappler. That said, they are both well-rounded and will be comfortable wherever the fight goes.
Don’t read too much into the stats of Hernandez as they are based off one dominant win. Aubin-Mercier has to respect the wrestling of Hernandez and Hernandez has to respect the striking of Aubin-Mercier so a well-executed game plan will be crucial for the win.
They are both deadly finishers but neither fighter has been finished in their career so a decision is likely. The Canadian has the UFC experience but Hernandez has that raw power and athleticism that could just earn him a decision.
Winner: Hernandez via Decision