Saturday night’s UFC 245 fight card is absolutely stacked. With three title fights and two very intriguing bantamweight matchups making up the main card, along with a slew of fascinating preliminary fights, the organization’s year end pay-per-view is shaping up to be one of 2019’s best. In addition, a welterweight matchup between Ben Saunders and Matt Brown — veterans of over 40 combined Octagon appearances — has a chance to steal the show away from the fights on the marquee.
The last time we saw Matt Brown inside the octagon, the veteran welterweight laid out Diego Sanchez with a vicious standing elbow. That November 2017 first-round knockout victory, which ended a three-fight losing skid, gave Brown his first win since 2015 and earned him his first post-fight bonus award since 2014.
Brown was then expected to face Carlos Condit in a highly anticipated bout in April 2018, but a torn ACL prevented him from taking part in that contest. Brown finally returns to action on Saturday when he faces Ben Saunders on the prelims of the UFC 245 pay-per-view card.
The 38-year-old Brown might not be ranked in the welterweight division these days, but he will be one of those fighters fans always get jazzed about as long as he competes. The reason for that is Brown’s all-violence style. Brown is a throwback of sorts. Sure, he’s a well-rounded fighter, but his preference has always been to get the finish with his striking. Sometimes that works to his favor, sometimes that approach results in knockout losses of his own. One thing that doesn’t happen often is that Brown goes the distance. Of his 37 career bouts, only six have gone to the scorecards. You’d have to travel back to April 2012 to find a fight where Brown won via decision.
Brown is one of the biggest favorites on the card. He is currently a -360 favorite over Saunders, who comes in as a +270 underdog.
Saunders is in a rough spot heading into this contest. The 36-year-old is 1-5 in his past six fights. Saunders has been finished in each of those losses, none of which left the second round. Saunders’ only win during that stretch was a 2018 first-round TKO win over Jake Ellenberger in 2018.
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This fight almost seems designed to get Brown his first winning streak since he won back-to-back contests in 2016-17.
UFC 245 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN2 and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.