UFC Vegas 85 Prelims: Down in the muck

Zane Simon & Connor Ruebusch are back to break down the preliminary card from this week's UFC Vegas 85 event.

By: Stephie Haynes | 3 weeks
UFC Vegas 85 Prelims: Down in the muck
Erin Blanchfield (L) and Molly Mccann (R) step in the ring for a 3-round bout at Madison Square Garden for UFC 281 | Louis Grasse / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

UFC Vegas 85 is kind of a mixed bag. The main card is solid—not great, but solid. However, the prelims are a whole other story. From the ultra softball match the promotion is giving Molly McCann to the lack of any name value aside from Molly’s, this undercard is a stinker.

But, that’s what we’ve come to expect from these absolutely liquid cards. There’s more water in these prelims than my mother’s backyard pool. And it’s not just us crybabies at Bloody Elbow complaining about it. Even the athletes know that being on an Apex Fight Night card carries about as much weight as a puff of smoke does in a tornado.

And even if there are great fights to come from this portion of the card, who’s going to remember anything about them by Monday? Who’s going to recommend one of these bouts to a friend interested in learning about MMA? Perhaps the mother of one of these fighters will tell her yoga class and really get the ball rolling. Yes, we know that some of you enjoy the small cage and lack of an audience, but a lot of us are ready to move on from the sterile confines of the Apex.

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UFC Vegas 85 prelims pull a Bellator(ish) move

As mentioned above, Molly McCann is fighting on this card against Diana Belbita. Zane Simon noted that the UFC did a very “Bellator thing” in that Julia Stoliarenko defeated McCann last July, but instead of being featured in a higher spot on the card, she got buried near the bottom while Molly got one of, if not THE softest touch in the division and it’s the featured prelim. Doesn’t quite seem fair from where we’re sitting.

Charles Johnson is also fighting at UFC Vegas 85, but he’s got a few points of contention with the Apex, as well. In an interview with Jamie Theo, Johnson lamented that the UFC wouldn’t give him a ticket for his wife to watch him compete, citing that tickets are too expensive at $1600/each. He also noted that there is a regular heckler in the audience who shouts and heckles from cageside because he happens to have enough money to keep buying the tickets.

UFC Vegas 85 fighter, Charles Johnson, discusses fighting at the Apex

All of that said, there is something about the undercard that we should be rejoicing over. There is a single heavyweight fight on the bout sheet for this event. Finally, we get to see the big chungus guys where they belong, on the prelims. This one happens to be the curtain-jerker. We couldn’t be happier. If it’s not the Top six or eight, keep it to the prelims. This is the way.

UFC Vegas 85 Prelims

Don’t forget to check out the bonus section for a great review of the UFC 297 preliminary card. Make sure to tune in immediately after this weekend’s fights for breakdowns and analysis on our 6th Round Post-Fight Show.

Other pertinent information about UFC Vegas 85

UFC Fight Night: Dolidze vs. Imavov (UFC Vegas 85) takes place on January 20th, at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card starts at 7 p.m. ET. The prelims begin at 4 p.m. ET. If you just so happen to be out in Nevada and want to witness UFC Fight Night: Dolidze vs. Imavov live, you can purchase tickets by clicking here. UFC Fight Night: Dolidze vs. Imavov can be live streamed on ESPN+ in the United States and Canada. For full streaming details, and compatible devices go here.

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About the author
Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

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