Due to injuries and VISA issues damaging the Main and Co-Main event — as well as a general lack of South American talent in the UFC — this weekends UFC Chile does not feature the best that high-level MMA has to offer. That is not to say that this card won’t feature some fantastic matchups. Despite the issues that have weakened this card, three potentially standout matchups remain. These are the top three fights taking place at UFC Fight Night 129 (UFC Chile).
Three – Brandon Moreno Vs Alexandre Pantoja
The matchup that was originally scheduled for this card (and UFC 223) was Brandon Moreno Vs Ray Borg. Although the cause of Borg’s absence is truly heartbreaking, this bout is one of the rare examples of a fight becoming more intriguing after a fighter is replaced. The replacement matchup between Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja is, in my estimation, much more competitive and intriguing. This is going to be a high-paced, technical fight between two of the most promising up-and-coming Flyweights in the UFC and will be a sure contender for fight of the night.
Two – Dominick Reyes Vs Jared Cannonier
Undefeated Light-Heavyweight prospects are one of the rarest gems in all of Mixed Martial Arts. An even more precious commodity than a merely undefeated prospect is one worthy of the hype. On the main card of UFC Chile, Dominick Reyes will have the chance to prove himself as the latter when he takes on the always entertaining Jared Cannonier. Regardless of what the future holds for Reyes, this is going to be a fantastic stylist matchup that will likely result in a career-best performance from either man.
One – Vicente Luque Vs Chad Laprise
With a UFC record of 5-2 including wins over Belal Muhammad and Niko Price, Vicente Luque has quietly become one of the most exciting prospects in the Welterweight division. At only 26 years of age, Luque continues to improve leaps and bounds between Octagon appearances and has begun to make his case for being the division’s most overlooked talent. His crisp striking, well-rounded game and disciplined approach will make him a tough if not dangerous matchup for anyone in the division.
In this fight, Luque will be facing Chad Laprise who, underrated in his own right, shares many stylist similarities with the Brazilian. Due to the conflicting styles, it is likely that we will see the majority of this fight contested at range as both fighters tussle for striking dominance. Although this could possibly be a close back-and-forth fight, I believe Vicente Luque will walk away with a dominant victory in this fight and make himself known as one of the best-unranked Welterweights in the world.