Ranking the most interesting bouts at UFC Vegas 31

Jul 28, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Islam Makhachev (blue gloves) defeats Kajan Johnson (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Want to know which matchups are the most interesting tonight at UFC Vegas 31? Then peruse our rankings of the preliminary and main card bookings that have our appointment television seal of approval.

UFC Vegas 31: 1. Islam Makhachev vs Thiago Moises

ufc vegas 31
May 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Thiago Moises (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Michael Johnson (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

While it may seem easy to list the main event of a UFC Vegas 31 as the most compelling fight on the card, it would be a disservice not to label Islam Makhachev vs Thiago Moises as such.

The heir apparent to teammate and instructor Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev is many people’s pick as the dark horse in the lightweight division. His fight against Moises, a dangerous and underrated grappler in his own right, could serve as a coming-out party for the Russian.

2. Mateusz Gamrot vs Jeremy Stephens

The day Mateusz Gamrot signed with the UFC back in 2020 was a day of celebration for hardcore and European MMA fans who had been clamoring for the then-undefeated, two-weight KSW champion to make it to the big show.

After a contentious split-decision loss in his Octagon debut, Gamrot moved his training camp to American Top Team and looked better than ever with a technical knockout win against the always tough Scott Holtzman.

Meanwhile, Stephens is 0-4 with a no contest in his last five. With his back against the wall in a must-win situtation, he’ll face a very difficult test in Gamrot that is sure to entertain viewers.

3. Marion Reneau vs Miesha Tate

It’s not every day that a former UFC champion returns to competition after four years as a retiree, but that’s exactly what Miesha Tate will do against Marion Reneau at UFC Vegas 31.

Whether Tate’s still got it will be something fans will want to tune in to find out, but if she does, this is the fight to show it. Reneau, 44, has dropped four straight fights by unanimous decision and has announced this will be her swan song as a professional mixed martial artist.

4. Billy Quarantillo vs Gabriel Benitez

Few fights on the UFC Vegas 31 card are more likely to produce fireworks than the featherweight clash between Billy Quarantillo and Gabriel Benitez.

Both fighters are known for their all-action styles and have been part of great fights over the years.

5. Rodolfo Vieira vs Dustin Stoltzfus

Rounding out our list is a middleweight fight between four-time jiu-jitsu world champion Rodolfo Vieira and Dan White’s Contender Series contract winner Dustin Stoltzfus.

Vieira was stunningly submitted in his last fight, when he was fatigued and battered by Anthony Hernandez. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back from his first career MMA loss, especially one as shaking as the Hernandez setback.

–Field Level Media

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