Caceres is in for a test on December 6 courtesy of Gagnon, a submission-specialist coming off back-to-back finishes in the first frame of action. Beyond Gagnon’s skill on the mat, “Bruce Leeroy” has been tapped out in four of his five career losses meaning he’ll have to be at his best if hoping to avoid another stumble via submission. Of course, Caceres has had “the glow” as of late with wins in his last three tilts (and a fourth victory changed to a No Contest after testing positive for marijuana use). Fans who love a heated brawl should make sure to watch the prelims at the UFC’s year-end event thanks to the recent addition of Peralta-Payan. Peralta has finished all but two of the opponents he’s beaten including twelve by way of TKO, while Payan’s stoppage rate is also relatively high with eight evening-ending performances to his credit. Each has also shown significant toughness in the past with a particular nod to Payan for surviving a nasty beatdown against Jeremy Stephens earlier this year. Neither is going to challenge for a belt in 2014 but you better believe they’ll be in the running for Fight of the Night on December 28. This December 14 duel should prove to be a fun one. Healy and Varner are both solid on the wrestling front but don’t mind banging it out either. Each owns a number of notable victories including some recent success. However, fans shouldn’t expect either fighter to come in complacent after being outpointed in their previous pairings. It’s a tough tilt to pick a winner in, one of the best qualities a clash can possess, and a perfect fit on the already-stacked lineup for UFC on FOX 9. The clash between Kedzie and Albu is a meeting of old school vs. new. Kedzie is a seasoned veteran who has nearly a decade of experience under her belt, while Albu is only 23-years old with a single, albeit successful, showing to her name. On paper, Kedzie should cruise to victory but she’s winless in her last three appearances and Albu is an unknown commodity at this point. Adding intrigue, Kedzie will almost certainly be cut if she falls, potentially marking an end to her respected career. Why, you might ask? The question is a good one, as Stout and McKenzie have been anything but impressive as of late. For starters, the stylistic match-up is interesting, as McKenzie relies heavily on grappling to win and Stout is a striker through and through. Secondly, the UFC needs to weed out lower-level talent, so giving two struggling scrappers a chance to succeed and stick around or flounder and risk release makes sense. The fight also marks a return to 155 pounds for McKenzie after short stint at featherweight.
UFC matchmaking team has been busy as of late, booking a number of fights aimed at filling the year’s final cards. While none are headlining material, all should entertain on some level and feature noteworthy competitors. Check out a rundown of recently made rumbles for a quick catch-up session on the UFC’s immediate plans… (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)