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Duffy's acid test, Lawler's world title defence and more tonight at the MGM Grand

The UFC kick off their 2016 campaign tonight in Las Vegas.


IF HIS SECOND title defence is even half as enjoyable as his first, you won’t want to miss Robbie Lawler’s clash with Carlos Condit tonight — or the early hours of tomorrow morning, to be precise.

Lawler, the reigning UFC welterweight champion, will put his belt on the line against Condit in the main event at UFC 195, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

It’ll be Lawler’s first appearance in the octagon since UFC 189 in July, when he defeated Rory MacDonald in his inaugural title defence, which was widely regarded as the UFC’s ‘Fight of the Year’ in 2015.

His meeting with Condit — a former interim champion in the 170lbs division — has all the ingredients to be another classic. Both Condit and Lawler seldom fail to deliver when it comes to entertainment, and although it’ll be after 5am by the time they lock horns, you’re unlikely to regret your decision to watch it live.

Having said that, an assessment of the remainder of the card suggests that it might be one to set the alarm for instead of staying up through the night. It’s not the strongest pay-per-view line-up the UFC has ever put together, although one of its most attractive bouts takes place early in the evening.

Joseph Duffy Joseph Duffy Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

With the UFC keen to promote ‘Fight Pass’, their online broadcast platform, the eagerly-anticipated lightweight meeting of Joseph Duffy and Dustin Poirier has been allocated to the early prelims, which are only available to Fight Pass subscribers (it’ll set you back €7.99 per month).

Duffy and Poirier were originally due to fight in the main event at UFC Dublin back in October, but the contest was postponed when the Donegal native sustained a concussion.

With Poirier currently ranked 12th at 155lbs, it represents a golden opportunity for Duffy to catapult himself into the upper echelons of the division by proving that he’s worthy of the hype that has been generated by his two first-round UFC wins in 2015, as well as his status as the last man to defeat Conor McGregor.

Elsewhere on the card, a heavyweight title shot may be at stake in the co-main event between Stipe Miocic and Andrei Arlovski, Diego Brandao will be aiming for a third consecutive win since his defeat to Conor McGregor, and bantamweight contender Michael McDonald returns after a two-year lay-off.

UFC 195

Main card — BT Sport 2 (3.00am)

Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit
Stipe Miocic vs. Andrei Arlovski
Lorenz Larkin vs. Albert Tumenov
Diego Brandao vs. Brian Ortega
Abel Trujillo vs. Tony Sims

TV prelims — BT Sport 2 (1.00am)

Michael McDonald vs. Masanori Kanehara
Kyle Noke vs. Alex Morono
Justine Kish vs. Nina Ansaroff
Scott Holtzman vs. Drew Dober

Early prelims — UFC Fight Pass (11.30pm)

Dustin Poirier vs. Joseph Duffy
Joe Soto vs. Michinori Tanaka
Sheldon Westcott vs. Edgar Garcia

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Paul Dollery

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