Before Amanda Nunes vs. Raquel Pennington, Ronaldo Souza vs. Kevin Gastelum and the entire UFC 224 main card, there are eight prelim fights on tap for Saturday night at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro: Warlley Alves vs. Sultan Aliev, Thales Leites vs. Jack Hermansson, Alberto Mina vs. Ramazan Emeev and Markus Perez vs. James Bochnovic on the Fight Pass card, followed by Cezar Ferreira vs. Karl Roberson, Oleksiy Oliynyk vs. Junior Albini, Davi Ramos vs. Nick Hein and Eliza Zaleski dos Santos vs. Sean Strickland on the FX card.
The first prelim card, which starts at 6:15 p.m. ET, can be watched online via UFC Fight Pass, which offers a free 7-day trial.
The second preliminary card, which starts at 8 p.m. ET, will be broadcast on FX. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch FX and all the fights live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to an extensive Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including FX. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the fights on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: FX is included in a subscription to DirecTV Now, no matter which of the four main channel bundles you select. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the fights live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
FuboTV: FX is included in a subscription to FuboTV, a streaming service that is largely tailored towards sports fans. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch the fights on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
The “main event” of the prelims features a middleweight battle between Cezar Ferreira and Karl Roberson.
Ferreira, a 33-year-old Brazilian native, is coming off a split decision win over Nate Marquardt at UFC Fight Night Norfolk in November. After suffering three first-round defeats in a span of 16 months in 2014 and ’15, the winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil is now 4-1 in his last five.
The 27-year-old Roberson, meanwhile, made his UFC debut on that same night in Norfolk and came away with an impressive first-round submission (rear-naked choke) of Darren Stewart. That came on the heels of a 15-second KO win over Ryan Spann on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, and “Baby K” suddenly looks like someone capable of making some real noise in the middleweight division if he can continue this impressive run on Saturday night.
There are plenty of other fighters on the preliminary card who also deserve your attention. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos has four straight wins, with three of those earning “Fight of the Night” bonus, and another victory could earn him a ranked opponent in his next fight. Alberto Mino is undefeated since joining UFC three fights ago, while his opponent, Ramazan Emeev defeated Sam Alvey in his Octagon debut last October.
Overall, it should be an entertaining set of fights in Brazil, even before we get to the main card.