Talented flyweights Zach Makovsky and Jussier Formiga will square off in an important matchup at UFC 176 in Los Angeles. Both fighters are riding positive momentum heading into the August 2 clash at Staples Center, coming off victories in their last Octagon appearances. Makovsky earned a unanimous decision nod over Josh Sampo at UFC 170 while Formiga submitted Scott Jorgensen at Fight Night 38 in Brazil.
“Fun Size” has enjoyed an impressive start to his UFC career with two consecutive victories and has already moved into the no. 9 ranking. Makovsky stepped in as a late injury replacement against “Young Guns” at UFC on FOX 9 and spoiled Jorgensen’s 125-pound debut with a unanimous decision win. He followed that up with the victory in February against the tough Sampo.
The former Bellator bantamweight champion has had a career revival since making the move down to the flyweight division. He captured the RFA title and is currently on a four-fight win streak. The 18-4 Makovsky can enter the title picture if he can post another victory over the talented submission specialist. He’s shown a diversified striking game and solid grappling skills.
Formiga picked up the victory he needed against Jorgensen in his last bout, a contest that produced some controversy. Jorgensen was stunned in the opening round by an accidental headbutt, and Formiga used that to his advantage by locking in a rear-naked choke to finish the fight. Jorgensen officially protested the result of the bout hoping to get it overturned, but had his appeal denied.
The Brazilian is 2-2 in his UFC tenure with those losses coming against former title challengers John Dodson and Joseph Benavidez. It will be interesting to see if Formiga can finally turn the corner after entering the organization with plenty of advanced hype back in 2012.
The former Shooto South American champion was regarded as one of the best 125-pound fighters in the sport when he joined the promotion, and a victory over Makovsky should inch him closer to a potential title shot. The no. 6-ranked Formiga has eight submission finishes in his 16 career wins.
This should be a tremendously competitive and fast-paced contest. The winner of this meaningful affair will definitely emerge as someone to insert into the title conversation.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports