As you may have seen, Cody Garbrandt was forced to pull out of UFC 292, leaving Mario Bautista without an opponent. As game as they get, Mario was willing to face any short-notice replacement bantamweight that would throw their name in the hat. Enter Da'Mon Blackshear — it's been a whole three days since we saw him make history, securing just the third twister submission in the UFC.
On the main card of UFC 292, which is headlined by the highly-anticipated Sterling vs O'Malley bantamweight title scrap, we've got Da'Mon Blackshear tying Lupita Godinez for the quickest turnaround in UFC history at seven days. This is incredibly hard on the body, what with the weight cut, the fight, and then jumping right into another weight cut, but at least there's not a lot of time tog get out of shape.
UFC 292: Da'Mon Blackshear vs Mario Bautista
Both Blackshear and Bautista deserve an enormous amount of credit for keeping this slot on the main card filled. It's very unfortunate that Mario won't get his chance to fight a huge name like the former champion, Cody Garbrandt, but fighting with an bad injury is not smart, especially not with Garbrandt trying to work his way back to the belt.
Bautista is on a four fight winning streak and has stopped his past three wins by first-round submission; he's deserving of this spot on the main card and he's deserving of a notable opponent. This match doesn't carry the clout that Cody brings in, but fighting a guy who just went viral for securing the third twister submission in the UFC isn't too bad.
So, Bautista's UFC 292 experience shouldn't be mitigated much, just a bit different. Moreover, Blackshear deserves this opportunity too. Having stopped his last two fights – one of them being by a twister submission just three days ago, I forgot if I mentioned that – ‘Da Monster' could really propel himself to the next level by stringing together two iconic wins in just a week's time.
The Rest of the UFC 292 Card
UFC 292 is stacked. Two title fights, titular one being the bantamweight GOAT taking on a fan-favorite in Sean O'Malley. This fight is scheduled for five-rounds but not a lot of people think it will go that long. Sterling has a penchant for playing the role of backpack; he gets the takedown, takes the back, and will live there until the round is over or the choke is set in.
Most recently, he was able to beat the Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo, taking the illustrious wrestler down four times in their fight. Sterling is very complete, but if there's anything that can be exploited, it would be his striking, and if there's anyone to exploit it, it's Sean O'Malley.
This is very much a striker vs grappler fight, and both fighters are very candid about that. O'Malley, 16-1(17-0, depending on who you ask), has finished 11 of his fights via KO/TKO. So, whoever can get their game going and negate the opponent's should be the one to leave with bantamweight gold come Saturday night.
There's more gold on the line before that, though! Zhang Weili is a two-time strawweight champion and is the incumbent 115lb best in the UFC. On a two-fight winning and finishing streak, the champ will look to make a stepping stone out of Amanda Lemos.
The challenger, Lemos, is also on a two-fight winning and finishing streak. Most recently grabbing the third-round TKO win over Marina Rodriguez, Amanda will need to be at her absolute best to take out Zhang Weili.
The rest of the card is laced with can't-miss fights — here's a look at what the UFC 292 main card looks like.
- Main event: Aljamain Sterling (c) vs Sean O'Malley
- Co-main event: Zhang Weili (c) vs Amanda Lemos
- Neil Magny vs Ian Garry
- Da'Mon Blackshear vs Mario Bautista
- Marlon Vera vs Pedro Munhoz
Stay up to date on all of the UFC 292 news you'll need here with us! We'll be covering the media day event, weigh ins, fights on the main card, and much more, such as predictions, payouts and odds.