Key Storylines for UFC on ESPN 56

Derrick Lewis? Yeah, he’s still the guy everyone’s talking about. Even after all this time. He’s stepping into the spotlight for the 12th time in the UFC, facing off against Rodrigo Nascimento this Saturday. It’s all going down at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

Lewis, at 39, has seen better days in the octagon, with five losses in his last seven fights. His last match? A unanimous decision loss to Jailton Almeida on November 4. Despite the rough patch, Lewis is still the king of knockouts in the UFC, holding 14 to his name. He’s a draw, no doubt about it.

Nascimento, on the flip side, is on a roll with three consecutive wins. At 31, he’s breaking into the Top 15, all thanks to his skills honed at American Top Team in Florida. He’s got a knack for submissions, with six out of his 11 wins coming that way.

And then there’s the Lewis-Nascimento fight. It’s just one part of the UFC on ESPN 56 event, but it’s got everyone talking. What will it mean for the heavyweight division?

Joaquin Buckley’s got a homecoming fight in St. Louis, his first in nearly eight years. He’s up against Nursulton Ruziboev in a welterweight bout. Buckley’s riding high on a three-fight win streak, looking to make a statement in front of his hometown crowd. Ruziboev, with a 10-fight win streak of his own, isn’t planning to make it easy. This fight’s got all the makings of a classic.

Carlos Ulberg’s got his eyes on the prize. The City Kickboxing standout is aiming for the Top 15 in the light heavyweight division. He’s up against Alonzo Menifield, a fellow DWCS alum. Ulberg’s on a five-fight win streak, while Menifield has been unbeaten in his last five. It’s a pivotal moment for both fighters.

And let’s not forget about Robelis Despaigne. The guy’s a taekwondo wizard, with a bronze medal from the 2012 Olympics. He’s undefeated in MMA, facing Waldo Cortes-Acosta next. Cortes-Acosta, a former baseball prospect turned MMA fighter, is looking to derail the Despaigne hype train. It’s a heavyweight clash that’s got everyone buzzing.

So, there you have it. UFC on ESPN 56 is shaping up to be one heck of a show. Will Lewis prove he’s still a force in the heavyweight division? Can Buckley thrill his hometown fans? Does Ulberg have what it takes to break into the Top 15? And can Despaigne live up to the hype? Saturday can’t come soon enough.

MMA News & Rumors