By Adam Martin
Much has already been written about the UFC 205 main card, the best pay-per-view card in UFC and MMA history, but there's a good argument that the UFC 205 prelims is the best preliminary card ever assembled as well.
The featured prelim on FS1 sees former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar take on the always-exciting Jeremy Stephens in a featherweight bout. Edgar recently had his five-fight win streak snapped at UFC 200 with a unanimous decision loss to UFC Interim Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo, while Stephens most recently defeated former UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao in what might be the biggest win of his long UFC career. Edgar, a New Jersey native, is one of the sport's elite talents, while Stephens is always in exciting fights. This fight could easily be on the main card but instead serves as an amazing FS1 headliner, with the winner putting his name back into the featherweight title talks.
Also on the FS1 prelims, Vicente Luque -- who has won three straight fights via highlight-reel stoppage -- steps up on short notice for the drug-suspended Lyman Good. He takes on Belal Muhammad in the FS1 prelim opener in what should be a fun welterweight bout between two guys known for their exciting performances.
Al Iaquinta and Thiago Alves, who is making his 155-pound debut, but when Iaquinta abruptly retired from MMA due to a contract dispute with the UFC, the matchmakers phoned up veteran Jim Miller, a New Jersey native, to take on Alves. Both Miller and Alves have been around the sport for years, and both men are known for putting on a great show for the fans. It's unfortunate that Iaquinta, a New York native, isn't competing on this card, but the replacement bout the UFC put together is quite excellent, and serves as a very solid Fight Pass headliner.
The two other Fight Pass fights see New York-trained Rafael Natal take on Tim Boetsch in a middleweight bout and Liz Carmouche, the first female fighter to step into the Octagon, take on New Jersey-trained Katlyn Chookagian in a women's bantamweight bout. While neither of these fights would ever be confused for a must-watch fight, both fights are pretty solid style matchups that should at least be entertaining, and help add to the depth of what is a fantastic set of prelims.
UFC 205 is going to be an amazing card, and the PPV portion of it is must-watch, but before those six fights happen, don't forget that there's also a very solid set of prelims to watch featuring a number of former champions and intriguing stylistic matchups. This is a great card, so don't blink, because you might miss something truly special.