UFC 209 looks to be a great card. I’m a bit puzzled by the Rashad Evans fight being the third to last fight, but I expect it will still be a good fight for the fans who love Evans. I’m extremely excited for the other four fights and I think this is one of the best cards of the past few years. Let’s get to it!
Overall record: 11-8 (basically I’ve been okay at this)
Alistair Overeem vs. Mark Hunt
In this matchup of the big boys, you can certainly expect a knock out. Hunt is a fighter who exclusively looks for one big shot to put away his opponents. A total of 13 of his professional fights (54%) have ended with either himself or his opponent being knocked out. Meanwhile, Overeem has 18 knock out wins and 10 knock out losses himself (49% of his fights).
Currently, this fight is close in Vegas’ eyes, but I think Overeem should win with relative ease. Of the two, Overeem possesses the better striking skills and instead of relying completely on the knock out, he can pick and choose his shots more carefully. He will also have a six inch read advantage which could be a big factor in the fight.
Overeem by TKO
Lando Vannata vs. David Teymur
You might remember Teymur from the Ultimate Fighter show. If you didn’t watch that then you might know him from his two impressive knock outs in the UFC so far. If you don’t know him from that then you probably don’t know him, but he’s an exciting fighter, I promise! Although, he is not more exciting than his opponent, Vannata.
Vannata nearly beat Tony Ferguson two fights ago and in his last fight won with a ridiculously nice “wheel” kick knock out against John Makdessi. Teymur will be a tough test for Vannata, but I don’t think it will be too difficult. This looks like a stepping stone fight for Vannata and I think he’ll handle business.
Vannata by TKO
Rashad Evans vs. Dan Kelly
This fight is more about the aging Rashad Evans than most people realize. Kelly is an impressive fighter, but what most people want to know is how much Evans has left in the tank. I don’t think he has much.
When most fighters are forced away from the sport for an extended period of time, they tend to show ring rust. Also, they continue to age and their bodies do not all of a sudden bounce back to where they were before they left the sport. In the NFL, when a running back turns 30, he usually begins the slow decline of his career. I think we might be seeing that with Evans now in the UFC.
I expect this to be a good fight, but I don’t think there will be many fireworks. Kelly is not the most explosive guy and Evans is content with staying away from a brawl at this point in his career.
Kelly by Decision
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson
This is the most exciting fight of the night for me. Khabib is a dominant force in the world of MMA and has at times made his opponents look like amateurs on the ground. However, what Tony Ferguson has is a great stand up game to go along with an extremely solid ground game.
Both fighters are red hot right now (you could say Khabib has never not been red hot in his career) and should put on a show. Ferguson recently dismantled Rafael Dos Anjos for his ninth consecutive win. Meanwhile, Khabib just basically dominated Michael Bradley while talking crap to Dana White, mid-fight.
These two are destined to put on a show, whether that be in a long fight or in a decisive quick fight. I’m extremely excited for the matchup and the winner should be up next for Conor McGregor (after Floyd Mayweather).
Ferguson by Decision
Stephen Thompson vs. Tyron Woodley
Here we go. Ring the bell for round two. Get Bruce Buffer ready. It’s Wonder Boy versus the guy everyone hates (or at least he thinks that).
This matchup has been anticipated by many since their last fight at UFC 205. After what was arguably one of the best fights in the history of the sport, they’re up to bat again and I think this one will be nearly as exciting.
Thompson will once again try to dominate on the feet with accurate long shots where Woodley will not be able to return fire. Woodley wants to make this fight a slugfest and the best way to do that is to get up and into Thompson.
I believe both fighters will have their moments and I expect this fight to go into the later rounds. I think Thompson will be more calculated in the fight and will be able to stay away from any heavy shots by Woodley. Although, at any point Woodley could steal the fight with a knock out or submission and the whole points game that Thompson was playing will go out the window.
Thompson claims that he will not let this fight go into the hands of the judges. I feel like that’s the only way he’s going to win. I don’t think he has the power to knock out Woodley and I think Woodley has the power to knock out Thompson. However, I think Thompson is too skilled and will find a way to avoid a finish for five rounds and get the W.
Thompson by Decision
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