Alright folks, UFC 208 is dead and gone and we will not be talking about it anymore. Forget about the shameful $60 you spent on the pay-per-view last month, and treat yourself with the glorious presentation that should come from 209. We’re back in Las Vegas, and this is the real deal. On March 4th, get ready to see some terrifying individuals try to violently injure one another in professional fashion. With a title shot and interim title shot on the line at the end of the night, UFC 209 is looking like it could be the real deal Holyfield.
#3 Alistair Overeem vs. #8 Mark Hunt
So, here’s where we start. A Heavyweight bout between Allistair Overeem and Mark Hunt. Alistair Overeem last fought in the octagon at UFC 203’s main event against the Heavyweight Champion, Stipe Miocic, and got knocked out late in the first round. He’s set to fight a large scary man by the name of Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt, well known for his literal one-punch knockouts. After three hard rounds against Brock Lesnar at UFC 200, and an eventual no-contest decision; Hunt makes his way back to the octagon.
Overeem has a long professional MMA record at 41-15-0 with one no contest. This guy has been around the block a few times and has beaten some of the most terrifying human beings in the sport including an inhuman Brock Lesnar. Hunt’s record, at 12-11-1, is no less impressive than Overeem’s, earning Performance of the Night wins over Frank Mir and Roy Nelson.
If you like watching giants hurl their fists at each other with deadly intentions, you should not be disappointed.
Lando Vannata vs. David Teymur
This next fight is a Lightweight bout starring two young up-and-comers. Lando “Groovy” Vannata made his first entrance into the octagon on short notice against #2 Lightweight contender, Tony Ferguson. Despite losing the fight by submission in round two, Vannata made a big name for himself by standing and striking with Ferguson. This confidence carried over into his next fight against Jason Makdessi earning a Performance of the Night bonus after knocking Makdessi out by a vicious wheel kick in the first round.
Teymur, a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 22, has six professional fights under his belt and is on a five-fight win streak. With two wins in the octagon by knockout, Teymur has earned his place on the main card along with Lando Vannata, and you can expect the two men to arrive ready to put on a show.
Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Kelly
Rashad Evans is making his Middleweight debut against Daniel Kelly, who has one loss from his 13 professional MMA fights.
“Suga” Rashad Evans is a bonafide veteran of the octagon who has faced some of the best to fight in the UFC. Winner of the second Ultimate Fighter season, Evans has been in the UFC since 2005 and has famous knockout power. The man put, “The Iceman,” Chuck Liddell out cold, earning himself the 2008 Knockout of the Year. More recently, Evans is coming off two losses to Glover Teixeira and Ryan Bader, and is looking to prove he still has the talent that got him where he is today.
Daniel Kelly is 39 years old, but despite his age he has proven his skills in judo, competing in the Summer Olympic since 2000. Kelly has determination and tends to take the first round to feel out his opponent, taking some shots in the process. If he can survive Rashad Evan’s hard striking power, he could gain control of this fight and bring home an important victory.
#1 Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. #2 Tony Ferguson
This is a big one boys and girls. I’ve waited for this fight for at least two months now, which is a lifetime in my short attention span. Forget about Connor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather, this Lightweight Interim Championship fight will satisfy all your depraved violent needs. Don’t forget if Lord McGregor is hoping to keep his Lightweight belt, he’ll have to defend against the winner of this fight. These two have been on a collision course for some time now, and we will finally get to see them face off over five rounds.
Khabib Nurmagomedov (pronounced exactly how it’s spelled), is undefeated in his professional MMA career with 24 wins under his belt. Reread that, the guy is undefeated after 24 professional fight. Nurmagomedov’s skills lie in his ability to wrestle and was trained by his father from a very early age. Catch the man wearing a crazy blonde fur hat, native to his homeland of Dagestan, Russia, but don’t let it fool you. The man will suplex you repeatedly with no hesitation until your body is broken.
Tony Ferguson is The Ultimate Fighter 13 winner and has a record of 23-3-0. Training at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, he has ended seven of his fights by submission. With excellent boxing and wrestling Ferguson could turn out to be a challenge for Nurmagomedov to take to the ground. To add on to that, he has 11 knockouts and a nine fight win streak under his belt, and could be Nurmagomedov’s biggest threat to date. Earning either Performance or Fight of the Night in his last five fights, you can expect some fireworks from this fight.
I’ll be honest, I have no idea what is going to happen between these two, but I swear you will not want to miss this. With Ferguson having a six inch reach advantage, look for him to use his striking to his advantage, but if Nurmagomedov takes this fight to the ground it’ll get very interesting.
(C) Tyron Woodley vs. #1 Stephen Thompson
If you watched UFC 205, you wanted this to happen. The Middleweight title fight ended in an anticlimactic draw, and the stage is set for the rematch. Buckle up people, you’re in for a treat.
The Champion, Tyron Woodley, ended his first title defense in a draw, after a round one knockout of Robbie Lawler (the fastest knockout in Middleweight history). With seven wins by knockout and four by submission, Woodley is deadly on many levels, but in his last fight Thompson gave him trouble with his unusual style. I expect Woodley to try and spend more time on the mat using his wrestling to his advantage.
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson usually stays on his feet and uses his long legs to throw vicious kicks to his opponent, and after seeing what Woodley was able to do to him on the ground in the first round it makes sense. Thompson showed heart and talent after taking some very hard shots in the last fight and surviving Woodley’s guillotine in the fourth round, and easily earned himself another shot at the title.
I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t want to see this, and in fact I don’t want to know anyone that doesn’t want this. They’re not my people, and should not be associated with. Do yourself a favor and tune into this card on March 4th.