UFC 209 is almost upon us and is considered by many, including my self to be the first great card this year.
Headlining the event is a rematch between Stephen Thompson and Tyron Woodley. The first contest ended a majority draw but after re-watching this fight a second and third time, I firmly believe we should have had a new champion that night in Madison Square Garden.
Seemingly against Woodleys wishes, the two elite welterweights will run it back.
Co-headling is a largely anticipated match up between the #1 and #2 lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. With Conor McGregor expecting his first son and sorting out business with Floyd, this fight will have to be for the interim lightweight championship.
After an injury a piece and some drama to add to the anticipation, these two are finally going to meet in the octagon.
The rest of the card is as follows.
Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Kelly
Lando Vannata vs. David Teymur
Mark Hunt vs. Alistair Overeem
Mirsad Bektic vs. Darren Elkins
Paul Craig vs. Tyson Pedro
Mark Godbeer vs. Daniel Spitz
Marcin Tybura vs. Luis Henrique da Silva
Luke Sanders vs. Iuri Alcantara
Albert Morales vs. Andre Soukhamthath
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Amanda Cooper
Predictions for UFC 209
This event we had 2 full weeks in between this card, and the UFC Fight Night Halifax card so I had plenty of time to dive into footage from UFC Fight Pass.
The card is full of extremely evenly matched fights in my opinion and my predictions can easily go either way.
One thing I try to stay away from is listening to other peoples predictions heading into the fight because what sometimes doubt can creep but for the most part I’m pretty confident in my predictions.
Below are my predictions from Tapology.com
As of right now, UFC Halifax was the first event since I began this website and right now on tapology my prediction records is 89%. I’m sure that’ll come down quite a bit from events like this one where the fights are so evenly matched.
Still, I think I’m going to come out above .500 on this fight card.
Interesting match-ups for UFC 209
I recently wrote a post about 3 underdogs that can possibly upset at UFC 209, Bektic vs Elkins was on the list and I find this match up very interesting.
Both guys have a similar style of fighting.
If you watch Bektic’s fights he’s an aggressive wrestler with solid stand up, he gets the fight to the ground and he goes to work actively looking to pass guard and set up submissions. He’s one of the more interesting prospects at 145 but he’s up against a battle tested veteran in Darren Elkins. When Elkins fights, there’s only 1 objective – he want’s to make it a dirty fight. Constant pressure against the cage, relentless takedown attempts, and he could fight like that from bell to bell.
With a prospect like Bektic, as we’ve seen other guys like McGregor and Rodriguez he might just pass this test with flying colors.
Tyson Pedro vs Paul Craig
Craig was vocal about only accepting a top 15 guy in the Lightheavyweight division, but here he is fighting Tyson Pedro. Pedro looked pretty good in his first fight in the UFC after getting rocked early. He showed good composure for a fighter who only previously only had 4 fights as a professional.
What’s great about this fight too is that Paul Craig is a former champion on the European circuit and he’s only a part time fighter – he’s a teacher full time in Scotland. Although I heard he’s on a 6 month sabbatical.
Both guys show excellent potential for a somewhat lackluster LHW division so it’s going to be really interesting to see how both these guys do in the UFC.
I expect Paul Craig to win this one and maybe get his top 15 guy on the next one.
Most anticipated fights of UFC 209
Lando Vannata vs. David Teymur
I was instantly a fan of Lando Vannata after I saw him give Tony Ferguson all he could handle in his UFC Debut. I would say my favorite thing to watch in MMA is bad ass head movement – check out Vannata avoid a sniper
He got caught eventually but remember, that’s Tony Ferguson.
If that isn’t cool enough, look how he turned off the lights when he fought John Makdesi
Ala Edson Barbosa.
He’s fighting another champion kickboxer in David Teymur but I’m just wishing for another trilling fight.
Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov
After an injury a piece, the third time is the charm as these two guys are finally going to meet for the Interim Lightweight Championship.
Honestly, I’m more hyped for this fight than the main event, but that’s just how you know this card is sick.
It’s really interesting to see what’s going to happen in this fight. It was impossible for me to really break down because there are so many intangible things that both guys do. How I see it – Tony’s going to want the fight standing, Khabib will of course want the fight on the mat. I see Tony able to avoid a few take downs early but chances are highly likely he will be on the mat with Khabib at some point in the fight. Ferguson is really good at attacking on his back and I think that’ll help him in forcing Khabib to give up position to avoid a submission. The longer the fight is standing, the more likely it will be for Ferguson to land some good shots eventually picking Nurmagomedov apart.
Overall, I’m hyped for this card. It just so happens to fall on my birthday weekend, like last year Diaz and Mcgregor I’m in for another awesome UFC card.
Do you agree with my picks? Let me know in the comments to start a conversation. Stay tuned for more content about UFC 209.