UFC 211 is finally upon us, and despite the lack of transcendent super-star talent on the docket, it may very well be the best card the UFC puts on display this year. Here are the five reasons why.
Your Favorite Fighter's Favorite Fighter(s)
Are you looking for a new favorite fighter to watch? One who is vicious on her feet and is always looking for the finish? Then Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade for the Women’s Strawweight title is your fight. Wondering which fighter was being referred to? Both. These women will most certainly change the way you view female fighters, and you may just come out of it with a new rooting interest.
Jędrzejczyk’s will rely on her exceptional Muay Thai, a blend of doing damage in the clinch and a variety of strikes, to keep Andrade at a safe distance. Andrade’s game plan is simple: she's the hardest hitter at 115 pounds, and her guillotine choke game has led to six of her seven total submissions.
New School vs. Old School
Yair Rodriguez is 6-0 in the UFC and is coming off a TKO victory over UFC royalty in B.J. Penn. Now Rodriguez has set his sights on another featherweight legend in Frankie “The Answer” Edgar. Edgar, however, isn’t a veteran on his last legs. He’s following a unanimous decision victory over heavy handed Jeremy Stephens, and while Rodriguez and others may be the future of the featherweight division, The Answer won’t be ready to relinquish control. This fight will be a war.
OGs in the Octagon
Two legends look to prove they still have it. Demian Maia and Eddie Alvarez are far from washed up. Maia has won six straight fights inside the Octagon, and Alvarez was the reigning UFC Lightweight champion of the world just last November. However, both men are in desperate need of a victory to prove that they are still of championship pedigree as a loss for either one of them would be devastating for their chances to ever fight for a belt again.
Maia is squaring off with Jorge Masvidal who has won his last two fights via knock out and is looking for his own shot at the title. Meanwhile, Alvarez is facing Dustin Poirier who has won five of his last six bouts. Neither Maia nor Alvarez will have an easy route to victory, but that never stopped either of them before.
The baddest man on earth will be crowned. All due respect to Anthony Joshua, but the fight between Stipe Miocic and Junior dos Santos will tell us who is the scariest man on the planet. Miocic is looking to add himself to the rare list of men who have defended the UFC Heavyweight title twice. No one has ever defended it three times. But he will have to get through JDS, who is not only a former Heavyweight champion himself but also the last man to hand Miocic a loss inside the Octagon. The last time these two men went toe-to-toe the result was one of the greatest striking displays in UFC heavyweight history. Expect nothing less at UFC 211.
House of Cards
Knock on wood, but a card finally held up. Well, almost completely (Cejudo vs Pettis was a late scratch). Seriously, though, this is cause for celebration. Far too often the UFC puts out great cards on paper, but one thing leads to another, and they fall apart. It's been so far, so good for UFC 211: only one major injury during camp, no one tested positive for any banned substances. Now they just need to get through weigh-ins, and the event is home free. The UFC needed a card to go off without a hitch to win back some goodwill of fans, who have felt more than a little burned by the late scrubbing of premier fights as of late. So, find your lucky rabbit’s foot, and rub that sucker raw for one more day of no surprises, and you’ll get to feast your eyes on the best card the UFC will put out this year
A writer and politican of all things college football and college basketball from Boise State to UCA and beyond.