Saturday night marks UFC 214, in some regard, the start of the UFC calendar year with this being the first event since International Fight Week. What a card it will be; like most UFC summer shows, they tend to be stacked. Here is the main card breakdown.
(Light Heavyweight) Jimi Manuwa vs Volkan Oezdemir: We start off the night with 2 knockout artists, Manuwa is The UK’s biggest prospect right now, he was in the conversation for the main event against Cormier but Cormier picked Jones instead. Coming off two impressive wins against OSP and Corey Anderson the man likes to knock his opponents out early. His opponent won’t be that easy however. Ozedemir is also known for knocking out his opponents and has an extensive background in striking in particular kick boxing. He is also the fresher of the two men knocking out Misha Cirkunov in 28 seconds back in May. Whoever comes out on top of this one will most likely be in the conversation along with Gustafsson for the title shot against whoever wins the main event.
(Welterweight) Robbie Lawler vs Donald Cerrone: Next, we have what will most likely be fight of the night and potentially fight of the year. Both men are known for going through absolute wars with their opponents. Originally this was meant to take place at UFC 205 but Lawler needed some time after his fight with Woodley, then they were meant to throw down at UFC 213 but Cerrone picked up a staph infection and a groin injury and now the bout is taking place at 214, both men are coming off losses with Lawler losing the belt to current champion Woodley and Cerrone picked up his first loss to Jorge Masvidal back in January since moving up to the welterweight division. Both can take punishment, both can dish it out. Let World War Three commence and may the best man win.
(Women’s Featherweight Championship) Cris Cyborg vs Tonya Evinger: Well this is a weird one, the featherweight division was created for Cris Cyborg. For various reasons, champion Germaine De Randamie didn’t want to fight Cyborg, accusing her of use of drugs, even though recent allegations were found to be false. De Randamie was stripped of her belt and Cyborg was meant to fight INVICTA featherweight champion Megan Anderson but she pulled out and was replaced by INVICTA bantamweight champion Evinger. Envinger will have a disadvantage of not usually facing featherweights but will have less ring rust than Cyborg, also Envinger is making her UFC debut and will want to impress.
(Welterweight Championship) Tyron Woodley(c) vs Demian Maia: At long last Maia, is getting a shot, arguably one of, if not the best grappler in the sport next to Khabib. He is 39 years old, only 4 years older than Woodley, however he is coming a 7 fight win streak including wins over Gunner Nelson, Carlos Condit and Jorge Masvidal. Woodley is coming off the back of a sequel of fights with Stephen Thompson were extremely close, one would argue Woodley won the first one which was considered a draw and Thompson won the second bout which was awarded to Woodley. Whoever comes out as champion could well face the winner of Lawler/Cerrrone.
(Main Event) (Light Heavyweight Championship) Daniel Cormier(c) vs Jon Jones: Lastly, an action packed main event, originally they met at UFC 182 which Jones won. Jones was meant to face Anthony Johnson but was stripped of the belt after a hit and run incident and then suspended. Cormier faced Johnson for the vacant belt and won with a rear naked choke. Cormier went on to defeat Gustafsson who almost beat Jones before. Jones returned and faced OSP and picked up a victory which was a more conservative Jones. The stage was set for UFC 200 for both men to face off and after McGregor/Diaz was switched to UFC 202 it was the main event, but unfortunately only days before the event, Jones failed a drug test and was banned for a year. Cormier faced Anderson Silva who was a last minute replacement and won and then beat Anthony Johnson in a rematch in what would be Johnson’s swan song. These two men do not like each other, it’s hard to say if they even have respect for each other as athlete’s. Jones is the only man to beat Cormier and he feels Cormier is holding his belt. Cormier feels Jones is a disgrace to the sport for all his antics. Needless to say tensions will be high on Saturday night.