For the first time in 4 years, UFC takes over the United Center in Chicago. One of the more stacked cards of the year with 2 title fights taking place. Here is the main card breakdown, however there are some big names on the prelims including Joseph Beneavidez who takes on Sergio Pettis; also fighting is Rashad Evans against Anthony Smith and Alistair Overeem takes on Curtis Blaydes
(Welterweight) Cm Punk vs Mike Jackson: This fight by right shouldn’t be on the main card or even in the UFC. It’s only on here because it’s taking place in Punk’s hometown of Chicago so it will make money but rumour has it that Punk might be making a return to wrestling this year at an indie show which is also taking place in Chicago. In his first UFC fight it was a good story coming from the world of pro wrestling into MMA but if he was serious about the sport, he should have started in another promotion first. Needless to say he was found out by Mickey Gall very quickly but to Punk’s credit he has come back for more. His opponent Mike Jackson was Mickey Gall’s first victim. Both men should not be in UFC but it is what it is.
(Heavyweight) Andrei Arlovski vs Tai Tuivasa: The young lion vs the veteran next. It’s been a while since former heavyweight champion Arlovski was knocking people out left, right and centre but he is on a 2 fight win streak currently, coming off the back of a 5 fight losing streak. However his opponent Tuivasa is hungry for success, currently on a 7 – 0 – 0 win streak with his last 2 fights in the UFC, the Australian up and comer like his opponent has an extensive striking background and youth on his side but will have to overcome the wealth of experience from the former champ.
(Women’s Featherweight) Holly Holm vs Megan Anderson: This has the potential of being fight of the night. Holly Holm at one point shocked the entire world by schooling Ronda Rousey but since then, it’s been up and down for the former bantamweight champion. picking up 1 win in her next 5 fights; however don’t be put off by that because she still has an extensive background in striking and MMA at a higher level. Her opponent Megan Anderson has been tearing it up in Invicta. She was meant to make her UFC debut against current featherweight champion Cris Cyborg but pulled out of the fight due to personal reasons, She is known for her finishes as is Holm in particular KO’s so hopefully this will pick up an accolade.
(Interim Welterweight Championship) Rafael Dos Anjos vs Colby Covington: When you think of pound for pound all time greats, Dos Anjos has got to be in the conversation. An all round master of the game. A former lightweight champion with notable victories over the likes of Cowboy Cerrone, Anthony Pettis, Nate Diaz and former weltereight champion Robbie Lawler who Dos Anjos made easy work of in his last showing. However take nothing away form Covington who is coming of the back of an impressive victory over one of the best grapplers of all time in Demian Maia. Covington has impressive grappling himself and a win here will automatically guarantee him a fight with Tyron Woodley. It’s time for him to step up to the plate.
(Main Event) (Middleweight Championship) Robert Whittaker(c) vs Yoel Romero: 2 of the most likeable fighters in the sport today. In a rematch from which Whittaker came out victorious only a year ago. If Romero loses here who knows what his future may hold. The conquest of becoming Middleweight champion has gone on for about 2 years now. Whittaker has been on a tear for about 4 years, currently on a 8 fight win streak. The New Zealander is known as an all rounder and really this fight could come down to Romero’s cardio. One of the best wrestlers in the sport, 3rd to Khabib and Maia/Cormier. A great athlete particularly for his age, at times his cardio has come into question. But this will definitely be one for the ages.