The fourth UFC to be held at the T-Mobile arena is soon upon us, the last 3 events at the venue have been memorable, including the stacked UFC 200 show during international fight week, which ended up being headlined by then UFC women’s bantamweight champion Meisha Tate against contender and current champion Amanda Nunes. The second event; the much anticipated rematch of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz; and lastly the third event been the return of former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey against Amanda Nunes in her second main event of the arena.
Another 2 fighters who are no strangers to big fight cards in big arenas are UFC welterweight champion Tryon Woodley and Stephen Thompson; both of whom fought each other back in November of last year in Madison Square Garden; another venue in which UFC is not a frequent guest.
Here is the UFC 209 breakdown of the main card.
(Heavyweight) Alastair Overeem vs Mark Hunt: Interesting bout, expect this on to be a slugfest. 2 of the best strikers in the heavyweight division, Hunt is regarded by many to be the best striker in the division while Overeem has an extensive background competing in kickboxing with a 10 – 4 record. Overeem is coming off a loss to current UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic; while Hunt also has an extensive kickboxing record of 30 – 13 and is coming of a controversial NC with Brock Lesnar which was also in the T-Mobile arena.
(Lightweight) Lando Vannata vs David Teymur: The first of 2 Lightweight bouts on the main card; one could say this is part of the future of the lightweight division, Vannata is 24 years old and 9 – 1; his first loss coming at his UFC debut against Tony Ferguson who we’ll talk about later but was fight of the night, and his last bout earning him performance of the night. Teymur is 27 years old and is 5 – 1 and currently on a 5 – 0 win streak.
(Middleweight) Rashad Evans vs Daniel Kelly: Another interesting bout, Evans is making his middleweight debut and is currently on a record 19 – 5 – 1 with his last 2 fights been defeats, however he is a former UFC light heavyweight champion. Kelly is 39 years old but has an Olympic judo background, he also has a 12 – 1 record which his last 3 fights have been victories. If Evans wins this, been that he is 37, he might have one more run in him and maybe earn his way into title contention.
(UFC Lightweight Interim Championship) Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson: Khabib was meant to be the man who was facing Eddie Alvarez, however Conor McGregor never got his shot against RDA so logic would tell you if current champion McGregor wasn’t venturing into boxing; Khabib would be facing McGregor for the title. That doesn’t mean we should take Tony Ferguson lightly he currently has 13 – 3 record and like Khabib has a victory over former champion RDA; however Ferguson is an all rounder. Khabib is an all rounder aswell whilst being one of the best grapplers in the sport and has a very impressive record of 24 – 0. The favourite is Khabib, both by the bookies and the fans; he is the ultimate test for McGregor given the strength of his grappling and the speculation around McGregor’s ground game.
(Main Event)(UFC Welterweight Championship) Tyron Woodley(c) vs Stephen Thompson: Part 2 of this epic encounter; the last time these 2 stepped foot in the Octagon, 2 of the judges gave the fight a draw while the other gave the fight to Woodley. Thompson is 13 – 1; has a 20 – 0 kickboxing record and 3 performance of the nights to his credit aswell as a knockout of the night and holds victories over Jake Ellenberger, Johnny Hendricks and Rory MacDonald. Woodley is the current champion, has an amateur background of 7 – 0 and currently has a record of 16 – 3 – 1 and holds victories over Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit, Kevin Gastelum and Dong Hyun Kim. In what tends to be the constant best division for fighters, this is sure to be another one for the ages aswell as the rest of the card.
It seems the T-Mobile arena is shaping up to be the venue where you’re guaranteed to get a stacked UFC card. Be sure not to miss it on the 4th of March. Let us know your thoughts below or on Facebook or Twitter.