Well UFC 209 lost the Co-Main after Khabib was emergency hospitalized. The fight card in a whole lost a huge piece because this fight card just got a whole lot weaker. I have a short call for these fights but here is how I see the Main Card and the televised prelims breaking down.
Mark Godbeer Vs Daniel Spitz: Godbeer is a gun slinger fist thrower while Spitz is a technical specialist and could dominate on the mat. This fight could be exciting beginning to end sadly I don't see it lasting long. Godbeer wins via KO in the 1st round.
#15 Iuri Alcantara vs. Luke Sanders: This fight should be a great one as Iuri finds himself 15th in the rankings but will be against a guy looking to find himself ranked with one more win. Luke is 11-0 and has stopped both his UFC fights thus far in the 1st round, 1 by submission and the other a KO. This kid is one to watch. I am excited for this fight and i respect Iuri but I think Luke pulls it out and grabs a 2nd round KO in round 2.
#13 Mirsad Bektic vs. #14 Darren Elkins: These two ranked featherweight's will dominate the prelims as far as putting on a great show. I think Mirsad though will put on the true show and remain undefeated and start creeping up the table of the featherweights. This kid is the real deal and grabs a 2nd round submission.
Marcin Tybura Vs. Luis Henrique: The main event of the prelims is a heavyweight showdown. I am not entirely sure how these two wound up ahead of Elkins and Bektic but I guess a less interesting fight before the real deal heavyweights? Anyway in the heavyweight division the more aggressive/ intelligent fighter survives longer. I believe Tybura is the more complete fighter and way more aggressive and will pick up the KO in round 1.
#3 Alistar Overeem vs. #8 Mark Hunt: A rematch from years ago except these two have both developed. The last time they met Mark wasn't built like a tank like he is now he seemed more overweight than just built. Overeem back then was inconsistent and didn't seem to always have his fire but now that flame is huge and never goes down. This fight is seriously the 2nd best fight of the night and could steal the show depending on how the main event goes. Two HUGE hitters ready to knock the other one out both proving they are ready for a title shot. I think Overeem might be the more complete fighter but his chin isn't what it used to be and if you don't have a granite chin you will loose to the Super Samoan. I am going with one of my all time favorite heavyweights, Mark Hunt wins via 2nd round KO.
Amanda Cooper vs. Cynthia Calvillo: The battle of women in the featherweight division. This fight could be good but I don't believe it is main card worthy and I know it only got moved there with the cancellation of the co-main but this is where Bersic and Elkins should be. Either way I believe Calvillo remains unbeaten and wins via unanimous decision.
Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Kelly: Suga Rashad is making his middleweight debut here and it's been a little while waiting as he has been scratched twice before this one. I like what I have seen from Daniel Kelly so far in his young career but he is facing a legend in his own right. This fight could actually be good regardless that I see it being slow as they will both land their shots and take downs. I believe this will slowly help Suga head to retirement as I have Kelly winning via unanimous decision but I will be happy to see Suga win this one.
Lando Vannata vs. David Teymur: The Co-Main is going to be a great fight regardless that it isn't T-Ferg and Khabib. I love what these two bring to the table and Vannata was a big fan choice to see step in for Khabib if Dana would let the fans get what they want we could have seen multiple things. But I will get into that when I get the details more on Monday. For now lets enjoy what we have here in this fight. Vannata is extremely well-rounded and could finish this thing standing or on the mat but I don't see him letting this thing go to the end. Now his opponent Teymur hasn't been taken down yet in 2 fights in the UFC and has knocked out both of his opponents thus far. I am actually getting more excited for this fight the more I research it. I have no idea who will win but this fight will be amazing. I am just flipping a coin and taking Vannata I guess via 3rd round submission after a all-out brawl for the first two rounds.
Champ: Tyron Woodley vs. #1 Stephen Thompson: The Rematch of the rematches the fight that was a majority draw for the welterweight title. This is the best fight of the year all over again, these two have chips on their shoulder and the winner of this fight is the deserving champ because right now this title could belong to either if you ask me. I love both of these guys as they are stand up men and both are complete world class and honestly if Woodley closes the gap in this one again we could see the same result with a unanimous decision or split. If Thompson though can keep his distance and strike with his length we will see a new champ in this one. I am torn between who is going to do what in this one as far as their game plan. I have seen that Thompson has worked his ass off lately to fix the holes in his game and I know Woodley is as well. I am so torn but if I have to choose Woodley in this one because this guy looks unbeatable right now. Not saying Thompson can't win because this fight is a complete toss up. If Woodley wins I got Tyron doing it via a 4th round KO if Thompson wins via 3rd round TKO.
- Matt Koontz.
Fox Sports 1 prelims
Mark Godbeer (11-3) vs. Daniel Spitz (5-0): We are starting off this night with a heavyweight battle between two leaner heavyweights. Both fighters usually weigh in around 240 and the division cap is 265. First up is the guy who is debuting in the UFC tonight, Daniel Spitz. Spitz is currently undefeated in five fights. He has won three fights by submission and one more by knockout; meaning only one of his fights went to decision. On top of that his four finishes all ended in the first round. His opponent is looking to get some fire in the UFC. Mark Godbeer has won three of his last four fights, but the loss was his most recent fight and his debut in the UFC. Other than that, Godbeer has been very hot with nine wins by knockout and two by submission making all his wins by finish. As far as this fight goes, I believe it will be short because neither fighter looks like they have experience going the distance. I believe that will work in Spitz’ favor because Godbeer will tire from trying to get the knockout and Spitz will be able to secure the submission once his opponent is gassed.
(#15) Iuri Alcantara (33-7) vs. Luke Sanders (11-0): The next fight will take place in the bantamweight division and Luke Sanders is looking to keep his streak alive against ranked fighters in his division. Sanders has won six fights by knockout and one by submission, with six of his finishes in the first round. Sanders has incredible striking with an average of seven significant strikes per minute. His opponent has won five of his last seven fights and is looking to start climbing the rankings. Alcantara is tied between winning 13 fights by knockout and 13 fights by submission. Alcantara has an excellent skillset, but I think Sanders is going to dominate this fight. I think Luke Sanders will be quick on his feet and drop so many punches that he is going to get a TKO in the first round.
(#13) Mirsad Bektic (11-0) vs. (#14) Darren Elkins (22-5): The co-main for the prelims will be a featherweight fight between two ranked fighters. Darren Elkins has won 13 of his last 17 fights and is on a three fight win streak. He has won eight of his fights by knockout and three by submission. His opponent is the undefeated Mirsad Bektic. Six of his wins were by knockout and two more were by submission with five of the finishes in the first round. Bektic also has a perfect takedown defense. There are so many fights I predict will end by knockout or TKO so I am going to say this will end by submission. Both of these guys have belts in jiu-jitsu so I think they will strike a bit in the first round then try and work the ground game. From there I see these guys getting to the ground quicker in the second round and after a tough battle, Darren Elkins will emerge victorious via submission.
Marcin Tybura (14-2) vs. Luis Henrique (10-2): He we are at the main event for the prelims and the first of two heavyweight fights in a row. Both fighters are the kind of heavyweights that fight around the 240s. Luis Henrique has won eight of his last nine fights and has won two in a row. He has won four fights by submission and three fights by knockout. On top of that, three of his finishes were in the first round and has a perfect takedown defense. His opponent also has a perfect takedown defense. Marcin Tybura has won six of his fights by knockout and six wins by submission and nine of them have been in the first round. This should be a pretty interesting fights because neither of these guys are the kind of heavyweights that just lug their fat around and hope for a one-punch knockout. Tybura is the kind of guy that likes to take it to the ground and pile shots on until he gets the TKO or finds a chance for the submission and so does Henrique. This fight will probably be in the clinch for most of the first with each guy trying to start his ground game. Into the second round they will get to the ground and I predict it will be back and forth with both guys will be landing a lot of strikes. I think this will be a fast paced match and Tybura will manage to catch Henrique in a submission late in the second for the victory.
(#3) Alistair Overeem (41-15) vs. (#8) Mark Hunt (12-11-1): We are kicking off this main card with a heavyweight collision. The first to the octagon is Mark Hunt who has won seven of his last twelve fights. In his career he has won nine fights by knockout. For a while Hunt looked terrible looking gassed all the through his fights and even had a below par record. Now that he has slimmed down a bit, he has won two fights in a row and is looking re-energized. His opponent has won five of his last seven fights and was on a win streak before losing to the Champ. Alistair Overeem has won 20 fights by knockout and 17 fights by submission making only four fights not won by finish. This fight will be an absolute brawl and someone is probably going to get knocked out. I don't really see a slow start to this and the striking is going to come quick. Overeem has a massive reach advantage by eight inches so I think he will be able to knock Hunt out, but it will take until the second round.
Lando Vannata (9-1) vs. David Teymur (5-1): On to the next fight we see two lightweights trying to make a name in the division. David Teymur is a very interesting prospect. He lost his pro debut and since then has gone on a five fight undefeated streak. Four of his wins were by knockout and he has never been taken down in the UFC. His opponent is 9-1 as a pro and I think it could be 10-0 if he didn't fight Tony Ferguson in his UFC debut. Vannata has four wins by knockout and four wins by submission and seven of them were in the first round. This guy isn't afraid of anything. He pushes the pace, varies his strikes very well and can send spinning strikes with almost no warning. He even almost knocked T-Ferg out a couple times. This fight will be a highlight reel of a fight, but I don't think it will go the distance. David Teymur is going to have a rough fight because I think Vannata should be ranked with the caliber of his striking. I predict both fighters will be bloody, but Vannata will come out on top withy a second round TKO.
Rashad Evans (24-5-1) vs. Daniel Kelly (12-1): Here is the third fight of the main card and this brings us to a middleweight fight. Daniel Kelly is the only man ever to be on the Australian Olympic Judo team four times. In MMA, he has five wins by submission and three by knockout with four in the first round. His opponent for tonight is the veteran "Suga" Rashad Evans. Evans hasn't fought in a year because his recent fights have been scrapped. He has won six of his last ten fights. This will be the middleweight debut for Rashad so we will see how he handles the weight cut. Recently we have seen two very different kinds of Evans and I believe the gameplan he chooses to bring to the fight will have a huge impact on who wins this fight. The old Suga was a big striker that was insanely enjoyable to watch, but this newer Evans has adopted the style of most people at his gym. Most of them just do enough to win the round then just maintain grapple control for the rest of the time. If the new Evans comes in, which I think is what's going to happen, then Daniel Kelly will slam Evans a couple times and win the grappling game. Kelly will then win by decision after beating Evans at his own method.
(#1) Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0) vs. (#2) Tony Ferguson (23-3): This fight was originally going to be the co-main event and for the interim lightweight title to see who fights Conor when he gets back. Unfortunately we learned during the weigh-ins that Khabib had to be rushed to the hospital and was not cleared to fight. We will report when this match is rescheduled because it would be crazy for the UFC to just scrap this match forever.
(C) Tyron Woodley (16-3-1) vs. (#1) Stephen Thompson (13-1-1): On to the main event for tonight and we get the rematch for the welterweight title that ended in a draw. For those who don't know, Stephen Thompson is a beast of a kickboxer and Tyron Woodley is a crazy pitbull of a striker. In their last fight Woodley set the pace for most of the fight. He spent a good amount of time controlling the ground and terrorizing Thompson. As the fight went on Thompson was able to get back into it by being more mobile on his feet and peppering counter shots on Woodley. Late in the fight Woodley rocked his opponent, but was unable to finish the job so he tried to get a submission and couldn't pull that off either. In the final round Thompson saved himself by practically dominating the round and thus creating the tie. Since neither of them have fought since the first match I believe that Thompson will look to keep the fight standing the entire time and look to utilize his kicks more than his fists, while Tyron should put this on the ground as much as he can an just bury Thompson. While both fighters were upset with the decision I think Woodley took it worse and will come back in with a refreshed mindset and know exactly how to win and keep his title. I am going to call Tyron with a TKO in the third.