2016 was a truly special year for the UFC. From the sale of the promotion, to the incredible amount of top-notch events. As we now come up to the fifth month of the year, UFC 211 is the first mega-card of the year. There are two title bouts and three other matches on the pay per view portion that could certainly be the main event of a UFC on Fox card. Not to mention, the featured bout on the prelims has one former title holder taking on a top flight contender. Let’s take a look at who’s fighting.
Henry Cejudo (#2 ranked flyweight) and Sergio Pettis (#6 ranked flyweight) will get the main card started with their flyweight bout. Even though the number two ranked flyweight is coming off two straight losses, Cejudo still remains a heavy betting favorite. Pettis is riding a three fight winning streak, but due to his poor takedown defense, Cejudo should have his way with Pettis. Cejudo’s wrestling and take down defense (has never been taken down), and vastly superior and could turn this fight into a ground and pound clinic. If Pettis has any chance, he will need to keep his distance from Cejudo and rely on his kicks and striking.
Former Ultimate Fighter Latin America winner Yair Rodriguez (#7 ranked featherweight) and his six fight UFC winning streak, will take on Frankie Edgar (#2 ranked featherweight), who has won six of his past seven fights. Edgar, who has been a main event fighter in virtually every one of his UFC fights, will only be scheduled to go three rounds in this bout. It will be interesting to see if Edgar will come out with a much higher pace and not worry about getting through five rounds. Rodriguez is a high output striking machine who is prone to the takedown. Rodriguez will have a five-inch height and three-inch reach advantage. If Rodriguez is smart, he will try to keep Edgar at distance so that he won’t have to go to the ground and try to defend some world-class wrestling.
If you like fights between two significantly different styles, this is for you. In the Welterweight division, Brazilian-jujitsu master (#3 ranked welterweight) Demian Maia takes on striking machine Jorge Masvidal (#5 ranked welterweight), in a fight that will most likely produce the next number one title contender. Both fighters come in on win streaks (Maia 6 straight, Masvidal 3 straight) and are itching for a title shot. Masvidal has been climbing the rankings using his fists, with two straight KO wins and Maia has been holding steady with his ever impressive submissions. This fight might be my favorite match up of the entire card. One punch could end Maia’s night, while in a flash, Masvidal could have a rear naked choke slapped on him.
The first title fight of the night is the co-main event between Jessica Andrade (#3 strawweight contender) and strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. It’s not that I don’t like watching women’s MMA, but the strawweight division just doesn’t do it for me. I can tell you now that Jedrzejczyk will out strike Andrade 2-to-1 or maybe even 3-to-1 in terms of volume, and go five rounds. She’s incredibly fast, but hasn’t finished in her last 3 fights. Maybe Andrade will be able to weather the flurry of punches and take down Jedrzejczyk, but I believe that is highly unlikely. Sorry ladies, but this is where I refuel for the main event.
If you want to see two massive human beings throw bombs at each other, this is the fight for you. Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will defend his title against former title holder Junior Dos Santos, who was the last opponent to hand him a loss. Miocic has knocked out his opponent in the first round of his last three fights, including when he won the title and then defended it. JDS might not be the best opponent here for Miocic, but it does make sense due to Cain Velasquez being MIA as always. If Miocic is able to avenge his loss to JDS, I could see a Derrick Lewis or Francis Ngannau fight coming up next. I’m sure JDS will land some solid shots on Miocic at some point, but we’ve seen Stipe take some monster shots and still manage to deliver a KO punch himself. I think Miocic will retain his belt with a 2nd rd KO. Miocic is on one of those great runs right now, and there’s nothing JDS can do to stop it.