After a string of high profile UFC events, it would have been easy to overlook the upcoming UFC203, but with the Heavyweight Championship belt on the line, as well as the debut of former WWE superstar CM Punk, there is plenty to like about this card in Cleveland.
UFC 203 Previews
Stipe Miocic v Alistair Overeem – Heavyweight Championship Bout
The first title defence for Stipe Miocic will occur in his own backyard, but is facing an opponent that has defeated six former champions in his time in Alistair Overeem. Miocic goes in as favourite, but this is a coin toss fight. Miocic has undeniable knockout power, whilst Overeem has the experience and the edge in submissions. In a heavyweight bout as close as this one, I always like to take the power, and am looking for a KO from Miocic in the early rounds.
Fabricio Werdum v Travis Browne
The man that Miocic defeated for the title, Fabricio Werdum, looks to make another run at the title against a man he has defeated previously in Travis Browne. In their last fight, Werdum out Browne’d Browne, keeping the fight on their feet, and brilliantly boxing his way to a decision victory. As long as Werdum stays patient and avoids Browne’s power, I can see this fight being repeat of their first.
Mickey Gall v CM Punk (Phil Brooks)
CM Punk makes his long awaited debut after signing with the UFC back in 2014. This is a very hard fight to predict, with no form to go off, we can only listen to speculation of what Punk looks like in training. Whilst it is hard for us to make any confident prediction, spare a thought for his opponent Mickey Gall. Gall gets a chance to compete on the grand stage, probably before he deserves the spotlight, against the unknown. I have to go with the younger fighter and the fighter with at least some experience in Gall, but this could be anything.
Uriah Faber v Jimmie Rivera
Established star takes on rising star when Faber takes on Rivera in this Bantamweight clash. Whilst Rivera’s 3-0 win record in the UFC is impressive, he takes a major step up in class when he takes on a man that has not lost a non-title fight in this division. I’m looking to see Faber’s experience come through in a fight that goes the distance.
Jessica Andrade v Joanne Calderwood
A bout in the women’s Strawweight Division kicks off the Pay Per View, with Andrade, coming off a second round TKO victory in her last outing, taking on an ever improving Calderwood. Andrade will come out hard in this fight, but look for Calderwood to absorb the early onslaught, and come out the other end with a decision victory.