UFC 209 Preview & Tips
After what could be described as a lacklustre UFC 208, 209 makes all things right again, as the UFC has put together a great card for fight fans. The Wolf takes a look at the three biggest fights:
Welterweight Championship: Tyron Woodley v Stephen Thompson
These two last met at UFC 205, where the fighters fought out a draw. Going into that fight The Wolf tipped Thompson due to superior striking, and the doubts over Woodley’s gas tank. It turns out that neither was a factor. The striking difference, whilst probably still favouring Thompson, was not overly significant, and Woodley certainly didn’t seem to have issues going five Championship rounds. there is much to like about the fact that Woodley seems to have a huge chip on his shoulder due to a perceived lack of respect for the Champion, and his undoubted knockout power could end the fight at any moment. Look for both fighters to be more aggressive the second time around which will hopefully provide us will a fight as entertaining as the first bout. Woodley in a classic.
Best: Tyron Woodley WIN ($2.35)
Value: Tyron Woodley by Knockout ($4.50)
Interim Lightweight Championship: Tony Ferguson v Khabib Nurmagomedov
The Wolf gets a warm feeling inside thinking about this fight. Arguably one of the best fights scheduled in lightweight history, we can thank Conor McGregor and the pending arrival of his child for allowing this fight to come together. Khabib is undefeated in 24 fights, and unbelievably, has never lost a ROUND! Ferguson is on a nine fight win streak and is as well rounded a fighter as you can find. Nurmagomedov will be looking for the takedown, and if he can get it to the ground, he can overwhelm Ferguson. If Ferguson can keep the majority of the fight on the feet, he has the edge. In saying that, there is no doubt this goes to the ground at some point. The key to the fight is how Ferguson responds to being taken down. Ferguson definitely is appealing here at the price, but Wolfy can’t work out how to tip against a fighter that has never lost a ROUND!
Best: Khabib Nurmagomedov WIN ($1.54)
Value: Khabib Nurmagomedov by Decision ($2.50)
Heavyweight: Mark Hunt v Alistair Overeem
What a fight to open the Main Card! Arguably placed that low in the card due to Mark Hunt’s court case about the UFC, this is a great way to get things going, but also a very hard one to predict. Hunt is not happy with the UFC, and claims he is basically being forced into this fight due to his contract. Does this produce a dejected fighter, or is Hunt going to come out fired up to show the UFC he still means business? Overeem is coming off a first round knockout loss to Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic, and you would have to wonder whether he has the drive to fight his way back up to contender status. This fight shapes as a stand up battle, and whilst Overeem is certainly no slouch in the striking department, one mistake, and Hunt ends it with a trademark walk-off knockout.
Best: Mark Hunt WIN ($2.15)
Value: Mark Hunt by Knockout ($2.50)