We're just a few days away from UFC 209, where we will see Tyron Woodley and Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson run back their UFC 205 thriller, with the Welterweight Title on the line once again, and on top of that, we will see Tony "El Cucuy" Ferguson face off against "The Eagle" Khabib Nurmagomedov in an Interim Lightweight Title fight.
The hype around UFC 209 has been big, and it is every bit deserved. These two title fights are truly as good as it gets. But, first, lets start with the first fight on the main card, and the fight that might even steal the whole show - Mark Hunt vs. Alistair Overeem in a Heavyweight matchup that could have some serious title implications. Both of these powerhouses bring it every time they step foot in the Octagon, and are always looking for a finish. These two men are both coming off tough losses, with Hunt losing in decision to Brock Lesnar at UFC 200, a fight that was later ruled a No-Contest when it was discovered Lesnar was juicing (uhhhhh ya think?), and Overeem who last fought Stipe Miocic for the Heavyweight Title, when he was KO'ed in the first round. I expect someone to hit the canvas, and hard in this fight, as both of these beasts are gonna look to knock each others heads off
Prediction: Mark Hunt wins by 2nd round KO
Now, lets jump into the fight that fans across the world have been begging and pleading for, El Cucuy vs. The Eagle. Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov. The absolute two best Lightweights in the world other than Conor McGregor, and both men can and will put up a challenge that is as tough as Conor has ever faced. Khabib stands at an undefeated, 24-0, and poses possibly the most dominant wrestling game in the entire UFC organization. Tony is riding a 9-fight win streak, and has a standup game equally as strong as his ground game, and will be a huge problem for Khabib. This fight will likely be the toughest that both men have ever faced, and the winner will truly be regarded as the best lightweight in the world until we see the return of Conor McGregor, and there is no doubt that a fight between each of these two and Conor will be an instant classic, as will this Saturday's fight. Make no mistake about it, this fight has the implications of being a fight of the year candidate, one of the few match ups that will look just as good in person as it does on paper.
Prediction: Tony Ferguson wins by 3rd round TKO
Finally, the main event, and the rematch we have all been waiting for, Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson. The first fight, as you all know, was a 5-round thriller, ending in a Majority Draw, and leaving all us needing more. Dana said almost immediately that the move to make was the rematch, because both parties involved would like to be able to close the door for good, with Woodley looking to send Wonderboy packing, and Wonderboy looking to begin his own reign as Welterweight Champion. If I had to pick a winner from the first fight, I would have to give it to Woodley. His wrestling proved to be way too much for Wonderboy to handle, and his speed and power knocked Wonderboy down and around several times. However, Wonderboy is a smart, truly committed athlete, who could absolutely make every adjustment he needs to, and come out Saturday and put on a show against Woodley. Thompson needs to utilize his reach and distance, work on avoiding the quick and fierce flurries of strikes that Woodley throws, and must at all costs, avoid being stuck under Woodley for an extended amount of time on the ground, because the more Woodley can impose his will on Wonderboy in the ground game, the worse it will be for Wonderboy.
Prediction: Wonderboy wins in a 5-round split decision