Catrell Simpson: March 2, 2017
I know it’s only March, but this is already the best card of the year. It’s headlined by the rematch between Stephen Thompson and Tyron Woodley; however, this is not the only fight that is sure to excite.
Alistair Overeem vs. Mark Hunt
In Mark Hunt’s last fight, he was physically dominated. The fight ended in a unanimous decision for his opponent, Brock Lesnar, but it was later overturned to a no contest after Lesnar tested positive for PED’s. Alistair Overeem is coming off of a loss to champion Stipe Miocic. In that fight, they were going blow for blow the entire first round until Overeem was KO’d. Overeem is still one of the top fighters in this division. I can easily see him beating Hunt with a first or second round TKO.
Lando Vannata vs. David Teymur
Vannata has an impressive resume to date. His only loss has come to Tony Ferguson. Out of every fight he’s had so far, only one has gone the distance. As for his opponent, Teymur is fairly new to the UFC. He has won both of his fights via KO in the 2nd round. Based on the way these guys fight, there’s no way this fight goes all 3 rounds. This fight is such a toss-up but if I had to give anyone the advantage, it would be Teymur. I think Teymur will keep it rolling with yet another 2nd round KO.
Rashad Evans vs. Dan Kelly
Evans career is on the line in this fight. He hasn’t won a fight since 2013. In his last fight, he was dominated by Glover Teixera. Maybe his move down to middleweight can help him be more competitive at his age. For Kelly, this could be a chance to win a fight against a notable opponent. He’s currently on a 3 fight winning streak. He’s 39 years old, and his window for even thinking about a title shot is closing fast. I believe this will be the first fight of the night that goes the distance. Evans will get it back on track with a unanimous decision win.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson
This 5 round fight is for the interim lightweight championship. Winner of this will most likely fight Conor McGregor later this year. We all know about Khabib’s undefeated record, but Ferguson is not an opponent to sneeze at. He hasn’t lost since 2012. Khabib should try to keep this fight standing. I’m aware of his submission victories, but he hasn’t face anyone with a ground game as good as Ferguson. My mind is telling me to go with Khabib, but I have a gut feeling Tony Ferguson will escape with the lightweight interim belt after a 4th round submission victory.
Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson
This is what we have been waiting for. The last time these two met, it originally ended with a split decision win for Woodley, but it was later changed to a majority draw. As I watched the fight, I had no idea who won. Woodley had a chance to end the fight in the 4th round, but Thompson would just not give up. Woodley can KO anyone in an instant, but Thompson proved to me in the last fight that he has the heart of a champion. I can see this fight going the distance yet again, but I think Woodley finds a way to pull off a unanimous decision this time.