UFC 216 has an impressive main card including championship and interim championship fights.
What makes it unusual though is the fact an interim title fight is taking the main event spot over an actual championship fight, but that’s just compliments to Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee given the hype that’s built around their fight and the performance expected by them. Though these three fights are all on the main card, they all lead to interesting future fights not just inside their divisions but also potential super fights. Though the main card isn’t the only thing providing exciting fights, with the prelims holding fights such as Tom Duquesnoy vs Cody Stamann, Will Brooks vs Nik Lentz, and Thales Leites vs Brad Tavares on the Fight Pass prelims.
But if you can only tune in for a few fights, here are three fights I recommend not to miss.
1 Tony Ferguson vs Kevin Lee
You cannot miss the main event of the evening, the lightweight interim title bout between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee. With unpredictable, creative striking and slick submissions, Tony Ferguson will look to extend his 9 fight winning streak. To stop him and jump from rank #7 to interim champion is the outspoken Kevin Lee. Lee is a strong wrestler with incredible submissions skills and knockout power, capable of finishing the fight no matter where it goes.
Either of these men winning could secure them a shot at the champion, Conor McGregor. The current lightweight champion is yet to return to the octagon after his record-breaking boxing fight with Floyd Mayweather. This fight will ultimately determine either who Conor McGregor defends his championship belt against, or who becomes the official champion if McGregor refuses to defend.
Prediction: Tony Ferguson by decision
2 Demetrious Johnson vs Ray Borg
Looking to break Anderson Silva's record number of title defenses, Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson will take on Ray Borg for his 11th defense. The pound-for-pound #1 is explosive and well rounded and with his current reign it's hard to see anybody beating Mighty Mouse, but that doesn't mean it isn't impossible as we've seen from other bouts such as Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva.
Both men have strong grappling and submission skills, but it's hard to see anybody beating Mighty Mouse, but that doesn't mean it isn't impossible. If Borg wins, he becomes the second person ever to hold the UFC's flyweight title. If Johnson successfully defends for the 11th consecutive time not only does he go down in history, but it also opens potential super fights with different divisions. Either way, this fight potentially changes how the Flyweight division operates.
Prediction: Demetrious Johnson by submission
3 Fabricio Werdum vs Derrick Lewis
Derrick Lewis vs Fabricio Werdum is an important match up in the heavyweight division. Either man winning could place them in the title picture against Stipe Miocic. With multiple world championships in Jiu-Jitsu it's no secret Werdum's strength is grappling, which is where we can expect to see him pushing towards in this fight.
Lewis is known for his heavy-handed knockout power, with 16 of his 18 wins coming by way of knockout. There's no doubt Lewis will look keep this fight standing and hunt for the knockout whereas Werdum will look to turn it into a grappling exchange. The grappling will not only play in Werdum's favor by playing to his own strengths but also help fatigue Lewis if the fight goes to the later rounds. This fight will be all about who can implement their game plan and their strengths effectively.
Prediction: Derrick Lewis by KO/TKO
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