MAIN CARD: Sunday 07th March 2021 @ 03:00 BST
In just a few short days time, the UFC’s most stacked card of the year (until UFC 260 later this month) will be with us, boasting an epic 3 title fights with 4 champions; all from different divisions. This sure is a card not to be missed. So without further ado, let’s breakdown the Main Card below.
Men’s Light Heavyweight Bout:
Thiago Santos (21-8-0) VS Aleksandar Rakić (13-2-0)
The main card starts off with a bang at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas as both the #2 and #4 ranked fighters battle it out for a shot at the winner of the main event and their chance at UFC gold. Having already beaten the current Light Heavyweight champ in 2019 by vicious KO, Santos comes into this fight as the underdog against the problematic Rakić.
The lead up to this bout for both fighters has been vastly different. On one hand you have Santos who is coming off consecutive losses and hasn’t won since February 2019 and on the other, Rakić who has only ever lost two fights in his entire MMA career and is fresh off a UD victory over former title contender Anthony Smith. I’m feeling an upset on this card and this might be it….
FINAL VERDICT: Santos by KO/TKO
Men’s Lightweight Bout:
Islam Makhachev (18-1-0) VS Drew Dober (23-9-0,1NC)
Dagestan’s next leg humping machine has already arrived in the form of Islam Makhachev who this week received high praise from his AKA teammates with Daniel Cormier stating, “In straight wrestling, I think he would beat Khabib” who himself later added, “I don’t think anyone can beat him right now. He will run the division”.
His opponent, Drew Dober, hasn’t quite drawn the same praise but is a well-rounded and experienced veteran nonetheless. Coming off 3 consecutive KO victories with his last 2 fights earning him performance of the night bonuses.
Islam’s only loss came by KO. However, this was all the way back in 2015 and I don’t anticipate much of this fight to be on the feet.
FINAL VERDICT: Makhachev by Submission
Men’s Bantamweight Title Bout:
Petr Yan (15-1-0) VS Aljamain Sterling (19-3-0)
Aljamain Sterling finally gets his long overdue shot at UFC gold after wasting no time in defeating the divisions current ranked #2 contender, Cory Sandhagen, via first round submission. Facing Petr Yan is no joke and poses a big step up in competition for Aljamain who has been waiting for this moment his entire career.
The war of words has already begun heating up this week with Sterling throwing shade at Yan’s record which includes victories against, it is fair to say, opponents who have long passed their prime. This fight easily has the potential to be fight of the night and personally, I cannot wait for this one.
Will Aljamain be the one to inflict Yan with his first UFC loss?
FINAL VERDICT: Yan by Decision
Women’s Featherweight Title Bout:
Amanda Nunes (20-4-0) VS Megan Anderson (11-4-0)
Is that Amanda Nunes fighting? Easy….
FINAL VERDICT: Nunes by KO/TKO
Men’s Light Heavyweight Title Bout:
Jan Błachowicz (27-8-0) VS Israel Adesanya (20-0-0)
This one shouldn’t last long, although I hope that it does. With Jon Jones vacating the belt and preparing for his move up to Heavyweight, Jan Błachowicz wasted no time in defeating Dominick Reyes to gain possession of the vacant belt towards the end of last year, but his first title defence is no easy feat. Israel Adesanya is undefeated in 20 professional MMA fights and boasts a staggering 75 kickboxing victories to his name.
Furthermore, Israel is also the current UFC Middleweight champion and is looking to cement his legacy in the hope of becoming one of the select few to reach champ champ status. Whilst being undefeated and a current champion is great, moving up in weight at this level holds no guarantees and is a completely different kettle of fish. Just look at Max Holloway’s attempt at Lightweight gold against Dustin Poirier (Spoiler Alert: It didn’t end very well for him).
Similarly, Jan possesses serious knockout power and is capable of winning this fight in a multitude of different ways. Out of his 27 wins: 8 have come by KO, 9 by submission and 10 via the judge’s scorecard.
In summary, I really cannot tell whether this fight will end by KO/TKO or whether it will be a 5 round barn burner. Either way, it ought to be the most exciting thing on TV at 6am on a Sunday morning.
FINAL VERDICT: Adesanya by KO/TKO