Tonight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas the UFC returns with two title fights. The Main event is Tony Ferguson vs Kevin Lee for the interim Lightweight title. While in the Co-Main Event, widely regarded best pound for pound MMA fighter Demetrious Johnson defends his Flyweight belt. He faces Ray Borg.
I’m here to tell you why you should be watching tonight.
Demetrious Johnson Set To Break Record
It may be only the Co-Main Event but this title fight holds much more significance than any other. If Demetrious Johnson beats Ray Borg, he will have successfully defended his title a record-setting 11 times. He is currently tied at 10 defences with mythical MMA hero Anderson Silva.
In Ray Borg, Johnson has an opponent with a history of decision wins and missing weight. That said, Borg is 24 and one of the biggest underdogs in the history of UFC title fights. He is not on Johnson’s level and I expect this to be either over in first or second round. “Mighty Mouse” will simply smother Borg with pressure, defend takedowns and light him up with his boxing.
Even if Borg, by some miracle gets it to the ground, Johnson is certainly no slouch there. 10 of his 26 wins have come by submission. However lately the diminutive champion has been using his boxing to his advantage, and with Borg being limited in the striking department it should be no contest.
Demetrious Johnson wins via TKO in the 1st or 2nd
Tony Ferguson vs Kevin Lee
Ferguson is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the UFC overall, not just in his weight class. He is dangerous anywhere and he is always looking for the kill. Back that up with great cardio and an intensity of a psychopath, consequently you might as well say game over for Kevin Lee. I would be pushed to say, that if Ferguson had a weakness, it would be his suspect chin, not because he isn’t tough but because sometimes he gets over excited and puts himself in bad situations.
Kevin Lee came to the UFC as a very rough prospect at 21 years of age. He has fought 11 times in the UFC and only lost twice, during his young career. Initially more of a wrestler with good submissions, he is now becoming a very sharp striker. He is a very naturally gifted athlete and is a tough opponent for anybody. Especially relevant is his experience will hinder him here. Until now he hasn’t fought anybody on Tony Ferguson’s level and it could be a step too far, too quickly.
Overall I see this being a great battle. Ferguson will come forward from the out trying to impose his will on Lee. Lee will look to do the same, however if he is still learning at the rate he has been, and his counter striking is on point, he could damage Ferguson. I think however unless this has happened, then Tony will win will a very hard-fought victory within 4 rounds.
The winner of this fight will most likely get a shot at the Lightweight King Conor McGregor and is set to end his hiatus from MMA next year.
Tony Ferguson wins via Submission in the 4th
Local Boy Godbeer appears
Taunton’s own Mark Godbeer appears tonight in the Main Event of the UFC Fight Pass Preliminary Fights. He takes on Walt Harris in a Heavyweight bout. I can’t really pick a winner here as both are great fighters. Neither are elite by any means but it will be a fun scrap nonetheless.
Walt Harris likes to trade on the feet, and knockout out his opponents and Goodbeer likes to do the same. The one thing that is assured, is that most likely someone is going to be knocked out.
Tune in and support our local fella! It should be a great fight no matter the end result.
A Fight To Rely On
Opening up the card, long time UFC veteran Evan Dunham takes on Beneil Dariush in a lightweight affair. This will be an absolute Barn Burner! Both guys have excellent boxing, good leg kicks and effective wrestling. It is a fight of two extremely well matched fighters.
Both fighters like to trade and put on a show. It will be a blow for blow affair, they will take one to give one. It could go to the ground and most likely will at some point, but that will also be explosive action. They have cardio for days and neither will fade.
Evan Dunham is currently on a 4 fight win streak whereas Dariush is coming off an extremely tough loss to Edson Barboza where he was knocked out clean with a knee. It will be interesting to see if he has allowed himself enough time to heal.
I expect this to be the most exciting and competitive fight on the card. Dunham will eventually take control as the fight goes on and eek out a Decision victory.
Evan Dunham 3 Rnd Decision
Special Mention to Las Vegas
It should be a great sight tonight as we will see the spirit of Las Vegas in full swing. The event is of course happening in the wake of the atrocity last week. Over 500 people were injured and 59 killed in another mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music concert.
I always love it when people say f*ck you to something evil. This time it was a sad, deranged man who probably had some sort of mental problem (not making excuses, Psychopaths are mentally ill). What that does however is highlight how good human beings can be afterwards. The crowd cheering louder than usual and choosing to enjoy themselves instead of being consumed by fear is amazing.
It is also home to many UFC fighters, so you can count on it being an emotional affair.
Main card (BT Sport at 3am)
Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee
Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg
Fabricio Werdum vs. Derrick Lewis
Mara Romero Borella vs. Kalindra Faria
Beneil Dariush vs Evan Dunham
Undercard (BT Sport 2 at 1am)
Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann
Matt Schnell vs. Marco Beltran
Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata
Pearl Gonzalez vs. Poliana Botelho
Undercard (UFC Fight Pass at 11.30pm)
Walt Harris vs. Mark Godbeer
John Moraga vs. Magomed Bibulatov
Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
UFC 216 looks set to be a great event. Make sure to tune in on BT Sport. The preliminary action kicks off on UFC Fight Pass including Mark Godbeer, at 11.30pm. BT Sport 2 will then have the action from 1am. Immediately following that is the main card starting at 3am.
by Sam Vickery @heroicguru – Twitter