UFC 209 is finally in the books. It should have been one of the best PPV’s of the year. However, unfortunately for the fans, it ended up being another bad PPV. Under the watchful eye of Dana White and the new owners, the UFC were expected to deliver high-profile events which would easily sell a million pay-per-views. Though, it’s safe to say that both the first two PPV’s of 2017 have completely ‘bombed’.
UFC 208 was quite easily UFC’s worst PPV since UFC 174. On the other hand, UFC 209 was destined to be a huge success. However, ever since the highly anticipated bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was scraped off, the fight card for UFC 209 too looked to be a bit weak.
The fans were served an eleven bouts fight card. The preliminary card bouts were thrilling with some exciting finishes. Though, the main card was a bit disappointing to watch.
UFC 209 was an average PPV. However, for all its negatives it still had some positives. Thus, let’s take a look at the major talking points from the event.
A highly close but boring main-event
In the main-event of UFC 209, fans were eagerly waiting to witness the epic rematch between the champion Tyron Woodley and the challenger Stephen Thompson. Their first fight was an instant classic, it was a five round back-and-forth battle which had the fans on their feet constantly biting their nails. Their first fight was an absolute barn burner and certainly set the bar too high. The rematch wasn’t expected to be as thrilling as its predecessor. However, fans still had high hopes and wanted to watch an exciting fight. Though, much to the dismay of everyone in attendance we got to witness a dull and tedious fight.
After their previous fight, both fighters showed each other too much respect and were reluctant to charge forward with combinations. They seemed to be a bit afraid of their opponents’ ability of knocking people out. Thus, we witnessed a fight which had tons of faking of strikes and faking of transitions and level-changes as both fighters looked to counter-strike the other. The audience in attendance too grew tired of the monotonous nature of the fight and showed their displeasure by booing the fighters.
At the end of the five rounds, both fighters believed they had done enough. “The Chosen One” got the victory over ‘Wonderboy’. It was another close fight but surely wasn’t enthralling by any means.
End of the line for Rashad Evans?!
When you get out-struck by a 39 year old fighter who had no striking experience before turning a pro-MMA fighter, then you seriously do have to question your ability. In 2006 when Dan Kelly turned into a professional MMA fighter, a rather young ‘Suga’ was tearing through the UFC’s 205 pounds division. Since 2006, Kelly then remained inactive in the world of MMA for the next six and a half years due to Judo commitments.
Having failed to taste success again at light heavyweight, Evans dropped down to middleweight to test his luck. Many fans expected ‘Suga’ to run riot against the judoka. He was expected to have a comfortable victory over the Australian. However, the seasoned grappler out-struck the American. ‘Suga’ looked for takedowns and was once successful in getting the grappler to the ground. However, he failed to keep him on the mat and the Judoka easily got back to his feet. “Dong Smash” then continued to land clean, hard punches on ‘Suga’ who seemed to have no answer for his striking.
Having previously lost to Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira, Evans is currently on a three fight losing streak. Bader and Teixeira are highly polished athletes who are in the prime of their careers. However, losing to Kelly has surely affected the credibility of Evans as a serious threat in the division. He is currently riding in the same boat as fellow MMA legend B.J. Penn. Both Evans and Penn are ruining their legacies and should decide to call it a day.
Alistair ‘The Reem’ ‘The Sprinter’ Overeem is back, as Mark Hunt’s iron jaw cracks…again!
Alistair Overeem is one of MMA’s most elite and highly decorated strikers. He surely is the most decorated striker in the heavyweight division. The Dutch combat sports veteran has held various world titles in many notable, different organizations such as Strikeforce, Dream, and K-1. He also holds a notable kickboxing victory over Badr Hari.
During his fight at UFC 203, the Dutchman had showcased a new unorthodox defensive technique. The unorthodox strategy that “The Reem” had added to his arsenal involved breaking his fighting stance and running away from his opponent. He applied the same technique against Hunt.
Ask any pundit or striking coach, they can explain to you that turning your back and running away from your opponent is not a wise thing to do in a fight. Miocic had exploited Overeem’s consistent and predictable running away from him movements. However, unfortunately “The Super Samoan” couldn’t do the same and was instead put to sleep by the Dutchman.
There was a time when Hunt was considered to be the toughest fighter in the 265 pounds division. However, it’s safe to say that after years of gruesome hits to the head, Hunt’s iron jaw has finally cracked.
The future of the heavyweight division: Mark Godbeer and Marcin Tybura
The heavyweight division has been stagnant for years. Majority of the fighters in the division are old and often get injured. The heavyweight division seemed to be dying a slow death. However, it’s now been revived by young, fresh blood. The fans are currently enjoying thrilling knockouts by young, talented, upcoming fighters like Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis.
Lewis and Ngannou are two of the most popular upcoming fighters in the division who have even headlined major UFC events. Though, there are other talented, upcoming fighters as well who have somehow skipped under the radar. Two such fighters who have gone unnoticed by both fans and pundits are Mark Godbeer and Marcin Tybura. Godbeer and Tybura have been fighting mostly in the preliminary cards but surely do have the skill to be on the main card.
Godbeer is a former BAMMA heavyweight champion and is famous for knocking out his opponents. He has an MMA record of 12-3. Nine out of his twelve victories have been via knockout. On the other hand, Tybura is a 31 year old Polish mixed martial artist. He has an MMA record of 15-2.
Both fighters have only faced unranked opponents inside the octagon till now. However, after such impressive victories both of them will be looking to fight a ranked opponent in their next bout inside the octagon. These are two fighters fans should surely keep an eye on as they have the potential to be serious title challengers in the future.
UFC 209 was a decent PPV. However, it certainly failed to live up to the hype.
Till the next article is published, keep training and never give up.