UFC 218 Holloway vs. Aldo 2: 10 Pre-Event Facts & 10 Fights to Watch For

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With the upshots of UFC 217 still felt till this day, the promotions next stacked event UFC 218 is sure to get your excitement to the next level with a 13-fight card featuring a title rematch, heavyweight title contention decider, collision of the TUF coaches and three promising female fights. UFC 218 will take place on 2nd Dec in Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan.

 

  1. Dominic Reyes (7-0), Drakkar Klose (8-0-1) and Justin Gaethje (18-0) are the only three undefeated fighters from the card
  2. Lightweight prospect Dominic Reyes (7-0) has six of his seven wins coming in the first round, while he finished his last 4 opponents by KO/TKO. Also, his last three fights never went beyond 60 secs of the opening round
  3. Justin Gaethje’s undefeated run now extends to nine years and four months
  4. Alistair Overeem has more losses in his career (15) than Francis Ngannou has total fights (11)
  5. Alistair Overeem is also the most experienced fighter on the card with 58 total MMA fights under 13 different promotions
  6. Max Holloway is on a 11-fight win streak after being defeated at the hands of Conor McGregor in 2013
  7. This will be Jose Aldo’s third rematch series – previous two against were against Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes which he never lost
  8. Courtney Casey was wrongly suspended by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation for drug test in her previous fight. Due to which Casey lost sponsorship deal and had her win decision overturned.
  9. Tecia Torres went the distance 9 times (all decision results) of her 10 fights and has a combined fight time of 135 minutes inside the octagon
  10. Controversial female fighter Angela Magana who is known more for her antics outside the cage fights after a two-year break and is on a 4-fight losing skid

 

DOMINICK REYES (7-0) VS. JEREMY KIMBALL (15-6)

This light heavyweight fight between two strikers who can knock anyone out with just a touch of a button, will bring in the initial excitement for this card. Jeremy at 6 feet has a bit more cage experience than Dominic and with 11 KO finishes, he’s going to bring the fight to Dominic. But Dominic is another beast standing at 6’4’’ his long range and physical attributes. The fight will most likely be contested on the feet with the exception of Grizzly taking looking to take it to the ground when Dominic’s onslaught overwhelms him. Either way, Dominic with this quick speed and superior strength will look to KO Jeremy and continue his streak.

 

FELICE HERRIG (13 – 6) VS. CORTNEY CASEY-SANCHEZ (7 – 4)

Felice Herrig has shown an improved game from her last three wins over Kailin Curran, Alex Grasso and Justine Kish after a tough loss to Paige VanZant. Kortney Casey had a rough start in the UFC but notable wins over Cristina Stanciu, Randa Markos and Jessica Aguilar made her noticeable in the strawweight division. Felice doesn’t possess much power in her punches but her striking mixed with ground game has proved her wonders. Lil Bulldog must stay away from Cortney’s power both on the feet and the ground, as Cortney is known for her vicious elbows and ground-and-pound.

 

DRAKKAR KLOSE (8-0-1) VS. DAVID TEYMUR (6-1)

Undefeated lightweight prospect Drakkar Klose looks to continue his winning streak against Sweden’s KO artist David Teymur. Both these lightweights have won their respective fights inside the octagon. With his impressive victory over Lando Vannata at UFC 209, David Teymur showcased his crisp striking skills as he picked up the Fight of the Night bonus. Despite being overshadowed in his previous fight, David made a mark and proved he can handle the pressure while showcasing his killer striking. While Drakkar might have his hometown crowd advantage, he needs to handle the devastating striking of his opponent who is known to hit and run. Drakkar’s go to strategy would be to use his wrestling skills and halt the pressure while turning the fight around.

 

ALEX OLIVEIRA (17-4-1) VS. YANCY MEDEIROS (14-4)

Cowboy Alex Oliveira is on an impressive four fight win streak since his loss to Donald Cerrone back in 2016. Yancy Mediros after moving to welterweight division has shown an improved game as he stopped Erick Silva in his previous outing. Alex Oliveira’s drawback is his wrestling, which we saw him struggling against better wrestlers in the past. Yancy Medeiros can lock horns anywhere the fight goes – his game plan would be to stand and trade with Alex with his superior boxing in the initial rounds, while switching to the ground game to submit the Brazilian. With his strength and power Alex could overwhelm Yancy but in a more controlled manner while not leaving enough openings.

 

TECIA TORRES (9-1) VS. MICHELLE WATERSON (14-5)

Both Tecia and Michelle have couple of things in common – both strawweight’s have a karate background, lost to the current champion Rose Namajunas and a loss would take them far away from the title contention. Tecia Torres doesn’t posses knockout power but her quick takedowns and high volume of strikes could be the keys her to victory. Michelle with her long range and slick combinations can surprise Tecia, and in return with her kicking game land her in trouble. If Michelle manages to avoid the takedowns and keep the fight at distance tagging her opponent, it could be her big win this year and take her one step closer to the title contention.

 

CHARLES OLIVEIRA (22-7) VS. PAUL FELDER (14-3)

Charles Oliveira’s recent run has been quite tremulous, with 2-3 in his last five fights. Big names have put him in deep waters, that’s where he fell short against Ricardo Lamas, Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway. His submission skills are the only chanced against another big name like Paul Felder known for his striking and KO power. Paul Felder has knocked out two of his previous foes – Steven Ray and Alessandro Ricci in just 1 round. Itching to create a name for himself in the lightweight division, Paul Felder would come in with the same mindset – to quickly dismantle Oliveira and call out a higher ranked fighter for his next outing.

 

EDDIE ALVAREZ (28-5) VS. JUSTIN GAETHJE (18-0)

With so much going on in the lightweight division, this fight could literally ass an additional layer of drama to the ongoing saga. Eddie Alvarez who lost to Connor and then ended in a no-contest with Dustin, desperately needs a win. Eddie’s wrestling could be the key if he manages to stay on the feet and avoid getting into a brawl. Justin would be looking to close the distance and force Eddie to engage. He is a master brawler and can suck in fighters for a short exchange before dropping them to the canvas. If Eddie gets the win, then not only would he be the first one to defeat Justin, but also come back in the title mix provided he clears off the fight against Dustin Poirier. For Justin Gaethje, this win would solidify his stature as a legit lightweight threat for anyone from the division.

 

HENRY CEJUDO (11-2) VS. SERGIO PETTIS (16-2)

The last time we saw Henry in the cage was against Wilson Reis where he knocked out the Brazilian with a lightning combination that had everyone jumping on their feet. A new and improved Henry showed up in his last fight, thanks to the previous two losses against Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson. Sergio Pettis is on a four-fight win streak but he hasn’t faced anyone like Henry. With his wrestling skills and improved striking, Henry could take Sergio back to the school. While the taller Sergio has gone the distance earlier, keeping up with the pace of this Olympian would be a challenge he needs to overcome.

 

ALISTAIR OVEREEM (43-15) VS. FRANCIS NGANNOU (10-1)

Heavily promoted as the next big name in the heavyweight division, Francis Ngannou is a happy man to receive all the media attention and push from the UFC. Overeem doesn’t seem to be bothered much, but being labelled as the underdog against an upcoming fighter in this matchup could irk him in some way. Overeem should be more concerned with the speed and power of Francis who lands every punch on point sending shockwaves. Overeem would rely on his leg kicks and fighting from the outside while countering the Predator. Another key for Overeem would be his knees which he perfectly unloads as he clinches his opponent in close range. It’s not that Francis is a one trick pony relying on his KO power. His cage control, timing and fight IQ have served him well and made him the top 5 prospect he is today. This is an exciting heavyweight fight that could decide the next inline for the title fight next year.

 

MAX HOLLOWAY (18- 3) VS. JOSE ALDO (26-3)

A rematch that was most unlikely thing to happen, until Frankie Edgar had to pull out due to an injury. In their previous meeting, Jose Aldo surprisingly never relied on his leg kicks. It was later revealed that he had a nagging injury that prevented him from using the leg kicks. Now that he is healed, this could be the game changer in this fight. Max Holloway has never been kicked so hard and how he deals will determine the five rounder title fight. That is what Max’s strategy should be – keep a long range and look for an opening to land the same combination that got him the gold. Jose Aldo promises to bring in improved boxing and kickboxing game this time, which could result in a stand-up war until either of the men goes down.

Sohail Syed

Sohail Syed

Writer, Fitness Trainer, Boxing & Kickboxing Coach, Marketing & Branding Professional with 10+ years of experience.

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