UFC Fight Night 124 Stephens vs. Choi: Pre-Event Facts & Fights to Watch For

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UFC is kicking off the new year with a 13-fight stacked card featuring the return of Paige Van Zant
after a year-long absence, Jessica Eye’s entry into the new weight class, long time veteran Vitor
Belfort continuing his desire to fight and a main event clash between two featherweights who are
going to put up a slugfest for the fight fans. Fight Night 124 will be taking place in Scottrade Center,
St. Louis, Missouri, United States on Jan 14, 2018.
1. This is the first time that a UFC event is going to take place in in St. Louis, Missouri
2. Before losing his first fight in the UFC, Doo Ho Choi finished his previous eight fights via stoppage
3. Vitor Belfort is the oldest fighter on the card at 40 years of age and competes for the 40 th time
4. At 23 years of age, Paige Van Zant is the youngest of the 26 fighters from the event
5. Jeremy Stephens is the third only fighter to make his 27 th UFC appearance
6. Vitor Belfort competed in three weight classes in his entire UFC career
7. Both Doo Ho Choi and Emil Meek are returning to the octagon after 400 days layoff. The last
time they competed was on the same fight card.

Jessica Eye’s run in the UFC so far didn’t turn out quite well, but that doesn’t stop her from getting a
fresh start in the newly created women’s flyweight division – her natural weight class. In all her four
consecutive decision losses, Jessica had faced former champion and title contenders. But she’s
confident that her performance in the 125-pound division will be noteworthy. A tough matchup
against new comer Kalindra is Jessica’s last chance to prover herself worthy of staying in the UFC. As
for Kalindra, she gets a named opponent and another chance to redeem her debut loss. Both these
fighters have their backs against the wall and desperately need a win, making this a do or die fight
for them.


It’s a classic striker vs grappler matchup between the fast-paced hard striker Alves and the gritty
wrestler Cummings. Alves might have competed only twice in the last two years, that doesn’t rule
out the fact that he’s still a dangerous welterweight who has wins over Matt Hughes, Josh Koscheck,
Patrick Cote. But he fell short against Jim Miller and Carlos Condit two notable fighters in the
division. Zak Cummings a BJJ blackbelt, has been known as an underdog but like Alves he too had
problems facing well known fighters like Santiago Ponzinibbio and Gunnar Nelson. Alves would look
to rely on his striking while Cummuings moves forward and looks to score takedowns. If Alves does
manage to avoid the takedowns and land his trademark leg kicks, it could be a short night for
Cummings. But if the wrestler gets hold of his game plan, then Alves could be in deep trouble.


Johnson might not be the happy guy for the fact that he’s not on the main card in his home town,
but getting Darren Elkins as his opponent in lightweight division has given him the chance to bounce
back from his previous two losses. Johnson is on a bad run lately and has gone 1-4 in his last five
fights while Elkins is on a five-fight win streak. While Johnson might not have the recent wins, he’s
still got the upper hand over the tough Elkins who’s considered an underdog in this matchup.
Johnson has superior striking and wrestling, but his issue has been with constant pace and pressure
put on him. Elkins has proven that he can’t be counted out even at the last second of the final round,
which is why he has the edge over the Johnson.

KAMARU USMAN (11-1) VS. EMIL MEEK (9-2- 1)

#10 ranked welterweight prospect Kamaru Usman gets his toughest fight in UFC with Emil Meek
who’s known for his power striking. Emil’s biggest win has been over former UFC fighter Rousimar
Palhares whom he knocked out in the first round. Usman is also a physical specimen like Emil but
relies more on his takedowns than his striking. But in his last outing, he knocked out Sergio Moraes
in the first round making this a tough fight to call. Emil must be the more aggressive fighter here and
defend the takedowns to fend off the ground and pound. Usman has been asking for higher ranked
fighters and with a win over Emil, his wish might get granted.


A quick 57-day turn around fight for Australia’s Jessica against a very well-known Paige highlights
fourth women’s fight of the event. Jessica made her UFC debut on a short notice and defeated Bec
Rawlings via split decision. This is the second similar opportunity for Jessica who has got all the right
mixture of striking and grappling to hang with Paige. With a 10-pound jump in the weight class, Paige
will carry her heavy punching power and rely on her decent ground game. She’s not an easy
opponent and will put to test Jessica’s skill set. It’s going to be a fun scrappy fight to watch out as
Paige will be looking to get back to build back her hype.


Vitor Belfort just rebounded from his last three fights with a win over Nate Marquardt and he looked
quite impressive. Uriah Hall also picked up a win after three consecutive losses over top contenders.
Both these middleweights are at the cross roads where they wouldn’t want to be called a perineal
gatekeeper. While Vitor may be past his prime, Uriah ‘Primetime’ Hall has significant age factor in his
favour. With quick striking and flashy kicks, Uriah can put Vitor in danger zone. Moreover, his power
punches pose another threat which the aging Vitor can’t handle.


With over a decade of presence in the UFC, #9 Jeremy Stephens has put on some of the most
memorable knockouts and fight performances in the featherweight division. Despite a 2-3 record in
his last five fights he still packs solid punch against top contenders. He has notable wins over Gilbert
Melendez, Renan Barao and Dennis Bermudez. Before losing his first fight in the last seven years,
Doo Ho Choi consistently finished his opponents via KO/TKO and has 79% KO/TKO ratio a significant
difference between the two. While these two can eat any number of punches, it’s the durability
factor and age advantage that goes in Doo Ho Choi’s favour.

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