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UFC 215: Nunes vs Shevchenko 2


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Saturday 9th September. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 



Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko - Bantamweight Title

Rafael Dos Anjos vs Neil Magny 

Henry Cejudo vs Wilson Reis

Ilir Latifi vs Tyson Pedro

Gilbert Melendez vs Jeremy Stephens  

Sara McMann vs Ketlen Vieira

Ashlee Evans-Smith vs Sarah Moras  

Gavin Tucker vs Rick Glenn

Mitch Clarke vs Alex White


Luis Henrique vs Arjan Bhullar

Kajan Johnson vs Adriano Martins 


Definitely Dana White's highlight of the year, this PPV. His 2 favourite champs headlining! 


OK, it's not a PPV blockbuster. Let's get that out of the way. But I actually really like this card. It's deeper than I thought (go on with your Kenneth Williams). Plus, remember this is taking place just 2 weeks after Mayweather vs McGregor. I don't think we'll be ready for anything too big (Kenneth again). This should ease us back in nicely. 



Nunes vs Shevchenko 2 was supposed to go down at UFC 213 in July. It got binned when Nunes went into hospital the morning of the fight with an illness. Hopefully it goes ahead this time because it's easily the most interesting fight in the division IMO. 


The first fight was on the undercard of McGregor vs Diaz 1 in March 2016. Nunes won the decision that night but it was anything but plain sailing. Nunes wasn't the champion yet so it was a 3 round fight. As usual she started strong, battering Shevchenko about. But Shevchenko survived and came back later in the fight, won the third round and looked to be the fresher fighter by the end. It was one of those fights where you felt like the momentum had turned and if it was a 5 rounder, who knows how Nunes would've held up? 

Of all Nunes' career wins, Shevchenko is the only woman she couldn't finish. 

Following that hard fought win, Nunes' career really exploded. 


She won the title in the main event of the milestone UFC 200 event in July. Smashing and submitting Miesha Tate in just over 3 minutes. Then in December in her first title defence, she destroyed the returning Ronda Rousey in 48 seconds. It was quite the year for Nunes. 

Shevchenko bounced back from the loss to Nunes by beating Holly Holm in July and Julianna Pena in January. The way she did it was mega impressive as well. She outcounterstruck the counterstriker in Holm and she submitted the grappler in Pena. Both fights were main events on Big FOX as well so it was good exposure for her. With these wins, plus the fact she gave Nunes such a hard fight the first time, the rematch just made sense. 


Things got quite heated at the Summer Kickoff press conference. They were more arsey with each other than I expected. Whether it was 100% building the fight or if there's actually any beef there is anyone's guess. But I'm really looking forward to this one. 



Junior Dos Santos vs Francis Ngannou is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH***. What can you even say about this? It's a proper battle of heavyweight big hitters. JDS is clearly far from his best. And he's coming off a first round KO loss to Stipe Miocic in his latest failed title shot. He's always dangerous and on any given night I still feel like he can beat most of the division. Ngannou is a fucking animal though. The true 'Black Beast'. I've loved every second of his UFC career so far. Hard to say how good he really is because his fights haven't lasted long but he's handled everyone put in front of him, and brutally. He put Arlovski away with ease in his last fight, scoring his biggest win to date. This is his toughest test yet though. If he can do to JDS what he's been doing to everyone else, it's time to start talking title shots and main events for the big man. 

Really mixed feelings about this. I've always been a huge fan of JDS. He's been a savage in the cage and a big dopey loveable lump outside it. But I really like Ngannou as well. He's a killer and his backstory is cool as fuck. Coming from being homeless in France, getting noticed by an MMA coach, practically living in the gym to where he is now. It's a great story. I've got a good feeling about Ngannou. I really think he's the future of the division. 



Rafael Dos Anjos vs Neil Magny could be good. This is fight number 2 as a welterweight for RDA. He beat Tarec Saffiedine in June. They're not fucking about with him, throwing him straight in with Magny here. Magny hasn't fought this year but he had a pretty good 2016, with wins over Johny Hendricks and Hector Lombard. Not sure how I see this one going. RDA is a fantastic fighter but I can't help thinking Magny's size is going to be a major factor in this one. He's a big welterweight at 6'3" and he's long and lanky and physically strong with it. He'll have around a 10 inch reach advantage on RDA here. 



Gilbert Melendez vs Jeremy Stephens has serious show stealer potential. This would've been my second choice for my one to watch. How do you go wrong with these two? Melendez has to get a win here. He's coming off 3 consecutive losses and has lost 4 of his last 5. The losses were all to top guys (Alvarez, Pettis, Bendo and Barboza) but still, the fact is it's not a good look. He hasn't won since that classic with Diego Sanchez in 2013, for fuck's sake! Add to that he's 35 now, has had a long career and a lot of wars, and got suspended for PEDs not long ago. You wonder whether he's on the way out. If he is, Jeremy Stephens isn't the type of guy you want to be up against. He hits like a truck. I'm hoping Gilbert wins because I like him and can't fucking stand Stephens. But my confidence is shook when it comes to Melendez. 



Henry Cejudo vs Wilson Reis. Or mini Frank Shamrock vs mini Yoel Romero. It's a battle of Mighty Mouse victims but I like the matchup. Two extremely high level grapplers in their own rights. Cejudo, the Olympic gold medal winning wrestler. Reis, the BJJ world champion and black-belt. Neither mind getting into a standup battle but I actually hope it doesn't go that route. I'd much rather see how their grappling styles stack up against each other than a mediocre kickboxing match which is neither of their biggest strength. 



Ilir Latifi vs Tyson Pedro is another fight I really like on paper. Didn't even know it was happening until now. Latifi has become a real UKFF favourite. He came to us in 2013 as a last minute fill-in against Mousasi. But he's more than just 'Some Fucker' now. He's been a fun watch on every card he's been on, delivered some big knockouts and he's a really likeable tank of a man. I've got time for Latifi. And he's in with Aussie prospect Tyson Pedro. I've liked what I've seen of Pedro so far. He's 25 years old, 6-0 all first round finishes. And he's stopped Paul Craig and Khalil Rountree in very impressive fashion in his 2 UFC outings. This should be a good one. Tough test for Pedro and a chance to get back on track for Latifi. I like it. 



Sara McMann vs Ketlen Vieira has my interest purely because I like McMann and I'm hoping she can keep her little resurgence going. She's 11-3 but her losses were to Nunes, Tate and Rousey at the peak of her dominance. She's rattled off 3 wins in a row now.



Gavin Tucker vs Rick Glenn should be worth keeping an eye on as well. Tucker is 10-0 and really impressed me in his UFC debut in February. He came in and schooled the tough and heavy handed Sam Sicilia and looked great doing it. He's Canadian so the crowd is going to be into this one. 



Ashlee Evans-Smith vs Sarah Moras isn't exactly relevant to any title picture but I think it will be an entertaining fight. Smith is probably best known for her TKO win over transgender fighter Fallon Fox but she also had a really exciting UFC debut against Raquel Pennington. And Moras beat Julianna Pena before they both appeared on TUF. 


It's a pretty fucking good card this. Yeah, the main event is going to feel small time coming off Romero vs Whittaker, Cormier vs Jones 2 and MAYWEATHER VS MCGREGOR! But you know, deal with it. There's plenty to like about this, up and down the card.

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Wow, this card is pretty stacked. 

JDS vs Ngannou being the highlight for me. I still think that JDS can go though. He was chopping Miocic's leg up before he got caught last time out. He also ran circles around Rothwell. However, I'm going to take a leap of faith and get on the Ngannou bandwagon. Heavyweight could do with a fresh contender, and Ngannou has looked the business so far. Give me Ngannou by stoppage. 

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For the first time in a while, I think DJ is going into this fight with something to prove. He'll be looking for a good finish, and I think he'll get it. And maybe bucking the trend a little, but I think Shevchenko wins via decision. I don't really know why, I just have a feeling that Nunes won't have what it takes this time around.

I hope JDS wins, but I honestly fear for his health at the moment. 2-3 in his last five, all losses coming by TKO/KO. I hope that if he loses this one in a similar fashion he calls it a day.

I've also got Dos Anjos to beat Magny, I think he'll get the fight to the ground and do his thing, Chandler Bing. Decision win for him.

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Nah Dave, I'm also backing Shevchenko. I was going into 213 as well. I think she's that good, regardless of whether Nunes brings it or not. Shevchenko has been underestimated her entire UFC run pretty much. It felt like more people were favouring Holm and Pena to beat her and she came away with the wins there.

Nunes is a beast and she's always dangerous. She's capable of putting anyone in the division away if she gets off to a good start. But I think Shevchenko's quality of striking makes that a lot less likely and I reckon she can drag Nunes into the championship rounds (where she's never been, by the way) and take over. 

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51 minutes ago, wandshogun09 said:

Nah Dave, I'm also backing Shevchenko. I was going into 213 as well. I think she's that good, regardless of whether Nunes brings it or not. Shevchenko has been underestimated her entire UFC run pretty much. It felt like more people were favouring Holm and Pena to beat her and she came away with the wins there.

Nunes is a beast and she's always dangerous. She's capable of putting anyone in the division away if she gets off to a good start. But I think Shevchenko's quality of striking makes that a lot less likely and I reckon she can drag Nunes into the championship rounds (where she's never been, by the way) and take over. 

Yeah, Shevchenko reminds me a bit of a less destructive Joanna Champion. She seems to be fairly well skilled at most aspects of the stand-up game, and can avoid the takedown pretty well too.

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It would probably be better if Shevchenko won, especially by decision, anyway. Given the current lack of inspiring challengers at WBW right now, a trilogy rubber match could plug the gap, giving time for McMann to shore up her No.1 contendership credentials, and hopefully for other new faces to emerge.

I'm really hoping Giblert beats Stephens. Melendez has had his own obnoxious moments on occasion, but very few, and Stephens is just a steaming arsehole.

I'd have said Wilson Reis, from his nationality, style and look, is more a mini Jacare. But I'm up for a good grapplers' match, especially now Maia's run has been derailed.

Also hoping that RDA wins. Nothing against Magny at all, but RDA has worked really hard, plus with all the bollocks about him being on PEDs against Pettis when he's never tested positive for anything really grated on me.

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Not massively surprised, to be honest. Not because I think JDS is a cheater, but because I figured, given his run the past few years, the poor guy must be desperate to stay relevant.

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Yeah, unfortunately this is when you're most likely to see a fighter get popped. When the best days are gone, losses start piling up, injuries become more frequent etc. 

It's a bastard though. JDS vs Ngannou was easily the fight I was most looking forward to on this card. If he was going to get caught I wish it had happened a month or so ago so they'd have time to get a good replacement in. As it stands, who in their right mind is going to take a fight with Francis Ngannou on 3 weeks notice or whatever? Ideally Overeem would step in but I doubt it on this notice. Nor would I blame him turning it down. 

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Couple of weeks is nothing though. I know most heavies don't cut weight but they'll most likely have had no camp at all either. 

Someone might step in but it'd probably be a lower level heavyweight now, and at a time when Ngannou needs a step up not backwards. So I could also see them just taking big Ngannou off the card and booking him another big fight on one of the other upcoming cards.

Is Overeem booked yet? 216 could do with something like Ngannou vs Overeem. 

Edit - saying that, it wouldn't really shock me if someone like Mark Hunt steps in. He's always down for a ruck and he'd probably see this as a chance to get back in the title mix. Back-to-back wins over Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou - the 2 new prospects of the division - would be a strong message that Hunt's still in the game. 

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Hunt makes sense. He's at an age now where, if he's going to get back into the mix, or even just fight to earn money, he's got to put his skates on and doesn't have the luxury of having to take the proper time for a camp, I think (an irony, given that the older you get, chances are you'll need more time than when younger to get into match shape).

There hasn't really been much discussion about the main, and the reasons why are obvious, but nevertheless, I think Mouse deserves some. So here it is. 

Believe it or not, I'm actually a bit torn on this one. On one hand, it'd be good if Borg could win, because 1. his name makes him sound like a killer robot, and 2. more importantly, it'd be good to have some new talent in the title scene, even if he ends up losing it back to Mouse and we have a rubber match. 

On the other hand, I really want DJ to keep up his defence streak. Records are a rare and interesting thing, and Mouse, sadly, needs all the frills he can add to his PR arsenal (his PRsenal, if you will). The main reason why I want this to happen is because Dana has been such an absolute growler towards DJ, who's been one of the best company men he's had, and who, on paper, should have at least some right to pick his opponents given that he's probably the P4P best right now - and from what I gather, this is the first time DJ's ever given him any kind of difficult at all regarding match-making. I want DJ's streak to break the record go on as long as possible, because I do think it would make him much easier to promote and market, and thus earn him a bit more cash, even if not as much as if DJ were to do the usual route of trash-talking or calling out specific opponents or fighting big-name transfers from BW. More importantly, the longer the streak goes, the more purple Dana is likely to get and explode with apoplexy, which is always a good thing where that cock-end is concerned.

"Stone Cold" Demetrious Johnson vs. "No Chance" Dana White. That gets my money. (Well, it would if I didn't have BT Sport.)


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