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UFC 216: Ferguson vs Lee


wandshogun09
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October 7th, back in Vegas. It's UFC 216. 

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PPV MAIN CARD
Tony Ferguson vs Kevin Lee - Interim Lightweight Title

Demetrious Johnson vs Ray Borg - Flyweight Title

Fabricio Werdum vs Walt Harris 

Mara Romero Borella vs Kalindra Faria

Evan Dunham vs Beneil Dariush
 

FXX PRELIMS
Tom Duquesnoy vs Cody Stamann

Bobby Green vs Lando Vannata 

Pearl Gonzalez vs Poliana Botelho 

Marco Beltran vs Matt Schnell  

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
John Moraga vs Magomed Bibulatov 

Thales Leites vs Brad Tavares

 

Not the deepest PPV lineup we've had this year, it looks more like a FOX card, but I like it. 

 

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Ferguson vs Lee as a PPV main event might seem a bit weak but it's not for lack of effort on the UFC's part. At one point or another I heard they were trying to sort out Miocic vs Velasquez and Garbrandt vs Dillashaw for this one. Just didn't work out for whatever reason. And it's not like Ferguson vs Lee is a bad fight. Far from it.

The interim title thing is getting old but in this case, I can sort to see why they've done it. You might've heard that the champ has been busy with a boxing match recently? That's shelved the lightweight strap this year. Conor McGregor won the title last November, by the time these two hit the cage it'll be 11 months since the 155lb title was on the line. And let's be honest, there's no guarantee that McGregor's first fight back in the octagon will be a title defence either. The division has to keep rolling and, at the very least, this will determine the nailed on top dog for McGregor to contend with when he does come back to the division. 

The fight itself should be exciting and action packed. I can't really stand either of these two, to be honest. But I find Kevin Lee such an irritating try-hard that I'm finding myself in the unfamiliar position of rooting for a fucking Tony Ferguson win here. And I think that is going to be the outcome. 

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I really think Lee has bitten off more than he can chew with this one. I keep hearing that Lee has this 'superstar potential' and how he's going to be the next big thing in MMA and I just don't see it at all.  He's decent but I'm really not convinced he goes much higher than he is now. He just mouths off a lot and wears funny clothes. That's it. It feels so forced and like he's trying to 'do a McGregor' to me. His big mouth's been writing cheques left and right and I don't think he has the level of skills to back it up at the top level. Especially in the shark infested waters of the 155 division. 

Ferguson has proven he's a top lightweight. He's on a 9 fight winning streak, hasn't lost in 5 years and holds victories over Rafael Dos Anjos, Edson Barboza and Josh Thomson. Kevin Lee's best win is the Chiesa fight and even that had a dodgy ending. Maybe I'm wrong but I just don't buy into the hype with Lee. And I think Ferguson is going to fuck him up on the 7th Oct. 

 

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Johnson vs Borg was originally supposed to go down at UFC 215 but Borg pulled out with an illness at the last minute. So here we go again. 

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DJ is looking to break the record for most UFC title defences with a win here. The record is 10 defences and it's currently held by Anderson Silva. 

I see no reason why he doesn't accomplish that goal. Borg is a decent enough opponent, 11-2 record, wins over Louis Smolka and Jussier Formiga, trains at Greg Jackson's gym etc. He's a solid fighter. But he's in there with one of the best of all time. And I just don't see him having anything for DJ. Technique-wise, speed-wise, on the feet, on the ground, anywhere. You never know until they get in there but I'd be fucking amazed if Borg wins a round, much less the fight. By all rights this really should be a squash match but they can be enjoyable too. I'm just going to look at this as a chance to see one of the best ever do his thing and make history. Enjoy it for what it is. 

 

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Werdum vs Lewis should be fun. I'm a big fan of both of these guys so I'll be sad to see one of them lose. But it's an interesting one style-wise. You won't really find two more polar opposites in the heavyweight ranks. They're both coming off losses so this is a chance to rebound. Werdum dropped a close decision to Overeem in July. The Beast got stopped by Mark Hunt then briefly retired in June. He got married over the summer and has most recently been seen saving lives after Hurricane Harvey hit his hometown of Houston. What a man, and what a year he's had.

I just hope this is a good fight. Heavyweight MMA exists in almost its own separate world. Wins and losses seem to mean less at heavyweight and you're always seemingly just one good knockout away from a title shot. It's madness. But these two need a good fight more than anything right now. They both are a bit hot and cold and can be lazy in some fights and awesome in others. As long as this is an entertaining fight, I think they'll both come out of it good. 

 

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VanZant vs Eye is an interesting fight. This will be both womens' flyweight debut. VanZant is coming up from 115 and Eye is moving down from 135. Both had a few losses in their respective weight classes and this is a fresh start for both of them. Especially for Jessica Eye, who has a terrible 1-5-1 UFC record currently. She's got to do something with this drop to flyweight or you have to assume she'll be on the chopping block sooner rather than later. She's actually not a bad fighter at all and a couple of those losses could've gone her way. But regardless, she's in a must win situation here. Paige won't be getting her P45 whatever the outcome of this fight. She's a star and one of the UFC's 'chosen ones' so she'll probably be there pretty much as long as she wants to be, or (cynic hat on) until her looks go south. Seriously, these two both have skills and I actually think flyweight might be a better fit for them. We'll see how it goes, either way I expect a fun fight. 

 

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Duquesnoy vs Stamann should be good. Worth tuning in for if only because it's another chance to see if Duquesnoy can keep living up to the hype. He's certainly got all the potential and promise you could hope for. 24 years old, marketable look, likeable GSP-ish personality, good record at 15-1-1, trains at Greg Jackson's, former 2 weight champ in BAMMA. There's a lot to like about Duquesnoy's chances going forward. He's got all the ingredients to do well as long as he keeps winning and makes the right choices. Stamann should be a test though. 27 with a similar 15-1 record. On paper at least, it's a good test. 

 

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Green vs Vannata is UFC 216's ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** almost solely because 'Groovy' Lando is the man. He's had a bumpy road in the UFC so far but his 1-2 UFC record doesn't tell the whole story. He debuted against Tony Ferguson on short notice and very nearly scored a huge upset, knocking Fergie all around the cage with his striking. Then he scored maybe the greatest knockout in UFC history with his first round spinning kick destruction of John Makdessi. Then in his last fight he lost a decision to the very handy David Teymur but it was a really great competitive fight. Love watching Lando. He's fast become one of my undercard favourites. Not sure what we're getting here though as Bobby Green can be a frustrating watch. Good at what he does but his fights often tend to consist more of him talking shit and lots of moving around than actually doing damage. I reckon Lando will be able to bring the best out of him though. Really looking forward to seeing  how these two's styles mesh. 

 

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Dariush vs Dunham, I feel is going to go under the radar but I can easily see this ending up stealing the show. They both have that gritty, bite down on the mouthpiece style but they also can mix it up wherever the fight goes as well. Dariush especially has some excellent grappling. Both are tough and durable and I can see a bit of a war coming out of this. 

 

What else? 

- You've got the heavyweights Harris vs Godbeer. Probably be a fun brawl. 

- John Moraga is usually in good fights. Like Jessica Eye, he's one of the better skilled 'jobbers' on the roster. 

- Pearl Gonzalez and her bionic tits are back after an unsuccessful debut losing to Cynthia Calvillo. Let's hope her Performance Enhancing Jugs don't cause any controversy this time. 

- And...err Leites vs Tavares is happening. I like Leites and he was on a solid little run in this UFC stint before the Bisping and Mousasi losses. He's dropped off big time but I'd like to see him claw something back. 

There you go then. Not bad at all, is it? 

Edited by wandshogun09
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I like that the main event is an interim title fight between two guys who are really attempting to break through that glass ceiling and become legitimate starts. You may not agree with the approach but both guys are at least trying to get their names out there and stir up some shit...doesn't hurt that they are both exciting to watch. 

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I think Ferguson vs Lee should be a decent tear up. Normally I don't like guys being given a shot simply because of their ability to talk shit and dress themselves in the dark, but in this situation there isn't an awful lot more the UFC could have done. Khabib isn't willing to step up at this point, so these two are the next in line.

Lee is on a five fight streak, so it's not as though he's Nate Diaz or anything, he's actually active and getting shit done.

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I'm not saying Lee doesn't deserve the shot. He does. He's been winning and with Khabib piss-arsing about getting injured, praying, wrestling with bears and eating too much tiramisu, Ferguson and Lee are the two most deserving contenders with the current lay of the lightweight landscape. Everyone else is coming off a loss and rebuilding. Or are tied up with TUF. 

And to Ebb's point, I get why Lee's going about things as he is. 

But I just find him a complete twathead and I don't buy into this 'next MMA star' thing at all. I already thought that and then I heard fucking Brendan Schaub talking him up on Rogan's podcast like he's going to be some massive mega star or something. And that's making me root against him even more. Schaub's thing of just latching onto the latest thing and overhyping it is shit. Lee's gawdy zebra print getup and his shit talking aside, his actual in cage work hasn't been anything spectacular or overly impressive so far. Before the Chiesa fight his best win was who, Francisco Trinaldo? I mean I like Trinaldo but to quote DC 'you just beat Francisco Trinaldo. Sit down, young man.' 

Edited by wandshogun09
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I think if he wins here the build to a Lee/McGregor title fight would be fun. Lee sometimes trains at Floyd Mayweathers gym, you could rope Floyd into the build up for a bunch of mainstream press. "I whupped you at boxing, now my boy will beat you at your own game". Conor would have a field day with Lee trying to copy him. Both are hot heads liable to start fighting if they are in the same room too. 

Edited by Cousin Jim Bob
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The build up would be good but I really reckon McGregor would crush Lee worse than he did Alvarez. 

But we'll see. If Lee proves me wrong and actually beats Ferguson, then I'm sold on him. That's what I like about this fight. If you beat Tony Ferguson, you're a top lightweight. It's going to answer a lot of questions on Lee and where he stands in the division. 

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I fancy Lee against Ferguson. Maybe buying into the hype but i think he will be the crisper striker and also be able to cope with the rest off Tonys game. 

Picking Werdum via TKO. Lewis would do great outside any nightclub on a Saturday night but i don't fancy him against anybody with quality technical ability.

Edited by Fox Piss
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I'm not convinced Lee is ready for Ferguson yet. He's young, so still has plenty of time on his side, but Tony is just a bridge too far for him at the moment. Big fan of the match-making though, it should be a really good scrap and I'm pleased to see they're giving these two fresh faces a crack at the main event scene. 

Werdum/Lewis is a bit of funny matchmaking. After being battered on the feet by Hunt, I don't give Lewis much chance at all against Werdum on the feet, and that isn't even taking into account the difference in their respective ground games. I don't see Werdum being troubled at all in this one to be honest, feels like a rebound fight for him which is a bit of a confusing one considering Lewis could be a fair bit more marketable. 

Lando! I'll watch any fight he's involved in.

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11 hours ago, Cousin Jim Bob said:

I think if he wins here the build to a Lee/McGregor title fight would be fun. 

Could you imagine the blatant racism that would be flying around? People being offered the opportunity to dance, references to monkeys and other such nonsense. Unless Conor has learned his lesson, of course.

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People I know call white people monkeys, he called those two steroid pumped white guys monkeys that's probably just something he says, Ireland doesn't have the same race problem and certainly not at the level the US has. Sure he should have picked his words better but some times you say things that sound worse than you meant them.

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20 hours ago, Fox Piss said:

I fancy Lee against Ferguson. Maybe buying into the hype but i think he will be the crisper striker and also be able to cope with the rest off Tonys game. 

Maybe I'm massively underrating Lee but I've seen nothing of his striking that's particularly impressive. I think the Mayweather connection is fooling people into believing Lee's some quality striker but he's really been very average on the feet from what I've seen. It wasn't that long ago that Leonardo Santos TKO'd him. Santos was mid 30s and pretty much a pure BJJ guy with very basic striking and he put Lee away inside a round. Magomed Mustafaev was getting the better of him in the striking as well and Lee had to take him down. Mustafaev is a decent striker but if Lee is struggling at that level then I don't see him hanging with the top guys on the feet. Ferguson's striking is way more fluid, he puts together combinations, attacks with every limb, uses awkward movement and attacks from odd angles. Plus his ground game is excellent, I don't think Lee has ever faced a submission threat quite like Ferguson. Even Chiesa was a notch below on the ground IMO. On top of that Ferguson has great cardio, he's constantly active, he's gone 5 rounds, he's operated at a higher level, went 25 minutes with Rafael Dos Anjos and won etc. He's just a level above Lee for me. In all areas. Lee hasn't even mixed at Ferguson's level yet, much less beat anyone there. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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I'm picking Ferguson here but I wouldn't be all that upset with a Kevin Lee win. He may be a major try-hard, but if he wants to be a mouthy cunt and has a connection to Mayweather (wasn't aware of that until this topic), then he might actually present a marketable opponent for Conor to come back and fight. I try not to be all "sporting purist" about things, but I do think it's high time McGregor defended a belt for once in his life. Also, I don't want 155 to suffer from the "Jon Jones" problem, where either Ferguson or Lee move on with the division but have trouble gaining recognition as the "real champ" because Conor's chasing money fights like Nate Diaz, Tyron Woodley, GSP or Brock Lesnar.

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I think this version of Ferguson fucks up most living things walking planet earth, including your Dad. Skill-wise he's obviously incredible, but it's his durability that I find superhuman. It's why I really don't fancy Conor's chances against him.

Anyway, Lee is clearly a bit of a phenom, given his age, but Ferguson hasn't lost in 5 years for a reason - only going to decision twice.

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