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UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs Volkov - Feb 6


Who wins and how?   

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Saturday 6th February for this one. Location hasn’t been confirmed yet but you know the score by now. It’ll either be Fight Island or the APEX in Vegas.

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Alistair Overeem vs Alexander Volkov

Cory Sandhagen vs Frankie Edgar

Carlos Diego Ferreira vs Beneil Dariush

Marion Reneau vs Macy Chiasson

Alexandre Pantoja vs Manel Kape

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Cody Stamann vs Andre Ewell

Michael Johnson vs Clay Guida

Julio Arce vs Timur Valiev

Nicco Montano vs Karol Rosa

Devonte Smith vs Alex Da Silva

Molly McCann vs Lara Procopio

Seung Woo Choi vs Collin Anglin 

Mike Rodriguez vs Danilo Marques

Aliaskhab Khizriev vs TBA

 

Bit of a 50/50 card for me that. Some dross on there but all I really want from these Fight Nights is 3 or 4 fights I’m into and Reem vs Volkov, Sandhagen vs Edgar, Ferreira vs Dariush 2 and Pantoja vs Kape more than provide that. Couple of decent fights beyond those as well. It’ll do nicely.

 

 

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Alistair Overeem vs Alexander Volkov then. This was actually supposed to happen in April 2019. They were all booked to headline a Fight Night in Russia but Volkov pulled out and Overeem TKO’d Alexey Oleynik that night instead. It’s an interesting fight given their styles and Volkov’s size. But it’s not like Volkov really capitalises on his height and range like you’d think someone of his frame would do. Reem’s still going to be the more experienced striker/fighter in there. But every Overeem fight from here on out is going to be must see.

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He’s made a lot of this ‘one last run’ thing over the last year. He’s been regularly tweeting it and been fairly vocal that he’s only going to fight a handful more times. He’s going for UFC gold, the one belt that’s escaped him all these years. So he’s either going to become UFC champ or his next loss will be it for him. Every fight now really could be his last. If Volkov wins here, Reem’s quest for the belt goes up in smoke and he probably hangs it up. I think Reem’s the type who will stick to it as well. Nobody was really clamouring for him to retire before he started this #onelastrun thing. He’s the one who’s really initiated that talk so it’s clearly something he’s been thinking about. Truthfully, he’s done more than enough already to be proud of. There really isn’t another Heavyweight with a resume quite as extensive and varied as his. This’ll be his 67th MMA fight! There’s fuck all left to prove. But finally getting the UFC strap would be the perfect way to go out. He’s looked really good in recent fights as well.

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That’s Augusto Sakai after Overeem got done with him in September. That was a really enjoyable fight. He also weathered a hell of a storm to come back and stop Walt Harris before that. Sadly, I think the chances of him getting that crack at the title anytime soon are slim though. We don’t even have a date for Miocic vs Ngannou 2 yet and Dana’s already said that Jon Jones is most likely getting the winner. So the way it stands, Overeem’s probably not getting a look in this year. Which means he’s likely going to have to fight a couple more times after this, keep winning and just hope something opens up. But you never know. Someone gets injured, or USADA or COVID intervenes...Reem could slide in and get his shot. I just hope he beats Volkov. If he’s going to go out on a loss I’d prefer it to at least be in a bigger fight than this against one of the top boys.

 

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Cory Sandhagen vs Frankie Edgar. This could be a tremendous fight. Sandhagen is 13-2 and, aside from getting tapped out quick by Aljamain Sterling in June, he’s been on fire the last few years. He beat John Lineker and Raphael Assuncao going into that Sterling fight. And after losing to Sterling, he’s since rebounded with a TKO over Edgar’s teammate Marlon Moraes in October. Edgar’s had a rough couple of years but he finally made his Bantamweight debut in August and got the win over Pedro Munhoz after a 5 round battle. Personally, I had Munhoz winning that one but it was close and Frankie fought well, especially considering it was his first time at 135. Mad thing is, Sandhagen is going to dwarf Frankie here. And Frankie was a champ two divisions higher. He probably should’ve been a Bantamweight his whole career really. Cracking fight this. When it was announced, social media was full of ‘the UFC are trying to get Frankie killed’ type posts. I’d probably favour Sandhagen at this point but I certainly wouldn’t just write Frankie Edgar off. It’s going to be a tough one but he showed against Munhoz he can cut to 135 and still go at a high pace for 25 minutes. And this’ll only be 3 rounds. It’s far from outrageous to think Frankie could outwork Sandhagen enough to take at least 2 of the 3 rounds.

 

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Carlos Diego Ferreira vs Beneil Dariush 2. The rematch! Honestly, I have no recollection of these two fighting before and I’m a big fan of both. Turns out they opened up the main card of UFC 179 in October 2014. The night Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes tore the house down in Brazil. I must’ve seen it if it was on the main card but that Aldo vs Mendes classic would’ve rendered most fights forgettable. I’ll have to revisit Ferreira vs Dariush 1 though. I see Dariush won by decision and it was Ferreira’s first loss. So that’s a cool little wrinkle to this rematch. They’ve definitely both improved since 2014. Dariush has won his last 5 on the trot, most memorable being his brutal knockout of Drakkar Klose...

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And Ferreira has won his last 6, most notably submitting Anthony Pettis in his last fight. Well into this. Two of my long time ‘under the radar’ favourites who are finally getting some love. Both on top form as well so this could be the perfect time for them to meet again.

 

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Marion Reneau vs Macy Chiasson. Yeah, not in love with this. Not an awful fight or anything but it’s not really grabbing me. Reneau has had her moments in the past. She submitted Jessica Andrade back in 2015 and Sara McMann in 2018. But she’s 43 years old now, which must make her the oldest woman currently competing in MMA. And she comes into this fight off the back of 3 consecutive losses, dropping her overall record to 9-6-1. On the flipside, Chiasson is 29 years old, 6-1 and a former TUF winner. I think it’s fairly obvious why this matchup was booked. Out with the old, in with the new.

 

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Alexandre Pantoja vs Manel Kape is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** and will hopefully happen this time. The long awaited Octagon debut of Kape. It was supposed to happen back in August at UFC 252, he was all set to face Rogerio Bontorin but an ankle injury cocked things up. Then this fight with Pantoja was booked for the December 19th card but Pantoja ended up pulling out. I’m glad they stuck with this pairing though. It’s a tougher fight than Bontorin would’ve been and I’m really interested to see how it plays out. Kape is 27 years old, from Angola, 15-4 record with 14 of his wins coming inside the distance. He was also the RIZIN Bantamweight champ.

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He lost to Kyoji Horiguchi back in 2017 but, in his last fight on New Year’s Eve 2019, he knocked out Kai Asakura, who had previously KO’d Horiguchi in a minute. He also holds stoppage victories over Takeya Mizugaki, Ian McCall and Erson Yamamoto (KID’s nephew). There’s some real buzz around Kape and, like Jiri Prochazka, he’s a great acquisition from RIZIN. Pantoja can be a tricky customer though. He’s 22-5 with 16 finishes, trains at American Top Team and has wins over Brandon Moreno, Wilson Reis and Matt Schnell. He’s also one of the few who’s survived to the scorecards against Figueiredo. Love this fight. Way better than the original with Bontorin and should give us more of an idea on where Kape stands in the Flyweight landscape. I know I’m jumping the gun but if he can make a splash here, fights with the likes of Royval, Moreno and maybe even Figgy down the line could be incredible. Flyweight just keeps getting stronger.

 

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Cody Stamann vs Andre Ewell. Decent fight. Not going to pretend I’m counting the days to it or anything but it’s alright. Stamann is 19-3-1 now and coming off a points loss to Jimmie Rivera in July. His fight with Brian Kelleher was pretty good, to be fair. And he got a draw against Song Yadong which I remember thinking he should’ve won. He’s one of those fighters who just doesn’t do anything that really sticks out in the memory though. Ewell is stepping in for Merab Dvalishvili here. 17-6 record and has a win over the 2018 shell of Renan Barao. Nicknamed ‘Mr Highlight’ but I can’t remember much about him. I like his Mickey Mouse hair though.

 

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Michael Johnson vs Clay Guida. What year is it again? Seriously, this would’ve been a hell of a fight once upon a time. Probably around 2011. In 2021 though? Not so much. I don’t think it’ll be bad or anything but both of these two have seen better days. It’s hard to believe now but Johnson was a legit fringe contender at one point. This is a guy with wins over Tony Ferguson, Joe Lauzon, Edson Barboza and a first round KO over Dustin Poirier. It’s all gone downhill fast since around the time of the Khabib fight though. He’s 19-16 now and can’t seem to buy a win these days. He’s had fights that I’ve thought he won and the decision went the other way, then fights he’s been winning then got stopped out of nowhere. That happened in the Josh Emmett fight and his last fight against Thiago Moises. He’ll be looking good, leading on the scorecards then...oh he’s been ironed out/submitted. It’s like something’s telling him to jack it in. Poor prick would probably win the lottery then die the next day. Guida’s not what he was either. How could he be? The dude was a wildman. He’s 39 now and he’s been in some of the craziest wars ever. Some of my favourite fights of all time, as I went into at length in that Top 50 thread recently. But it’s last legs stuff now. He could probably cling on for a few years yet fighting at a lower level but he’s 35-20 now and has lost 3 of his last 4. His only win in the last 3 years was the hollow husk of 2019 BJ Penn. I don’t know what this fight even is, to be honest. I’m glad they can both still make some coin but time’s probably about up for both.

 

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Julio Arce vs Timur Valiev. Now this could be a bit of a sleeper. I really like Arce (behave). He’s not a guy I see Goldberging his way through the division or anything, especially with how strong Bantamweight has become of late, but he’s got some serious skills and I think he’s been going under the radar a bit. I think he could be a real banana skin for a lot of guys. He’s 16-4 and coming off a split decision loss to Hakeem Dawodu but before that he looked fucking sensational against Julian Erosa and stopped him with a nasty headkick. He’s also got wins over Dan Ige and Daniel Teymur. Really sharp striking and has some submission skills too. Valiev is from Dagestan, 16-2-0-1. He’s a teammate of Zabit, Frankie Edgar, Marlon Moraes and that lot and when he signed with the UFC, Zabit posted this on Instagram...

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The Wet Bandits! 😂

He got stopped by Trevin Jones in his UFC debut in August but it got overturned to a No Contest when Jones got flagged for weed. So yeah. Not the best of starts for Valiev. They’re not exactly doing him any favours with this as his rebound either.

 

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Nicco Montano vs Karol Rosa. Meh. Can’t say I’m too fussed. It’s the Montano factor. She won TUF back in 2017. She was the first ever women’s UFC Flyweight champion, for fuck’s sake. She’s fought a whopping once in the 3 years since winning TUF and has spent more time pulling out of fights than anything else. Sometimes it was her being injured, sometimes it was her opponent, she got popped by USADA somewhere in there, COVID caused one of the cancellations. I mean, some of it was just terrible luck. Some of the criticism she’s got has been a bit harsh. But Christ. It’s crazy to think she was the UFC champ and then just fizzled away to nothing. I’ve never been convinced by her though. Even the title win, let’s face it, she was always just keeping that belt warm until Shevchenko dropped to 125. Her days were numbered regardless. She’s 4-3 now and I don’t ever recall watching her and thinking she was much good. Rosa is 25 with a record of 13-3. She’s won her 2 fights in the UFC so far but against fairly weak opposition. Still, she’s younger, fresher and she’s been way more active. If she’s going to be any good she should be winning a fight like this.

 

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Devonte Smith vs Alex Da Silva. Looking forward to seeing Smith back in action. He was looking like a fairly exciting prospect for a while. Came off DWCS in 2018 and stopped Julian Erosa and Dong Hyun Ma, both the first round. He was 10-1 with all his wins being finishes and had a bit of a swagger that I liked. But he ran into Khama Worthy and got done in a round and that was him derailed. That was August 2019, so he’ll have been inactive about 18 months by the time this fight rolls around. Hopefully he’ll be good to go because Da Silva is no easy return fight. He’s 21-3 with 20 finishes. Hasn’t beat anyone really good yet but, still, it shows he’s dangerous if nothing else.

 

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Molly McCann vs Lara Procopio. Not sure what to make of this because I’ve never seen Procopio before. She lost her UFC debut against Karol Rosa by split decision but she was 6-0 prior to that. 25 years old, trains at Nova Uniao. I don’t know. She might be better than she showed. McCann’s had a bit of an up and down UFC stint but she was starting to string some wins together and racked up 3 in a row before Taila Santos put a stop to her little streak in July. But I rate Santos so McCann going the distance with her was nothing to be ashamed of. Not too arsed about this but I usually enjoy Molly’s fights so if Procopio comes to scrap this could be a fun one.

 

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Seung Woo Choi vs Collin Anglin. Don’t know. Very vaguely recall Choi. He’s 28 with a record of 8-3. Nothing amazing from what I recall and he’s lost the couple of times he’s stepped up a level in the UFC. Never heard of Anglin but he’s filling in for an injured Steven Peterson. He’s 8-1 with 5 finishes and was on DWCS.

 

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Mike Rodriguez vs Danilo Marques. Never been too fussed about Rodriguez. He’s 11-5-0-1 now, coming off a submission loss to Ed Herman. Always just found him very average but, in fairness, I recall him looking good in that Herman fight until some controversy surrounding a phantom low blow or something. I’m pulling for Marques here though. He’s 10-2 with 8 finishes and beat Khadis Ibragimov on points in his UFC debut in September. I don’t even think I saw that and I don’t know much about him but he trains with Shogun and Demian Maia so he’s alright in my book.

 

Yeah, with a few exceptions dragging it down, I do really like this card. As it stands currently anyway. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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That's a pretty strong main card which I am excited about with a very weak pre lim line up. Aside from Johnson, Guida, Nicco and Molly McCann I can't say any of those names were familiar to me. It was only reading your write up that I realised I have seen some of them fight before.

The main event seems like a fight that has happened before, I guess Overeem has kind of fought everyone and Volkov has been about a while, it took me by surprise that this wasn't a rematch.

I'm looking forward to seeing Michael Johnson vs Guida, I always state this but I love watching the veterans fight despite how past it they might be. It just adds a nice element of familiararity to a card of faceless fighters at times. It's harmless nostalgia and as long as no one is getting seriously hurt I am all for it. No one can make the argument that they are taking the spot of some one else as there are cards every week now that there's plenty of opportunities for everyone.

I think this has a real loser leaves town vibe to it though. With seeing that Clay's record is 35-20, it made me think that 20 loses must be a record right? I can't think of many active fighters in the UFC who have 20 loses on their resume. Reem and Arlovski came to my mind first and they have 18 and 19 respectfully. With out going off topic but can anyone think of fighters who have more than 20 loses on their resume who are signed to the UFC.

 

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For a random Fight Night card, I have to disagree with it being very weak. Johnson/Guida is a very solid 'main  event' with two big names, and compared to average Fight Nights over the last few years, knowing 4 fighters on it could actually be above par

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The main card is looking pretty tasty and now the prelims are looking better with the addition of Cody Staman.

Also, for the betters amongst us, Overeem is a 6/4 underdog on Bet365. That's got to be an easy way to make some money surely?

I've lumped £8 on him to win to get £20 back (£12 profit) just in case those odds change in the next week.

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