Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC
It’s safe to say Saturday’s UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson—or UFC Fight Night 82—event has hit some snags along the way.
Originally billed as UFC 196, Cain Velasquez was supposed to make his attempt to regain his heavyweight title against his conqueror in Fabricio Werdum. But, just two weeks before the event, Velasquez had to pull out of the fight citing a back injury which had prevented him from training for one of the biggest fights of his career.
The UFC scrambled to create a new headline fight for the show in Las Vegas. Croatian-American heavyweight Stipe Miocic duly accepted his opportunity to compete in the makeshift title fight against Werdum. However, the Brazilian also backed out of the contest through injury—leaving UFC 196 without the heavyweight title fight it had promised.
Following the slew of bad luck and resultant injuries, the UFC accepted defeat and rebranded the show as a Fight Night card to be broadcast on FOX Sports rather than on Pay-Per-View.
Saturday night’s headliner is a sure-fire barnburner with Johny Hendricks taking on the spectacular Stephen Thompson. On paper, it’s a classic wrestler versus striker match-up. But, with Hendrick’s KO power in both hands, that is certainly not the case.
The above fight will most definitely catch the eye. But, there is a similarly intriguing contest a lot lower on the fight card—a match-up between two unknowns with huge implications for their respective MMA careers.
Mickey Gall will be competing on UFC Fight Pass in his sophomore MMA outing—his first in the UFC—against professional MMA debutant Mike Jackson. It’s odd to see guys with 1-0 and 0-0 records competing against each other on a UFC card in Las Vegas. But, the winner’s prize is a crack at former WWE megastar CM Punk according to UFC president Dana White.
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