UFC 218 is a great event from top to bottom, but which fights is the one you’re most excited about?
On December 2nd, the UFC heads to Detroit, Michigan for an outstanding pay-per-view card filled with compelling and exciting matchups. The main event of UFC 218 was supposed to feature featherweight champion Max Holloway against Frankie Edgar, but due to Edgar’s injury, Jose Aldo has stepped in for an immediate rematch with the man who dethroned him from the top of the 145-pound division.
To kick off fight week, we’ve created a poll indicating how much fan interest there is for certain fights. Here’s the rundown of the options you can vote for (as well as the “Other” option, which we recommend you state in the comments):
Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo 2. Contrary to some of the revisionist history I’ve seen since this fight was announced, the first Holloway-Aldo contest was really not some lopsided beatdown. Aldo started out very impressively, but by round 3 it was evident that Holloway had found his timing and range to trouble the great Brazilian. This is the first time Aldo has fought for a featherweight belt as a challenger since the WEC era, and it would be one hell of a redemption story if he were to take the title back from the young Hawaiian. There’s also the flip side to this, which is that another Holloway win likely spells the end of Aldo’s hopes of becoming champion again, and there’s reason to be concerned about the damage Aldo has taken in some of his recent fights.
Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou. Can we just have one new face at heavyweight? Please? Ngannou is undefeated in the UFC, and on the cusp of a title shot. Overeem was probably fortunate not to lose to Fabricio Werdum in July, but he’s still in the mix in terms of championship contention, and he is the most advanced striker that Ngannou has ever faced. Ngannou is also a physical freak with gigantic fists, knockout power, and he can exploit Overeem’s notoriously shaky chin. It’s old guard vs. new generation once more, and I would be surprised if it lasted three rounds.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje. What? Do I need to explain this? It’s Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje. Enough said. This has my vote already.
Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis. I genuinely forgot this fight was on the card until I looked it up on Monday. This was originally scheduled for UFC 211 before Cejudo pulled out during fight week, and now we’ll (hopefully!) finally get to see this presumptive #1 contender’s matchup happen. Cejudo was utterly phenomenal against Wilson Reis, showing off some lightning-fast hands and stunning accuracy and striking combinations. Pettis has emerged from his elder brother’s shadow and has carved his own path towards flyweight’s elite. He’s a winner of four straight, all by unanimous decision, and his last outing saw him best Brandon Moreno in a five-round main event at UFC Mexico City. This really should be five rounds, but I won’t go off on that tangent again.
Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson. Torres recorded the first finish of her entire career in her last fight, as she submitted Juliana Lima in Las Vegas. Waterson needs to bounce back after a devastating loss to current strawweight champion Rose Namajunas. I suppose much of the intrigue here is centered around Torres, who had a very competitive fight with Namajunas last year, only to lose a close decision.
Paul Felder vs. Charles Oliveira. Originally due to be Felder against Al Iaquinta, Charles Oliveira has stepped in on short notice for a battle of two dynamic athletes. Felder annihilated Steven Ray with vicious elbows in Scotland, whereas Oliveira submitted Will Brooks at UFC 210. Both men are on the cusp of the top-15 lightweight rankings, which tells you how deep 155 is. Felder has knockout power, Oliveira is not great defensively, but he is an underrated wrestler with slick offensive grappling, although Felder is no slouch on the ground himself.
I’ve not even included Alex Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros, which is also a terrific matchup between two large welterweights.
Here’s the poll, tell us what you think about the fight you’re most looking forward to watching at UFC 218: