Ladies and Gentlemen, ittttssssss tiiiimmmmmeeee! *read in Bruce Buffer’s voice* UFC 242 is tonight, live from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. For those keeping score, this writer is 3-2 in picks so far while writing for Vendetta Sports Media. So with that being said, lets keep it brief and get into my preview and picks for the fights tonight.
Mairbek Taisumov x Diego Ferrerira (Lightweight)
Mairbek Tiasumov and Diego Ferrerira get things kicked off on the main card in the Lightweight Division. Taisumov, a 5 year UFC veteran, is looking to ride his power (5 of his 6 wins on this streak by KO/TKO), and this wave of momentum to force his way into the top-15 rankings. Standing across the cage from him is Diego Ferrerira, winner of 4 in a row and has a fight against current interim champ Dustin Poirier, who also is looking to claw his way back into the rankings. Both men love to stand and trade, and I don’t think this fight sees the judges. Tiasumov- 2nd Round TKO
Curtis Blaydes x Shamil Abdurakhimov (Heavyweight)
Do I love me a good Heavyweight tilt, and this has all the potential to live up to the hype. Curtis Blaydes and Shamil Abdurakhimov are going to battle, and someone
Islam Makhachev x Davi Ramos (Lightweight)
This one intrigues me. Islam Makhachev vs Davi Ramos on paper pits two grapplers together. Both men score 3+ takedowns per
Edson Barboza x Paul Felder (Lightweight)
UFC 242 seems to be like a Lightweight Grand Prix, doesn’t it? Personally, I love this fight. This might be the one I am looking forward to the most on this card, and I am a massive Khabib Fan. Maybe I am just an AKA fan…anyway. Barboza and Felder square off again in Abu Dhabi, their first fight taking place way back in 2015 with Barboza going over Felder by UD. Since that time, both men have enjoyed much success in the UFC. I love Felder, Roufusport in Milwaukee and all they have going for them. But I think the creative striking and leg kicks from Barboza are too much for Felder again, hopefully, this time without a brutal, accidental low blow, (go watch at your own risk). Barboza- Unanimous Decision
Khabib Nurmagomedov x Dustin Poirier (Lightweight Championship)
Wrestler versus Striker? 27-0 against 4 fight win streak against 4 former champions? Good. Lord. This fight has everything you could want in a fight. Khabib typically is known for being just an elite wrestler, but he showed in his last fight 11 months ago against Conor McGregor that he does has power in those hands. A man fighting him will need elite wrestling defense and a good chin. Enter Dustin Poirier. 69% takedown defense is nothing to sneeze at. He has shown in his last few fights the ability to stuff the takedown, and he will be tested tonight for sure. It is always hard to predict these kind of fights because normally the wrestler gets the better but doesn’t have the best strike defense. In my heart, I would love to see Louisiana get another world champion in the UFC, but I think Khabib, fighting in front of his fans, mixed with his all world wrestling is too much and grinds out a gritty performance against Dustin Poirier. Nurmagomedov- Unanimous Decision
UFC 242 stands to be one of the better cards of the year, hosting some very recognizable names in the sport live from Abu Dhabi. Check back in to see how I did!