UFC 267 Preview
Blachowicz poses on the scales during the UFC 267 weigh-in at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Chris Unger/Getty Images

UFC 267 Main Card Preview And Predictions

The UFC heads back to Abu Dhabi and Fight Island, bringing UFC 267 along with an absolutely stacked main card. The main event features 38-year-old Jan Blachowicz defending his Heavyweight Championship for the first time against a 41-year-old challenger in Glovier Teixeria, trying to finally reach the top of the mountain after multiple climbs. The co-main event is an interim Bantamweight Championship fight between former champion Petr Yan and challenger Cory Sandhagen. But throughout the rest of the main card, you will find fantastic fights. Let’s dive right into our UFC 267 Preview and Predictions!

Magomed Ankalaev vs. Volkan Oezdemir (Light Heavyweight)

On paper, you see a guy like Volkan Oezdemir who has fought for the UFC title before against Daniel Cormier and did look decent before being finished and you think this guy is no easy out. You are 100% correct in that! He is coming off a loss to Jiri Prochazka, who I think is going to be a star, but otherwise has been good in his UFC run. Matched up with most men on the roster at 205, I think he would have a good shot. But Magomed Ankalaev is a different breed. I have him filed under my “future champions” folder because this guy has all the tools to get there. Ankalaev is 6-1 in the UFC and has a nose for putting guys’ lights out. Both men can throw hands, and I think this fight will come down to whoever can land the biggest shot. But I do believe the biggest shot is landed by Ankalaev. Ankalaev via 1st round KO.

Khamzat Chimaev vs. Li Jingliang (Welterweight)

I don’t even think anything needs to be said about this fight. Potentially my easiest pick for these UFC 267 predictions. Li Jingliang is a nice fighter. He showed some fire at the weigh-ins, getting in Chimaev’s face and taunting him a bit. That will turn out to be a mistake. Khamzat Chimaev only knows one thing when the octagon door closes: maul. Chimaev does have a few grey clouds hovering above him, one being the weight cutting issue he had this morning and two all the COVID concerns he has had over the past year or so that kept him from fighting Leon Edwards (what a fight that would have been). Back-to-back first-round finishes here set this one in stone. Chimaev via 1st round submission.

Alexander Volkov vs. Marcin Tybura (Heavyweight)

A top-10 matchup lands its way in the middle of the card at Heavyweight between Alexander Volkov and Marcin Tybura. This fight has Volkov vs. Derrick Lewis written all over it. Volkov is the taller man by a bit, he has more polished boxing and moves much better on the feet. Tybura is shorter, very slow, but does possess better punching power. The only hole I can find in Volkov’s game is takedown defense, but he shouldn’t have to worry because Tybura is not solid in that area. If Volkov can find a way to avoid blowing the fight in the last round, he should pick up a victory here and move his way up the ranks. Volkov via unanimous decision.

Islam Makhachev vs. Dan Hooker (Lightweight)

This fight has me torn. On the one hand, we have a fan favorite in Dan Hooker, training out of City Kickboxing one of the best gyms in the world, who seems to have found a little rhythm recently. Hooker is a creative striker who pushes a great pace and finds ways to slice through opposing defenses. Across from him, you have Islam Makhachev, who let’s be honest is a great value Khabib Nurmagomedov. Not to slam Makhachev obviously, but he is a perfect copy of The Eagle in the way he goes in and wrestles his opponents to the ground and mauls them. I want to side with Hooker here, but my gut is telling me Makhachev will get inside the range of Hooker and make this fight find its way to the mat. I don’t think he submits Hooker, but he should win on points. Makhachev via unanimous decision.

Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen (Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship)

My goodness, what a fight we have here, and it’s the co-main event! You have Petr Yan who was the former UFC Bantamweight Champion but lost it due to DQ by what seemed to be a very intentional “accidental knee” to a downed opponent. Yan loves to put on a relentless pace and has fantastic striking and well-rounded grappling. Cory Sandhagen is a fantastic stylistic opponent for Yan because Sandhagen also loves to use his range to stand and trade. Does championship fight experience favor Yan or does Sandhagen take advantage of his first crack at UFC gold? This just might be my favorite fight on this card for my UFC 267 Predictions. Another fight I am torn on…I am going with my gut and picking Yan. I just think his experience at this stage helps him tremendously. Yan via split decision.

Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira (UFC Heavyweight Championship)

As much as I would like to think that Glover Teixeria is going to come in and out on a show towards the tail end of his career and wrestle away the UFC Heavyweight Championship from Jan Blachowicz, I just can’t see it happening. Teixeria is on without a doubt the best run of his career, and at 41 years old it is certainly a sight to behold. A 5-fight win streak and wins over former title challengers Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos are impressive, and the manner in which he fought is even more impressive. But Jan Blachowicz is just on another level right now. Even with Blachowicz at 38, I don’t see anyone right now who has the tools necessary to take over the throne from him. Jan has a clear advantage almost everywhere this fight goes, and at the end of the fight I do believe we will here “and still”. Blachowicz via 4th round TKO.

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