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Taking a look at UFC on ESPN 6
This Friday, the UFC returns to Boston for the first time since January of 2016. What began as a relatively underwhelming lineup has shaped up to be an action packed card boasting the likes of UFC legend Chris Weidman, and an exciting rematch between Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez.
Rodriguez and Stephens were originally set to face-off during UFC Fight Night 159 in Mexico City, but the fight was short lived as Stephens could not continue after an eye poke by Rodriguez. The fight ended just 15 seconds into the first round, ending in a no contest. Since the incident, the bad blood between Stephens and Rodriguez has been boiling over. Rodriguez claimed that Stephens could have continued fighting, a comment which Jeremy Stephens did not take lightly; he called for the rematch as soon as possible and saying he won’t be satisfied with a win unless Rodriguez ends up “dead.” The two also got into an altercation at their hotel in Mexico City back in September the day after Fight Night 159. Both fighters are currently top 10 contenders within the featherweight division with Yair coming in at 7 and Stephens coming in at 8. The winner on Friday will no doubt raise their stock within the division and get one step closer to a featherweight title fight.
My personal prediction is a victory for Yair by decision. Yair is a younger fighter with more versatile striking, whereas Stephens is coming off two tough losses. However, I can’t ignore Jeremy Stephens’ ability to take a punch. Stephens has a great chin and if Yair doesn’t land strikes with precision, Stephens might just be able to put his lights out. Regardless of who wins, the beef that has developed between these two is sure setting it up to be a fantastic fight.
Moving onto the main event, we have an exciting light heavyweight matchup between former middleweight champion Chris Weidman, and up-in-coming fighter Dominick ‘The Devastator’ Reyes. Weidman will make his light heavyweight debut this Friday against an absolute KILLER in Reyes, who has won over half his fights via KO/TKO. The Devastator has claimed victory over big names like Jared Cannonier, Ovince St. Preux, and Volkan Oezdemir which no doubt gives him some credibility within the division. However, this will most likely be Reyes’ biggest challenge yet. Chris Weidman is a UFC legend; a man who has beat Anderson Silva TWICE, who has laid waste to Vitor Belfort and Urijah Hall, and come out with decision wins over Lyoto Machida and Demian Maia. That being said, he has lost 4 of his last 5 fights, but Weidman sees moving to light heavyweight as a new chapter in his MMA career.
I predict a 2nd or 3rd round knockout for Dominick Reyes. I just can’t seem to get past Weidman losing 4 of his last 5, especially considering those fights were at middleweight. A bigger and lengthier opponent in Reyes seems like it will be too much for Weidman to handle.
Greg Hardy will also fight on Friday in a heavyweight bout against Ben Sosoli. Hardy is coming off a couple nice wins, last seeing victory against Juan Adams back in July, and hopes that with a win on Friday he might get a shot at a top 15 heavyweight contender. Ben Sosoli is making his UFC debut this weekend against Hardy, Sosoli was a contestant on Dana White’s contender series and hopes to make a name for himself in the heavyweight division.
Prediction for this fight? A TKO for Hardy in the second round. Hardy has made a decent name for himself so far in the UFC and it just seems like they gave him a fairly easy fight to keep him in the news. He’s not even in the top 15, but he’s easily one of the most well known heavyweights, mostly due to his former career as an NFL defensive end. That being said if Sosoli comes out and puts on a show and gets a win, it would be absolutely massive for his career.
To hear a recap of this card, previews of cards to come, and more MMA news, make sure to tune into Pay-Per-View Kings every Wednesday at 5:30pm on radiodepaulsports.com.