The UFC returns to Las Vegas, Nevada for this weekend’s UFC 200 event. Billed as the greatest fight-card in MMA history, McBryde Mats brings you this breakdown of the evenings bouts and what we can expect from all of the quality match ups. The UFC really has been tru to their word, UFC200 has so many outstanding match ups, that even the under-card prelims and early prelims stand out as cards that have in themselves, got the potential as a stand-alone main event. With three titles on the line, UFC is set to deliver on their promise.
The most recent news development has come as a blow to the main event of UFC 200, returning light-heavyweight superstar, Jon “Bones” Jones was set to face current light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier in a grudge match that has been carried out with a lot of bad blood over the last two years. Fans were disappointed learn at a late UFC conference, called by the company’s CEO, Dana White, late on Wednesday evening, where it was announced that Jones was suspended from the bout due to a USADA violation for usage of a banned substance. The announcement comes as a shock and Jones vs Cormier 2 was pulled from the fight card as a result.
Speculation on Jon aside, it has been a huge dent in the success of the event and brings the reputation of the athletes and the sport as a whole a setback. If the USADA suspension is finalized, Jones could be facing a suspension of up to two years. Being that he has only returned from his previous 2-year suspension some three months ago, Jones may be losing out on the prime years of his career through suspension. One thing is for certain, the chances of ever seeing these two titans face off in a second bout that will decide the champion, will most likely never happen, disappointing to say the least.
In its stead, the main card for UFC 200 has been announced as Mark Hunt, the ‘Super Samoan’ vs. the freak athlete and former UFC heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar. This fight has caused shock-waves all across the communities of combat sports all across the globe since it was announced by Mike Goldberg to a stunned Joe Rogan at UFC 199. Lesnar, with a UFC record of 5-3, retired from the UFC due to complications with the disease Diverticulitis, shortly after his loss to Alistair Overeem. It was speculated at the time that Lesnar would never return to the octagon. However, Lesnar went back to his old stomping grounds, the WWE, after successfully recovering from his ailments. Since then he has shown no interest in reviving his MMA career, until recently where after the announcement of his return, he has come forward to say that he will be resuming another run at the UFC heavyweight title after his bout with Hunt.
Mark Hunt is a physical phenomenon. Billed as the strongest man in the UFC, he has a deadly knockout power that has kept him a top contender in the heavyweight division, but has never really successfully mounted a campaign for the title. Coming off of a two fight win streak, with some heavy KO’s, Hunt is primed to take a step forward in his career and push himself into top contender status with a win over the freak athlete, Brock Lesnar. With very heavy hands that deliver probably the hardest punch in the UFC, Hunt will need to get inside of Lesnar’s guard with efficient striking combos. Lesnar will most likely be looking for the takedown, but with a 9-inch reach advantage on Hunt, may also choose to keep it standing. Hunt is also not afraid of a larger man and seems unconcerned with the reach advantage Lesnar has over him, given that the Samoan had a successful KO win over ‘The skyscraper’ Struve, sending him sprawling to the mats, he feels the reach is not the deciding factor in this matchup. Either way it goes, it spells stardom for the winner of the man event and we are sure it will be a fight worth watching.
The co-main event of the evening features current woman’s champ, Miesha Tate face off against top contender, Amanda Nunes. With Tate winning in convincing style over Holm in a true underdog upset to claim the title, this will be her first chance to prove that she is not a one-hit wonder and deserves the status as Champion. Nunes is looking hungry and her recent win streak has given her the confidence she needs to take on Miesha and perhaps provide an upset.
Another certain barn-burner will be the bout between Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo. Aldo returns for his first fight since losing to the champion, Conor McGregor in the quickest knockout in the UFC’s history. While this is no record a fighter wants to be on the receiving end of, Jose has shown his class to come back and mount another run at the title by taking the top contender position from Frankie Edgar. It remains to see if the KO had any effect on Aldo’s fight game as this will be his first return to the octagon from the KO, but in the promos and press conferences leading up to this weekend’s card, he has shown nothing but a hungry determination to get in the cage and get the business done.
Frankie Edgar is billed as the hardest working athlete in the UFC. Renowned for his endless gas tank and aggressive fighting style, Frankie will be looking to drag Aldo through hell and back again for the entire duration of the fight. With his current position in the rankings allowing him for first in line status at a shot at the champ, McGregor, he is looking to solidify that status with his performance at UFC200 and possibly earn the title shot he has been working diligently toward. No matter the outcome of this fight, one thing is for sure, we will be in for a fight that will have us on the edge of our seats.
Returning to the octagon after a near three year lay-off, Cain Velasquez, is set to square off against heavyweight contender, Travis Browne. The former champ, Cain, has explosive power and heavy hands, relying on a brutal ground and pound game. He decimates his opponents with his pace at which he fights and the pressure he puts on them as he imposes his will. Cain has provided some of the most impressive wins in heavyweight history but was injured and forced to relinquish the belt after his loss to Fabricio Werdum. Travis Browne will be looking to capitalize on Cain’s first match back, as an opportunity to rise further up the rankings into a possible title challenge spot.
The fox sports one prelims and the early prelims of UFC200 look as good as any other UFC card this year with amazing match-ups featuring some of the leagues most talented fighters, expect to see the likes of, Cat Zingano, TJ Dillashaw, Jonny Hendricks and Diego Sanchez all face off in bouts that are sure to provide massive entertainment value to all of the fans.
In case you missed it don’t forget to check out our UFC 199 Review