September 10th 2016 sees the UFC head to Cleaveland, Ohio for the 203rd showcase event and the event is set to be a heavyweight one, both literally and figuratively. Apart from a heavyweight title bout between hometown hero Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem and a face off between former champ Fabricio Werdum and Mr Rousey, Travis Browne, we also have another hugely high profile debut of Phil Brooks, also known as WWE superstar CM Punk. This highly controversial bout that we are covering in our post here to avoid dominating the review of the real fight!
Fight Pass Prelims
Drew Dober Vs Jason Gonzalez
Dober is the more experienced fighter here, but Gonzalez in his UFC Debut (excluding exhibitions on TUF 2 seasons ago) brings a record of never going the distance in his 10 winsa nd 2 losses. Expect explosiveness.
CB Dolloway Vs Francimar Barroso
CB is coming off 3 losses and hasn’t fought since December. He absolutely needs to win this one but we think the experience of journeyman and BJJ blackbelt Barroso could take advantage of the pressure and pick up a surprise win.
Yancy Madeiros Vs Sean Spencer
Two solid servants to the sport, both needing a win to step up the next level. We think Hawaiian Yancy to push through on this one and be too strong for Spencer by decision.
Caio Magalhães Vs Brad Tavares
Another wrestling versus BJJ bout, but expect both guys to test each others stand up as both will be wary of being caught on the ground. Tavares to out wrestle is our prediction.
Nick Lentz Vs Michael McBride
Belator up and comer McBride is an strong candidate and Lentz has been stumbling of late, yet still holds a massive experience and big event advantage.
Jessica Eye Vs Bethe Correia
These two hold a record of 0-5 between them, but 2 of those losses were to 2 of the last 4 Women’s BW champions. Eye is the local girl and needs the win more. Expect her to raise her game and bully out a win.
Jessica Andrade Vs JoJo Calderwood
Andrade is very skilled and very tough, but Calderwood is explosive and only has one pro loss when she got caught be Maryna Moroz in what people consider somewhat lucky. We’ll be off our seats shouting for JoJo!
Uriah Faber Vs Jimmie Rivera
Rivera is slowly and surely developing a very good record, but this is a step up in quality of opponent for him. Faber is coming to the end of an illustrious career and this should be well within his capabilities, but it depends on how hungry he is coming into the cage. It is always difficult coming off a loss which has effectively ended your title ambitions.
CM Punk Vs Mickey Gall
Sigh…. Gall by utter death or Punk by corruption. I don’t care.
Fabricio Werdum Vs Travis Browne
Travis takes this on 4 weeks notice, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’d only ever have a punchers chance against Werdum, who is the superior technician. Of course heavyweight can be unpredictable, but Werdum should be focussed after his upset loss of the title to Stipe Miocic
Stipe Miocic Vs Alistair Overeem
This one is tough to call. Overeem is on an impressive 4 fight streak and carries with him bags of experience, if not the T/E ration of a few years back. Stipe is the champ, but his path to the belt had included some ageing competitors like Hunt and Arlowski and some middling like Maldonado and Roy Nelson. His major challenge was against Junior Dos Santos, which he lost. But then he did knock out Werdum, so all bets are off. Stipe is in front of a home crowd, but Overeem is known for being a loner so hostile environments won’t both him. This is one of the most exciting heavyweight title fights in some time and will certainly be duked out standing up. No way this ends any other way than a knock out. We can’t wait!