Saturday, December 2, 2017
UFC 218 Preview
With Edgar Out, Champ Holloway Takes on Aldo Once Again to Headline UFC 218
With the news that veteran challenger Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar has had to withdraw from UFC 218, reigning featherweight champ Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway will now face veteran Jose Aldo for the second straight time to headline the quickly approaching card.
Holloway was set to take on Edgar, but will now face Aldo once again after knocking out the former champ in the third round at UFC 212 in a Fight of the Night performance.
"It is what it is," Holloway wrote on social media just last week shortly after the UFC announced the rematch.
The featherweight title bout rematch will headline UFC 218 when the event takes place live from Little Cesar’s Arena in Detroit on Dec. 2.
When: Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM ET
Where: Little Cesar’s Arena, Detroit, MI
Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway (18-3) vs. Jose Aldo (26-3)
Jose Aldo +230
Max Holloway -270
The pair squared off in a title unification bout at UFC 212 on June 3 with the 25-year-old Holloway finishing off the 31-year-old Aldo via a third round TKO (punches) to win his 11th straight fight while the defeat was Aldo’s second in his last three bouts.
Prior to their matchup earlier this year, Holloway has beaten former champ Anthony Pettis for the Interim title via third round TKO (body kick and punches) while beating a string of other top title contenders, including Ricardo lamas, Jeremy Stephens and Charles Oliveira.
Aldo suffered an embarrassing first round KO (punch) loss to former champ Conor McGregor at UFC 194 in December of 2015 before rebounding to beat Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision at UFC 200 in July of 2016. Now, Holloway says he had no preference for who his opponent would be after Edgar pulled out and that can still prove something to everyone by beating Aldo again.
"I heard a lot of names – Cub Swanson, Ricardo lamas, Brian Ortega, Darren Elkins, Tony Ferguson, Conor McGregor, Holloway said recently. "I told them I didn't care. They already know I don't care. All I ask is to send me a contract.
"Our first fight, I don't know what people are watching, but some say I was losing until I dropped him in the third. Those must be some hardcore Aldo fans. But he's been one of the best guys for years, so to show I'm the best in back-to-back fights, sign me up."
Now, Aldo is focusing on building his legacy and threw some shade at the loud-mouthed McGregor in the process.
"We're talking about this all the time with McGregor -- and money fights are great -- but don't tell me that guy is a champion," Holloway said. "Explain to me how he's a champion when he's not doing champion fights.
"I'm in a champion mode right now. When it comes time for money fights, they'll be there, but right now I'm focused on building an era."
Holloway also said he wants to really beat Aldo this time around after his camp hinted at the fact that he really couldn't throw leg kicks because f an unspecified injury at the time of their first bout.
"That was kind of cowardly to me," Holloway said. "To say something like that and take away from someone's win. I've never taken away from someone's win. I just thought it was silly.
Holloway has a 69-inch reach compared to Aldo’s slight 70-inch reach. Holloway however, is a higher takedown accuracy and is better at defending takedowns as well, not to mention he’s got a higher submission average and lands almost twice as many significant strikes per minute (5.79) than Jose Aldo (3.32)
Alistair “The Reem” Overeem (43-15-0) vs. Francis “The Predator” Ngannou (10-1)
In the co-main event, red-hot heavyweight Francis “The Predator” Ngannou will look to extend his impressive nine-fight winning streak when he takes on veteran big man Alistair Overeem.
UFC President UFC President Dana White has already gone on record to say that Ngannou is the next big thing in the UFC and he undeniably wants the Cameroon native to win and win in the same impressive fashion in which he’s finished off every fight he’s faced except one. Ngannou has plenty of raw power to knock his opponents out, but he can also submit opponents with ease, generally after rocking them with some vicious blows. He enters UFC 218 coming off a first round TKO (punches) win over Andrei Arlovski at UFC on FOX: Shevchenko vs. Pena in January and has never gone to the third round in his career.
Still , he’ll likely have his hands full in trying to dispatch 37-year-old veteran Alistair Overeem. The veteran Dutchman has done just about everything and anything that can be accomplished inside the Octagon – except win a championship belt. Overeem has won two straight bouts including his decision win over Fabricio Werdum at UFC 213 in July. He’s a well-rounded fighter that has recorded 19 of his career wins via KO and an identical 19 via submission. Overeem also has plenty of knockout power, but he’s also the only fighter in this bout with a suspect chin!
Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo (11-2) vs. Sergio Pettis (16-2)
30-year-old Mexican Henry Cejudo snapped a two-fight losing streak by beating Wilson Reis at UFC 215 in September while 24-year-old Milwaukee native Sergio Pettis has won four straight including his unanimous decision win over Brandon Moreno at UFC Fight Night: Pettis vs. Moreno in August. This flyweight matchup is being looked at as a title-eliminator in the 125-pound division, so both will be laying it all on the line as they look to move one step closer to a title shot.
Cejudo has already let it be known that he wants a rematch against Demetrious Johnson, after suffering an embarrassing first-round TKO loss to the reigning champ at UFC 197 in April 2016.
“I’m the one (to defeat Johnson),” Cejudo said. “I know I’m the one. I have the style, I have the wrestling. I know I’m the one to beat Demetrious Johnson. No disrespect to these fighters, no disrespect to any of them. Anybody has that fighter’s chance, but I believe I have the style to eventually beat him, and I truly do believe that.”
While Cejudo is talking the talk, he didn’t look overly impressive in his split decision loss against Joseph Benavidez in his first fight following that loss to Johnson at The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions Finale last December.
Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez (28-5) vs. Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (18-0)
33-year-old Philadelphia native and former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez is looking to get back in the win column after suffering a TKO loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 205 last November and then getting involved in a No Contest matchup after lading a series of illegal knees to Dustin Poirier’s head after his opponent was down at UFC 211 in May.
Alvarez will be facing another fighter that Dana White is looking to market as “the next big thing” in undefeated lightweight Justin Gaethje, a 28-year-old native of Arizona that has won his last five fights in stunning TKO or KO style. Gaethje finished off Michael Johnson at The Ultimate Fighter 25 in July via a second round TKO (punches and knees) in a Performance of the Night outing and will look to take the next step toward what looks like a sure-fire title bout in the very near future.
Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres (9-1) vs. Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson (14-5)
28-year-old Massachusetts native Tecia Torres has won two straight bouts including her dominating Performance of the Night submission win (rear-naked choke) over Juliana Lima at The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption event in July. She’ll take on veteran strawweight fighter Michelle Waterson. The 31-year old Waterson who hails from Colorado, is looking to bounce back from her UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Reis submission (rear-naked choke) loss in April.
Max Holloway vs Jose Aldo
With the unexpected removal of Frankie Edgar from UFC 218 weeks before the event with a broken orbital, Jose Aldo was called up and sat poised to retake the featherweight title that had once been his for so long. Unfortunately, things didn't go his way in the rematch against Max Holloway, and the rugged Brazilian warrior fell in the third round to Holloway's relentless assault.
Alister Overeem vs Francis Ngannou
Ngannou Destroys Overeem in Co-Main Event.
Rarely will you see a more savage and definitive one-punch KO. Francis Ngannou landed a sweeping left-hand hooker-cut squarely on Alistair Overeem's chin and the Dutch heavyweight went to sleep.
Henry Cejudo vs Sergio Pettis
Cejudo Outclasses Pettis.
Henry Cejudo took Sergio Pettis to school on the ground. The former Olympic gold medalist wrestler took Pettis down and control him at will for three rounds. Cejudo even conducted himself well in stand-up as he faked level changes and landed enough strikes to put Pettis in peril.
Eddie Alvarez vs Justin Gaethje
Eddie Alvarez dished out the violence at UFC 218 to earn coveted nickname.
Yet Gaethje and Alvarez went to Detroit and did their level best to give the people what they wanted. If it fell short the wildest expectations it was only because neither was left for dead at any dramatic moment, only to come storming back (like Yancy Medeiros did earlier in the night against Alex Oliveira — the kind of plot-changing show of heart that gets people to using exclamation marks). It was just a violent collision between violent men, each hacking away until one of them could no longer hack back.
Tecia Torres vs Michelle Waterson
Tecia Torres Takes Out Michelle Waterson.
This spirited battle came down to significant strikes. Tecia Torres outlanded Michelle Waterson 89-38 and she nearly won via stoppage in the third frame. Neither woman looked like a contender ready to take down Rose Namajunas, but the victory aptly resides with Torres.
*Fights labeled as "may not be broadcast" are scheduled to take place before the live broadcast begins. These pre-recorded fights are inserted into the broadcast if time permits. However, due to broadcast time constraints some of these undercard bouts may not be seen on a broadcast. These additional bout can be found as bonus footage on the event DVD.