UFC 209: TWO WORLD TITLE FIGHTS HEADLINE FIRST LAS VEGAS EVENT OF 2017
Las Vegas – UFC kicks off their 2017 home schedule with two championship bouts and no shortage of bad blood on Saturday, March 4 at T-Mobile Arena with UFC 209. Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley looks to prove once and for all that he is the best 170-pound fighter in the world when he meets Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson for the second time and top-ranked Khabib Nurmagomedov clashes with No. 2 Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight world title.
When Woodley and Thompson met the first time at UFC 205 in November 2016, the Fight of the Night winner became an instant classic resulting in a draw. The champion used his All-American wrestling pedigree on the ground while Wonderboy countered with his unorthodox, yet highly effective, kickboxing attack to battle on even terms with the champion. In a classic grappler vs. striker matchup, only one of them will leave the Octagon as the undisputed welterweight champion of the world.
In the co-main event, two athletes who have long been at the top of the division collide for the interim lightweight world title and the chance to unify their title with Irish superstar Conor McGregor. Nurmagomedov is a Russian Sambo master with a perfect record that has been compiled thanks to a ferocious ground game. In addition to what may be the best grappling arsenal in the division, the 28-year-old also has eight knockouts to his credit and is a legitimate threat wherever the fight goes. No. 2 ranked Ferguson brings the longest UFC winning streak in the lightweight division to the Octagon, having won his last nine bouts and earning a Post-Fight bonus in his last five straight. “El Cucuy” possesses lethal finishing skills, recording 11 knockouts, seven submissions and nine first round finishes. With a title shot both feel is overdue, these men will be sure to bring the heat in this championship showdown.
Plus, a rematch nine years in the making pits No. 3 heavyweight Alistair Overeem against No. 6 Mark Hunt. As two of the most popular and longest tenured heavyweights on the planet, the list of accolades for this duo is long. They combine for 46 finishes, including 29 knockouts, both have been world champion kickboxers and Overeem is the former PRIDE, Dream and STRIKEFORCE heavyweight champion. Overeem won their first match back in 2008 via first round submission, but Hunt will be looking for revenge and to stay atop the wide open division.
- A battle between two of the featherweight division’s top ranked athletes, No. 12 Darren Elkins and undefeated No. 13 Mirsad Bektic.
- Fresh off a Knockout of the Year contender, Lando Vannata meets fellow striking sensation David Teymur in a 155-pound duel.
- Heavyweight knockout artists Todd Duffee and Mark Godbeer collide.
- Electrifying finishers Igor Pokrajac and Ed Herman clash at light heavyweight.