MMA Mad Unfiltered || UFC 211: The Year’s First Great Fight Card

Would you look at that. It appears as if we have a nice little fight card on our hands. Well it’s about time…

UFC 211 is the first truly stacked lineup of the calendar year. Truthfully, it’s probably the best pay-per-view since UFC 206, assuming you’re one of the many who saw Rousey vs. Nunes as a predictable snooze while finding little consequence in a Rashad Evans or Dong Hyun Kim victory.

Not a great look when you’ve got hordes of friends home for the holidays and you’ve convinced them all to gather around a TV for three hours. Thank god for Cruz vs. Garbrandt because I nearly turned a whole group of people against the sport forever.

And while their were some shining moments on 208, 209 and 210, as a whole, these were not very memorable nights; a problem only amplified by the fact that we all should have seen it coming. It’s simply the byproduct of holding a marquee event like the UFC’s New York City debut. Sometimes, there simply isn’t enough star power to go around.

But fear not boys and girls, this one is practically bullet proof.

 

MUST-WATCH MATCHUPS

  • Main Card:
    • Stipe Miocic vs. Junior dos Santos (diehard)(casual)
    • Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade (diehard)(casual)
    • Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal (diehard)
    • Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez (diehard)(casual)
    • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis (diehard)
  • FX Preliminary Card:
    • Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier (diehard)(casual)
    • Chas Skelly vs. Jason Knight (diehard)
  • Fight Pass Prelims:
    • Jessica Aguilar vs. Cortney Casey (diehard)

 

MMA MAD PODCAST GUESTS

 

TOP THREE POINTS OF INTEREST

Two of the World’s Best Heavyweights Settle a Score w/the Championship Belt on the Line

So we’re headlined by a title fight in a division that normally puts me to sleep. I understand the extreme level of pessimism required to find boredom in a clash of real-life giants, but it so rarely plays out like you’d want it to. It’s either over in a minute or it drags on for an unbearably long time. I swear, some of those three rounders feel like ten.

The reality is that a lot of these heavyweights would be better off at a lower weight class, as evident by the size of the belly pouring over their waistbands. It’s a bad look. You’re basically taking an otherwise cut light heavyweight and chopping his endurance in half.

On the other hand, there are a handful of ‘true’ heavyweights; massive human beings who could never cut down to 205 without risking some serious organ failure. And in the main event of UFC 211, we’ve got two of the best. Plus the challenger has a win over the champion, my favorite go-to story line heading into a title fight. It seems to balance out the odds a bit, leaving you to wonder who really has the higher ground, mentally. This fight has the perfect amount of skill and unpredictability.

I don’t care if it’s cliche, I’m going to say it anyway: Don’t blink.

 

Strawweight Continues To Be My Favorite Division and Joanna Is An Absolute Wizard

Before the UFC’s biggest athletes battle it out, the smallest fighters will take the stage, begging two important questions:

  1. How noticeable will the difference in pace be from the co-main event to the main?
  2. Which refs are they going to choose for each matchup?

I’m actually leaning towards a fairly small difference in pace. Don’t sleep on the hand speed of Stipe and JDS. As for the referees, please give me Big Dan for the girls and Keith Peterson for the boys. It doesn’t really matter. But I still want to see it.

Onto the actual fight, JJ is top dog for a reason. She’s a monster. Her striking technique is elite and she seems to be getting better with the addition of a dedicated MMA team around her. But Andrade is a successful bantamweight that has yet to lose since dropping down to 115. That, ladies and gentleman, is what we call a unique challenge.

It seems that every time Joanna fights, she’s got a new question standing across from her. And every time, she delivers her answer with authority, usually followed by some sort of quotable Octagon interview. And again and again and again and still.

This is going to be a lot of fun.

 

Which Card Is Dustin Poirier vs. Eddie Alvarez Headlining? Oh Wait… They’re On The Prelims?!

This isn’t even fair. In addition to a pair of title fights and a top-to-bottom main card masterpiece, we’ve got Dustin Poirier vs. Eddie Alvarez on the prelims?! I know the prelim headliner is a somewhat prestigious slot – the final push to urge people to order the pay-per-view – but this still feels like we’re getting away with something. I mean, this could be Fight of the Year material, and I don’t say that lightly.

Now I’m of the school of thought that these bigger cards deserve a higher payout of bonus money. I mean if you’re stealing ‘Fight of the Night’ honors away from five or six top candidates as opposed to heading into an event as the only compelling matchup, that has to be worth more, correct?

For DP and Eddie to pocket an extra $50,000, they have to beat out two solid title fights, Maia vs. Masvidal, Edgar vs. Rodriguez, Cejudo vs. Pettis, and even the dark horse bonus collector Cortney Casey, who’s hiding out on Fight Pass. Are you really going to tell me that’s not worth $100,000 each? Granted, I’m not the one that has to write the check. But still.

This one has People’s Main Event written all over it.

This Saturday, May 13th, UFC 211 begins on Fight Pass at 6pm ET. The main card kicks off at 10pm ET. Get all your event coverage right here at MMA Mad or by following us on twitter @mmamadofficial. See you at the fights!

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