Image Courtesy UFC
The fights are getting locked in for UFC 216, scheduled for October 7, 2017.
Joe Rogan says it best: “the Lee vs Ferguson fight is going to be a damn good fight.”
To give you some background on the fights that have been scheduled and others that are in the works right now, take a look at this video.
UFC 216 Main Card Fights & Betting Odds
Title Fight: Tony Ferguson (-175) vs Kevin Lee (+125)
This interim title fight between Tony Ferguson (-175) and Kevin Lee (+125) has officially been booked, and labeled as the headline fight for UFC 218.
Ferguson comes into the cage at 13-1 in the UFC, and Lee at 9-2 in the UFC. Ferguson is banking on his second shot at securing the lightweight title after his fight against the undefeated Khabib Nermagomedov was canceled on 3 separate occasions.
It’s been a year since Ferguson was last in the cage in his fight against Rafael dos Anjos that he won by unanimous decision. Lee has been pushing hard for a fight to happen in his hometown of Detroit, and it looked like his wishes have been granted.
Dana White changed the venue from Detroit to Las Vegas, though, so rather than miss out on a shot at the gold, Lee accepted the fight against Ferguson in Vegas.
Lee has won in 9 of the last 10 bouts, while Ferguson is coming hot and heavy, winning all 9 of his previous fights. Ferguson is currently the favorite for the fight, but with Lee’s explosive power and technical prowess in the ring, it’s hard to count him out.
Flyweight Title Fight: Demetrious Johnson (-1250) vs. Ray Borg (+800)
The co-main event of UFC 216 will see UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (26-2-1) attempt a record-breaking eleventh-straight defense of his title. His opponent in this potentially history-making bout will be “The Tazmexican Devil” Ray Borg (11-2).
Johnson will step onto the canvas in Las Vegas on an absurd 12-fight win-streak, highlighted by triumphs over flyweight stars like Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez (twice), John Dodson (twice), John Moraga, Ali Bagautinov, Chris Cariaso, Kyoji Horiguchi, Henry Cejudo, Tim Elliott, and most recently, Wilson Reis. Against these top-flight foes, Johnson has authored dominant decisions, slick submissions, and thunderous knockouts. Needless to say, he is a veritable juggernaut at flyweight – which is why he has been identified as such a massive favorite heading into this fight.
Borg, of course, is plenty talented in his own right. Since joining the UFC fold in April of 2014, he’s gone 5-2, defeating Shane Howell, Chris Kelades, Geane Herrera, Louis Smolka and Jussier “Formiga” Da Silva, and losing to Dustin Ortiz and Justin Scoggins. The biggest point against him has been his failure to show up to fights on weight – or even show up at all. He and Johnson were, after all, originally supposed to meet at UFC 215 back in September, but the fight had to be rescheduled when Borg fell ill.
So, what happens when the cage door closes on these two flyweight stars? Well, as the odds suggest, all signs point to a blowout, history-making win for a champ. Then again, Borg could certainly win – we’ve seen plenty of upsets of this scale in the UFC before.
Heavyweight Bout: Fabricio Werdum (-255) vs. Derrick Lewis (+215)
The middle bout of the UFC 216 main card will occur at heavyweight, where former champion Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1) will take on brick-fisted Houstonian Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis (18-5).
Let’s look at Werdum first.
Werdum is arguably the best submission specialist in the history of heavyweight MMA – though Frank Mir and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira can also be argued to hold that lofty title. And though his jiu-jitsu is what he’s known for, Werdum also possesses some pretty venomous Muay Thai – which he was even able to use to knock out decorated striking specialist Mark Hunt a few years back.
Then there’s Lewis. While Lewis is certainly skilled, he is far more of a brute than Werdum. His bread and butter is a combination of cage-rattling punches, durability, and occasionally, some truly hellish ground-and-pound, rained down from top position like a meteor shower.
When looking at this fight, it frankly looks like Werdum’s fight to lose. He is simply too clever, too skilled, and too experienced to fall into Lewis’ traps. Considering Lewis has openly admitted his focus is dwindling in the wake of the hurricane that ravaged his home state of Texas, we have even more reason to believe he’s in for a rough night. Then again, it is really, really difficult to discount a guy with the kind of fight-altering power that Lewis possesses. As is always the case in heavyweight fights, where a single blow can change the complexion of a contest in an instant, make your picks with great caution.
Kalindra Faria (-190) vs. Mara Romero Borella (+165)
This fight, which will occur in the UFC’s new women’s flyweight division, is admittedly a bit of a surprise to see on pay-per-view, as it pairs two UFC debutants who are unknown enough that neither has a Wikipedia page. All the same, it could be a fun fight.
Originally, Brazil’s Kalindra Faria (18-5-1) was expected to take on the hyped Andrea Lee on this card. Unfortunately, Lee was forced out of the contest as the result of a rather complicated USADA issue, which meant that Italy’s Mara Romero Borella (11-4) got the call for the short notice debut.
Faria will enter this fight on a solid three-fight streak. Her two most recent losses came against Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Jessica Aguilar – two staples of the UFC strawweight division.
Borella, meanwhile, will step onto the canvas on an impressive five-fight unbeaten streak (with one no contest in that stretch).
As the odds suggest, Faria is the marginally safer pick in this contest. Given that these two women own 19 finishes in their combined 29 wins, however, the chances of a surprising finish from either party seems quite high. Exercise caution when making your pick.
Beneil Dariush (-235) vs. Evan Dunham (+195)
The UFC 216 pay-per-view card will be kicked of by a clash of ranked lightweights, as long-time contenders Beneil Dariush (14-3) and Evan Dunham (18-6) collide.
In his last bout, Dariush found himself on the receiving end of a 2017 Knockout of the Year contender, a rocket-fuelled flying knee KO dealt by Edson Barboza. This bout, then, will mark his opportunity to distance himself from this loss and remind the world why he has long been regarded as one of the division’s premier players; a fighter who has taken out the likes of Rashid Magomedov, James Vick, Michael Johnson, Daron Cruickshank and Charlie Brenneman.
The 14th-ranked Dunham, meanwhile, has been banging on the door of the lightweight top-10 with both hands. If he’s able to take out the 12th-ranked Dariush, extending his win-streak to five-straight in the process, he might just earn himself a spot in this vaunted peak of the division.
While Dunham is certainly the underdog for a reason, his well-rounded skill set, big-fight experience, and all-around grit make him a live dog. Dariush, of course, is a definite force to be reckoned with, and should not be taken lightly, but at a glance, this seems like one of the most upset-ready cards on the UFC 216 lineup.
UFC 216 Undercard Fights
Will Brooks vs Nik Lentz
Thales Leites vs Brad Tavares
John Moraga vs Magomed Bibulatov
Matt Schnell vs Marco Beltran
Walt Harris vs Mark Godbeer
Bobby Green vs Lando Vannata
Paige VanZant vs Jessica Eye
Please note, as more details get released about the fights and fighters, we will continue to update this page.