Though UFC 217, which goes down in New York City on November 4, looks like it will be the best card of the year, UFC 218 is very much in the running too. The card, which goes down on December 2 in Detroit, Michigan, is rapidly evolving into an absolute must-see.
As fights and fighters begin making their way onto the lineup, we will update this page with more information.
Here’s the lineup as it stands, along with the betting lines that have been released so far.
Main Card Fights for UFC 218
UFC Featherweight Title Fight: Max Holloway vs.
Frankie Edgar (odds TBA)
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Frankie Edgar has had to pull out of UFC 218 due to an undisclosed injury.
UFC 218 is expected to be headlined by a featherweight title fight between new champion Max Holloway (18-3), and former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (22-5-1).
In Holloway’s last fight, he captured the UFC featherweight title with a beautiful TKO win over bona fide MMA legend Jose Aldo. With this win, the Hawaiian star also extended his win-streak to a baffling 11-straight, having not lost since he gave up a decision to Conor McGregor in the summer of 2013.
Needless to say, Holloway has hit his stride. The 25-year-old is in the prime of his fighting life. That said, he’s in for a tough night against Edgar, who recently burst back into title contention with a decisive thumping of Yair Rodriguez.
Though Edgar has now failed to capture UFC featherweight gold twice, losing two decisions to Jose Aldo, he has long stood out as one of the division’s premier fighters. He’s also got some weapons that could easily give Holloway trouble.
While Edgar will probably enter this fight as a slight underdog, we’ve seen him frustrate plenty of opponents with his beautifully-timed takedowns, his sharp boxing and his frenetic pace. All the while, he’s also managed to avoid a single knockout loss, leaning on the strength of his chin and the boundlessness of his heart. And considering this could well be the 35-year-old’s last shot at UFC gold, he’s likely to showcase the very best version of himself when the cage door closes.
In the end, the real question here seems to be: can Frankie Edgar succeed where top fighters like Jose Aldo, Anthony Pettis, Ricardo Lamas, Jeremy Stephens, Charles Oliveira, Cub Swanson, Akira Corassani and Andre Fili have failed, and solve the Max Holloway puzzle? Time will tell.
Heavyweight Bout: Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou
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One of the most anticipated features of the UFC 218 lineup is a heavyweight showdown between former Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 champion Alistair Overeem (43-15), and red-hot French-Cameroonian prospect Francis Ngannou (10-1).
While the return of former champion Cain Velasquez and the possibility of a big Fabricio Werdum win at UFC 216 make things a little uncertain, this fight could well produce the next challenger for reigning heavyweight king Stipe Miocic.
Given Ngannou’s fight-altering power, and Overeem’s numerous knockout losses, a quick glance at this matchup might lead you to the expectation that Ngannou will win by knockout. But this is far from a certainty. In fact, Ngannou could be in for a rude awakening.
While the Frenchman is undeniably talented, the best wins of his 11-fight career have come against Curtis Blaydes, Anthony Hamilton, and most recently, a shopworn Andrei Arlovski. None of these men hold a candle to Overeem who, in addition to his 59 fights against the best fighters available, has also competed against the apex predators of the kickboxing world.
Though a big Ngannou win is certainly possible, it’s also possible that the Frenchman’s relatively unrefined attacks are thwarted by Overeem’s battle-tested ring-craft and far more versatile toolset. It’s going to be interesting to see what the oddsmakers think of this fight.
Lightweight Bout: Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje (odds TBA)
This lightweight bloodletting between former UFC and Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez (28-5) and former World Series of Fighting champ Justin Gaethje (18-0) will mark the crescendo of the pair’s stint as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 26. Given Gaethje and Alvarez’s shared propensity for violent, back-and-forth brawls, this fight is widely expected to capture UFC 218’s Fight of the Night honours.
The outcome of this fight could very well come down to whose chin holds up better, and that’s a very difficult thing to predict. While Gaethje has never been knocked out – let alone lost a fight – he’s been rocked in many of his fights, and has openly admitted he expects his all-aggression style to result in his being knocked out in his next 10 fights. Alvarez, meanwhile, also gets rocked in many of his fights, and recently had his batteries removed by Conor McGregor.
While a war is what most people expect from this fight, it’s also possible that Alvarez leans on the more conservative approach he used to neutralize Anthony Pettis. He will, after all, have a pretty significant experiential edge on Gaethje, and might favour a safer strategy as a result.
In a fight with this many variables and x-factors, there’s truly no way to know what will happen until the cage door closes.
Flyweight Bout: Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis (odds TBA)
This flyweight contender bout between Henry Cejudo (11-2) and Sergio Pettis (16-2) was originally scheduled for UFC 211 back in May, but was regrettably called off at the last minute when Cejudo sustained a hand injury. Now, it’s been rescheduled for UFC 218, and the stakes are even higher than they once were.
Since their originally scheduled UFC 211 showdown fell through, Cejudo has re-established himself as one of the flyweight division’s top contenders by pummeling recent title challenger Wilson Reis to a first-round knockout. Pettis, meanwhile, recently slowed the momentum of red-hot contender Brandon Moreno, asserting himself as a top flyweight star in the process.
Really, it’s very possible that this fight produces the next flyweight title challenger, who would then take on the winner of Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg’s UFC 216 title fight.
So who wins? Well, that’s a surprisingly tough call. While Cejudo’s Olympic-level wrestling chops and rapidly improving striking skills will probably render him the favourite when odds are released, Pettis has been coming into his own of late, adding poise and defense to a striking-based game that was once over-aggressive and reckless. Indeed, it’s safe to say that neither man should be counted out in this fight, especially when the stakes are so high.
#UFC218 should include Holloway vs Edgar, Overeem vs Ngannou, Alvarez vs Gaethje and now Cejudo vs Pettis
— Chris Taylor (@CTaylor_96) September 27, 2017
Other confirmed UFC 218 bouts:
- Women’s Strawweight bout: Angela Magaña vs. Amanda Cooper (odds TBA)
- Light Heavyweight bout: Dominick Reyes vs. Jeremy Kimball (odds TBA)
- Welterweight bout: Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Sabah Homasi (odds TBA)
- Heavyweight bout: Justin Willis vs. Allen Crowder (odds TBA)
The Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic fight will not be happening because of controversy related to Jon Jones and a failed drug test.
As the administration process plays out, Jon Jones could be stripped of his belt, and have his career in the UFC officially ended.
Felice Herrig (13-6) vs Cortney Casey (7-4)
In the strawweight division, Felice Herrig is looking to secure her fourth straight victory when she steps in the cage against Felice Herrig on December 2nd, 2017 at UFC 218.
Felice Herrig’s most recent bout was on June 25th, where she easily secured a unanimous decision over her Ultimate Fighter 20 housemate, Justine Kish. Prior to their fight, she worked through Alexa Grasso and won against Kailin Curran in the first round via a rear-naked choke.
Cortney Casey, though, is feeling relieved after getting into the cage again on the back of her previous win over the World Series of Fighting champion, Jessica Aguilar.
Their fight was adjusted by the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration to a no-contest after she was found to have higher-than-normal levels of testosterone, suggesting drug use.
The agency performed additional tests and found that Casey’s tests were false-positives, and restored her win while removing a 3-month imposed suspension.
These two explosive fighters will put on an amazing show inside the cage on December 2nd.
Casey has secured wins in her last four fights, and is looking to capitalize on that momentum against Felice Herrig.
- Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza
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As betting lines are opened, we will update this page.