By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
No events from this past week and not a lot of big news either, so I’ll take a look ahead at some upcoming big fights, starting with next week.
UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov, February 6th, 2021
Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov is the main event. Overeem has won two fights in a row, and four of his last five. He faces a former Bellator Heavyweight Champion in Volkov, who’s alternated wins and losses in his last handful of fights. He’s coming off a win so if he follows the pattern he should lose this fight, and he very well might, but I think Volkov wins this one. We’ll see, though, I don’t have a lot of confidence in either man.
Longtime UFC veteran Frankie Edgar fights Cory Sandhagen in the co-main event. He’s coming off a win but he’s only 2-3 in his last five fights. Sandhagen is 8-1 in his last nine fights and is younger but Edgar’s losses have almost all been to top-level guys. I think Edgar gets the decision win in this fight, though it should be close.
UFC 258, February 13th, 2021
UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman defends his belt against Gilbert Burns in the main event. Usman is 17-1 while Burns is 19-3. I’m hoping this will be an exciting fight but there’s a very real possibility of it being boring. I do think Burns will challenge Usman enough to keep it somewhat interesting, though I do think Usman wins the decision. There’s only three announced fights for this card (though a few more expected here) as I write this, which is crazy considering we’re less than two weeks away from this event. I guess they get some leeway, though, considering Covid and everything.
UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis, February 20th, 2021
Only one fight has been announced for this event, the main event. Curtis Blaydes has won four fights in a row, and eight of his last nine. It would be ten of his last eleven if he hadn’t gotten popped for marijuana in his win over Adam Milstead. Derrick Lewis has won three fights in a row. You could easily argue that the winner of this fight is next in line for a heavyweight title shot. I’ll take Blaydes by late TKO.
UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane, February 27th, 2021
Jairzinho Rozenstruik is 11-1, with his only loss coming to Francis Ngannou, while Ciryl Gane is 7-0. This is a fight between two up-and-comers and the winner will definitely rise up the rankings. I’m leaning towards Rozenstruik in this fight.
UFC 259, March 6th, 2021
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz defends against UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya as he moves up in weight to challenge for a second title. Blachowicz has won four fights in a row, and eight of his last nine while Adesanya is 20-0, with 15 of those wins by TKO. I think Adesanya wins by TKO in the second or third rounds and becomes the latest two-division champ in MMA.
UFC Featherweight and Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes defends her featherweight title against Megan Anderson. Nunes has won eleven fights in a row and is 20-4 overall while Anderson is 11-4. Anderson is tough but Nunes has seemed unstoppable and I think that continues here and she gets the TKO stoppage in the fourth round.
UFC Bantamweight Champion Petr Yan defends against Aljamain Sterling. Yan is 15-1 while Sterling has won five fights in a row and seven of his last eight. Sterling will grind out a tough decision or get you with a submission but I think Yan will be too much and get the late stoppage in the fourth or fifth rounds.
I think that’ll about do it. I was going to keep it to just February but I wanted to also mention UFC 259 since it has three title fights, not something you see that often in the UFC. Running a show a week prevents that. I hope 2021 has been good to people so far. Thanks for reading, have a good week.
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