UFC 209 is in two days, but it already is better than the prior PPV, and here’s why:
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- It’s in Vegas
Say what you want about officiating in MMA, but the fact is that the New York appointed referees sucked. It was a New York appointed referee that was did not take a point away from Germaine De Randamie after not one, but two shots landed after the bell. As a result of her late, illegal strikes, she ended up winning the fight via decision. Had he taken that point, as I am sure a John McCarthy or a Herb Dean would have, the end result would have been different, resulting in a draw. In Sin City, the right refs are going to officiate the most important fights.
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- The Main Event
The biggest draw of UFC 208 was not the inaugural women’s Featherweight title fight, but rather the co-main event which was the return of Anderson Silva. UFC 209 has plenty of firepower in the card, but the main event truly sells the card. The rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson in what was one of the best fights of 2016. This story sells itself much more than a Bantamweight prospect against a fighter that lost her last two fights. It was a difficult story to buy into and to really get excited, but this rematch is easy to get behind.
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- The Co-Main
The main card is better than last month’s pay-per-view, but even the biggest draw of the card doesn’t compete with the co-main event of the card. The first of two title fights of the night is the much anticipated fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson for the interim Lightweight championship. This matchup is easy to sell as well, as Khabib is undefeated in MMA and Ferguson is on a tear in the division riding a 9 fight win streak coming into Saturday. Khabib is a bear when he gets a hold of you, while Ferguson is one of the most versatile strikers in the division’s history and has always been hard to get a hold of. It is my personal pick for fight of the night and I’m looking forward to it.