After a spectacular night of fights at UFC 257, the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion is back with UFC Vegas 18, headlined by heavyweight phenoms Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov.
Overeem, a former Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion, is a towering figure in MMA, but he still feels his trophy cabinet needs the UFC gold. Therefore, the 40-year-old says that he is making one final run at the UFC heavyweight championship, and that he will retire immediately after winning the belt. Volkov wants to be the ‘baddest man on the planet’ too, and a win over Alistair will certainly strengthen his case.
The event also features a co-main event bout between rising bantamweight prospect Cory Sandhagen and veteran fighter Frankie Edgar.
Alistair Overeem vs Alexander Volkov
Overeem is ranked only a place above Volkov at number five and has won four of his last five fights. The Russian, on the other hand, has won only two out of his last four fights, yet he is the favorite ahead of his UFC Vegas 18 showdown with ‘The Reem’.
Overeem has made some smart adjustments to his game as of late, and if he stays patient against Volkov, he will find his openings. He might lack the explosiveness he once had, but he still has a tremendous amount of power, something that the Russian lacks.
Volkov spends 15 minutes on average inside the Octagon, so he’s not a known finisher, but he is excellent at picking his shots and being very patient. He also strikes at a high frequency, landing almost 7 significant strikes per minute. It’s a super close fight and can go either way.
Cory Sandhagen vs Frankie Edgar
In his last nine fights, Sandhagen has only lost once, against Aljamain Sterling, who is set to challenge champion Petr Yan for the bantamweight title at UFC 259. Therefore, he is potentially one win away from a title shot, but beating Edgar won’t be easy.
With three defeats in his last five fights, many believe Edgar needs to consider bowing out of MMA, but given the caliber of opponents he has lost to, one needs to give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s certainly not in his prime, but he’s still very competitive.
Cory has a significant reach advantage, but that isn’t something Edgar hasn’t seen before. The 39-year-old is very well-rounded but Sandhagen is the better striker, and he’s younger, and age could play a major factor in his fight. However, Frankie’s wrestling could be the difference-maker if he chooses to use it.
Marion Reneau vs Macy Chiasson
Macy Chiasson is a strong favorite coming into this fight, and that is mainly due to the fact that Marion Reneau has lost three on the bounce.
Both fighters are predominantly strikers. Reneau loves to fire on all cylinders right from the word go and is always looking for a finish. But Chiasson is a brawler in her own right too, and does great work in the clinch. Chiasson is a big bantamweight, so she might have a size advantage over her opponent on the night.
While Chiasson is expected to get her hand raised eventually, Reneau shouldn’t be counted out just yet, because she’ll be gunning to get back into the win column.
Diego Carlos Ferreira vs Beneil Dariush
With Dustin Poirier knocking out Conor McGregor, and Michael Chandler stopping Dan Hooker in the first round at UFC 257, the lightweight division’s top half is buzzing. So much so that people are overlooking the massive talent sitting in the bottom half of the 155lbs weight class.
The rematch between Ferreira and Dariush is a great fight, one that deserves more eyes. Both fighters are riding impressive win streaks, both are incredible grapplers, and both are looking to jump higher in the rankings. Ferreira is a powerful striker, while Dariush has improved his stand up quite a lot too. The matchup is also intriguing because Ferreira has a chance to level things up with his opponent. This fight guarantees fireworks.
Rest Of The UFC Vegas 18 Card:
- Alexandre Pantoja vs Manel Kape
- Cody Stamann vs Askar Askar
- Michael Johnson vs Clay Guida
- Mike Rodríguez vs Danilo Marques
- Timur Valiev vs Martin Day
- Devonte Smith vs Justin Jaynes
- Karol Rosa vs Joselyne Edwards
- Molly McCann vs Lara Procópio
- Seung Woo Choi vs Youssef Zalal
- Ode Osbourne vs Jerome Rivera
What are your predictions for UFC Vegas 18: Overeem vs Volkov?
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