UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi Preview

UFC-Fight-Night-124-Poster

 

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi will air on January 14, 2018, in St. Louis Missouri.

#9 JEREMY “LIL HEATHEN” STEPHENS (26-14-0) vs #13 DOOHO “THE KOREAN SUPERBOY” CHOI (14-2-0)
This is a five-round main event in the featherweight division. Stephens brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and grappling control. Choi brings boxing, kickboxing and taekwondo giving him intense knockout power. Yes, both of these contenders have always been fun to watch, but all in all, Choi looks to take this fight. His striking power is just far greater than Stephens’ and after years of brutal beatings, Stephens can no longer take the same amount of punishment as before. Choi still has plenty of power and resistance in him. Unless Stephens can somehow turn this into a ground game and remain in top control this will be another stepping stone for Choi to face more top contenders down the road. My prediction: Choi wins via knockout in Round 3.

#11 URIAH “PRIME TIME” HALL (14-8-0) vs #12 VITOR “THE PHENOM” BELFORT (26-13-0, 1 NC)
This is a three-round co-main event in the middleweight division. Hall brings striking, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power with some grappling control. Belfort brings boxing, karate, judo, and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and speed leading him to become a former light heavyweight champion. Here is a fight that will surely be a standup fight and from both past, a current performance Hall’s kickboxing and striking look to be more than Belfort can handle nowadays. Yes, Belfort has striking and speed of his own, but from the man, he use to be and who he is now he no longer shows the ability to withstand the punishment he used to where Hall is beginning to improve his game. Not to mention that PEDs no longer are able to aid Belfort so that gives more reason to why his time in the sport is pretty much over. My prediction: Hall wins via knockout in Round 2.

PAIGE “12 GAUGE” VANZANT (7-3-0) vs #10 JESSICA-ROSE CLARK (8-4-0, 1 NC)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s flyweight division. VanZant brings boxing and jiu-jitsu giving her knockout power and grappling control. Clark brings boxing, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu giving her knockout power and grappling control. Here are two female athletes looking to make it big in the newly formed women’s flyweight division. Based on experience Clark seems to have better striking agility with her boxing and kickboxing combination where VanZant possesses just boxing. VanZant does have jiu-jitsu to use and place Clark in serious trouble. But at the same time, Clark has jiu-jitsu of her own and would be able to counter many of the grappling holds she would try to use on her. My prediction:¬†Clark wins via submission in Round 3.

#10 KAMARU “NIGERIAN NIGHTMARE” USMAN (11-1-0) vs EMIL “VALHALLA” WEBER MEEK (9-2-1, 1 NC)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Usman brings striking, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving him knockout power and grappling control. Meek brings striking, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and some grappling control. Here is a fight fans have been asking to see from both of their striking and grappling techniques that have helped them already gain spotlight inside the octagon. It’s a tough call, but Usman’s striking and jiu-jitsu mixed with wrestling seem far greater than Meek’s striking and jiu-jitsu. Though Meek has a great kickboxing background and if he were to land a few heavy kicks to Usman’s legs and torso it could quickly turn the tide of the fight in one round. But Usman’s takedown game is something he will have to overcome with every kick he throws or he will find himself on his back fighting to stay alive. My prediction: Usman wins via split decision.