The Runner Sports

UFC 211: Second Chances

It has been a long layoff fight freaks. Two weeks down and one to go before action resumes in the UFC. UFC 211 is probably their most exciting card of 2017. The UFC heavyweight champion (aka baddest man on the planet) Stipe Miocic looks to avenge one of his two careers loses to Junior Dos Santos. The last scrap between these two gentlemen was a five-round fight of the night barn burner. 212 significant strikes landed between two heavyweights is an unheard of number. Both men left the octagon that night battered and busted. The UFC had a great idea “Let’s run it back!” Couldn’t agree more with this fight and the potential excitement it brings.

If a heavyweight rematch title defense wasn’t enough they rewarded the UFC faithful’s patience with a stacked main card of action. Joanna Jedrzejczyk will defend her 115 lb strap against Brazilian bulldozer Jessica Andrade. Joanna is probably one of the most brutal fighters in the UFC man/woman period. Her fights are must watch television. New Jersey native Frankie Edgar will get a second chance at a title run if he can stop surging Mexican standout Yair Rodriguez. A classic grappler vs. boxer/wrestler matchup between Damian Maia and Jorge Masvidal will decide who is inline next for the welterweight title shot. Both fighters here have been fighting for ages and are in their second acts.

Bottom line, this card is stacked to the brim with exciting fights. Title implications, ranking implications, all of the drama and callouts that we will hear about once the dust settles. Nine fights round out the undercard which in total should make for about eight solid hours of UFC goodness.

There are several fights not to miss on the undercard beginning with featherweights Justin Knight and Chas Skelly. Both fighters have a combined record of 36 wins and only 4 losses. Both men are solid fighters looking to break into the stacked featherweight top fifteen. This should look like two pythons balled up trying to strangle each other. Both men are exquisite on the ground boasting submission finish percentages of better than 50%. It would almost seem wrong if this doesn’t end in a submission victory but both fighters are so good on the ground they could cancel each other out. Which means they will avoid the ground and try to finish each other on the feet. Either scenario makes for fireworks.

The next fight to keep an eye out for is a second coming of sorts for both fighters. Dustin Poirier looks to get back on track and into the lightweight top 5 with a win over number three ranked Eddie Alvarez. This is more like Dustin Poirier’s third or fourth run at title contention and won’t see many more opportunities left. Eddie Alvarez has been champion at almost every promotion he has fought under. After failing to defend his lightweight crown at MSG in New York, Eddie will look to prove his relevance in the division by taking out number nine ranked Poirier. Both men share something in common: they were finished in the first round by none other than Conor McGregor. Does that make them Eskimo brothers…?

The third fight brings this second chances theme full circle. David Branch will return to the UFC after winning the WSOF middleweight and light heavyweight titles. Branch will jump right back into the deep end against Polish fighter Krzysztof Jotko. Jotko is ranked number nine in the world and has been vocal about welcoming Branch back into the UFC. Jotko is on a five-fight win streak which is not easy in the UFC let alone the stacked middleweight division. Branch left the UFC after an unimpressive 2-2 stint. He demolished lesser competition in other organizations before signing new multi-fight deal with the UFC.

Branch is no spring chicken at 35 years of age. His second chance in the UFC will likely be his last chance to make a meaningful run at gold. Champion in WSOF is no small feat but to break into the middleweight top 10 of the UFC Branch’s welcome party is a Polish machine on a five-fight win streak. Come on back Mr. Branch we’ve missed you.

Saturday, May 13 in Dallas, Texas is a night of proverbial second chances. Do not miss out on the most anticipated fight card of 2017. Find a comfortable chair to settle into with your stretchy pants on fight freaks, you aren’t going to want to miss a second of the action.

Chris Grabowski

Chris Grabowski

Content Contributor at The Runner Sports
Former Division 1 athlete turned combat sports enthusiast. Combat sports can be described as human problem solving with dire physical consequences.
Chris Grabowski

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