The next major mixed martial arts event comes to us this Saturday as UFC 211 will take place in Dallas. The card will be highlighted by a pair of champions who are familiar with each other after having met in the past. Former champion Junior dos Santos (who wasn’t the champion at the time) edged Stipe Miocic in December 2014, but now Miocic is the champion and he would like to avenge one of his two professional losses. Let’s take a closer look at the main card.
Miocic (16-2) has won four in a row since losing to dos Santos (3-3), who has split his last six fights. Miocic has won all four by TKO/KO and dos Santos’ chin isn’t nearly what it used to be. Both men use boxing as their foundation, so expect a striking exhibition. Miocic nearly won the first fight and is a -140 favorite for this bout. Dos Santos comes in at +110.
Another belt will be on the line in Dallas on Saturday night as women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (13-0) takes on Jessice Andrade (16-5). Jedrzejczyk has dominated the strawweight division since becoming the champion, using a lethal Muay Thai style that has left her opponents frustrated and battered. Andrade has won three straight and she is versatile with the ability to do damage on the mat and standing up. However, Jedrzejczyk is a better striker and furthermore she is incredibly tough to take down. That’s why we see the champ as a -165 favorite. Andrade is posted at +135.
In the welterweight division, Demian Maia (24-6) will take on Jorge Masvidal (32-11). This is an interesting clash of styles. Masvidal is a strong striker with knockout power – as he showed in a second-round knockout of Donald Cerrone in January. Maia, pound for pound, might be the best grappler/jiu-jitsu artist in the UFC. Maia has improved his striking but he’ll look to take this to the mat while Masvidal would do well to avoid that. Masvidal is a small favorite at -130 while Maia is listed at EVEN money.
Featherweights Frankie Edgar (21-5-1) and Yair Rodriguez (10-1) will meet on Saturday in a bout where Edgar finds himself as a -150 favorite. Rodriguez is coming off a destruction of B.J. Penn that wasn’t really fair. He’ll get a tougher test in Edgar, the former lightweight champion, whose only two losses in the division have come against current interim champion Jose Aldo. Rodriguez is a very good striker but he’ll have to be on guard for Edgar’s takedowns. Edgar has never been stopped in a fight, so he is going to keep coming at Rodriguez in what figures to be an entertaining bout.
Lastly, the main card kicks off with the flyweights as Henry Cejudo (10-2) faces Sergio Pettis (15-2). Sergio, like his brother Anthony, is a versatile fighter with flashy striking and solid mat work. Cejudo is a former Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, and he also has some knockout power. This is an important fight in the flyweight pecking order. Cejudo has lost his last two outings but those fights were against top-notch opponents (Joseph Benavidez and champ Demetrious Johnson). This is a chance for him to get back on track and work his way towards a rematch with Mighty Mouse. A third loss in a row will see him tumble down the divisional rankings. For Pettis, this win could potentially make him the No. 1 contender – or among the shortlist of frontrunners – and set up a bout against Demetrious Johnson. Cejudo is a huge -450 favorite while Pettis comes in at +325.