UFC 218 is slated to go down on Saturday in Detroit. The main event features UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway, who was supposed to face former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, but instead will fight Jose Aldo. Aldo is hungry for some revenge after losing the belt to Holloway at UFC 212.
Holloway (18-3) defeated Aldo (26-3) in June, winning by TKO in the third round. Both have been out of action since then. Aldo didn’t throw his patented leg kicks in the first fight that much and Holloway never looked like he was afraid of Aldo’s power. Holloway will be out to prove that his win over Aldo wasn’t a fluke while Aldo wants to show he is still one of the greats in the UFC and get his 145-pound belt back. Holloway is a -300 favorite for this affair.
At heavyweight, Alistair Overeem (43-15, 1 NC) will take on Francis Ngannou (10-1), who is trying to move into the conversation for a title shot. He knocked out former champion Andrei Arlovski back in January and he would move closer to a shot with a win against Overeem, who scored a majority decision over former champion Fabricio Werdum in July. Ngannou is a boxer who also has submission skills while Overeem is still a very dangerous kickboxer, and arguably the most powerful heavyweight in the division. Ngannou enters as a -210 favorite in this spot while Overeem is at +170.
Henry Cejudo (11-2) will face Sergio Pettis (16-2) in a match that could decide the next opponent for flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. Cejudo has already lost to Johnson but he is working himself back into the mix after a KO win over Wilson Reis. Pettis has won four in a row and is getting better each time he steps into the Octagon in all facets. Cejudo is -225 in this spot while Pettis is at +175.
Former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (28-5, 1 NC) will meet Justin Gaethje (18-0), who rolled through the lightweight division in the World Series of Fighting. He showed he’s no joke with a TKO win over Michael Johnson in his UFC debut in July. Alvarez fought to a no contest with Dustin Poirier in his last bout after he used illegal knees. That was his first fight since he lost the belt to Conor McGregor. Alvarez needs a big win to stay in the conversation for a McGregor rematch (if McGregor ever fights in the UFC again), but Gaethje looks like he could end this fight in a hurry, and that could vault him up the rankings. Gaethje is posted at -170 while Alvarez is at +140.
The main card will open up with the women’s strawweight division where Tecia Torres (9-1) will take on Michelle Waterson (14-5). Both of these fighters are well-versed in karate. Waterson is also an excellent submission artist, which is something that Torres will have to watch out for. Torres likes to push the pace but Waterson is a very smart fighter who can turn that around on her, so Torres will have to be careful that she doesn’t get caught. This could be the most entertaining fight on the main card. Torres is listed as the -170 favorite while Waterson comes in at +140.