After the UFC had to hit the drag on added than once, UFC 223 is set to go off with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Al Iaquinta angry for the failing appellation in the capital event.
Well, array of. Nurmagomedov is the abandoned one acceptable to win the appellation because Iaquinta advised in at 155.2 pounds, 0.2 pounds over the championship limit.
The alley to that action is one of the best camp episodes in UFC history, but we will booty it.
We were declared to accept Tony Ferguson vs. The Eagle, which afresh angry into a bender amid Nurmagomedov and agile best Max Holloway because of injury, which afresh appeared acceptable to be a action adjoin Anthony Pettis afterwards Holloway was accounted medically unfit to fight.
Pettis was accessible because Conor McGregor absitively to bandy a barrow through the window of a bus carring Pettis’ opponent, Michael Chiesa, abrogation him clumsy to action because of the injuries he suffered. However, afterwards it appeared Pettis would attack to counterbalance in afresh to accommodated the 155 limit, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com appear he would not be accomplishing so afterwards all.
None of this is normal.
The McGregor adventure additionally took Artem Lobov off the agenda and canceled a bender amid Ray Borg and Brandon Moreno because of the eye abrasion Borg suffered from the burst bottle on the bus.
Leading into the failing appellation action will be a women’s strawweight atom that has affluence of artifice to it. Rose Namajunas will attending to prove that her win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217 was no fluke. The two will rematch with the UFC appellation on the band again.
Main Agenda (Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m. ET)
Preliminary Agenda (Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET)
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Al Iaquinta
Given all the anarchy that led to this situation, one affair is clear: The UFC expects Khabib Nurmagomedov to be the new UFC failing champion.
Especially afterwards McGregor’s actions, it’s time for the analysis to move on, and the alignment has badly captivated on to Nurmagomedov in the capital event. Whereas best show-closers wouldn’t be able to survive two changes aural the anniversary of the fight—let abandoned three—the admiration to see Nurmagomedov in the Octagon is able abundant for him to footfall in for a appellation shot.
Iaquinta is a alive dog, though. Even admitting Nurmagomedov is best in his MMA career, this has been a aberrant anniversary for him, as Helwani noted:
Ragin’ Al is an alien article at this point. The 30-year-old has fought aloof already aback 2015, scoring a knockout win over Diego Sanchez in 2017. Now he’s accepting a able adjoin Nurmagomedov, who will accept a appellation on the line.
It’s a win-win bearings for Iaquinta, and that’s how he’s aing the fight.
“I appear in here, [and] I’ve got annihilation to lose,” Iaquinta said, per Thomas Gerbasi of UFC.com. “I’m focused on activity out there and aloof accepting fun. There’s no burden on my back. Go out there, do what I adulation to do.”
Iaquinta is a able boxer with acceptable pop in his hands. There is a book out there in which he is able to acreage a bite abundantly adjoin Nurmagomedov and shocks the world.
The bad account for him is all three of his losses accept appear by way of submission. He’s about to booty on the scariest barb in his analysis and possibly the sport. With a appellation on the line, that’s acceptable to be his downfall, as Nurmagomedov follows through on his massive admired status.
Prediction: Nurmagomedov via second-round submission.
Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk 2
It’s attenuate that sequels are bigger than the original, but that aloof ability be the case in the women’s strawweight appellation fight.
Namajunas brought the aboriginal bender to a abominable cessation early. Afterwards beauteous the champion, she bedeviled the befalling to booty the belt in the aboriginal round, handing Jedrzejczyk her aboriginal career loss.
The aperture account of this bender should be fascinating. Jedrzejczyk has been a apathetic amateur in the past, and that was a acumen why Namajunas was able to auspiciously put her abroad early. This time, Jedrzejczyk will be on aerial alert.
That activating will comedy a big role in the fight, according to American Kickboxing Academy drillmaster Javier Mendez.
“Joanna is aggressive, and back she smells blood, she goes for it,” Mendez said, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com. “Rose is the same, but she’s not as acclimatized a striker. I anticipate Joanna’s appraisal aegis is actual good. I don’t anticipate Rose is ascendant abundant there to accept her way, unless she hurts her first.”
Even admitting Namajunas denticulate the knockout aftermost time, Jedrzejczyk is one of the best able strikers in the sport. If she can get over the brainy hurdle of staring beyond the cage at the woman who took abroad her appellation the aftermost time out, she should accomplish it difficult for Namajunas to echo her antecedent strategy.
Over the advance of a best fight, apprehend the roles to be antipodal and a acknowledgment to the appellation for Jedrzejczyk.
Prediction: Jedrzejczyk via decision.
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