What up fight fans!!! BIG FIGHT upon us this upcoming weekend. Considering the “WTF moment” UFC Denver gave us last week it’s no surprise many of us are still recovering from what we saw and may be sleeping on this card. UFC FIGHT NIGHT 141: Beijing on quick glance may not be appealing to the eye, but it’s got some HEAT.
This card is being streamed on “UFC FIGHT PASS” and Fight Pass Prelims are scheduled to begin at 2:30 AM central, main card 5:30 AM central time. The co-main and main event could easily be decided in the blink of an eye! As for setting those alarms, I’d think twice before hitting the snooze button.
“THE TALE OF THE TAPE”
In the co-main we have Alistair Overeem (43-17-0-1) vs. Sergey Pavlovich (12-0). Most, if not all fight fans know Overeem. If it’s not for his legendary career in the UFC and other prior organizations, then for the newcomers it’s unfortunately for the vicious uppercut by Ngannou which did everything but pretty much flat lined him. After that moment we were all convinced that Ngannou was humanity’s only real shot at defeating Thanos. That’s how HUGE that K.O. was! Although, both of Overeems’ last two losses are suffered from the hands of the men who will be in the main event. We, as fight fans, can’t bypass his opponent simply due to lack of knowledge. Sergey Pavlovich has an undefeated record at 12-0 and has won 9 of his fights by TKO/KO, the other 3 were by decision. This is a man who doesn’t look to take it to the scorecards. He’s going into the octagon with bad intentions and looking for a finish. So, if Overeem’s last two opponents were any indication of a kryptonite, it’s an opponent who’s willing to meet him in the middle, bite down on that mouth piece and turn his lights out, and Pavlovich seems to fit that profile! This Saturday in Beijing could possibly be the beginning of the end for a legend in Overeem, and the start of something special for a potential contender in the Heavyweight division!
They say history repeats itself and lucky for us fight fans, that’s exactly what is going to happen when déjà vu strikes us all this Saturday. Curtis Blaydes (10-1-0) looks to avenge his ONLY loss in the main event against a familiar foe in Francis Ngannou (11-3-0), who just so happens to be the individual responsible for handing Blaydes the “1” in the loss column.
The first bout took place April 10, 2016 in Croatia. The fight was eventually stopped between the 2nd and 3rd round when Blaydes’ right eye was basically shut closed due to Ngannou’s far superior striking. Since that loss Curtis “Razor” Blaydes has gone 5-0-1 and his previous 3 wins have been very impressive against Alexey Oleynik (TKO), Mark Hunt (Decision) and Alistair Overeem (TKO). If you find yourself asking why Curtis Blaydes nickname is “Razor,” feel free to view his dismantling of Overeem in his most recent fight and there will lie your answers. Because come this Saturday when Ngannou is caught across the octagon, this time, it won’t be the Blaydes who he defeated on that day in Croatia in 2016. It’ll be the man who covered Alistair Overeem in his own blood with “Razor” sharp elbows.
As for Ngannou, at one point he was the UFC’s equivalence to the Russian, Ivan Drago, from the “Rocky” films. Heck, the promos cut in the lead up to his title shot were as if the UFC Performance Institute had created a genetic specimen who was set out to destroy anything and everything with one punch. However, just as they built him up, it was a tough loss to the then-champ, Stipe Miocic that really brought him down to Earth. Ngannou then followed that defeat by a disappointing performance in a unanimous decision loss to Derrick Lewis in a bout where both fighters clearly respected the punching power of each other but looked scared to throw a punch at one another.
Setback, after setback for Ngannou, he can only hope that all that’s left is to go forward. To take a quote that comes from the “Rocky” films and that could benefit Ngannou, it goes like this; “It’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward…. That’s how winning’s done.” We all know the power Ngannou has and how hard he can hit, but it’s adversity that has now hit him. How will he respond? While Blaydes is coming in full of confidence, Ngannou is stuck questioning himself and whether he still is the fighter most people thought he was prior to his fight with Miocic.
On November 24, 2018 Ngannou will hope that history will stay true to form and repeat itself by granting him a win against a man he has already beaten. As for Blaydes, he will look to rewrite the books and avenge his loss. While one man has stumbled to find himself after suffering defeat, the other has responded by moving forward! All that’s left to find out, is who will leave Beijing with their hand raised. See full fight card below:
UFC Fight Night 141 Main Card
Main: Curtis Blaydes v. Francis Ngannou
Co-main: Alistair Overeem v. Sergey Pavlovich
Li Jingliang v. David Zawada
Vincent Morales v. Song Yadong
Alex Morono v. Song Kenan
Lauren Mueller v. Wu Yanan
Rashad Coulter v. Hu Yaozong
Jessica Aguilar v. Weili Zhang
Martin Day v. Liu Pingyuan
Syuri Kondo v. Yan Xiaonan
Kevin Holland v. John Phillips
Louis Smolka v. Sumudaerji Sumudaerji