Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson 2
Photo Credit: MMAFighting/Esther Lin

OFFICIAL: Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson 2

The Official UFC Facebook just announced that Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson 2 will headline UFC 209! This will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 4th. A Fight Night event was originally scheduled for Vegas the day before, but unfortunately those plans fell through. Nevertheless, UFC 209 looks like it could be a stacked card, now that we have at least one title confirmed with Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson 2.

Here is what we have so far:

UFC 209

Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson 2

Woodley made the first defense of his welterweight belt at UFC 205. He took on the South Carolina native Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, but unfortunately the two fought to an open-ended, majority draw. Thompson won 3 of the 5 rounds, but lost one of those rounds 10-8. Nevertheless, Woodley retained his belt and will now rematch Thompson to hopefully bring some closure.

While Woodley was praised for his performance during the 5-rounder back in November, he received a lot of criticism after he sought out other fighters that weren’t Thompson. Woodley is searching for whatever fight will give him the biggest paycheck. Fortunately for Thompson, he’ll be forced to tie up some loose ends, and give “Wonderboy” another shot at the belt.

Let’s see who the best welterweight really is!

Alistair Overeem vs Mark Hunt

Bound to wind up on the main card is a collision between two of the most decorated strikers at heavyweight. Overeem and Hunt will put their kickboxing pedigrees on display as they battle for relevancy in what could be the tail end of both their careers. Overeem had a nice streak coming into his title shot against Stipe Miocic at UFC 203, but was knocked out in the first round. Hunt meanwhile was on a 2-fight win streak before getting smashed by Brock Lesnar at UFC 200. After Lesnar tested positive for banned substances, the bout was deemed a No Contest. Expect Overeem vs Hunt to end in a knockout any way you cut it.

Darren Elkins vs Mirsad Bektic

I’m not sure where this bout will end up, but it features two notable, ranked featherweights. Bektic is undefeated in the UFC with a 4-0 record. He’s currently one of the most highly touted prospects, but only fights once a year on average. He faces Elkins who carries a 10-4 UFC record. Elkins has been a mainstay of the featherweight division for some time, facing elite competition like Jeremy Stephens, Chad Mendes, and Charles Oliveira. He’s on a 3-fight win streak and looks to break into the top 10 with an impressive performance over Bektic. The winner of this fight could produce a serious darkhorse in the 145 lb division.

Lando Vannata vs David Teymur

After his stunning KO of the Year worthy performance at UFC 206, I knew it wouldn’t be long before we saw Lando “Groovy” Vannata back in the Octagon. He’s 1-1 in the UFC with his debut resulting in a short-notice bout against top ranked lightweight Tony Ferguson. Vannata was choked out in the second round, but showed some serious promise early in the fight. Then, he knocked John Makdessi out cold with a spinning wheel kick. Now he draws the Swede David Teymur, who is 2-0 in the UFC. He’s mostly known for his stint on The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Faber. The winner of this bout could be a serious prospect in the lightweight division.

Prelims

Along with Tron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson 2 and the other solid bouts listed above, we have a handful of prelim bouts that were announced. In a heavyweight bout, fan-friendly Todd Duffee will return to action against Mark Godbeer. Duffee was last seen getting brutally knocked out by Frank Mir back in 2015. He took some considerable time off, and will now look to rebound against Godbeer, who has yet to taste victory in the Octagon. At light heavyweight, undefeated prospects Paul Craig and Tyson Pedro will clash. Paul “Bearjew” Craig not only has an interesting nickname, but he’s also 9-0 with 8 submission wins. Craig won his UFC debut in December while Tyson Pedro won his in November.

Last but not least, Yuri Alcantara will return to action to take on Luke Sanders. We last saw the talented Brazilian take out Brad Pickett in the first round. He’s had some ups and downs throughout his career, but remains a talent to keep an eye on in the bantamweight division. However, so is Luke Sanders, who holds an 11-0 pro record. Sanders won his UFC debut by submitting Maximo Blanco earlier in 2016, but has not fought since. There’s a lot to gain here for both men.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson?

Everything detailed above is what is announced, but one can expect this fight to be made any time now. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson are both virtually tied for the #1 contender status in the lightweight division. Both are coming off impressive performances and have insane win streaks. They have been scheduled to fight each other several times now, but injuries have kept him apart. Despite both parties apparently wanting to fight each other, Ferguson stalled the talks by demanding to be paid the same amount as Nurmagomedov (which the UFC refused to do). However, Nurmagomedov’s father confirmed Ferguson on Facebook to be his son’s next opponent. While a date hasn’t been mentioned, Khabib posted this instagram:

I'm coming… #ufc209 #победатолькоотВсевышнего #Godgivesevrything

A video posted by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

Notice the #ufc209.

This would be a massive co-main event to what already looks to be a solid PPV event. Maybe this could make up for the lackluster UFC 208 that we’ll be getting in February!

What fights do you want to see make it onto UFC 209 other than Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson 2? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

About Casey Hodgin

Casey is a passionate MMA writer and journalism student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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