Saturday, May 13, 2017
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
UFC 211 – The Fights That You Won’t Want To Miss
UFC 211 gets underway on May 13, 2017, live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
The UFC 211 main event features heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic defending his crown in an intriguing rematch against challenger Junior Dos Santos while the co-main event features champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk defending her strawweight title against challenger Jessica Andrade.
The event will be the fourth that the UFC has hosted in Dallas, following UFC 185 in March 2015, UFC 171 in March 2014, and UFC 103 in September 2009.
Ultimate Fighting Championship 211
When: May 13, 2017
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Heavyweight Title Bout
Stipe Miocic (16-2) vs. Junior dos Santos (18-4)
Analysis: The 34-year-old Miocic has won four straight fights and enters this matchup coming off thrilling first round KO (punches) win over former champ Alistair Overeem at UFC 203 in September. Miocic has won each of his last four fights by way of knockout with each of the last three coming in the first round.
33-year-old Junior Dos Santos has alternated wins and losses over his last six fights and comes into this bout off a unanimous decision win over Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night, but he hasn’t been in the octagon since that bout nearly a year ago in April of 2016. Still, Dos Santos did manage to beat Stipe Miocic via unanimous decision in a Fight of the Night affair at their UFC on FOX matchup in December of 2014.
For their rematch, I’m going to advise you to back Stipe Miocic simply because I believe he’s the better fighter today – and his recent results have shown just that as he’s knocked out four straight opponents including a pair of former champs in his last two fights.
While Junior Dos Santos is the better striker in this matchup, I’m fully expecting Stipe Miocic to get the fight on the ground at some point where he will use his superior wrestling skills to extract some revenge against one of only two fighters to ever beat him.
Women's Strawweight Title Bout
Joanna Jędrzejczyk (13-0) vs. Jéssica Andrade (16-5)
Analysis: The undefeated Joanna Jędrzejczyk makes her fifth title defense of the straweight title she won in 2015. The 29-year-old from Poland has recorded three straight unanimous decision wins and comes into this bout off a victory of Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 205 in November.
25-year-old challenger Jéssica Andrade has won three straight fights after moving to the straweight division from bantamweight and has won two straight by recording Fight of the Night wins including her unanimous decision win over Angela Hill at UFC Fight Night in February.
For this bout, I’m going to encourage you to back challenger Jéssica Andrade to hand Joanna Jędrzejczyk her first career defeat for one huge reason and that would be she’s the more versatile fighter and much better than the champion on the ground.
While Jędrzejczyk is known for her striking ability, it is Jéssica Andrade that has the better strike per minute average (6.8 to 6.4) and the far better takedown average at 2.6 to 0.2.
Frankie Edgar (20-5-1) vs. Yair Rodriguez (11-1)
Analysis: 35-year-old veteran Frankie Edgar has the big edge in experience and has won six of his last seven fights including his unanimous decision win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 205 in November.
24-year-old Yair Rodriguez has won eight straight fights, including three consecutive Fight of the Night wins including his second round TKO (front kick and punches) win over veteran B.J. Penn at UFC Fight Night in January.
To get right to the point, I’m going to urge you to back the younger, hungrier and more energetic Yair Rodriguez to take out ‘old guy’ Frankie Edgar in this bout because he’s the bigger, stronger fighter and has the edge in strikes per minute and striking accuracy.
Frankie Edgar is the more technically sound fighter in this matchup and has only lost one fight that wasn’t a title bout, but after seeing Rodriguez get past another veteran fighter in B.J. Penn the last time out, I think he’ll avoid the upset against a guy that is clearly on the down side of his career at this point.
Demian Maia (24-6) vs. Jorge Masvidal (32-11)
Analysis: No. 3-ranked Demian Maia puts his six-fight winning streak on the line against surging sixth-ranked veteran Jorge Masvidal in an intriguing affair.
The 39-year-old Maia comes into this bout off a first round submission (rear naked choke) win over Carlos Condit at UFC on FOX in August. 32-year-old Jorge Masvidal has won three straight fights coming into this matchup and two in a row via TKO including his second round technical knockout (punches) win over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC on FOX in January.
The more experienced and versatile Demian Maia has the edge. Sure, he’s much older than Masvidal and isn’t quite the striker that his opponent in this fight is, but he’s also the far better fighter on the ground, which is where this fight will eventually end up. Prior to his last three fights, Jorge Masvidal lost two straight fights and three of four while suffering split decision losses in each defeat.
Eddie Alvarez (28-5) vs. Dustin Poirier (21-5)
Analysis: 33-year-old Eddie Alvarez will look to rebound from his second round TKO (punches) loss to Connor McGregor at UFC 205 in November when he takes on 28-year-old Dustin Poirier, the winner of five of his last six fights including his majority decision win over Jim Miller at UFC 208 in February.
While Dustin Poirier is the better stand-up fighter in this bout, Eddie Alvarez is the far better grappler and is my pick to win this bout by getting it to the ground.
Stipe Miocic vs Junior dos Santos 2
Stipe Miocic (17-2) defeated Junior Dos Santos (18-5) via TKO - R1, 2:22
It’s time Stipe Miocic started getting a bit more hype.
The UFC heavyweight champion matched the record for the most successful title defences in MMA’s premier division with a violent first round finish of Junior Dos Santos.
The Cleveland native is one of the UFC’s more unassuming champions but you can’t deny his effectiveness.
The brutal TKO - set up by a big right hand behind the ear - was his fifth consecutive finish and his second defence of a belt that has proven almost impossible to keep hold of for more than a fight or two.
“I am the best in the world,” Miocic said.
Dos Santos was the last man to defeat Miocic, winning by decision in a barnburner back in 2014.
Since then Miocic has knocked out everyone in his path, from Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski to Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem.
Dos Santos had been less active, fighting just twice since defeating Miocic. But his last outing, a unanimous decision win against Ben Rothwell, saw him rushed back into the title picture.
Miocic quickly rushed him back out.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Jessica Andrade
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0) defeated Jessica Andrade (16-6) via unanimous decision (50-45 x 2, 50-44)
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the best female fighter on the planet. End of story.
The women’s strawweight champion completed the fifth defence of her belt — making her one of the UFC’s longest-reigning champions — in a vintage display against Jessica Andrade.
Andrade proved she’s as tough as they come in a valiant, come-forward-at-all-costs performance, but there was a serious class difference in this one.
Andrade had won three fights since dropping down to strawweight and began positively by bull-rushing the champ and landing a left hook which created swelling on Jedrzejczyk’s forehead.
But Jedrzejczyk picked her opponent apart when they exchanged strikes and despite being taken down several times always looked comfortable.
Demian Maia vs Jorge Masvidal
Demian Maia (25-6) defeated Jorge Masvidal (32-12) via split decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29)
UFC boss Dana White promised Demian Maia a shot at Tyron Woodley’s welterweight title after his seventh consecutive win. But it didn’t come easy in an entertaining clash of styles with durable American Jorge Masvidal. The fight began like so many Maia masterpieces — the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu genius managed to worm his way onto Masvidal’s back and began attempting to secure a choke. “This is like watching a snake trying to swallow its prey,” commentator Joe Rogan said.
Frankie Edgar vs Yair Rodriguez
Frankie Edgar (20-5-1) defeated Yair Rodriguez (11-1) via TKO — R2, 5:00
Not yet, young blood. Not yet.
Yair Rodriguez has talked about becoming the UFC’s version of superstar Mexican boxer “Canelo” Alvarez, but UFC veteran Frankie Edgar put the brakes on those plans with a dominant TKO win.
Rodriguez rode a six-fight win streak into the bout including a win against BJ Penn. But Edgar, who now has back to back wins after losing an interim title fight against Jose Aldo, proved he’s still one of the best 145-pounders in the game.
“There’s levels to this game,” Edgar said. “I said before the fight Yair is going to be a superstar — just not yet.”
David Branch vs Krzysztof Jotko
David Branch (21-3) defeated Krzysztof Jotko (19-2) via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
David Branch made his UFC return a successful one by outpointing streaking Polish striker Krzysztof Jotko in the pay-per-view opener.
The New Yorker took Jotko down a minute into the first round but his opponent was able to escape and return to his feet with out suffering too much damage.
The fight followed a similar path in the second — Jotko was the sharper fighter on the feet and was able to recover quickly whenever he was taken down.
But Branch kept grinding away in his first fight in the UFC since 2011 and did just enough to end Jotko’s five fight winning streak.
“It’s so close and the action is so slow, you actually don’t know who is winning,” light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier said in commentary.
*Fights labeled as "may not be broadcast" are scheduled to take place before the live broadcast begins. These pre-recorded fights are inserted into the broadcast if time permits. However, due to broadcast time constraints some of these undercard bouts may not be seen on a broadcast. These additional bout can be found as bonus footage on the event DVD.