It’s been nearly three weeks since the UFC’s last event, but the excitement returns this weekend in Buffalo, New York, as reigning light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier defends his title against fearsome knockout artist Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. DC and Rumble have locked horns before; an exciting back and forth brawl that ended with Cormier’s third-round rear-naked choke of Rumble, which earned Cormier the vacant title. The champion has been critical of Rumble and his marketing ahead of their rematch, as reported by an earlier Inquisitr article.
— Vicio MMA (@VicioMMA) March 9, 2017
The main event is excellent, but the fight card attached to UFC 210 is packed with exciting match-ups. Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman returns this weekend to face dangerous striker and longtime competitor Gegard Mousasi. Mousasi is coming off of a four-fight win streak, his last three victories coming by way of knockout.
Chris Weidman is riding a different record, having lost his last two fights. Weidman rose to stardom relatively quickly, stitching together an undefeated record in his first nine appearances in the Octagon. Weidman stole the middleweight spotlight after knocking out the legendary Anderson Silva, and later breaking Silva’s leg in the rematch. After defending his title twice in Las Vegas, Weidman suffered a TKO defeat at the hands of former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold. Weidman racked up his second KO loss when he was caught with a knee by Yoel Romero in the opening of the third round at UFC 205.
Having revisited the drawing board, Weidman is ready to return and “shut up the doubters” at UFC 210, per Bloody Elbow. Mousasi is a former champion across multiple organizations, including DREAM and Strikeforce. Weidman is known for his powerful freestyle wrestling, but also maintains a unique blend of boxing and Muay Thai that amplifies his brutal ground-and-pound style with knees and elbows.
Mousasi remains one of the most dangerous strikers in the division and has seemed to step into his UFC prime in his last few fights. Weidman will have to employ elusive head and foot movement, and keep himself out of range of Mousasi’s kicks and punches.
Also returning to the Octagon this weekend is Arizona young-gun Myles Jury. Jury was a promising prospect for at least a year, riding a combined 15 fight win streak throughout his time in the lightweight division. After being schooled by UFC veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Jury made the drop in weight to compete in the UFC’s featherweight division. Jury lost his debut match against Charles Oliveira via submission in the first round, stapling back-to-back losses to Jury’s unblemished record.
— Myles Jury (@FuryJury) September 4, 2016
Jury is a well-rounded fighter, holding a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as well as his own style of kickboxing. Jury’s victories come by way of KO, TKO, submission, and decision. He’s proven that he has the tools, heart, and ability to be a legitimate contender in either the lightweight or featherweight divisions in the UFC. Jury only needs to find his rhythm and start putting together the victories to restart the journey into title fight contention.
Also riding a two loss streak is barista-turned-UFC fighter Patrick Cummins, who made his light heavyweight debut against champion Daniel Cormier. Cummins squares off against Polish competitor Jan Blachowicz at UFC 210.
This weekend’s event is a day of reckoning, as UFC contenders spread throughout every division attempt to rectify their losing records and jump back on track toward the spotlight. If Weidman and Jury can make waves in their fights this Saturday, they’ll be one step closer to dismissing those who doubt their abilities within the UFC.
[Featured Images by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]