Last night's UFC Orlando card was incredible and culminated in a fight that some are calling a fight of the year candidate. This week, to follow up that card is UFC 282, the final pay-per-view of the year. This event has some of the biggest names in the sport including Paddy "The Baddy" Pimblett, Darren Till, and Robbie Lawler, as well as many new and exciting characters. Expect many finishes and highlights in front of a sold out Las Vegas crowd, and as always, there is money to be made on your sportsbook.
For our full slate of main card picks and prelim locks, you can watch us on Youtube:
The 28 Club
On this week's main card there are three young stars, two of which are 28 and a third will be, in a few weeks. Dricus Du Plessis, Bryce Mitchell, and Paddy Pimblett, respectively. All three are on the cusp of becoming household names.
Opening the main card is Bryce "Thug Nasty" Mitchell. Bryce is a southern boy who loves God, guns, and jiu jitsu. He is on his way to becoming our American incarnation of Khabib as he likes to smother and maul opponents on their backs. There aren't many left-leaning MMA fans out there, but those that are do not like Bryce Mitchell because he's outspoken about loving his country and his constitutional rights, and he becomes more prominent with every fight. As of today Bryce and his opponent Ilia Topuria are undefeated, but someone will have to lose the zero in their L column.
Hailing from South Africa, Dricus Du Plessis has immense power and an absurdly aggressive fight style in which he literally chases opponents down and lands villainous punches. Then DDP muay thai clinches with them and lands nasty knees up the middle. He's an athlete in every sense of the word, and in his previous promotion fought a lot of opponents on roids while staying clean and winning. He faces off against UFC veteran Darren "The Gorilla" Till in what should be a bloodbath.
Who doesn't know or love Paddy the Baddy by now? Whether it be for his exciting fights or his funny videos outside of the cage. His level of competition rises once again this week as he faces Jared "Flash" Gordon, a solid standup fighter. This is an interesting matchup because Paddy is certainly better than Gordon on the ground, but potentially not as good on his feet. This fight is the co-main event and one that a lot of fans are looking forward to most.
No Jiri, No Glover, No Problem
Saturday's main event was supposed to be a light heavyweight title rematch between Jiri Prochazka and Glover Texiera. A few weeks ago, Jiri hurt his shoulder, and with a long recovery ahead decided to vacate the title. The bosses at the UFC decided that the original co-main event, a fight between Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowizc would be the main event for the LHW belt. Glover protested and wished to fight Jan in a rematch of a fight that Glover won for the belt last year. That fight would've done numbers, and Jan and Jiri are similar enough for Glover to adapt quickly, but Glover was told his options were to fight Magomed Ankalaev or no one at all. Rather than risk losing to Magomed in a very stylistically different matchup from the one he trained for in Jiri Prochazka, Glover also bowed out.
Glover Texiera vs Jiri Prochazka was one of the most exciting fights of this year. The rematch would've been great because of what both men bring to the table and their experience with one another. many fans believe elevating Magomed and Jan to fight for the vacant belt, rather than allowing Glover and Jan to fight because they were the last two linear belt holders, as a massive mistake. Time will tell though, and we'll see the end result Saturday.