MMA

5 Unmissable Main-Event Worthy Fights That Show How Stacked UFC 205 Is

5 Unmissable Main-Event Worthy Fights That Show How Stacked UFC 205 Is

What a time to be alive - UFC 205 is filled with talented and exciting fighters from the first bout until the main event. It contends with other landmark MMA events held in North America - UFC 100 and Pride 33 namely. It's what UFC 200 should have been.

The majority of fighters have made it to fight week relatively unscathed - a rarity in the sport - and as we approach the historic card in New York, we can only pray that the MMA gods do not forsake us.

While the three title fights obviously receive precedence, there are plenty more to pique interest throughout the night further down the UFC 205 running order, and we've picked 5 fights that could be the main event of another card.

It's a cracking card despite the fact that the much anticipated Donald Cerrone vs Kelvin Gastelum fight being cancelled due to the latter coming in a staggering six pounds overweight.

Chris Weidman (13-1) vs Yoel Romero (11-1) - Middleweight

It seems fitting that Chris Weidman features on the main card in Madison Square Garden as he was one of the most vocal supporters for legalising mixed martial arts to New York. And no venue is more suitable for Weidman as he attempts to recover from the defeat to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194.

There's never a dull moment when Romero is involved - be it mishaps on the mic or 'stoolgate' - the Cuban has made quite the name for himself with his ferocious punching power. Romero, who has won nine fights by knockout will certainly test Weidman's chin at UFC 205.

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Frankie Edgar (20-5-1) vs Jeremy Stephens (25-12) - Featherweight

Despite Conor McGregor begging the question as to who Jeremy Stephens is, the Alliance MMA featherweight has won two of his past three fights against top ranked opponents. Yet, veteran Frankie Edgar, will pose the toughest test to date for Stephens.

Having made his UFC debut in 2007, Edgar is one of the more experienced fighters on the roster. In that time he has gone from fearless newcomer to fan favourite - and for good reason - winning seven 'fight of the night' awards in the process - only Nate Diaz has claimed more (8).

At 35 years of age, the former lightweight champion is entering the twilight years of his career but Edgar has made a habit of excelling in the face of adversity.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov (23-0) vs Michael Johnson (17-10) - Lightweight

On any other card, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Michael Johnson would feature as one of the main fights. Such is the quality on display at UFC 205 that the two Lightweight contenders will compete on the prelims.

Unbeaten but not unbroken, Khabib's recurring injuries have stalled his bid for UFC gold. With only two fights since 2014, inactivity has cursed 'the Eagle'. Yet a convincing victory over Michael Johnson would definitely make the company consider him for the next title shot - be it against Alvarez or McGregor.

Johnson's record may not be the most impressive on paper but after defeating Dustin Poirier (via knockout) recently, he'll be hoping to be the first opponent to ever defeat Nurmagomedov.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OWnyEUKaSY

Jim Miller (27-8-1) vs Thiago Alves (21-10) - Catchweight

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Don't blink for this one. With a combined seven 'fight of the night' awards, Jim Miller vs Thiago Alves has all the makings of a classic.

Hailing from the tri-state area, Miller will have the crowd behind him on the night as he attempts to win a third successive bout.

Dana White has never shied away from hid admiration for Miller's gung-ho fighting style;

"Jim Miller is always exciting. You never watch a Jim Miller fight and go, 'Oh, what happened? That guy just didn't show up tonight.' He's one of those guys who just goes. He'll stand with you if you want to stand, but he's also great on the ground and has had some great ground wars."

For Alves, gone are the days when he was genuine title contender - going the distance with GSP in 2009 - but the Brazilian is always liable to knockout an opponent.

At the weigh-ins, Alves stepped to the scale at a staggering 6.6lbs overweight. His incompetence really highlights the importance of nutritionist, Mike Dolce, who has worked with the Brazilian in the past.

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Miesha Tate (18-6) vs Raquel Pennington (8-5) - Bantamweight

Will the student become the master at UFC 205?

Raquel Pennington was coached by none other than Miesha Tate on season 14 on The Ultimate Fighter. It's a rather unusual predicament for both fighters to be in but the former champions admits there is still mystery surrounding Pennington;

"I believe Raquel is the kind of fighter that’s constantly evolving. There’s still a bit of mystery. You still don’t know what it’s like to fight someone at 100 percent until you do so. Even though we have trained here and there and I have coached her and stuff, I can’t say that I completely know what to expect when I step in the cage"

There's every chance this fight will go the distance but it's a fascinating encounter to open the main card proceedings nevertheless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MREXd_odI8

So there you have it, five UFC 205 fights to watch this weekend.  The card will be broadcast live on the BT Sports pack in Ireland and the United Kingdom from 1am GMT. 

Darren Holland

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