Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the hurt business tonight (Sat., Nov. 18, 2017) for UFC Fight Night 121, which is set to go down inside inside Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia. The FOX Sports 1-televised event will feature a Heavyweight bout between Fabricio Werdum and Marcin Tybura. In the co-main event, Jessica-Rose Clark will take on Bec Rawlings.
I’ll be honest, there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about when it comes to this event. nevertheless, the headlining act could either see a grizzled veteran in Fabricio Werdum climb his way back to the top of the title picture, or Marcin Tybura make a name for himself by taking out a former champion. It’s a fight that was in very small danger of not happening, as “Vai Cavalo” found himself in some legal trouble after he decked Colby Covington with a boomerang — yes, you read that right — on the mean streets of Sydney.
Original Card vs. Actual Card:
This card underwent some massive changes from its onset, which took away from the quality of the event. For starters, Mark Hunt was supposed to headline against Tybura, but UFC opted to pull him from the event for health concerns. While that’s admirable, all it did was cause yet another shit storm between Hunt and his employers.
In steps Werdum.
Furthermore, Jesse Taylor was hoping to complete his comeback after winning the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) “Redemption.” But after he was busted by USADA, Taylor was pulled from the event, further clouding his MMA future in what was already a troubled career, as he was handed a one-year suspension. As a result, Tim Means stepped in to face Belal Muhammad.
Jeremy Kennedy was forced out of the event with a back injury and was ultimately replaced by Shane Young to take on Alex Volkanovski, Meanwhile, Joanne Calderwood suffered a late injury which forced her out of her co-main event bout against Bec Rawlings.
Joanne Calderwood was set to face Bec Rawlings, but an injury forced her out of the event making way for Jessy-Rose Clark to get the call up to make her Octagon debut on her home turf of all places. Also, Shane Young stepped in on short notice to take on Alex Volkanovski in what will be his UFC debut while putting his five-fight win streak on the line. Adam Wieczorek will put his seven straight wins on the line when he steps into the eight-tidied cage for the first time to face Anthony Hamilton.
Also, Nadia Kasem and Tai Tuivasa will put their undefeated marks on the line when they face Alex Chambers and Rashad Coulter, respectively, in their UFC debuts.
How The “Prelims” Look:
With a bunch of newcomers making their debut on this card, the prelims aren’t exactly stacked with name players. Still, as we’ve seen in the past, it’s those types of fights that usually proved the most fireworks. Will Brooks will look to right his ship after suffering two straight losses when he takes on Nik Lentz. It’s a fight that has “Fight of the Night” written all over it.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Since stepping foot inside the Octagon back in 2016 and leaving his Bellator MMA Lightweight strap behind, Brooks has failed to live up to any expectations people had for him. He won his debut by edging out Ross Pearson, but he has since dropped two straight to Alex Oliveira and Charles Oliveira. Should he drop three straight, “Ill” will find himself at a crossroads in his MMA career. A win, however, will give hum a much-needed breath of life for his UFC career. It won’t be easy, as Lentz has proven to be a tough nut to crack.
Interest Level: 4/10
It’s just not a very good card. Granted, it started off solid, but injuries, health concerns and failed drug tests caused a major shift in the lineup, leaving a lot to be desired. Still, it will be interesting to see of Tybura can keep it rolling against one of the more seasoned veterans in all of MMA. For Werdum, it’s a chance to prove he deserves to cut the line for a shot at reclaiming his belt. As for the rest of the main card, the matchups aren’t really pivotal to title shot scenarios, so to speak, and the lack of top name value certainly dilutes the event.
Full UFC Fight Night 121 Fight Card:
UFC Fight Night 121 Main Event:
265 lbs.: Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
FOX Sports 1 Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Bec Rawlings
170 lbs.: Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
170 lbs.: Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic
185 lbs.: Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
145 lbs.: Alex Volkanovski vs. Shane Young
FOX Sports 1 Prelims (8 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
155 lbs.: Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
265 lbs.: Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
155 lbs.: Damien Brown vs. Frank Camacho
UFC Fight Pass Prelims (6:30 p.m. ET):
115 lbs.: Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
125 lbs.: Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
265 lbs.: Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
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