The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV this Saturday night (March 4, 2017) with UFC 209: Woodley vs. Thompson II. The action-packed fight card is stacked with 12 scheduled bouts that are set to kick off with preliminary action on UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET. Preliminary action will then continue on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m., with the main card getting underway at 10 p.m. on Pay-Per-View. If interested in wagering on any bouts for this fight card, all betting lines will be made available to you at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Kicking things off for the UFC 209 main card will be a heavyweight showdown between PRIDE veterans Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt. This is a rematch of a 2008 contest that saw Overeem defeat Hunt via first-round submission. Each big man is coming off a loss, so this is an important fight for both heavyweights. Overeem suffered a September 2016 first-round knockout loss to UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in a failed bid for the title while Hunt was on the wrong end of a July 2016 unanimous-decision loss to Brock Lesnar. Overeem wants to avoid dropping two straight in order to jump right back into the title picture, with Hunt looking to do the same because another loss would likely earn him a pink slip from the promotion, which he is currently at odds with. He has been asking to be released, and with another defeat on Saturday night, he could get his wish. Next up is a barn-burner in the UFC’s lightweight division, as Jackson-Wink MMA product Lando Vannata takes on Sweden’s David Teymur. “Groovy” Vannata looks to make it two in a row for himself inside the Octagon, coming off his December 2016 ‘Knockout of the Year’ victory against John Makdessi. Meanwhile, Teymur hopes to go to 3-0, following back-to-back second-round T/KO wins over Martin Svensson and Jason Novelli. This is certainly a step up in competition for Teymur, but he appears to feel ready for the challenge ahead. Another intriguing bout takes place in the UFC’s middleweight division and sees former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans make his long awaited 185-pound debut against Australia’s Dan Kelly. This is a fight that left many scratching their heads when it was first announced, but now more fans are looking forward to it than not. Evans has not seen action since an April 2016 second-round knockout loss to Glover Teixeira, and he will be looking to snap a two-fight skid heading into this fight versus Kelly. “Judo Dan” is coming off a November 2016 unanimous-decision victory over Chris Camozzi and rides an impressive three-fight winning streak into this contest. He will be looking to give “Suga” a cold welcome to the division and extend that streak to four. The co-main event of the evening is for the UFC’s interim lightweight title, and it is a matchup three years in the making. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson finally get to square off and settle their beef, proving once and for all who the true No. 1 contender is at 155 pounds. The winner will take on reigning champion Conor McGregor to challenge for his official lightweight title. Nurmagomedov currently enjoys an eight-fight winning streak inside the Octagon and is undefeated as a professional mixed martial artist at 24-0. Meanwhile, Ferguson owns a nine-fight winning streak in the UFC and is 22-3 as a pro. This is a battle between arguably the two best lightweights on the planet, and it is a definite must-not-miss matchup for any fight fan. The main event is a UFC welterweight title rematch between defending champion Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. The first bout took place at UFC 205 over three months ago at UFC 205 last November 12th, when the pair produced one of the best fights of the year that ultimately ended in a draw and warranted an immediate rematch.
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