The UFC heads to Sydney, Australia to treat the fans in the land “Down Under” with a fascinating heavyweight battle at the top of the event. UFC Fight Night 121 was originally supposed to feature Mark Hunt. Hunt was later pulled from the card after the UFC cited medical concerns.
This is Fabricio Werdum’s return to the octagon after appearing at UFC 216 in October. Werdum was scheduled to face Derrick Lewis at the UFC’s pay-per-view, but Lewis was forced to withdraw on late notice after experiencing a back injury. Fortunately for Werdum, Walt Harris stepped up to the plate just hours before the event began. However, Harris was obviously no match for one of the greatest heavyweight fighters in the history of MMA, and Werdum submitted him with an exceptional armbar in just 65 seconds.
Werdum will be facing off with Poland’s Marcin Tybura who is now 3-1 during his time in the UFC. After losing his debut match with the organization to Timothy Johnson, Tybura has since defeated Viktor Pesta, Luis Henrique, and Andrei Arlovski. After smashing the aging Arlovski in the first round in Singapore, he surprisingly dropped the second round but managed to win the third round to score a decision victory.
Two ferocious Australian women’s strawweight fighters stand toe-to-toe in the co-main event when Jessy Rose-Clark meets Bec Rawlings. Rose-Clark will step in to replace Joanne Calderwood after Calderwood was forced to withdraw from the event due to undisclosed reasons. Bec Rawlings enters UFC Fight Night 121 on a two-fight losing streak. Rawlings was on the receiving end of a brilliant knockout blow from Paige VanZant at UFC on FOX 21 and then unsuccessfully returned to the cage against Tecia Torres in February. Rawlings has previously competed in Australia under the UFC banner twice in her career and won both of those bouts.
Two fighters with memorable nicknames will face off on the main card in Sydney when Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means meets Belal “Remember the Name” Muhammad. Despite each of these fighters battling inconsistencies through their time in the UFC, they have both proven to be incredibly dangerous welterweight contenders. Means is a powerful and efficient striker who will need to keep his distance against the relentless attack of Muhammad. Belal recently clawed his way to two consecutive decision victories against Randy Brown and Jordan Mein.
Jake Matthews gets a chance to redeem himself in front of his fans in Australia in what should be an exciting contest with Bojan Velickovic. After starting 4-2 in the UFC with losses to James Vick and Kevin Lee, Matthews surprisingly lost a fight with Andrew Holbrook in Melbourne at UFC Fight Night 101. Like Matthews, Bojan Velickovic entered the organization with plenty of potential but has struggled to a 2-2-1 record in his time with the UFC. Velickovcic fought Darren Till to a decision most recently at UFC Fight Night 115. There’s every chance that these two martial artists are fighting for their right to remain in the UFC.
Elias Theodorou and Daniel Kelly get set to face off in Sydney with identical 13-2 records. Both of these fighters experienced defeat in their most recent bout. For Theodorou, he struggled against the outstanding striking of Brad Tavares at The Ultimate 25 Finale. Daniel Kelly, after working his way through four consecutive opponents, was knocked out by Derek Brunson in New Zealand.
An Australia vs. New Zealand matchup will start the main card when Alexander Volkanovski faces Shane Young in a featherweight bout. Young, like many fighters from New Zealand, has been fighting in China recently and has managed a five-fight win streak. He’ll be making his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 121 against the 15-1 Volkanovski who continues to impress in the UFC.
Predictions and Best Bets
Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
While it is easy to select Fabricio Werdum as the winner in this contest, it becomes increasingly difficult to consider how or when Werdum will stop his opponent.
Werdum’s obviously capable of finishing any heavyweight when the fight hits the mat, considering his exceptional submission skills. However, Tybura is a hard man to keep down. He rises back to his feet with strength and power that has resulted in hardly any opponents being able to pin him down on the canvas for long.
On the feet, Tybura and Werdum both pack stopping power and will respect the strikes of the other. There’s a chance that this heavyweight contest goes deep into the rounds and therefore the best value bet for this contest is selecting ‘Total Rounds – Over 2.5’.
Bet: Total Rounds – Over 2.5
Odds: -125 (4/5, $1.80)
UFC Fight Night 121 fight card
UFC Fight Night 121 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm ET on Saturday, November 18.
FS1 (10:00pm ET / 2:00am GMT)
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
- Bec Rawlings vs. Joanne Calderwood
- Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
- Elias Theodorou vs. Daniel Kelly
- Alexander Volkanovski vs. Humberto Bandenay
FS1 (8:00pm ET / 12:00am GMT)
- Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
- Nik Lentz vs. Will Brooks
- Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
- Damien Brown vs. Frank Camacho
Fight Pass Prelims
UFC Fight Pass (6:30pm ET / 10:30pm GMT)
- Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
- Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton