top of page

Championship Triple Header Packed with Action

The most exciting event of 2021 so far is going down this Saturday with an amazing championship triple header going down. The first championship fight promises fireworks as UFC bantamweight champion Petr “No Mercy” Yan takes on rival Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling.

Petr Yan is currently riding a 10-fight win streak that saw him capture the vacant UFC bantamweight belt against former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 251. Many fans had their doubts if Yan was ready to face the elite of the division and Yan would let his fighting show the world he was more than ready when he TKO’ed Aldo in the fifth round to win the vacant bantamweight belt.

Yan debuted with the UFC back in June of 2018 when he fought Teruto Ishihara and TKO’ed Ishihara in the first round. Yan would win his next three before being matched up with Jimmie Rivera at UFC 238. Rivera was looked at someone who could fight for the title pretty soon, so Yan was expected to be in for a tough fight. Instead, Yan would show he should be involved in those title talks and defeated Rivera by unanimous decision. Yan next faced MMA veteran and multiple time title challenger Urijah Faber at UFC 245. Yan would beat and batter on the legend before knocking Faber out in the third round. Yan and Sterling have had a war of words, and Yan will look to bring his “No Mercy” attitude with him once the cage door shuts this Saturday.

Aljamain Sterling, currently ranked No.1, has been in the UFC for a while now, but has never been able to fight for a title until now. Sterling made his debut back at UFC 170 in 2014 when he took on Cody Gibson and defeated Gibson by unanimous decision. Sterling would find more success than failure in the early part of his UFC career, but still wasn’t considered elite enough to fight for a title. Making a run for the title required an impressive win streak and notable names to beat, and the first man to beat to start that win streak was Brett Johns. Sterling and Johns faced off in 2018 with Sterling winning by unanimous decision. Sterling would next defeat Cody Stamann by submission, Jimmie Rivera by unanimous decision, and Pedro Munhoz by a dominant unanimous decision. Sterling most recently faced Cory Sandhagen in a fight to determine the next contender for the bantamweight belt. In just over a minute, Sterling submitted Sandhagen in the first round to clinch himself a UFC bantamweight title shot. Sterling has mainly been a grappler over his fighting career, but in the Munhoz fight, Sterling stood with Munhoz and showed he’s more than a grappler and won the fight just off his striking and his kickboxing. It might have taken Sterling a little longer than he would’ve liked to fight for a title, but he’s in the best shape of his life and the most complete fighter he can be.


In the co-main event, the greatest women’s fighter of all time Amanda Nunes returns to take on Megan Anderson for the UFC women’s featherweight belt.

Amanda Nunes is without a doubt the greatest female mixed martial artist to ever walk the Earth. Nunes currently holds the UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight belts and defends them both on a regular basis. Nunes first won the bantamweight title when she took on Miesha Tate at UFC 200. Nunes would batter Tate on the feet and go on to submit Tate in the first round. Nunes was then set to face at the time the greatest female fighter Ronda Rousey at UFC 207. All the hype was surrounded around Rousey and her long-awaited return since her first loss at the hands of Holly Holm the year before. Nunes wasn’t even looked at as a legit champion, just someone who was holding the title until Rousey came back. When it was time to show the world who the real champion was, Nunes shined when she TKO’ed Rousey in just 48 seconds. Nunes would defend her belt against Valentina Shevchenko and Raquel Pennington in her next two fights, winning those by split decision and then TKO. Nunes next was set up to face Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino at UFC 232 for Justino’s featherweight belt. Nunes wasn’t taken seriously for this fight by fans and media both, but in just 51 seconds Nunes shocked the world yet again and knocked out Justino to become the third person in UFC history to hold two titles simultaneously and the first female fighter to do so. Nunes then TKO’ed Holly Holm, defeated Germaine de Randamie by unanimous decision, and most recently defeated Felicia Spencer by unanimous decision. Nunes has defeated every former champion at bantamweight and featherweight, as well as defeating currently flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko twice. Nunes has done everything she’s needed to solidify her place in MMA history, but adding more wins and title defenses to her legacy won’t hurt her at all.

Megan Anderson has had a mixed career since signing with the UFC. For her first fight, Anderson was matched up with former bantamweight champion Holly Holm at UFC 225. Holm would spoil the debut of Anderson and win by unanimous decision. Anderson next faced former bantamweight title challenger Cat Zingano at UFC 232. Anderson threw a head kick during the fight with her toe poking the eye of Zingano which left Zingano unable to continue and was marked as a TKO win for Anderson in the first round. Anderson would face Felicia Spencer next and lose by first round submission. Anderson would bounce back in her next fight by showing off her submission skills when she submitted Zarah Fairn dos Santos by triangle choke in the first round. Anderson followed up the impressive win by knocking out Norma Dumont in the first round. While it hasn’t been the most impressive UFC run so far, it seems Anderson has finally found her footing and secured herself a date with the greatest female fighter of all time. Anderson is looking to pull one of the biggest UFC upsets of all time this Saturday.


Finally, in the main event, the most exciting fight will go down as current UFC middleweight champion Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya moves up a weight class to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the UFC light heavyweight title.

Jan Blachowicz is only getting better with age. The last time I wrote about Blachowicz, he was fighting Dominick Reyes for the vacant UFC light heavyweight at UFC 253 and I predicted Reyes to win. How wrong I was. Blachowicz proved father time is meaningless and TKO’ed Reyes in the second round. Blachowicz earned himself a title shot when he took on Corey Anderson last February. Anderson was riding a huge wave of momentum after he shut down the bigget hype train we’ve seen in some time in Johny Walker when Anderson knocked Walker out in the first round. Blachowicz would shut down the momentum of Anderson when he knocked Anderson out in the first round. Blachowicz has had a mixed career in the early part of his UFC run, winning his first fight but then losing his next two. Blachowicz would mix between wins and losses for a little while before he found himself in the UFC and is currently 8-1 in his last nine fights, with over half of those wins being by either TKO/KO or submission. Blachowicz has turned back the clock and delivered his best work yet inside the octagon but faces his biggest challenge to date when he faces off against Adesanya. Blachowicz carries a ton of power in his hands and has great kickboxing. If the fight hits the ground, Blachowicz is more than willing to accommodate and show off his submission skills. Blachowicz has admitted he doesn’t have a lot of time left in this sport, so expect to see Blachowicz give it everything he has to retain his title.

Israel Adesanya is the next superstar in the making for the UFC. Adesanya debuted at UFC 221 against Rob Wilkinson and won by second round TKO. Adesanya next faced Marvin Vettori and won by split decision. Having won two fights in a row in the UFC, Adesanya picked up the pace when he next fought perineal contender Brad Tavares in a five round main event and picked Tavares apart to win a unanimous decision. Adesanya followed up the impressive win by facing Derek Brunson next and TKO’ing Brunson in the first. Adesanya was given a difficult challenge next when he faced his idol and MMA legend Anderson Silva. It wasn’t difficult because Silva was a hard fight for Adesanya, but because Adesanya idolized Silva growing up and it was mentally upsetting to have to fight Silva but was necessary to further his career. Adesanya defeated his idol by unanimous decision. Adesanya next wanted a title shot, but then champion Robert Whittaker was dealing with injury and was recovering from his injuries, so the UFC matched Kelvin Gastelum against Adesanya for the interim middleweight belt. Words can’t describe how great of a fight this was. The two went to war, showing their heart and will to win. Both fighters were able to hurt each other early in the first two rounds. Gastelum hurt Adesanya in the first, with Adesanya dropping Gastelum in the second. Gastelum and Adesanya would slug it out for the next three rounds with Adesanya winning by unanimous decision. The fight would go on to win fight of the year for 2019. Adesanya next faced Robert Whittaker to unify their belts. Adesanya claimed undisputed gold by knocking out Whittaker in the second round. Adesanya faced former title challenger Yoel Romero next. It was an uneventful fight with Adesanya winning by unanimous decision. Adesanya most recently faced his biggest rival to date in Paulo Costa. The two traded insults in the month leading up to this fight. Adesanya shut down Costa and won by second round TKO. This next fight for Adesanya will define him. Is who he says he is? Or is he not ready for the stardom that awaits him just yet? If Adesanya is able to win this Saturday, a fight with Jon Jones may be on the horizon as the two have traded words for the past couple of years.

This is a fun card, and I can’t wait! I’m picking Yan by decision, Nunes by decision, and Adesanya by third round knockout. Catch all of the amazing fights this Saturday on ESPN+ PPV!

Tidwell 2021 pick record: 3-0

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page