Date: Sunday 14th January, 3am (UK)
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Venue: Scottrade Center
A veteran vs prodigy match-up headlines the main card in St. Louis, Missouri and what a clash it is. Jeremy Stephens has been fighting in the UFC for nearly 11 years and welcomes the 26-year-old Doo Ho Choi for his fifth UFC fight.
Although they are at contrasting stages of their career, they are both in the title picture and an impressive win at Fight Night 124 could propel them into the top five rankings. Stephens bounced back with a decision win over Gilbert Melendez after two hard fought losses to Frankie Edgar and Renato Moicano whereas ‘The Korean Superboy’ Choi is coming off his first loss in 13 fights which was a decision to Cub Swanson.
Unfamiliar territory for the ‘Superboy’ but what wasn’t unfamiliar was the breath-taking show he put on with Swanson - earning both men the 2016 Fight of the Year award. The ‘Superboy’ has been exciting fans his entire career with a hair-raising style but don’t be fooled by his innocent and youthful appearance as he is an absolute killer with a granite chin. He has exceptional power in his hands and has a technique to match with 11 knockouts to his name.
However, one man more than seasoned in this approach is Stephens with 16 knockouts of his own. He too thrives in a brawl and usually comes out on top as one of the most powerful fighters in the featherweight division.
This fight has fireworks written all over it. Both men prefer to stand and bang, both backing their powerful hands to end the fight quickly. Although Stephens has a lot of miles on the clock, he has only suffered one knockout loss but the Superboy has the tools to seriously test that record.
The Korean is well-rested as he returns after a year out but he cannot afford to have a slow start. His combination of feints and power striking will be key to dismantling Stephens who will have to rely on his experience to battle the onslaught. The significant striking accuracy is the key stat as Choi has absorbed a lot of damage during his UFC fights and with both men possessing genuine knockout power, their accuracy could make all the difference.
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.