Date: Sunday 5th November, 2am (UK)
Location: New York City, New York
Venue: Madison Square Garden
The main card for UFC 217 kicks off in style featuring two bruisers at two very contrasting stages of their career. Johny Hendricks is a UFC veteran but since earning the welterweight title in 2015 he has gone 2-5 in the UFC, hardly showing a glimpse of the performances that lead to him becoming the champion. Borrachinha on the other hand has rocketed to 10-0, disposing every opponent in brutal fashion.
Hendricks has not enjoyed his middleweight chapter so far. He moved up from welterweight after a string of losses and several gruelling weight cuts. However, after a successful middleweight debut against Hector Lombard, he missed weight before his fight with Tim Boetsch. Missing the weight again with 15 more pounds to spare clearly shows Hendricks is out of sorts and is desperate for a win to rejuvenate and even save his UFC career.
Unfortunately for him, he has been handed an absolute beast in Borrachinha. He is young, hungry and a natural finisher with explosive power. He is a lot bigger than Hendricks with a height and reach advantage which stacks the odds in his favour. Another stunning finish in just the Brazilian’s third UFC fight will surely throw him into the middleweight rankings, but you cannot sleep on the experience of Hendricks and on the biggest stage at Madison Square Garden, anything can happen.
See below for the statistical breakdown with the key stat highlighted as their tally of knockouts. Borrachinha will be hunting the chin from the bell but Hendricks has proven he can also end the night of his opponents in one single blow. If he doesn’t back himself to stand with the young prospect, Hendricks will surely rely on his wrestling which is a different class. If he does decide to stand, the fight could be over very quickly.
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.