UFC Fight Night 124: Stephens vs. Choi Predictions
By Joel Croichy
On Sunday, UFC will kick off 2018 with their first promotion's visit to St. Louis with UFC Fight Night: “Stephens vs. Choi”. The main event will feature two top-15 featherweights who are known for their highlight reel finishes, Jeremy Stephens and Choi Doo-ho. Along with that, this main card will also include intriguing matchups from top to bottom of the card.
Jeremy Stephens (26–14) vs. Choi Doo-ho (14–2)
In the main event, Stephens who has already competed with who’s who in the UFC will test his skills against a fellow heavy hitter, Doo-ho. Stephens has gathered 16 of his 26 wins via knockout and is coming off a “Fight of the Night” performance win over former Strikeforce titleholder Gilbert Melendez. His upcoming opponent, Doo-ho is a phenomenal striker who gathered most of his wins by way of KO/TKO. Despite losing in his last outing against Cub Swanson, Doo-ho rightfully received the “Fight of the Night” and “Fight of the Year” rewards for this contest. Doo-ho will try to overwhelm Stephens by out striking him and should pick up the win via stoppage.
Pick: Choi Doo-ho
Uriah Hall (13–8) vs. Vitor Belfort (26–13–1)
Likely competing in his last bout in his impressive 22-year career, Vitor Belfort will trade leather with middleweight competitor Uriah Hall. Considered as one of the best to ever do it, Belfort remains a significant threat to his opponents because he possesses incredible knockout power. This former UFC titleholder and MMA veteran have secured 18 wins by way of KO/TKO. TUF season 17 runner-up, Hall is a fighter who likes to utilize his footwork while landing multiple strikes on his opponents. Throughout his professional MMA career, Hall has gathered nine wins by way of KO/TKO and two via submission. Hall is known a slow starter while Belfort prefers to start his bouts aggressively, so it’s going to be intriguing to see how they do in the opening round. Hall will pick up the decision win by slowing Belfort’s momentum down, landing counter strikes and using his quick footwork.
Pick: Uriah Hall
Paige VanZant (7–3) vs. Jessica-Rose Clark (8–4–1)
Fan-favorite Paige VanZant will make her flyweight debut against two-time former MMA champion Jessica Rose-Clark. Since starting her professional MMA career, VanZant has captured seven wins out of 10 fights with two coming via knockout and two by way of submission. VanZant has shown in her previous contests that she has the stamina and skills to push the pace in all three rounds. Across the cage from her will be former Titan FC and Invicta FC competitor Rose-Clark who has gathered eight wins out her 13 bouts. She has serious power in her hands and is not afraid to exchange strikes with her competitors. Having both the size and strength advantage, Rose-Clark will look to push the pace and overwhelm his opponent with takedowns and ground strikes.
Pick: Jessica-Rose Clark
Kamaru Usman (11–1) vs. Emil Meek (9–2–1)
In the opening bout on this main card, TUF 21 winner Kamaru Usman will look to extend his winning streak to 11 as he takes on fellow welterweight Emil Meek. Since 2013 Usman hasn’t tasted a loss in a professional MMA bout and gathered six of his wins by way of KO/TKO. His upcoming opponent Meek is currently enjoying a four-fight winning streak and has secured seven of his wins via KO/TKO. With both competitors possessing incredible knockout abilities, this welterweight contest has all the ingredients of being a three-round slugfest. Already ranked in the top ten in his division and enjoying an impressive winning streak, Usman should pick up the win via decision.
Pick: Kamaru Usman
Combined Doo-ho and Stephens have a total of 31 wins via stoppages, so there is a huge possibility that this bout may not go the distance. This main card will take place at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri and should be an exciting one to watch.