UFC 271: Card Preview - 02/12/22
The UFC heads to Houston, Texas this weekend for it’s second PPV of the year. This one features a rematch between undisputed middleweight champion, Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya, and former champion, Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker. It was Israel who dethroned Whittaker back in 2019 via 2nd round KO, and then went on to defend his crown 3 different times against the likes of Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, and most recently, Marvin Vettori. He did receive his first UFC loss in the middle of that reign, with an unsuccessful attempt at securing the light heavyweight title when he jumped up a weight class for a shot at double champ status. Jan Blachowicz spoiled that bid with a dominant unanimous decision.
After losing his belt, Whittaker (or Bobby Knuckles as fans have affectionately nicknamed him) got back on track by winning three straight fights against Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum, all by unanimous decision. The Australian looks to make it four in a row and regain his MW crown this weekend.
This card is pretty damn bloated with 15 fights as of this writing. At least the early prelims will hold 6 of them. The main card is pretty solid, notably the co-main event, which involves two fan favorites, Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis and Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa. Lewis was last seen obliterating Chris Daukaus in the first round back in December, and Tuivasa enjoyed another signature shoey when he blasted out Augusto Sakai, also in December. 21 of Lewis’ 26 wins have come by KO/TKO while Tuivasa has 12 KO/TKO’s out of his 13 wins (including 4 in a row). Both men have been finished by strikes as well so this promises to be violent.
Even with the rest of the card having limited name power, most are in the medium-higher weight divisions. With only 1 flyweight and 1 women’s division scrap, I like the chances for lots of finishes. You can check out the entire lineup below. Check back later this week for predictions, analysis, and our betting guide.
Israel Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker
Derrick Lewis vs Tai Tuivasa
Jared Cannonier vs Derek Brunson
Kyler Phillips vs Marcelo Rojo
Bobby Green vs Nasrat Haqparast
Andrei Arlovski vs Jared Vanderaa
Roxanne Modafferi vs Casey O'Neill
Alex Perez vs Matt Schnell
William Knight vs Maxim Grishin
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD
Leomana Martinez vs Ronnie Lawrence
Alexander Hernandez vs Renato Moicano
Carlos Ulberg vs Fabio Cherant
A.J. Dobson vs Jacob Malkoun
Douglas Silva de Andrade vs Sergey Morozov
Jeremiah Wells vs Mike Mathetha