UFC 232 Preview
By Derek Lineberger
UFC 232 is a star-studded card of notable fighters who will face off in what will be the organization’s final event of the year. Finishing 2018 in spectacular fashion with a stellar card of fighters such as TUF alumni Michael Chiesa and Uriah Hall, the event is also noted for including former UFC champions like Andrei Arlovski and B.J. Penn. Of all of the fights included on the stacked card none can be more intriguing than both the co-main event as well as the main event fights.
The co-main event will be a monumental event in women’s MMA history when featherweight champion Cris Cyborg defends her title for the third time against bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in what could be Cyborg’s final fight in the UFC.
Regardless of the outcome, this fight is notable for having two of the only Brazilian champions compete against one other in an organization that was once dominated by dominant Brazilian champions. Nunes holds a special place in MMA history, particularly Brazilian MMA history. In an organization that was once dominated by Brazilian champions, between 2014 and 2016 all of the Brazilians champions slowly began to lose their titles with the final champion Rafael dos Anjos losing his title to Eddie Alvarez on Huly 26th, 2018.
When Nunes obtained the title not only was she the only Brazilian champion in the UFC but also remained a dominant champion within the organization. Not withstanding her notoriety within the bantamweight division, Nunes is stepping up to try and seize the featherweight belt against one of the most decorated fighters in MMA history Cris Cyborg.
Known for her titles that she has held in Strikeforce and Invicta FC, Cris Cyborg has been on a reign of terror in the UFC, defeating every opponent that was placed in of her in such a dominant way that it appears almost effortlessly. This is a pivotal fight for both fighters as they attempt to seal each other’s own legacies.
The main event features Alexander Gustafsson in his third attempt to seize the championship belt against arguably the most polarizing figure in MMA the former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
The rematch between Gustafsson and Jones has been a hot topic amongst the MMA circle for years on account of the backstory of each fighter. Of all of the rivalries that Jones have faced in the sport none have been most intriguing than his rivalry with Gustafsson, the fighter who came closest to defeating Jones.
In an extremely dangerous division Jones became the youngest champion in UFC history, defending his title eight times before being stripped of his belt due to a series of unfortunate circumstances that was of his own making.
In his absence Gustafsson has improved significantly as a fighter learning, valuable lessons in each of his wins and losses, especially his loss to current heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, a fight in which Gustafsson lost by split decision.
Many questions have been raised about the return of Jones, more specifically if he can perform as the same level of calibre that he once performed when as champion, but it is interesting to note that Gustafsson has been away from the octagon longer than Jones.
Regardless of the long absences of both men MMA analysts and fans alike are looking forward to their return to the Octagon.
UFC 232 FIGHT CARD:
Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson
Cris Cyborg vs Amanda Nunes
Carlos Condit vs Michael Chiesa
Ilir Latifi vs Corey Anderson
Chad Mendes vs Alex Volkanovski
Andrei Arlovski vs Walt Harris
Megan Anderson vs Cat Zingano
Petr Yan vs Douglas Silva de Andrade
B.J. Penn vs Ryan Hall
Andre Ewell vs Nathaniel Wood
Uriah Hall vs Bevon Lewis
Curtis Millender vs Siyar Bahadurzada
Brian Kelleher vs Montel Jackson