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UFC 218 start time, TV schedule, who is fighting tonight at ‘Holloway vs Aldo 2’

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the hurt business today (Sat., Dec. 2, 2017) for UFC 218, which is set to go down inside Little Ceasars Arena in Detroit, Mich., featuring a Featherweight championship rematch between division kingpin Max Holloway against former 145-pound roost-ruler Jose Aldo. In the pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou will trade heavy leather in a hard-hitting Heavyweight affair

What’s Hot:

Aldo’s camp made the mistake of saying “Junior” fought injured during his loss to Holloway at UFC 212 earlier this year, which ultimately cost the Brazilian bomber his title. Those comments didn’t sit too well with “Blessed,” who doesn’t appreciate the fact that some camps opt to take credit away where it’s due. Now, the two men will get to run it back after Frankie Edgar was forced out of the fight with Holloway in Detroit. And while it’s unfortunate for “The Answer,” fans will be treated to a hell of a fight, as Aldo is motivated as ever to reclaim his strap and to prove the first loss was a fluke. As for Holloway, he would love nothing more than to get back-to-back wins against one of the most dominant champions in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA) in order to enhance his own legacy.

In the co-main event, Overeem will look to stop Ngannou’s momentum by handing him his first-ever loss inside the Octagon. “The Predator” has been on a tear since entering the eight-sided cage for the first time back in 2015. “The Reem,” though, will be his stiffest test to date, as Alistair boasts a bevy of experience throughout his combat career. And even though he isn’t as young as he once was, Overeem still packs a punch and one well-placed strike to the kisser could end Francis’s hopes of getting a world title fight, all while securing Alistair’s own potential rematch against Stipe Miocic. This one could end early folks ... don't blink!

What’s Not:

There really isn’t anything not to love about this card!

Original Card vs Actual Card:

The PPV event was originally set to be headlined by a title fight featuring Holloway defending his strap against Edgar before “The Answer” had to bow out due to a facial fracture. Al Iaquinta was all set to face off against Paul Felder, but was pulled from the card with an injury, making way for Charles Oliveira to take the bout.


As mentioned earlier, Edgar and Iaquinta were the only two fighters who suffered fight-canceling injuries.

New Blood:

Allen Crowder is the only newcomer making his UFC debut at this event, as the hard-hitting Heavyweight will face off against Justin Willis. Crowder has won four straight on the regional circuit and will look to keep his momentum going in his Octagon debut against a man who made the most of his first-ever UFC fight earlier this year against James Mulheron.

How The Prelims Look:

They look pretty good, actually. The undercard will be headlined by a Lightweight bout that pits Felder against Oliveira. Despite doing well in his second career as a UFC commentator, Felder’s first love is fighting, as he has won two straight. He will look to get three in a row when he faces off against the always-tough “Do Bronx,” who took the fight after Iaquinta was injured. Oliveira is coming off an impressive win over former Bellator MMA champion Will Brooks. And a win over “The Irish Dragon” would be another huge feather in his cap and help him catapult up the rankings.

Despite being in the fight game for some time now, Yancy Medeiros can’t seem to get the promotional love. He hold wins over the likes of Francisco Trinaldo and Dustin Poirier, who has seen more push from the promotion. A win over Alex Oliveria would be big for the Hawaiian-born fighter, as it will slowly, but surely, creep him up the rankings. Both men are on two-fight winning streaks, so it should make for a competitive scrap.

Felice Herrig is perhaps one of the most underrated fighters in UFC, wining three straight after making some changes in her camp. She will look to earn her fourth straight win for only the second time in her career when she faces off against Cortney Casey, who took out Jessica Aguilar in her previous outing.

Who Needs A Win Badly:

Aldo isn’t in risk of getting cut from the promotion with a loss, but suffering back-to-back losses -- championship losses at that -- against the same man won’t be good for the former champion. Aldo needs this win in the worst way, especially after his camp tried to excuse his defeat to “Blessed” at UFC 212 via injury. Should he drop another “L” to Max, the chances of Jose getting his title back will dwindle by the second, especially if Max retains his strap for an extended run. There is no telling what another loss will do to Jose’s mental state, as he could very well decide to move up to Lightweight, or move into the sport of boxing once and for all.

Interest Level: 9/10

This is a very good card that isn’t getting the love as say a UFC 217 event received. While UFC 217 was one of the most stacked and exciting cards in the history of the promotion, UFC 218 can hold its own. Though I’m not saying it rivals UFC 217’s star power, fight fans are in for quite a few treats, as the main card is filled with intriguing match ups from top to bottom. Furthermore, the “Prelims” boasts a bevy of interesting match ups that could very upstage the main card participants.

Holloway will get to prove his worth as champion by attempting to defend his 145-pound belt for the first time against the very man he dethroned, who just so happens to be one of the most dominant fighters and former champions in any division. Meanwhile, two big men on their journey to gold will find themselves staring each other down for the right to vie for the 265-pound strap against a man who has no plans on letting go of his belt anytime soon.

And let’s not forget about the fight that could very well steal the show, as Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje will collide in a pivotal Lightweight bout that has all the makings of “Fight of the Night.” Both men like to bang it out on the feet and both men are going into the contest seeking pure violence.

Gaethje impressed in his UFC debut by knocking out Michael Johnson, while Eddie looks to bounce back after his fight against Poirier ended in a no contest. A win for Gaethje could lead him on the fast track to a UFC world title fight. For Alvarez, picking up a win over “Highlight” will remind the division why he once held the strap.

Furthermore, two other match ups who are suffering from the lack of promotion due to the stacked main card are ones pitting Sergio Pettis against Henry Cejudo. The duo was set to collide at UFC 211 before an injury forced Cejudo out of the event. Now, he will get the chance to take on “The Phenom” in an attempt to get back to the big dance. As for Sergio, the younger Pettis brother will look to continue racking up the wins and stake his own flag down by scoring a win over a title contender in hopes of reaching his first ever world title fight.

Michelle Waterson was the talk of the town for some time before she felt the wrath of now-champion Rose Namajunas (see it again here). “Karate Hottie” will look to get back some steam when she faces off against Tecia Torres. It won’t be easy, though, as “Tiny Tornado” has been on a roll as of late, wining two straight fights. Both ladies like to bang it out on the feet, and Torres, for one, welcomes an all-out stand up war. A win for Torres will be huge for her resume and her goals of reaching a title fight. For Waterson, a win is much needed, as dropping two straight could be bad for her all-around stock.

Full UFC 218 Fight Card:

UFC 218 PPV Main Event:

145 lbs.: UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo

UFC 218 PPV Main Card (10 p.m. ET):

265 lbs.: Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
125 lbs.: Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
155 lbs.: Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
115 lbs.: Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

UFC 218 Prelims On FOX Sports 1 (8 p.m. ET):

155 lbs.: Paul Felder vs. Charles Oliveira
170 lbs.: Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira
155 lbs.: Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur
115 lbs.: Cortney Casey vs. Felice Herrig

UFC 218 Prelims On UFC Fight Pass (6:15 p.m. ET):

170 lbs.: Razak Al-Hassan vs. Sabah Homasi
205 lbs.: Jeremy Kimball vs. Dominick Reyes
265 lbs.: Allen Crowder vs. Justin Willis
115 lbs.: Amanda Cooper vs. Angela Magana

For more upcoming UFC events click here.

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