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UFC 211 start time, TV schedule, who is fighting tonight at ‘Miocic vs dos Santos 2'

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the hurt business tonight (Sat., May 13, 2017) after a short break to stage UFC 211 live from inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The promotion's latest mixed martial arts (MMA) pay-per-view (PPV) event, headlined by a Heavyweight title fight between Stipe Miocic and Junior dos Santos, will also feature a women’s Strawweight title fight that will see division champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk defend her strap against Jessica Andrade

What’s Hot:

More like, what isn’t hot? UFC 211 is stacked from top to bottom with intriguing match-ups going down in just about every weight class in the sport. What’s even better, they all mean something, as in every win and loss will be pivotal in the title picture. Stipe Miocic will look to get some revenge on the last man to defeat him, Junior dos Santos, in the headlining act. The kicker? Since losing to “JDS,” Miocic has gone on to win the 265-pound strap with four straight knockouts, while “Cigano” has gone a mere 1-1. That said, “Cigano” goes in with the confidence knowing he already has a win over the champ, but things have changed in the last three years, and Miocic looks like a man possessed and bent on retaining the title longer than any of the previous division champions.

Also, Joanna Jedrzejczyk eyes her fifth straight title defense when she takes on friend-turned-rival Jessica Andrade in the co-main event. Andrade has been labeled “JJ’s” toughest challenge to date, and since the two have sparred in the past, Andrade knows what to expect come fight night.

Plus, one of the most-respected former champions in the game, Frankie Edgar, will look to show the world that he still has plenty in the tank to become champion as he faces one of the hottest prospects in the sport, Yair Rodriguez. “El Pantera” smashed one legend in his previous bout, taking out B.J. Penn with relative ease, but will be facing a tougher challenge this time around as they don’t come more experienced and speedy than “The Answer.” Indeed, it could be a “passing of the torch” sort of situation in Dallas ... or an all out blood-fest courtesy of Edgar.

What’s Not:

I. Can’t. Think. Of. Anything.

Original Card vs. Actual Card:

The card was intact up until earlier this week when Henry Cejudo was forced out of his main card Flyweight bout against Sergio Pettis, prompting the promotion to bump David Branch — who is making his long-awaited return to the Octagon — versus Krzysztof Jotko to the pay-per-view (PPV) portion of the event.

A fight between Fabricio Werdum and Ben Rothwell was also expected to go down at this event but was ultimately scrapped after “Big Ben” was notified of a potential violation by United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA).

Injuries:

The aforementioned Cejudo was the only fighter stricken by the injury bug up until yesterday, that is, as Jared Gordon was forced out his his scheduled bout against Michael Quinones due to symptoms of food poisoning. Both men were set to make their octagon debuts.

New Blood:

Rashad Coulter will look to make a splash in the Heavyweight division when he faces a slumping Chase Sherman in his UFC debut.

How The “Prelims” Look:

The “Prelims” undercard looks very good, which will be spearheaded by an intriguing and exciting Lightweight bout that has all the makings of a “Fight of the Night,” as former Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez will face Dustin Poirier. That’s how stacked the card is: A former champion who just lost his title in his previous bout is on the undercard. And while some have stated that fighting on free television is better than PPV, you know this has to sting for Alvarez a bit after headlining UFC 205 against Conor McGregor in his previous bout. He’ll look to earn some spotlight back with a win over “The Diamond.” Furthermore, James Vick looks to keep rolling when he faces Marco Polo Reyes in another interesting 155-pound tilt. Plus, former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) women’s Strawweight champion Jessica Aguilar makes her long-awaited return to action when she faces Corney Casey on Fight Pass.

Who Needs A Win Badly:

Demian Maia ... and here’s why: The Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace had likely already solidified his status as the No. 1 contender in the welterweight division, and all he needed to do was to wait and see how the rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson played out at UFC 209. Instead, Maia agreed to fight Jorge Masvidal a week or so prior to that bout going down, which prompted Woodley to slam the “stupid” decision. And while credit has to be given to Maia for opting to not sit and wait — like everyone else seems to be doing these days — he is taking a big gamble by facing Masvidal, one of the hottest fighters in the game today.

Interest Level: 10/10

It’s rare that a fight card looks this good from the onset and stays that way (minus the small hiccup with Cejudo). Granted, it also lost Ben Rothwell vs. Fabricio Werdum, but that didn’t do much as far as taking interest away from the event. In fact, a lot of people didn’t even realize it had been scrapped. Aside from having two title fights leading the way, we have Jorge Masvidal and Maia going at it for a possible shot at the Welterweight title on the line. Maia has put in the work time and time again only to get passed over for a shot at the title. A win over Masvidal — who has promised some pretty extreme violence — still doesn’t guarantee that he’ll get there, but it will make a damn good case.

Can Miocic hold on to the title longer than one defense? Can “JJ” inch close to Ronda Rousey’s title defense record? Will Rodriguez make the jump from contender to full-blown star? Will Masvidal end Maia’s run? Can Alvarez start his run back at the title? All those questions and more will be answered in what is sure-to-be an exciting night of fisticuffs.

Full UFC 211 fight card:

UFC 211 PPV Main Event:

265 lbs.: UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic vs. Junior dos Santos

UFC 211 PPV Co-Main Event:

115 lbs.: UFC Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade

UFC 211 PPV Main Card (10 p.m. ET):

170 lbs.: Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal
145 lbs.: Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez
125 lbs.: Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis CANCELED (DETAILS HERE)
185 lbs.: David Branch vs. Krzysztof Jotko

UFC 211 Prelims on FX (8 p.m. ET):

155 lbs.: Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier
145 lbs.: Jason Knight vs. Chas Skelly
145 lbs.: Jared Gordon vs. Michael Quinones CANCELLED (DETAILS HERE)
155 lbs.: Marco Polo Reyes vs. James Vick

UFC 211 Prelims on Fight Pass (6 p.m. ET):

115 lbs.: Jessica Aguilar vs. Cortney Casey
265 lbs.: Rashad Coulter vs. Chase Sherman
145 lbs.: Enrique Barzola vs. Gabriel Benitez
205 lbs.: Joachim Christensen vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov

For more upcoming UFC events click here.