Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the hurt business tonight (Sun., Jan 14, 2017) for UFC Fight Night 124 from inside Scottrade Center in St. Louis, featuring a Featherweight bout between Jeremy Stephens and Doo Ho Choi, while Paige VanZant takes on Jessica Rose Clark in the co-headlining bout.
Jeremy Stephens will get to headline a card for the first time in a long time and prove that he has what it takes to get promotional love despite being very inconsistent over the last few years. Plus, he’ll look to get back-to-back wins for the first time since 2013-2014, as he will take on up-and-comer Doo Ho Choi in what is sure to be a “Fight of the Night” contender. Both men like to let it all hang out on the feet, so this fight could either end early, or give fight fans 25 minutes of war. And with the card lacking depth, everyone needs something to look forward to at the end of the night.
Original Card Vs Actual Card:
This card underwent major changes, as a co-main event bout between Vitor Belfort and Uriah Hall was cancelled after Hall was forced out due to weight-cutting complications that saw him faint during the process and reportedly have a seizure in the midst of it all. Scary stuff. Furthermore, a fight between Zak Cummins and Thiago Alves was scratched after Cummins also was bounced during the weight-cutting process, although it didn’t have to due with complications, as Zak slipped coming out of the tub and hit his head very hard on a hand rail to the point he was ruled out. As a result of all the changes, Michael Johnson got his wish and was given a main card slot in his hometown.
Thankfully, Uriah Hall’s fainting spell and Cummins’ freak accident were the only injuries of note.
Matt Frevola — who is he only newbie on this card —will make his official UFC debut up from DWTNCS when he takes on Marco Polo Reyes in Lightweight action
How The Prelims Look:
While not the most stacked card, there are a few good bouts on the prelims. Jessica Eye will make her long-awaited return to action to face Kalindra Faria in women’s Flyweight action. Jessica always brings it, win, lose or draw, so this bout is promising. James Krause and Alex White will collide in an interesting 155-pound affair. The prelims was set to be headlined by Michael Johnson vs Darren Elkins, but it got the call up to the main card after Belfort vs. Hall was lost.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Jessica Eye hasn’t won a fight in over two years, dropping four in a row, which is unheard of, it seems, in women’s MMA. She is 1-5 in her last six outings, which means she needs a win in the worst way. UFC isn’t opposed to thinning the herd, even if it is one of Dana White’s faves. If she loses five in a row, I don’t foresee her fighting inside the Octagon for too long.
Also, Paige VanZant isn’t in danger of getting cut anytime soon, but the UFC”s “it” girl needs a win in order to prove the all of the attention and opportunities she gets are justified. She is 1-2 in her last two outings and was last seen getting choked out by Michelle Waterson over a year ago. Hopefully she used the extended time off to improve to her game, because two straight losses won’t be a good look for one of the faces of women’s MMA.
Interest Level 5/10
It’s wasn’t a bad card, though it losing Hall vs Belfort definitely downgraded it a bit.
But, we still get a highly-intriguing Welterweight scrap between Kamaru Usman and Emil Meek. The 170-pound division is overflowing with rising contenders who are ready to take that next leap into title contention, and Emil and Kamaru are two of the best. Usman has been trying his hardest to score a fight against Colby Covington, so getting a win over Meek will be a big boost to get there. For Emil, taking out Usman will allow him to leapfrog over him and take everything that would’ve been coming his way.
Also, Paige VanZant will make her long-awaited return to action after an extended break to take on Jessica Rose-Clark, who burst onto the scene with an impressive victory over Bec Rawlings just a few months ago.
We should be in store for an interesting night of fights.
Full Fight Card:
UFC Fight Night 124 Main Event:
145 lbs.: Jeremy Stephens vs. DooHo Choi
UFC Fight Night 124 Main Card on FOX Sports 1 (10 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Vitor Belfort vs. Uriah HallCANCELLED (DETAILS HERE)
125 lbs.: Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Paige VanZant
170 lbs.: Emil Meek vs. Kamaru Usman
145 lbs.: Darren Elkins vs. Michael Johnson
UFC Fight Night 124 Prelims on FOX Sports 1 (8 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: James Krause vs. Alex White
155 lbs.: Matt Frevola vs. Marco Polo Reyes
170 lbs.: Thiago Alves vs. Zak CummingsCANCELLED (DETAILS HERE)
UFC Fight Night 124 Prelims on Fight Pass (6 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Jessica Eye vs. Kalindra Faria
135 lbs.: Irene Aldana vs. Talita Bernardo
115 lbs.: J.J. Aldrich vs. Danielle Taylor
145 lbs.: Mads Burnell vs. Mike Santiago
135 lbs.: Guido Cannetti vs. Kyung Ho Kang
For more upcoming UFC events click here.