Hello casuals… Daniel Dees here and I am your designated tour guide. As a life long fan of MMA, it breaks my heart watching you all struggle trying to understand what the hell is going on. Life is busy enough to try to understand who’s who on the card. But that’s why I’m here! Here to give you context on the fights you must watch at UFC 237.
BJ Penn vs Clay Guida:
This is the fight you didn’t know you wanted in 2009, but here you are getting it in 2019! MMA God’s bless up.
Why you should root for BJ Penn:
BJ is a legend of the sport and has done everything a fighter wishes they could accomplish — championships in two different weight classes, super fights, legendary wars, greasing victim, and not retiring at the right time.
BJ is an old school fighter’s fighter. He was the UFC’s first kingpin at the lower weight classes. In the late 2000’s, he was nothing short of a combat god. His performance against now-talking head Kenny Florian in 2009 proves just that.
If you like fighters who lick blood off their gloves, isn’t afraid to fight a heavyweight while weighing 190lbs, and absolutely refuses to tap out to Father Time, then BJ Penn is the fighter for you.
Why you should root for Clay Guida:
Do you like the Star Wars original trilogy but absolutely hate the Star Wars prequels? Well, you’re in luck because that’s the perfect parallel to Clay Guida’s career!
Early in the Star Wars franchise, you were thoroughly entertained from beginning to end and you were obsessed with it! Whenever it was on TV, you were glued to the couch. That was Clay Guida in 2007-2009! His fights against Tyson Griffin, Roger Huerta, Nate Diaz, and Diego Sanchez made you weep and praise the MMA Blood Gods. And like Star Wars, you thirsted for more Clay Guida fights… Then you got more Clay Guida fights… Then the Prequels/2011 Clay Guida came into your life and you had the same exact thought about the two: “what the hell is this?”
If you think a fighter can return to that entertaining entity they once were; like Star Wars did with the new trilogy, then Clay Guida is the fighter for you!
Kurt Holobaugh vs Thiago Moises:
The most important fight on the entire prelims. End of story.
Why you should root for Kurt Holobaugh:
Look, I’m going to keep it short and simple — I’m extremely biased. I train under Kurt and I really want him to win. I’m a blue belt under him and I feel closer to God every time we grapple. Literally. I always feel like I’m going to die… He’s really good at choking me.
If you like fighters that make me happy whenever they win, then Kurt Holobaugh is the fighter for you!
Why you should root for Thiago Moises:
You shouldn’t. Like I said, I’m extremely biased
If you like fighters that make me sad if they win, then Thiago Moises is the fighter for you!
Irene Aldana vs Bethe Correia:
The fight that replaced the original curtain puller.
Why you should root for Irene Aldana:
Ok, before I begin, I know what you’re thinking – “UGH! I guess I’ll get my bathroom break out of the way early.” But I promise, women’s MMA can be very entertaining. And to be quite honest, Irene Aldana is a pretty entertaining fighter. Her foot and head movement is as smooth as silk. And she displayed that beautifully back in September when she pulled out a win against a woman whose name you definitely won’t remember by the time you finish reading this sentence. But believe me when I say this, Aldana leaves IT ALL in the cage, and watching her is worth not going to the bathroom early.
If you like watching tiny Mexican warrior women go to war and stretching your bladder to the limit, then Irene Aldana is the fighter for you.
Why you should root for Bethe Correia:
Where do I begin? Bethe gained notoriety when she tried to have a scary staredown against Ronda Rousey at their weigh-in. Afterward, she was the victim of such a vicious beating that Ring Magazine – probably the most respected boxing rag in the world – put Ronda on its cover and made the casual world believe that she was ready for the boxing world! On top of that, the beating was so severe that it made Joe Rogan cry in the presence of Ronda! As a result, that beating made Ronda believe her own hype and she was duped into thinking she was actually a good boxer. She went on to try to actually box Holly Holm, who is one of the most decorated female boxers ever, and received an ass whopping that derailed her entire fight career.
But I digress.
If you like fighters whose demise inflates egos so big that it causes second hand demise, then Bethe Correia is the fighter for you.
Thiago Alves vs Laureano Staropoli
The fight that will most certainly be a fight on UFC 237…
Why you should root for Thiago Alves:
Alves was once a contender for Georges St-Pierre’s welterweight title. He was once an absolute Muay Thai animal. He was once thought to be retired until I looked at this card and said to myself, “well, damn, he’s still around, isn’t he?”
All (sorta) kidding aside, Thiago is a guy that you kinda want to make a decent run for nostalgia sake, but if he gets brutally man-handled, you’ll move on pretty quick.
If you like fighters who throw brutal leg kicks that go “SLACK!” when they land and fighters who haven’t put up a winning streak since 2015, then Thiago Alves is the fighter for you!
Why you should root for Laureano Staropoli:
Jokes on you, casual! Staropoli doesn’t have a Wikipedia for you to fact check me! So here’s the rundown – Staropoli is from Argentina. Not only is Argentina a bitter sports rival to Brazil – the homeplace for UFC 237, Argentina is also a country I’m certain you can’t pinpoint on a map (Don’t feel bad, neither can I). On top of being a hostile coming into enemy territory, Starpoli has only gone the distance once in his MMA career, so you know he’s going to want to get home early, which every workingman can relate to. Not only that, Starpoli was an extra in Game of Thrones. He was one of the Night King’s right hand men… Ok, I may have made that part up, but without a Wikipedia page, you really can’t dispute me on that…
If you like fighters who will definitely be showered with boo’s and fighters who you can make up stuff about, then Laureano Staropoli is the fighter for you!
Jose Aldo vs Alexander Volkanovski:
The fight that could derail and entire division
Why you should root for Jose Aldo:
Gonna keep this short and sweet. Jose Aldo is one of the most lovable fighters of all time and the featherweight GOAT. If MMA had a Mount Rushmore, he wouldn’t be on it, but he would definitely be considered. You definitely know Jose as the guy Conor McGregor iced in 13 seconds*, but he’s much more than that. He literally MADE the featherweight division. Once he chopped Urijah Faber leg down like a weed in WEC, he became the “it” guy of the lower weight classes. And HE’S STILL ONE OF THE BEST FIGHTERS IN THAT DIVISION 10 YEARS LATER! With a win, he’ll most likely get one last shot at Max Holloway for the featherweight strap and then ride off into the sunset while I cry like a baby.
If you like all-time greats and you want to ride their coattails into their next title fight with a win, then Jose Aldo is the fighter for you.
* = 1 second away from being a Proper Twelve second knockout.
Why you should root for Alexander Volkanovski:
If you’re just a Star Trek dork, this is a no-brainer. Volkanovski sounds like Spock’s exotic, Macedonian cousin. (Please don’t comment saying “It’s V-u-l-c-a-n!” I know, nerd. Trust me, I know.) Besides that, Volkanovski is riding a 16-fight win streak and with a win, he could bring fresh blood into the title picture. And with a win, he could shatter my heart into a million pieces, and each piece would say “RIP Aldo. I love you.” I depress myself just thinking that.
If you like your fighters to live long and prosper and to be Daniel Dees heartbreakers, then buddy, f you! Alexander Volkanovski is the fighter for you!
Jared Cannonier vs Anderson Silva:
The fight that could be the end of an era.
Why you should root for Jared Cannonier:
This guy was once a fat heavyweight and then lost a lot of weight and became an attractive middleweight. I’m 100% convinced that after he made his middleweight debut and slaughtered David Branch, his phone blew up due to girls who gave him the “you’re a brother to me” talk and ex-girlfriends wanting a piece of The ‘Killa Gorilla’. If you don’t believe me, Google “Jared Cannonier heavyweight” and then look up his weigh-in from earlier… Go ahead… Google it. I’ll wait………… TOLD YOU! Heavyweight Jared looks like a Middleweight Jared’s goofy older virgin brother who always asks him “where the women at tonight?”
Why you should root for Anderson Silva:
Because he’s Anderson Silva. He’s arguably the greatest fighter who’s ever lived. I shouldn’t need to explain this to you.
If you like living gods, then Anderson Silva is the fighter for you!
Rose Namajunas vs Jessica Andrade:
The fight that’s not the reason you bought this card
Why you should root for Rose Namajunas:
Rose is a sweetheart through and through. Her post-fight interview with Joe Rogan after winning the title proves that because all she wanted was everybody to be kind to each other. And she has such an adorable relationship with her 13 year-older fiancé Pat Barry… It’s only creepy if you think about it; don’t judge a lot. Also, how can you not respect the fact that she shaves her head because it’s easier to fight with hair not getting into your eyes? That’s very sensible, if you ask me. But don’t let my words fool you. She’s an absolute buzzsaw. She went through my forever-crush Joanna Jedrzejczyk (yes, that’s the correct spelling) with ease, not once but TWICE. And Joanna was the post-Rousey women’s GOAT.
If you like Sinead O’Connor, judging couples, and violence, then Rose Namajunas is the fighter for you.
Why you should root for Jessica Andrade:
She slightly has more hair than Rose. Other than that, she goes by the nickname “Bate Estaca” which means “pile driver” and she recently called herself a tractor. So along with being a little badass who hits like death, she obviously loves farm equipment. And who here hasn’t wanted to recreate the Pauly Shore “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” scene from Son-in-Law? If you said you haven’t, you’re a liar I don’t want you reading my stuff anymore. And if you haven’t seen Son-in-Law, go watch it NOW. It’s streaming on HBO GO.
If you like fighters who remind you of John Deere and if you were in 4-H, then Jessica Andrade is the fighter for you!