No doubt there will be something for everyone during International Fight Week in Las Vegas – and the same can be said for the UFC 213 card on July 8 which serves to cap it all off.
Today it was announced that a heavyweight rubber match between former UFC champion Fabricio Werdum and elite-level striker Alistair Overeem will appear on a card at the T-Mobile Arena which also features potential ‘Fight of the Year’ candidates in a welterweight clash between ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler and Donald Cerrone and a lightweight encounter between Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis and Jim Miller.
Three fights, each featuring a former UFC world champion, it’s no stretch to say UFC 213 is already shaping up to be one of the standout cards of 2017.
In the heavyweight fight, Werdum and Overeem will be looking to settle a rivalry that began in 2006, when Werdum submitted Overeem in PRIDE, and then got interesting when Overeem evened the score via decision in 2011. Now, with both men on the cusp of a shot at heavyweight gold, there seems no better time for them to find out who has made the greater improvements in the last six years.
The Lawler-Cerrone fight, meanwhile, carries a somewhat less complicated narrative. In fact, it’s about as simple and straightforward as any mixed martial arts match-up can get. It’s one former world champion in Lawler against a perennial nearly man in Cerrone. It’s one warrior against another. It’s a fight that has been on the bucket list of any self-respecting MMA fan for as long as they can remember. It promises to be a war.
Finally, the lightweight meeting of Pettis and Miller represents a crossroads match of the finest pedigree. Pettis, defeated in four of his last five fights but a former UFC lightweight champion, is now back in his natural habitat, which is to say back down at 155-pounds, while Miller looks to rebound from a close and competitive loss to Dustin Poirier last time out.