This Sunday night, St. Louis Missouri will host UFC Fight Night Stephens Vs Choi.
The card features many excellent fights and will be free on Fox. Atop he card is a phenomenal Featherweight bout between Dooho “The Korean Superboy” Choi and Jeremy Stephens, which has Fight Of The Year potential written all over it.
Stephens is an absolute veteran of the division. At 31 years old he has been through the wringer at 145 and is edging closer to a title shot at champion Max Holloway. He brings with him a wealth of experience and his signature power, not just in his hands, in every limb. Stephens also has excellent conditioning and may need it if the two fighters prove a competitive match. Stephens loves to move forward an rarely takes fights to the ground. He relies on gameness and resolve to make sure he gets the better of exchanges.
Although Choi himself is a powerful striker, his style of striking could not be more different. All of his movements feed into one signature weapon- his right hand. Choi has excellent timing and range with the right and usually pressures opponents until they lash out and he has an opportunity to land it as a counter. He used the right strait to end his first three UFC bouts by first round KO. His fourth fight against the elite Cub Swanson, was Fight Of The Year. Dooho lost a decision, but says it forced drastic improvements which he is eager to show.
A win would put Jeremy Stephens up at the elite of Featherweight, perhaps in contention for a top matchup. Unfortunately, with his mixed record, it is unlikely he will be given a #1 contender matchup.
Choi on the other hand could easily secure himself such a fight with an impressive win. He has a surprising amount of hype behind him, and the UFC is in sore need of an Asian star. They might give him to Brian Ortega next with the winner to face the winner of Holloway vs Frankie Edgar at UFC 222.
I expect Choi to win this fight handily, probably by early knockout. The quality of his right hand eclipses any of Stephens’s individual weapons. However, Stephens is extremely game and experienced. It will be up to him to capitalize on the blueprint Swanson laid out against Choi and stop the “Korean Superboy” hype train.