UFC on ESPN 8 forecast


Trying to see Saturday’s main event strictly within the context of the game itself is crazy.

First and foremost, Walt Harris’ headlining heavyweight fight against Alistair Overeem marks his first fight since the murder of his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard, a nightmare that began with his disappearance last October . The tragedy postponed an initial reservation with Overeem to be held in December, and after some additional scheduling changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight landed on a UFC card on ESPN in Jacksonville, Florida.

Harris is looking to continue his climb in the rankings, which has been reinforced by two KOs of 50 seconds or less in his two previous outings. One can only imagine the emotional weight he will carry with him during the night of combat and how much the simple fact of having the chance to start again to do what he likes could lighten this load.

Add to the fact that the headliner on Saturday will close the third UFC card in a week while the promotion will resume after a series of cancellations and postponements related to the coronavirus pandemic in March and April, and you have the feeling that many demons will be exorcised when the show ends in Jacksonville.

In another main card action, Claudia Gadelha seeks to contain the ubiquitous straw scrapper Angela Hill, Dan Ige welcomes longtime lightweight competitor Edson Barboza in the featherweight division, Eryk Anders meets veteran Krzysztof Jotko in a bout of middleweight, and bantam contenders Song Yadong and Marlon Vera make a one-off featherweight move for a foolproof banger.

What: UFC on ESPN 8

Or: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

When: Saturday May 16. The entire event will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN +, with the preliminaries of six fights starting at 6 p.m. ET, and the main card for five fights starting at 9 p.m. ET.


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