UFC fighters are caught up in Super Bowl fever in Houston, which is hosting UFC's fight night the day before the NFL's championship game.
UFC Fight Night comes to Houston on Saturday, but all the talk ahead of the fights is about the big game the city is hosting the next day. It’s a busy weekend for Houston, as Saturday’s Fight Night is followed by the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Although the fighters were all focused on getting ready for Saturday, they couldn’t help but talk about Super Bowl 51, when Tom Brady’s New England Patriots dynasty faces the upstart Atlanta Falcons, led by Matt Ryan.
The Falcons seemed to be the popular pick, with Derrick Lewis and welterweight champion Tyronne Woodley among the majority of fighters expecting the Falcons’ explosive offense to defy the odds and upset the Patriots.
“They embody the phrase ‘Rise Up,'” Woodley said. “Everyone counted them out. They rose to the occasion and got the job done.”
Dennis Bermudez, who is fighting in the Fight Night’s headline event against Chan Sung Jung, was one of a sizable minority stumping for Patriots’ superior know-how. UFC’s No. 9 featherweight fighter thinks the Falcons’ defence won’t be able to pressure Brady enough to knock the Patriots off their game.
Julianna Pena is a huge Patriots fan, but she met the Falcons during their training camp before the season and bonded with the players. Despite that experience, she’s sticking with her heart and rooting for the Patriots, saying, “Bill Belichick is the best coach ever.”