Fights to Look Forward to Part II
Yesterday I detailed a few fights that we as MMA fans have to look forward to beginning with UFC 152 and ending with UFC 155. Today I will go over the other UFC cards including UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic, UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot, UFC on Fuel TV 6 which will be held in China, The Ultimate Fighter Finale 16: Carwin vs. Nelson, UFC on Fox 5 and UFC on FX 6.
A few of the cards have had some bouts added due to the cancellation of UFC 151. There are some pretty good match-ups on the docket so let’s jump right into the fray.
Dan Hardy vs. Amir Sadollah- UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic, September 29th.
I have always enjoyed watching both men compete. Neither fighter is known for their ground game so this one should stay upright unless one of them gets knocked out. Hardy is coming off a knockout victory against Duane Ludwig after losing his previous four bouts and is excited about fighting around the corner from where he grew up. Sadollah features a Muay Thai attack that should help make this fight one the fans enjoy watching.
Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic- UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic.
Struve and Miocic were featured on UFC 146 and both finished their opponents. Miocic is undefeated in 9 career bouts and is 3-0 in the UFC. Struve has won his last three and finished all of those fights, winning two submission of the night bonuses along the way. Struve will have a 7.5” height advantage, but Miocic is one hell of an athlete having wrestled and played basketball and baseball while in college. This is a perfect main event for a UFC on Fuel card.
Matt Wiman vs. Paul Sass- UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic.
Wiman is never in a boring fight as evidenced by his four fight of the night bonuses and Sass is undefeated in 13 professional fights. Sass has submitted 12 of those opponents including all three of his UFC bouts. It’s always exciting to see an undefeated fighter try and continue his streak, especially against someone as tough as Wiman who has won four of his last five fights. Let’s not forget that Sass is also fighting in front of his English countrymen.
John Dodson vs. Jussier da Silva- UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot, October 5th.
Dodson is coming off a successful debut as a flyweight after winning season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter as a bantamweight. Silva was highly regarded as the top flyweight in the world when he came to the US from Brazil in December of 2010. Ian McCall gave him his first blemish on his record while the two fought for Tachi Palace Fights, but he has won his last five fights. Anytime there is a flyweight bout scheduled I get excited. Silva and Dodson should put on a great show for the fans in Minneapolis.
Jeremy Stephens vs. Yves Edwards- UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot
Stephens needs a win as he has lost his last two and Edwards is looking to rebound from his loss to Tony Ferguson last December. Both fighters have a penchant for flashy finishes. Edwards has 15 knockouts and 17 submissions to his credit while Stephens has 14 knockouts in 20 career victories. If this bout sees the middle of the second round I would be extremely surprised. However long this happens to last it will certainly be a crowd pleaser.
Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le- UFC on Fuel TV: Le vs. Franklin, November 10th.
Le won his first UFC bout against Patrick Cote at UFC 148 while Franklin defeated Wanderlei Silva for the second time at UFC 147. These two guys like to stand and bang and put on fights that the fans enjoy. This will be the UFC’s first trip to China and Le is extremely excited about being a part of history. Franklin has been in so many wars, but is still capable of competing at a pretty high level. Neither of these guys is going to contend for a title anytime soon, but they will send the fans home happy.
John Lineker vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani- UFC on Fuel TV: Le vs. Franklin.
Lineker battled Louis Gaudinot for two rounds before succumbing to a guillotine choke with just six seconds left in the second round of their UFC on Fox 3 fight last May. Urushitani was brought in as the fourth man of the UFC’s flyweight tournament and was subsequently knocked out by Joseph Benavidez. He should perform much better his second time around. It’ll be interesting to see which man can rebound from their loss and it should be fun to watch. If this fight is anything like Lineker’s last one then we are in for a treat.
Shane Carwin vs. Roy Nelson- The Ultimate Fighter Finale 16, December 1st.
This match-up may or may not take place on this card, but whenever it does it will be exciting. After dealing with one another during the filming of the reality TV show I’m sure these two will be ready to rip each other heads off. Carwin has been out of action since last June while Nelson won the knockout of the night award for his first round KO against Dave Herman at UFC 146. Both of these guys hit hard and can take a serious punch. I can’t wait for this one.
Benson Henderson (Champion) vs. Nate Diaz (Challenger) UFC Lightweight Title- UFC on Fox 5, December 8th.
Ever since Henderson was announced as the winner in his rematch with Frankie Edgar at UFC everyone has been talking about how great this fight is going to be. How could it not? Here you have two guys with great gas tanks, solid stand-up and good submissions. Henderson has a clear advantage in the wrestling department, but Diaz just kills people with his high volume punching. What a great way to end the year as we get to watch this fight for free! I can’t remember when either guy was in a boring fight.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson- UFC on Fox 5.
Here we have the former champion and light heavyweight legend against the heir apparent. Rua and Brandon Vera put on a classic four round battle on the last Fox card. Shogun looked tired early on, but just like he did against Dan Henderson he was able to fight through and soldier on. Gustafsson defeated Thiago Silva pretty handily this past April and has now won five straight since losing to Phil Davis at UFC 112. This will be the biggest test of his young career and should he win it’ll only be a matter of time before he’s contending for UFC gold. Rua was offered another shot at Jon Jones, but turned it down. He has to win here or he may never get the rematch he says he desperately wants.
BJ Penn vs. Rory MacDonald- UFC on Fox 5.
This is another case of pitting the accomplished veteran against the young, up and coming stud. Penn has been out since losing to Nick Diaz at UFC 137 last October. He is still young (33) and has had a career full of big time fights. MacDonald is only 23–years-old and is considered the future of the UFC’s welterweight division. This match-up was supposed to take place at UFC 152, but MacDonald suffered a cut during training. If Penn is in shape and motivated I don’t see him losing this. No matter what happens it is my belief fans will be talking about for a long time.
Mike Swick vs. Matt Brown- UFC on Fox 5.
Swick made an emphatic return at UFC on Fox 4 as he defeated DaMarques Johnson via second round knockout. After missing 30 months because of stomach ailments and a knee injury, the season one Ultimate Fighter competitor showed tremendous heart and emotion. Brown is as tough as they come, he is never in a boring fight and despite a mediocre record he is a vital cog in the UFC welterweight division. This fight just made this card that much better.