With all of the events from my previous 'Top Upcoming Fights' installment in the books it's time to look at what's on tap for MMA fight fans over the next few months.
Even though not every match up listed is going to end up being as good as it looks on paper, these are fights you don't want to miss.
Let's get to it.
1.) Fedor vs. Dan Henderson/Strikeforce - In the world of MMA, Fedor still carries some weight when it comes to drawing big numbers. Not to mention all the water cooler talk in regards to his career, future, and crumbling legacy. Getting a win over the likes of a legend in Henderson would go along ways to take some of the sting out of his last 2 outings. That said, I see Henderson getting the win after wearing down 'The Last Empero'r with his clinch, dirty boxing, and Olympic caliber take downs.
2.) Rich Franklin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira/UFC 133 - Rich Franklin will be trying to avoid dropping 2 in a row for the first time in his long career. He is 3-3 over his last 6 with tough losses coming against Forrest Griffin, Vitor Belfort, and Dan Henderson. 'Lil Nog' is still starting to show some wear himself having dropped his last 3 fights in the UFC. The outcome of this fight could put these two fighters on different paths to end their respective careers. Make mine Franklin by TKO.
3.) Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle/UFC On Versus 5 - This is going to be the best throw down from this post and likely FOTN. Hardy desperately needs a win to keep some type of foothold in the UFC. 4 losses in a row might be curtains for the brash Brit who appeared at one time to be on a fast track up the division. Losses to GSP, Anthony Johnson, and Carlos Condit got him to this point. It will be a tough task against 8 time 'Of The Night' recipient Chris Lytle.
4.) Brendan Schaub vs. Big Nog/UFC 134 - Colorado's Brendan Schaub continues to surge up the heavyweight ladder as he vies for his 5th straight win in the UFC. And the wins came against some tough opponents at that. You would think if he gets by 'Big Nog' in Brazil he would officially be in line for a title shot some time in 2012. Shane Carwin has publicly said he would not face Schaub unless they were the #1 and #2 contenders but this could get interesting.
5.) Forrest Griffin vs. Shogun Rua/UFC 134 - In a rematch that could be better than the first, Rua looks to avenge his loss to Griffin at UFC 76 where he was submitted in the closing seconds. Rua will be trying to string 2 wins together since 2009 as the former TUF in Griffin looks to stay alive at 205lbs. Griffin is 5-2 over his last 7. A close one to call, but this time I go with Shogun to get the win. Trilogy in the making?
*Honorable Mention Diego Sanchez vs. Matt Hughes/UFC 135* - Even though Matt Hughes is on his way out he will no doubt test Sanchez to the fullest. I don't see Hughes getting the win though as Sanchez gets the unanimous decision on this night. I hope to see you at the Pepsi Center for this one...
Watch for future posts here at MMANews.com breaking down the betting lines on these and other upcoming cards.
See you at the fights!
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