The Top 5 Fights On The Way
As we end the 2010 fight calendar and begin 2011, MMA fans can look forward to huge fights on the horizon of the MMA landscape. During this time we will see 5 surefire great match ups over the next handful of events. Any one of these could end up being Fight Of The Night and Fight Of The Year winners when the dust settles.
The list reflects scheduled fights through February from all promotions. Which fight will reign supreme?
1.) Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort UFC 126 Main Event - Vitor Belfort no doubt took note of what Chael Sonnen was able to do to Silva "pre-triangle." In spite of that, Vitor is likely going to choose to do what most fighters facing "The Spider" try to avoid; trading punches. Adding fuel to the showdown is the fact that the fight has been moved back twice due to injuries sustained by both. Looks like we might actually get to see it go down this time with UFC 126 rapidly approaching. Silva comes in as the heavy favorite at a -325, with Belfort at a +250. Underdog pick of the night? Not this one as Silva gets the win by KO.
2.) Ryan Bader vs. Jon "Bones" Jones UFC 126 Co-Main Event - Fans might finally get to see Jon Jones truly tested as he faces his toughest opponent yet in Ryan Bader. Both are still undefeated adding to the circumstances that make this a must see fight. Bader hasn't quite blown through opponents like Jones as he held off Antonio Rogerio Nogueira after 5 rounds at UFC 119, but is still cruising. I see Jones finishing "Darth Bader" in his usual highlight reel fashion fans have grown accustomed to.
3.) Forrest Griffin vs. Rich Franklin UFC 126 - After being out of action since beating Tito the second time in late 2009, Griffin looks to get back on track. Rich Franklin will try to keep on his winning ways attempting to string together two wins for the first time since 2008. Griffin needs a win more than Franklin if he is to keep his UFC career alive, having lost 2 of his last 3 fights both via KO and TKO. Does Forrest avoid getting clipped as the Iceman did? This fight is a tough one to predict with both fighters backs against the proverbial wall, but Griffin comes out on top in a battle for the ages.
4.) Carlos Condit vs. Chris Lytle UFC 127 Co-Main Event - This has fight of the night written all over it. Both fighters have 6 combined "Fight Of The Night" honors between them. Lytle continues to win the battle against father time, entering the cage for the 53rd time in his professional career. On a recent surge, the volunteer firefighter will see his 4 fight win streak come to end against Condit, but will treat the fans to one hell of a show. Carlos should move up the food chain getting closer to a title shot if not securing it outright.
5.) Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis WEC 53 Main Event - The night is going to see the end of the WEC era with the UFC merger is complete. Going out with a bang the card will pit Benson Henderson against Anthony "Showtime" Pettis. Pettis has been on a tear since losing his first WEC outing by split decision against Bart Palaszewski. Like anyone else, I've enjoyed watching the skills of Pettis, but Henderson is going to be the victor as he is a more well rounded fighter on another level with huge wins over Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone twice. Thanks for the memories WEC.
**Honorable Mention Jorge Rivera vs. Michael Bisping UFC 127- With the disdain that has built up between these two in addition to both opting to stand at the center of the octagon and throw down, this fight had to at least make the honorable mention entry. Rivera was recently scheduled to face Alessio Sakara at UFC 122, but Sakara was forced to withdraw after hurling backstage prior to the fight. No doubt Rivera will be eager to get back in the cage as both fighters look to shut each other up. You have to respect Jorge's heart, but the pin-point technical striking of Bisping will put him over the top and closer to a title shot in 2011. Note: This fight is still currently schedulded, but there are rumblings about the UFC trying to setup Bisping vs. Maia. Stay tuned.
If you were looking for GSP vs. Koscheck 2 to be on this list, sorry Kos fans. GSP is going to dominate this fight again. Kos' freshly cut mop and his trash talking won't be enough this time either. If you liked this, check out the blog found here: http://colorado-mma-colorado-boxing.com.
See you at the fights!