Fans will find themselves thinking about this fight card out of chronological order, very soon. If it hasn’t already found itself a place on our calendars, it’s slowly finding one in our hearts. Cheesy metaphors aside, this one matters.
Across all the divisions in the UFC, this fight card has the potential to change people’s top ten lists, throughout the night’s discourse.
Looking at the main event between JDS and Cain Velasquez, the entire heavyweight division will be holding their breath. Both men have exchanged losses, both know what they have to do, and both have a very clear understanding what their opponent will be trying to accomplish. This one’s not a match, it’s about imposition of will, something we call a fight, ladies and gents.
Before these two have it out, a slew of other rebounding top contenders will face of in their respective divisions to either propel themselves back in to contention, or become knocked back down the contendership ladder.
Other plot points garnish the main dish, adding a full and tasty looking platter. Hector Lombard will be officially joining the welterweights and will probably look even more cut than he did at middleweight. He’s got a lot to prove since he lost all the hype from his BellatorFC days, going 1-2 in the UFC’s middleweight division, forcing him to drop weight and rebuild his career.
To test him at his new home will be none other than Nate Marquardt, of whom is a beast since moving down from middleweight as well. He was riding a lot of hype when he KO’d Tyrone Woodley in the fourth round to win the Strikeforce welterweight strap. Unfortunately he would lose it to Tarec Saffiedine and then drop from viscous strikes in his return to the UFC against Jake Ellenberger. Look to see Marquardt and Lombard throw caution to the wind and break the hinges off the cage when they meet.
Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez will be the animalistic match of the night, not to mention a pivotal fight among the lightweights. Where Sanchez’s only loss in his last four appearances was a welterweight showdown with Jake Ellenberger in February 2012, Melendez hadn’t lost since 2008 which saw him take and hold the Strikeforce lightweight strap for years, until he dropped a close split decision loss to UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson, in his UFC debut.
Luke Rockhold and Tim Boetsch will look to rebound among the middleweights. While Anderson Silva is currently dethroned, this is the moment to pick up some momentum and stake a claim for a title shot in a division that seemed fairly top heavy for a long time until recently. Both men were recently beat by fellow top middleweight contenders in Vitor Belfort (defeating Rockhold by TKO) and Mark Munoz (pummeling Boetsch for a decision victory). I doubt these two will hold anything back to avoid all together falling off the top ten lists in their division.
All the other weight classes aside, the three big heavyweight bouts are going to shake things up in the respective division. Daniel Cormier vs. Roy Nelson, Shawn Jordan vs. Gabriel Gonzaga, and Velasquez vs. JDS will end by knockouts, or I’m retiring my computer for a clown suit.
Even the Ultimate Fighter finds its spot on the card, with explosive striker Tony Ferguson joining the fray against UFC new comer Mike Rio who is 1-1 since joining the promotion. Recently dropping a unanimous decision loss to Michael Johnson in May of 2012, Ferguson has been gone for some time, and will look to rebound with a victory this October.
George Sotiropoulos and KJ Noons are probably the least heralded fighters on the card at this point, yet no less dynamic in their approach to the fight game. Where George will look to take it to the ground, Noons will try to ward off the takedowns and establish his boxing. Both fighters have fought under pressure in pivotal fights throughout their careers, and this one won’t be any different.
Even more enticing is that the rest of the fight card hasn’t been assembled yet. I’m assuming that including the eight fights already scheduled, a few more will eventually be added.