Keeping up with the UFC is a daunting task in 2014. That’s why I’ve come to do something that’s very nerdy. I make a fight itinerary. I even call it a “fight itinerary.” In reality, it amounts to nothing more than a grocery list of sorts as I write an event down, and circle the parts that matter, sometimes even adding a few notes on when I can approximately take breaks. It’s just a weird thing that feels necessary when there are Saturdays like this one with two UFC cards happening on the same day.
Now, I would make one of these for the Tulsa, Oklahoma card headlined by Benson Henderson vs. Rafael Dos Anjos, but if you don’t think a Benson Henderson fight is worth watching, then I’m sorry, but you should turn in your MMA fan card because there’s just no hope for you.
However, that’s why I’d like to take a minute and focus on the early morning offering of a UFC card in Macao, China because it really does have a few great matches on it that are definitely worth your attention.
So here it goes: In order of importance, this is what you should have on your fight itinerary at UFC Fight Night Bisping vs. Le.
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Tyron Woodley
These are two fighters that have done things in the octagon that will literally keep you up at night.
I’m talking about awesome, yet monstrous things. I’m talking about Woodley’s 1,2 combo on an out on his feet and stumbling Josh Koscheck. (Go Google image that finish. It will give you chills.) I’m also talking about Dong Hyun Kim’s spinning back elbow that made an audible *crack* sound off of John Hathaway’s cheek. Those are memories that don’t leave your brain quickly and that’s why this fight has the potential to be the best match of the entire weekend.
Here’s the breakdown. Kim has become a gunslinger of sorts where he throws strikes that just shouldn’t ever land, yet they do. He went Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots mode on Erick Silva and won in this manner. He then twirled and twirled against John Hathaway so much so that it is unbelievable that a spinning strike ended the fight in his favor. It’s this kid in a sandbox approach to striking that has made him an endearing figure at welterweight and I couldn’t be more excited to make a well balanced breakfast tomorrow morning and watch him square off against Tyron Woodley.
While Woodley, a.k.a. Jake Ellenberger’s twin, unveiled his crazy power in his UFC debut when he blitz Jay Heiron for the early knock out finish. He could reasonably do the same here and end DHK’s four fight win streak quickly with a knock out or those big muscles of his that people are always talking about could continue to be a curse as Kim turns the pressure on in the later rounds.
I guess as a final thought on this bout, I also feel it’s important to point out that the potential for this fight to be boring and disappoint is pretty great too. Kim’s early UFC career and Woodley’s Strikeforce days come to mind. So don’t get your hopes up too high.
However, I’m still betting on the opposite happening as the current incarnations of both fighters are nothing like that anymore. It’s almost like both of them had a Chael Sonnen-esque moment where they just decided one day that they wanted to be the fighters that people were talking about by the water cooler the Monday after an event.
Either way, it’s two top-ten welterweights vying for title contention and it should be at the top of your list.
Michael Bisping vs. Cung Le
As for the main event in Macao, Cung Le is in the UFC for a different reason than most. If you were unaware, the UFC is trying their darnedest to terraform China into a fight hub and Cung Le seems to be doing an okay job as a figurehead in the region. As for his fighting, Michael Bisping is probably the best guy he could beat at 185. I doubt it, but I do see a way for him to win being that Bisping sometimes has big mental lapses in his striking defense and Le tends to knock people out.
Overall, this will be fun, but the real fun to be had is still with Woodley vs. Kim.
Finally, a quick mention to a fight that I will personally be checking out this weekend, but it’s sorta small potatoes.
Roland Delorme vs Yuta Sasaki
Yuta Sasaki is a bantamweight prospect that’s been bandied about for what feels like a solid year or two. He’s a grappler with a gangly-ish 5’10” body type perfect for the eight submission wins on his 17-1 record. If the Japanese promotion, Shooto, (where he has won two titles) weren’t being so… Shooto, we probably would’ve seen a lot more of this guy by now. Whatever. Thankfully, the UFC picked him up and now he’s the biggest thing on this undercard in Macao.
He’s matched up against Roland Delorme, another grappler that’s been in the UFC for quite awhile. Delorme has two losses in a row and holds 3-2(1 NC) UFC record, yet he still has the skills to spoil Sasaki’s debut.
While setting up a coffee pot, this should be fun enough to help wake you up. I mean, both of these guys aren’t much in the striking department, but they take enough risks on the ground that this shouldn’t become some awful stalemated kickboxing bout.
As for the rest of the card, they are fights, and fights are fun to watch. They just don’t make the cut in my book. If you don’t agree with this list, then sell me on the other ones. Comment, or yell at me on Twitter. @patrickstighe
UFC Fight Night Bisping vs. Le starts at 6:30 a.m. ET(3:30 a.m. PT) on Fight Pass.