I am a pretty big UFC fan, and this one looks like the best in a long time. UFC 98 was the last one that I watched and although Evans/Machida was a strong match, the rest of the card was lackluster. There are three big matches on the card I am looking forward to and one of the undercard matches.
On the undercard, they may not show it, but I would love to see Mark Coleman vs Stephan Bonnar. Coleman is a UFC vet with strong wrestling from here in Ohio. Bonnar is a TUF veteran who has had memorable battles with Forest Griffin. Bonnar has strong striking but also decent jujitsu, but when he fights, he usually goes toe to toe standing up. I'd expect Bonnar to beat down the older Coleman, but this is a fight I'd love to see, both for the contrasting styles and the fact that neither of these fighters show much love of defense.
Next we have the battle of last season's TUF coaches Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping. Bisping's flying knee on one of the fights in TUF was just sick. He has excellent kickboxing with decent takedown defense. Henderson is an Olympic caliber wrestler with good boxing, powerful hands, and a strong chin. I expect Henderson to win because the only times Bisping has been pressed, it has been by strong wrestlers (decision loss to Rashad Evans and decision win against Matt Hamill which in my opinion should have been a loss).
Next we have a welterweight championship match between GSP - George St. Pierre and Thiago Alves. GSP is probably, along with Anderson Silva, one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. Admittedly I used to not care for him, but it is hard not to respect his skills. He is quick, with great striking, strong wrestling and good defense. Thiago Alves is HUGE for a welterweight and has a strong Muay Thai background. I just don't see his power being able to defeat a more polished well rounded fighter. I expect to see him taken down and see GSP use the ground and pound to win.
Last, the match everyone has been waiting for: a rematch between Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar to determine the true heavyweight champion in UFC. Mir literally beat down Antonio Nogueira to win his version of the title, Lesnar beat ex-champ Randy Couture to win his. In the last fight, Lesnar was dominating until Mir caught his leg and locked in a leg lock for the submission victory. I honestly don't know how to lean on this fight. The Mir I saw vs Nogueira can beat anyone. His standup was dominant and he has the best jujitsu of any heavyweight (not quite the level of BJ Penn or Demian Maia, but near that level). Lesnar on the other hand is a total freak of nature. Anyone who dismisses him as a pro wrestler would be forgetting about his NCAA championship in wrestling. Lesnar has amazing power and he can take down anyone in the UFC. His weaknesses are standup striking (his boxing isn't very good) and submissions (as we saw in the fight with Mir). I am taking an easy out on this one: I can't predict a winner. Lesnar could get tapped out, but he also has the power to exert his will on Mir.
I am really looking forward to this PPV, it looks like the best all around card I have seen out of UFC definately this year if not ever.
Mid Afternoon Quickie
1 month ago