Tons and tons of fights were hooked up over the past few days. Here’s a quick look at some of the bigger ones:
Kendall Grove vs Demian Maia @ TUF 12 Finale (Dec 4th)
I’m not 100% sure what it is that Kendall Grove keeps doing to raise the ire of his bosses, but it must be something because this is the kind of fight that looks more than a little lopsided in Maia’s favor on paper. Still, just because we know who’s supposed to win doesn’t mean it won’t be an exciting fight. Consider this the second attempt by the UFC to put Maia in an exciting ground battle. Fortunately I don’t think Grove is as good at holding on for dear life as Mario Miranda was.
Gabe Ruedier vs Paul Kelly @ UFC 123 (Nov 20th)
It’s nice to see Gabe Ruediger getting another chance to show he’s more than just a cake eating, enema loving TUF idiot. Let’s see if getting a proper training camp and an easier opponent in Paul Kelly this time will result in less disastorous results than we saw at UFC 118.
Brandon Vera vs Thiago Silva @ UFC 125 (Jan 1st)
Is there anyone left that’s still waiting to see if the ‘old Brandon Vera’ is ever going to show up again? I’ve still got high hopes that the ‘old’ Thiago Silva will be there, even though that all depends on how messed up his back currently is.
Thiago Alves vs John Howard @ UFC 124 (Dec 11th)
Alves gets one more shot at welterweight, which is more than I’d have given him after that whole “I could have cut the weight but decided not to” crap at UFC 117. He fights John Howard, who is best known for growing a giant eye egg on his face during a fight with Jake Ellenburger. Less known is the fact that he’s got crazy knockout power when he actually decides to do some swinging.
Shinya Aoki vs Marcus Aurelio @ DREAM.16 (Sept 25th)
It’s two skilled jiu jitsu blackbelts going against eachother, and you know what that means: there’s a chance both of them will decide to stand like assholes and throw fisticuffs at eachother for the entire fight. That’s IF this fight even happens. Apparently Aurelio signed some paperwork with Shine Fights that gives them veto power over the fight and Shine sounds like they’re ready to use it.
Phil Davis vs Tim Boetsch @ UFC 123 (Nov 20th)
I wasn’t all that impressed with Tim Boetsch’s UFC comeback fight but he’ll have to put on a good showing if he wants to get past Phil Davis, who is slowly being built up to be another contender at 205. Will redneck judo be enough to counter Davis’ crushing control? Probably not, but it should still be fun to watch.
Stephan Bonnar vs Igor Pokrajac @ TUF 12 Finale (Dec 4th)
Igor Pokrajac was supposed to be a big deal when he came to the UFC, but back to back losses to Vladimir Matyushenko and local Australian cannon fodder James Te-Huna have made a lot of people re-evaluate their expectations. The UFC has been lobbing softballs Stephan Bonnar’s way for his past three fights, so it tells you a little about where Pokrajac is to get the call for this fight.