On December 29th, the UFC has given us a card to end the year off with a bang. Two of the baddest men on the planet will collide in a rematch, with the belt on the line. Junior Dos Santos looks to defend his belt for the second time, and Cain Velasquez looks to get back the belt he once held. This is a fight, that you don’t want to miss! These men are regarded as two of the best fighters in the heavyweight division, and although the first fight ended quickly, redemption is on the mind of Cain Velasquez. Don’t Blink!
Junior Dos Santos vs Cain Velasquez
As I previewed above, this fight is going to be an awesome one. Anytime heavyweights step into the octagon, it is exciting. But the fact that these are the two very best heavyweight fighters, makes it just that much better. And I know these men have already squared off, but the fact that it ended so quickly, left a poor taste in my mouth of how good this fight could be. Now I’m not discrediting Junior Dos Santos because we all know he carries one of the heaviest hands in mma, period. But, Velasquez just standing in front of Dos Santos, and not shooting for a takedown, didn’t seem right. Apparently he was hurt, something with his ACL, but everyone isn’t 100% when they fight. Nagging injuries, and the daily pains of training, make it hard to step into that octagon perfectly fine. Well, not to get off subject, I’m more interested if Velasquez implements his wrestling in this fight, and also if Junior Dos Santos can stuff Velasquez’s attempts to get this one to the ground. Either way this fight is going deliver because heavyweights rarely fail to excite.
Jim Miller vs Joe Lauzon
An interesting Co-Main Event to say the least, although the original fight was Gray Maynard vs Joe Lauzon. Either way, Miller is a top 10 lightweight, so it’s not like Lauzon got an easy replacement or anything. Miller has been one of these guys in a stacked lightweight division that has hung around contendership. The problem though is of late, and not capitalizing on fights that would get him that opportunity to fight for the belt. Miller is primarily a wrestler with a really good submission game, and I wonder what gameplan he is going to implement in this fight. I don’t think he can lay on Lauzon, even if he takes him down, so it should be interesting. As for Lauzon, this is a big fight to launch himself into being a lightweight contender. When Lauzon fights, it’s almost guaranteed to be exciting, he is just that type of fighter. Armed with one of the best submission games, and a pretty underrated striking game…Lauzon is pretty well rounded. Don’t be surprised to see him pull guard against Miller either because we all know how quick he can latch onto a limb, and take it home. This fight is definitely going to be a war!
Tim Boetsch vs Costa Philippou
Although this fight was originally supposed to be Tim Boetsch vs Chris Weidman, I actually like this better. I am a Weidman fan as well, but I think Costa Philippou has earned a big fight like this. Currently on a 4 fight win streak, Philippou has shown nothing but improvement in his stand up and wrestling. As for Boetsch, the drop down to middleweight was the best decision he’s ever made in his fight career. Since dropping down, Boetsch is 4-0, which includes big wins over Yushin Okami, and Hector Lombard. Now, Boetsch is gunning for a title shot, and with another win, he will be knocking at the door. For Philippou, this is his chance to get a name on his record, as well as prove that he is a top middleweight.
Yushin Okami vs Alan Belcher
A long awaited rematch, as both men made their UFC debut’s against each other at UFC 62. That was back in 2006, and 6 years later, they will meet again. They are Different, and more complete fighters then they were before, and this one should be a good one. Yushin Okami is armed with one of the better jabs in mma, as well as well as one of the best top games. Okami can take you down, and smother you on the top for an entire round. As for Alan Belcher, he is one of the more talented grapplers in the UFC. But make no mistake, the man can strike as well. This fight is very interesting because Okami is going to try and take Belcher down, there is no question about that. If Belcher can shrug it off, Okami might be in trouble on the feet. But, if Okami can get it to the ground, he will have to watch out for Belcher’s guard because it is a dangerous one. Should be an awesome fight though!
Chris Leben vs Derek Brunson
This is yet again, another replacement fight on the main card, which just shows you what type of year it’s been for the UFC. Nevertheless this is an intriguing fight, as Chris Leben makes his Octagon return after being suspended for a year. Leben known to many fans as a real life zombie, will have to shake off the rust, and prove to the fans that is iron chin, and heavy hands are in tact. As for Derek Brunson, this is a big fight in his career. Labeled as a prospect and future talent, Brunson has hit a rough patch in his young career. Two consecutive losses, although one is controversial, the other against “Jacare” Souza was not. Brunson was knocked out cold for the first time in his career. Brunson is a wrestler, with a pretty good submission game, and we can clearly see what his gameplan will be. I’m not sure we will see too much striking from Brunson, especially if he wants to be awake the entire fight. Can the Strikeforce crossover, pull off the upset, maybe. But, this is one should be a fun one regardless.