With this card one thing is for sure. It's more PPV-worthy than UFC 147.
The main event fighters are actually fighting for something and the entire card is stacked with names that are known to deliver. With that said, how do these matchups fare against each other? And top to bottom, which matchup is the best?
I'll be judging the fights by grading the potential of a great match against the potential to be a snoozefest.
After two underwhelming decision performances in the Octagon, Hatsu Hioki is looking to make a statement in the UFC.
The Shooto No Kid finished 67 percent of his fights before joining the UFC while becoming the No. 2 ranked Featherweight in the world. He will look to make an impressive showing and earn a title match against Jose Aldo.
Across the cage from him is Ricardo Lamas. Fresh off of two impressive finishes of Matt Grice and Cub Swanson Lamas is looking to throw himself into the title hunt. A win vs Hioki would definitely do just that.
This could be the very best fight on the card or the worst. All depends on who brings it. Should be interesting.
Potential to be great: 4/10
Yes, the main event is only the fourth most exciting fight on this card.
On one hand you have a solid boxer in Maynard going up against the granite chin and push forward style of Guida. I expect this to be a very competitive back and forth match that'll see The Carpenter take some punishment and Maynard spend time on his back with Guida's hair in his face.
However in dealing with two wrestlers there's potential for lay and pray, which is why this ranks low on the power rankings. Hopefully they prove me wrong.
Potential to be great: 5.5/10
This could potentially be a battle of who has the best chin. Both guys are going to look to stand and trade which is always fun in itself. Swanson has solid standup while Pearson is a taekwondo black belt so the styles definitely make for what should be something to watch for.
Look for this to be a war.
Potential to be great: 6.5/10
Brian Ebersole is for real. A slick BJJ game and unorthodox striking has helped him on his way to a 10 fight winning streak. If there is any hole in his game it may be his submission defense as he’s been submitted nine times.
In steps T.J. Waldburger. A brown belt in BJJ and with 12 submission victories, he’ll give Ebersole all he could handle in what may be his only shred of weakness. However Waldburger will be tested himself. After being knocked out five times, most recently by Johny Hendricks, he’ll face a man with 14 KO victories.
Since styles make fights, this should be one to look out for.
Potential to be great: 7/10
This rubber match will be the best fight on the card.
After two fights we've seen pretty much everything from these two. Knockdowns, submissions, judo throws, slugfests, blood baths, this series has brought it. Both matches went to decision, one a split decision victory for Stout, the other a unanimous decision for King Fish. So there's unfinished business in this match that's five years in the making.
I expect this to be a mix of Leonard Garcia vs Chan Sung Jung and Dan Henderson vs Shogun Rua. A little slugfest, a little technical, and a whole lot of fun. So grab your popcorn for this one and get ready to sit through 15 minutes of excellence.
Potential to be great: 8.5/10