Constructing the UFC on Fox 6 Card in Chicago

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2012

Constructing the UFC on Fox 6 Card in Chicago

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    With the announcement of a fight between Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis in Chicago on January 26, I have been salivating at the possibilities that this card brings. Yes, I am an Illinois native living quite close to Chicago.

    Cerrone-Pettis is a great start, and Chicago is a great place for Pettis to fight. Training and living in Milwaukee, Wis., he will be close to home for this fight.

    With that, here is a card full of fighters from the Midwest that could complete the card.

Chico Camus vs. Edwin Figueroa

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    Where to Watch: Prelims on Facebook

    To kick off the card on Facebook, why not start with a couple of bantamweights to set the pace?

    Chico Camus is a Milwaukee native who trains out of Roufusport with Anthony Pettis. This would be a nice setting for a guy who lives so close to Chicago.

    For an opponent, Edwin Figueroa not only represents a nice challenge for Camus but will provide an exciting matchup. Both men like to strike and are very quick.

Josh Neer vs. Papy Abedi

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    Where to Watch: Prelims on Facebook

    Both Josh Neer and Papy Abedi have their backs against the wall as both have lost two in a row. This would be a "loser leaves town" fight.

    Neer is an Iowa native looking to recover from his quick submission loss to Justin Edwards in Minnesota. Where better for him to recover than near his home of Des Moines, Iowa.

    Abedi would add some international flavor to this card, which supplies many local faces.

Bart Palaszewski vs. Jason Young

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    Where to Watch: Prelims on Fuel TV

    Bart Palaszewski just took his training camp from Illinois to Greg Jackson's camp in New Mexico, so a spot on this card would be a nice homecoming for him.

    He is on a two-fight skid, so a win is a must here. Another man who needs a win desperately is Jason Young, who could be a nice opponent for Palaszewski.

    Both men would likely put on a striking affair with power strikes being thrown aplenty. 

Mike Russow vs. Shawn Jordan

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    Where to watch: Prelims on Fuel TV

    Mike Russow is a Chicago police officer, so it is only obvious that he get his spot on this card. 

    Russow is no stranger to fighting for the UFC in Chicago as he did it at the second Fox card in Chicago earlier this year.

    He is coming off of a loss to Fabricio Werdum, so he needs to get back on track. Another guy coming off a big loss is Shawn Jordan, who lost to upper mid-carder Chieck Kongo at UFC 149.

    Both men are looking to recover, so why not have them face each other on the Fuel TV prelims. It would test Jordan's ground game as well as Russow's striking defense.

Brian Ebersole vs. Keith Wisniewski

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    Where to Watch: Prelims on Fuel TV

    Two Indiana natives that are long-time veterans of the sport are Brian Ebersole and Keith Wisniewski. Both are coming off of losses, so this could be a match that makes sense.

    I know that Ebersole has talked about a drop to lightweight in the past, but he has been successful as a welterweight, so I will leave him at 170. He grew up in Bradley, Ill., though he was born in Indiana, and is a product of the Eastern Illinois wrestling program, giving him even more hometown cred.

    Wisniewski has fought many times in the Midwest throughout his long career. He would be another obvious addition to a card that is so close to home for him.

Jacob Volkmann vs. Gleison Tibau

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    Where to Watch: Prelims on Fuel TV

    Jacob Volkmann is a native of Minnesota, where he is well-received. I don't know if he'd get the same reaction in Chicago, but keeping him in the Midwest would be a nice try.

    Giving him an opponent like Gleison Tibau makes sense. Both recently recovered from losses with wins, with the losses breaking nice winning streaks beforehand.

    Both men are good grapplers and could put on an impressive ground display. Otherwise, it could cancel out and lead to a slugfest.

Darren Elkins vs. Marcus Brimage

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    Where to Watch: Prelims on Fuel TV

    Darren Elkins is a native of Indiana and will likely want on the card. So it makes sense to put him on there against another guy who, like himself, is on a big win streak.

    Marcus Brimage, like Elkins, is on an impressive three-fight win streak. Brimage has defeated the likes of Stephen Bass, Maximo Blanco and Jimy Hettes, while Elkins has defeated Michihiro Omigawa, Tiequan Zhang and Diego Brandao.

    This could be an important and interesting matchup.

Jeremy Stephens vs. Aaron Riley

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    Where to Watch: Prelims on Fuel TV

    Two more natives of the Midwest who could compete on the card against one another are Jeremy Stephens, who was supposed to fight in Minnesota not long ago, and Aaron Riley.

    Assuming Stephens can compete after his legal fiasco, this would be a nice card for him to get on. He is an Iowa native, which borders Illinois to the west.

    Meanwhile, Riley is an Indiana native with much experience fighting in this neck of the woods. 

    Both men are coming off of losses, so they should fight to see who sticks around and who looks for new employment. 

Clay Guida vs. Manny Gamburyan

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    Where to Watch: Main card on Fox

    Clay Guida did not fight on the last Chicago card that came around, but the Illinois native needs to be included on this one.

    He is now a featherweight and is looking to make his debut against a solid fighter. He would get that should he square off with Manny Gamburyan, a man who is currently not scheduled to fight (like all of these other fighters).

    These two bring all sorts of energy and would electrify fans who tuned in on Fox.

Ian McCall vs. Joseph Benavidez

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    Where to Watch: Main card on Fox

    The only fight on the card to not have a fighter from a surrounding Midwest state, a match  between Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall is placed on the card for pure excitement.

    From a matchup standpoint, both men are top flyweights looking to get back into top contention. Both have proven to be exciting in the past and could reel in fans on the main card broadcast.

    It would be a great way to harness the excitement from Guida-Gamburyan before it and continue to bring positivity to the broadcast.

Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia

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    Where to Watch: Main card on Fox

    This is a matchup that I have wanted to see ever since Demian Maia dropped to welterweight. Since both men won at UFC 153 in Brazil, the timing is perfect.

    Jon Fitch is an Indiana native who would be fighting close to home and his alma mater, Purdue. His wrestling and all-around grappling are very sound and could challenge one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in MMA.

    Maia fought on the Fox card in Chicago earlier this year, so this would be familiar territory. The only difference is that Fitch would have the home-crowd advantage. 

Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis

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    Where to Watch: Main card on Fox

    This fight is already announced, so this an obvious inclusion.