UFC 155 Fight Card: 5 Reasons You Must Watch This Event
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
I have no evidence to support what I'm about to say. What am I, a lawyer? A scientist? A "journalist"? Please.
What I am is a speculator. An opinionator. And I am presently of the opinion that UFC 155, set to go down Saturday from fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada, is somewhat lacking in the buzz department.
Maybe it's because the main event features a rematch between two guys (heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos and challenger Cain Velasquez) who don't exactly set the microphone on fire, and whose initial fight ended after like two seconds. Maybe it's because the full card was shaped by no less than six separate injuries. Maybe it's because no fighter outside the evening's main event has ever held a UFC belt. Maybe it's because the event arrives just four days after Christmas.
Maybe I'm completely wrong on this. Maybe I'm not. Either way, casual and hardcore fans alike should be pumped for this one. Here are five reasons why.
5. 2 Slobberknockers on Free TV
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
If you tune in to FX around 8 o'clock Saturday evening, you should see the continuation of a really terrific recent run of UFC undercards.
The four-fight FX lineup is headlined by two popular and hard-fighting bantamweights in Brad Pickett and Eddie Wineland. I imagine these two will be fishing for a bonus check.
But fans get a heaping ladle of gravy on top of that brawl courtesy of Jamie Varner and Melvin Guillard. Or, more specifically, Varner's small intestine, which chose to stage a grand rebellion on December 15, mere minutes before its owner was set to square off with Guillard. The fight was rescheduled, and here we are.
All told, if you look at the last two fights from these four fighters, you'll see they've amassed five combined post-fight bonuses during that period.
4. 2 Knockout Artists Return to the Canvas
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Todd Duffee made a splash in 2009 with a record-setting-maybe-possibly knockout in his UFC debut. Nine months and one fight later, he was gone.
More widely anticipated, of course, is the return of middleweight banger Chris Leben, who fights for the first time since being suspended for a year after another failed drug test. Sparks will fly when Leben tangles with dynamic newcomer Derek Brunson.
3. Costa Philippou Gets His Shot
Photo credit: Newsday.com
I'm an unabashed Costa Philippou fan. I'm no Jackson Winkeljohn, but I think Philippou's razor-sharp boxing and takedown defense is a positive combination of things.
Despite a 4-1 UFC record (and an active four-fight win streak), this is only Philippou's second time on pay-per-view, and it's his first time fighting a bona fide contender.
Can he make good against a tough Tim Boetsch? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT.
2. Finding a New Contender at 155
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In the co-main event of the evening, Joe Lauzon will fight Jim Miller. Miller has been "in the mix" before in the lightweight division; Lauzon has some exciting wins but has never pierced the boundary of the elite contenders' circle.
A win over the very talented Miller would change that for Lauzon. If Miller can grind out a win, it would get him back on track after a setback against Nathan Diaz.
1. Duh...The Heavyweight Title Fight
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
When last they met, Junior dos Santos knocked out Cain Velasquez on national TV to capture the heavyweight title. It was the first pro loss for Velasquez, and the public recently learned that he essentially fought Dos Santos on one knee.
Cain wants his belt back. Dos Santos wants to keep it. There's more at stake, though. These could be the two best heavyweights of this generation. Easy. This fight will take us a long way toward determining who's No. 1.