UFC 155, headlined by Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez II, will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this Saturday.
The sport of mixed martial arts continues to burgeon, especially with the younger crowd, and with that growth comes extra respect.
The more people watch, the more they recognize and appreciate the technical aspects of the sport. This isn't just a bunch of oversized goons kicking the crap out of each other. There's an art to it, a subtlety.
That being said, nothing gets the crowd going quite like a vicious knockout or match-ending tap-out. That's just the way it is.
Here are three guys that will set Saturday night on fire with knockouts or submission:
Junior Dos Santos
Opponent: Cain Velasquez
Dos Santos vs. Velasquez part deux, the battle for the UFC heavyweight title, will close the night. It'll also end the same way as part one.
There was nothing junior about the way Dos Santos treated Velasquez in the first fight. With his mythical punching power, he was able to fell his opponent at the 1:04 mark of Round 1
Cain Velasquez has earned his rematch, though. Especially considering the way he dominated Antonio Silva back in March.
Look for Velasquez to try his hardest to get Dos Santos on the floor. He'll use the best tai moves to get him there, but Dos Santos and his underrated grappling skills should be able to cast him aside.
After that, it becomes a matter of when, not if, Dos Santos drops Cain for the second time. My money is in the early second round.
Dos Santos. TKO. Boom.
Opponent: Jim Miller
Lauzon and Miller are two of the scrappiest lightweights in the sport. They'll fight what's sure to be one of the more entertaining bouts of the night.
Miller is reeling from a bad loss to Nate Diaz. He's always all business when he enters the cage, but he could overreach in this one.
A wrestler by trade, he'll be tempted to bring Lauzon onto the floor. Which is probably a bad idea.
Look for Lauzon to excel on the ground, eventually defeating Miller by submission.
Opponent: Derek Brunson
The waxes and wanes of Chris "The Crippler" Leben's career are well-documented. Not only aren't we sure if he'll win the fight, we're not sure he'll even show up.
But the talent disparity here—should Leben fight up to his potential, that is—it too steep to ignore. Brunson has charisma and modicums of skill, but not the kind Leben possesses.
Whenever the MMA world is ready to cast "The Crippler" aside, he seems to rise from the ashes by doing something remarkable.
That trend won't change here: Leben by TKO.