UFC 157 Main Card Is Stacked With Major Names That Will Delight MMA Fans

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 20, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24:  UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida celebrates his victory over UFC Light Heavyweight challenger Mauricio Rua (not pictured) in their title fight at UFC 104 at Staples Center on October 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Machida retained his title by way of unanimous decision.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

I don't agree with Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche as the main event, but the rest of UFC 157's main card is solid. Rousey's debut is groundbreaking, and it deserves a good amount of attention for what it means to women's MMA, but Carmouche is not worthy of receiving this type of spotlight.

She's lost her last two fights, and the latest defeat came at the hands of Sarah Kaufman. Rousey just vanquished Kaufman in her last bout.

It takes two to fight, and two highly-regarded fighters to make a solid pay-per-view main event, and only half of that gets accomplished here. This would be better suited as the last fight on F/X.

Still, Rousey is a huge name, and many will tune in for what figures to be a lopsided victory just to see history.

As far as the other four fights shown exclusively on pay-per-view, the stars and potentially great bouts are in no shortage. Here is a preview of those matchups.


Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler

Every time I think Koscheck is just about done as a serious contender, he proves me wrong. He did lose his last fight to Johny Hendricks, but in taking Big Rigg to a three-round decision, Koscheck gave one of the hottest fighters in the division a very tough challenge.

Based on his performance in that fight, there is no doubt in my mind he can still compete with the best fighters at 170 pounds.

Lawler is making his UFC debut, but the 30-year-old veteran didn't finish his Strikeforce career on a winning note.

He lost a unanimous decision to Lorenz Larkin in July 2012.

Lawler is a big-time striker who gets into trouble when the fight is taken to the ground. Koscheck is a very capable boxer, but his wrestling skills give him a distinct advantage in this fight.

This one should be entertaining for a little over a round, but ultimately Koscheck's grappling should be the difference.


Court McGee vs. Josh Neer

This is a crucial fight for Neer. The veteran of 46 professional MMA fights needs a win in the worst way. He's lost his last two bouts, and both defeats have come in convincing fashion.

He was the victim of Knockout of the Night from Mike Pyle at UFC on FX 3, and he was defeated by first-round submission at UFC on FX 5 by Justin Edwards.

There will be a ton of desperation from Neer, but McGee is in a similar situation. He too has dropped his last two fights, but his losses haven't been as clear cut. I thought he deserved the decision over Nick Ring at UFC 149, but he didn't get the nod.

The loser of this fight will be tagged with a three-fight losing streak. Those don't go over too well in the UFC.

With both men enjoying stand-up battles, prepare for an all-out slugfest.


Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar

Faber has dropped fights to the top two fighters at 135 pounds, but if he knocks off Menjivar at UFC 157, it seems another shot at Renan Barao and/or Dominick Cruz are the only fights that make sense.

Faber needs to win this fight in impressive fashion to prove he still deserves to be considered elite in the division.

Menjivar is no easy win, but he has never shown the ability to take out top competition. He has losses against Mike Easton, Brad Pickett, Matt Serra and Georges St.Pierre on his record.

This will likely be another one of those types of fights for Menjivar. Faber is still a dynamic fighter, and he'll prove that on Saturday.

His win will further complicate the 135-pound title picture.


Lyoto Machida vs. Dan Henderson

For my money, this should be the main event.

Yes, Henderson is 42 years old, and no, neither man has a legitimate shot of beating Jon Jones (he has already destroyed Machida), but both men are accomplished and capable of putting on a great show.

If the fighters stay on their feet, the fight may not make it passed the second round, but fans will be thoroughly entertained.

Machida is one of the sport's most dynamic strikers, and Henderson has tons of power and a great chin. Machida has the advantage in terms of dexterity, Henderson is the tougher fighter both physically and mentally.

He is past his prime, though.

The eight-year age difference can't be ignored, and if the fight does go beyond two rounds, that will favor Machida. This is a fight that could go either way, and the amount of damage the fighters absorb early could be the key to victory.

In any case, this is the must-see fight of the event.


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