UFC 157 Fight Card: Fighters Who Will Be on Track for Title Shot with Win

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 23, 2013

SACRAMENTO, CA - JUNE 26:  Urijah Faber relaxing after working out for the media during the Team Alpha Male Media Open Workout at Ultimate Fitness Gym on June 26, 2012 in Sacramento, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

One great thing about the UFC is that titles are still the most important thing to the fabric of the organization. It seems that every fighter in the promotion aspires to wear the gold, and for a fan, that is a great thing.

At UFC 157, the only title that will be on the line is Ronda Rousey's women's bantamweight belt. But there are a few fighters who can put themselves in position to get a shot at a title with a win.


Brendan Schaub

The Hybrid's stock has fallen a bit because of consecutive losses to Minotauro Nogueira and Ben Rothwell, but this is still one of the more talented heavyweights in the division.

Defeating Lavar Johnson would point him back in the right direction. The fight is somewhat tailor-made for him, as Johnson often tires quickly and is susceptible to submissions.

A win won't make Schaub the No. 1 contender immediately, but it will do wonders for his confidence. The heavyweight division isn't exactly stacked with contenders like some of the other weight classes.

If this can be the first in a string of wins, Schaub could be back in the top five within three or four fights.


Urijah Faber

Faber has lost to both Dominick Cruz and Renan Barao, but if he defeats Ivan Menjivar on Saturday night, it would seem that a rematch with Cruz or Barao is the only logical fight for the California Kid.

Per UFC.com, he's listed behind only Cruz (champion) and Barao (interim champion) in the featherweight division. Defeating Menjivar would only prove that the division has only three elite fighters.

Dana White may not want to give fans the same matchup again, but in the interest of having the best compete against each other, it would be the right thing to do.

If Cruz faces and defeats Barao to settle the championship status at 135 pounds, he'd be in line to battle Faber for the third time in their careers.


Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida

Neither Henderson or Machida have a shot at beating Jon Jones, in my opinion, but the winner of their UFC 157 meeting deserves a shot.

Machida failed miserably in a previous attempt to dethrone Bones. I'd like to see Henderson get a shot, just for the sake of seeing Bones destroy someone new.

The Henderson-Machida battle could be epic if the two stay on their feet. Henderson is an incredibly hard puncher with a great chin, and Machida is a dynamic striker.

Judging by the pictures from the weigh-in, Machida looks to be in marvelous shape for the bout. Conditioning could be the difference, as Henderson is 42 years old.

Hopefully, this one is a two-round brawl, and Henderson comes out on top. If it goes longer than two rounds, it favors Machida. That could force fans to sit through another episode of Bones beats the Dragon.


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