As would be expected from a network-televised fight card, UFC on Fox 7 will make huge waves across several divisions.
Most notably, the lightweight title will be on the line in a fight between UFC champion Benson Henderson and former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez. Also at 155 pounds, No. 4 lightweight contender Nate Diaz will welcome Josh Thomson back to the Octagon.
Currently ranked No. 1 in their respective divisions, Team Alpha Male fighters Chad Mendes and Joseph Benavidez will attempt to hold their ground against dark horses Darren Elkins and Darren Uyenoyama.
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier will make his long-awaited UFC debut against No. 5 heavyweight contender Frank Mir.
Moreover, rising welterweights Matt Brown and Jordan Mein will attempt to make a statement when they meet as the opening bout on the main card.
Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez
While his hope of breaking Anderson Silva's record for consecutive title defenses is a bit lofty at this stage, Henderson is on his way toward becoming one of the more dominant champions the lightweight division has seen.
Melendez knows a little something about defending championships, having won seven straight Strikeforce title fights heading into this matchup. However, the former Strikeforce champion has not been meeting the same level of competition as Henderson, and that could show at UFC on Fox 7.
Henderson is a more diverse striker than Melendez and has the wrestling to potentially shut down his challenger's ground game.
Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir
Undefeated in his eight fights under the Strikeforce banner, Cormier will finally have a chance to put his talents on display on MMA's biggest stage.
Mir is a tough test for Cormier's UFC debut, but "DC" has the world-class wrestling to avoid the former champion's submissions and has shown striking prowess in knocking out top contender Antonio Silva.
While Mir does still deserve to be called a top-10 heavyweight, his only truly flawless performance of the past three years came against Roy Nelson. His title shot against Junior dos Santos very well could be the last of his UFC career.
Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson
Though not ranked as highly, Thomson does present Diaz with some problems.
The former Strikeforce champion has the wrestling and submission defense to shut Diaz down on the ground should he be able to score takedowns with frequency.
However, one thing Diaz has going for him in this matchup is the help of Melendez, who has won two out of three fights against Thomson. Since Diaz also has experience fighting Henderson, it's likely he'll work closely with Melendez in the lead-up to UFC on Fox 7.
That, along with Diaz's reach and boxing, should make the difference.
Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein
Though Brown is on one of the best runs of his career with four straight wins, he's about to run into one of the toughest tests he's had in the more youthful and athletic Jordan Mein.
Even at 23 years old, Mein is not lacking in experience as a competitor, with 35 fights under his belt. While Brown is known as one of the tougher fighters to finish in the welterweight division, Mein recently became the first person to stop Dan Miller inside the Octagon.
Mein has had some setbacks here and there, but those have mostly come against high-level wrestlers, which Brown is not.
Chad Mendes vs. Darren Elkins
It required accepting a fight on late notice as an injury replacement, but Elkins is finally getting the big step up in competition he has been hoping for after winning five straight bouts.
Elkins may be biting off more than he can chew in this matchup, though. Due to opponent injuries, Mendes has had to take a slow road back toward facing elite featherweight competition, and he's been taking out his frustration on his overmatched opponents.
While Elkins has shown he has what it takes to have a long career in the UFC, he's about to be shown how far he is from being a legitimate contender in the 145-pound class.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Unlike Team Alpha Male teammate Mendes, Benavidez has decided to take the long road back to a title shot by choice. After beating Ian McCall recently, Benavidez appeared in line for a rematch with flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
Instead, Benavidez shrugged off questions of another title shot and was admittedly open to taking some more fights before competing against "Mighty Mouse" again.
That has given Uyenoyama a golden opportunity to compete against one of the best 125-pound fighters in the world. Even though Uyenoyama's undefeated inside the Octagon, his somewhat one-dimensional jiu-jitsu style isn't going to cut it against the well-rounded Benavidez.