UFC 164 and Fight Night 27: 5 Best Fights for Upcoming Cards

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2013

UFC 164 and Fight Night 27: 5 Best Fights for Upcoming Cards

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    In a rare move, the UFC puts on two events next week. There will be UFC Fight Night 27, which takes place in Indianapolis, IN, as well as UFC 164 in Milwaukee, WI.

    Both midwest cards feature some top talent. While Fight Night 27 hosts a rematch between Martin Kampmann and Carlos Condit that could push a top contender into the welterweight spotlight, 164 possesses a lightweight title rematch stemming from the WEC days between Anthony Pettis and Benson Henderson.

    Here are the best five fights from those cards that we will see next week.

Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael Dos Anjos

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    The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 27 sees a pair of lightweight battle for top-10 status, as Brazil's Rafael dos Anjos meets perennial contender Donald Cerrone.

    Cerrone has spent a majority of his UFC career on the brink of a title shot. Whenever he is within the grasp of the illicit shot, he is derailed with a loss. This has happened in bouts against Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis.

    However, Cerrone is back in the win column and back on the prowl. His win over KJ Noons was a great performance that saw him dominate the Strikeforce veteran.

    The striker takes on a grappler that has developed his striking as of late in dos Anjos. The Brazilian is on a tear right now, winning four straight and five of his last six.

    Normally a submission fighter, he has developed his standup recently. However, he will have to bring his A-game if he plans on outstriking a Muay Thai machine in Cerrone.

    It should be an interesting one.

Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann

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    Mark my words, this bout will be a contender for Fight of the Year. Of course, I am talking about the rematch between welterweight contenders Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann.

    Their first encounter came in Condit's UFC debut, when he came into the company with a great deal of hype as the WEC champion. The fight was extremely entertaining, close and competitive, and could have gone either way.

    Since their encounter, both men have improved, especially Condit. Condit's aggressive striking will be a great counter to Kampmann's counterstriking and technical prowess.

    Add that Condit is not afraid to grappler of his back, and a barnburner would almost be a disappointing label in this fight.

    Whoever wins should be a fight or two away from the title. Either way, fans will be thoroughly entertained.

Dustin Poirier vs. Erik Koch

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    This is a fight I have been craving since both men rose to prominence. Erik Koch and Dustin Poirier open UFC 164's main card and it promises fireworks at the very least.

    Both Koch and Poirier are skilled strikers with exciting styles. Their quickness, combined with technique and power, will make for one of the better featherweight bouts in recent memories.

    Koch has the hometown advantage, training out of Roufusport in Milwaukee. That won't have an shake Poirier, who will look to play spoiler.

    Both men are dark horses in the featherweight title picture. They aren't mentioned with the Cub Swansons and Frankie Edgars, but a win could definitely get them up there.

    This is fight that is easily a favorite to win Fight of the Night.

Josh Barnett vs. Frank Mir

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    Speaking of fights we have been craving, former heavyweight champions meet in the co-main event of UFC 164 when Frank Mir welcomes back Josh Barnett to the UFC.

    Both men are noted for their grappling acumen. Mir is a jiu-jitsu artist known for attempting to take limbs home with him, while Barnett is a boa constrictor that methodically breaks fighters down from the top before tapping them.

    On the feet is somewhat even. Neither man is going to be confused with Tyrone Spong, but it's when the fight hits that mat that fans begin to get especially excited.

    Seeing who is the superior grappler is going to be a treat. Barnett is a catch wrestler that needs to be on top, but we have seen what Mir can do on the bottom.

    Grab a beer (if you're of age), kick back and enjoy what could be a grappler's delight.

Anthony Pettis vs. Benson Henderson

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    It's the most anticipated rematch since Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen. Simply put, it's Benson Henderson-Anthony Pettis.

    Where were you when Pettis landed the Showtime Kick? Think about it and remember the fun times.

    I personally was in my dorm room scarfing down chicken wings while watching what was the final WEC card. A fan of Anthony Pettis' swag, I eagerly awaited him to dethrone Henderson, the man who beat my personal favorite, Donald Cerrone, twice.

    Quickly looking away to grab another wing, I glanced up to see Pettis take flight, redirect off the cage and kick the champion square in the face. What an ending to a great fight!

    Pettis became champ, but what ensued was one of the most hellish comebacks in the sport. While Pettis' hype was derailed by a lackluster loss to Clay Guida, Henderson went on to dominate the competition and become UFC champion.

    Now, Pettis has regained his momentum and gets a shot in his hometown against his arch-rival. What will happen?

    I don't know.

    What I do know is if you were a fan of the first fight, the second should be just as good, if not better.