The card for UFC 110 is an interesting one: void of a title fight, but not short on star power.
One thing that makes UFC's pay per view events something a true MMA fan can't miss is the ability of Dana White and friends to create fights that intrigue fans. UFC 110 is no exception.
Let's take a look at the card.
Antonio Minotauro Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez
Wanderlei Silva vs. Michael Bisping
Joe Stevenson vs. George Sotiropoulos
Ryan Bader vs. Keith Jardine
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Anthony Perosh
Goran Reljic vs. C.B. Dollaway
Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
Chris Lytle vs. Brian Foster
James Te Huna vs. Igor Pokrajac
Here are five reasons to watch UFC 110.
UFC 110 marks the first time the company is venturing Down Under for one of its marquee events. Tickets for the fights, which will take place at the Acer Arena in Sydney, sold out in just minutes after going on sale.
UFC president Dana White cited tremendous DVD sales in Australia as being his reasoning for choosing Sydney to host the event.
The move into Australia is significant for the UFC. Assuming the event goes off without a hitch, the UFC will open the door to a whole new market, which is sure to introduce the sport to millions of people and ultimately increase revenue.
White also made a wise move when he replaced injured Ben Rothwell on the main card with Sydney's own Anthony Perosh, giving the hometown fans someone to root for.
Despite taking place in Australia, the event will start as normal on Pay Per View beginning at 10 PM EST.
Prediction: The night is an overwhelming success and White is anxious to set-up another UFC event in Australia. The nation becomes a major market for the UFC, and in time, an influx of Australian fighters appear in the UFC.
Result: The initial feedback is that Australia was a big success. We'll have to wait and see if Dana sets up another date in Australia.
In addition to some interesting fights at the bottom of the main card, such as Keith Jardine acting in the gatekeeper role when he fights up and comer Ryan “Darth” Bader in a light heavyweight bout, and
the return of Mirko Cro Cop against Australia's own Anthony Perosh, the prelims provide some interesting bouts.
Welterweights Brian Foster and Chris Lytle are scheduled for a bout that could easily be fight of the night. Both push the pace and are likely to go all out in this one. As an injury fill-in with nothing to lose, Foster could be dangerous.
Another fight to keep an eye on is Ultimate Fighter runner-up C.B. Dolloway versus undefeated Goran Reljic. Dolloway is a wrestler looking for respect, and Reljic is a BJJ guy coming off an injury, and looking to establish himself as a contender. A win here for Reljic here would be a nice step toward the top for him.
Prediction: The undercard will not disappoint. Lytle will defeat Foster in a slug fest, and despite some initial rust after being out of the ring for a while recovering from injury, Reljic takes care of Dolloway via arm bar.
Result: The undercard did not disappoint. I was right about the pace of Lytle and Foster being fast and furious and picked Lytle. I was wrong about Dolloway and Reljic, my only real flaw on the night. Jardine and Bader was a good fight that ended in a bang as well.
In a lightweight bout, George Sotiropoulos battles Joe Stevenson in a fight which will have a serious impact on the lightweight class.
The veteran Stevenson, coming off of two consecutive wins over Spencer Fisher and Nate Diaz, is looking to get back into the discussion for a title shot.
A win for Stevenson won't earn him a rematch with B.J. Penn yet, but it will put him the mix.
While Stevenson is looking to get back to the top of the contender list, Sotiropoulos is trying to get their for the first time. He has a four fight win streak, which would be eight if it weren't for a DQ.
Fighting Stevenson is a step up for Sotiropoulos, but one most think he will handle. Like Stevenson, a win won't get him a title shot, but it will go a long way towards making him a top contender.
Prediction: Sotiropoulos takes the fight by decision. He is a nice prospect, who I think may get a shot at B.J. Penn one day.
Result: Sotiropoulos looked awesome, and won the bout by decision as I predicted. I think he gets a shot at one of the top contenders next, and another win or two gets him to B.J.
Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva is one of the UFC's most popular fighters. Michael “The Count” Bisping is one of the UFC's least popular fighters. That combination is sure to make for an interesting fight.
There are also some interesting undertones to the fight. For one, Silva needs the win badly. He has lost five of his last six UFC fights. A loss to Bisping could signal the end for The Axe Murderer.
On the other side, Bisping is fighting for respect. After getting knocked out in spectacular fashion by Dan Henderson to the delight of millions of UFC fans around the world (except in Britain, of course) and a less than convincing win over Denis Kang, Bisping needs a victory to prove that he is a contender and to quiet his critics.
Bisping's brashness and his behavior as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter have really hurt his image. Defeating the beloved Silva won't do anything to help that tarnished image, but it will reestablish him as a legit threat in the middleweight class.
Prediction: Silva leaves everyone happy when he stops Bisping in the third round and shows that he is not done. Bisping suffers another big loss and takes a big step back in his hopes to get a title shot.
Result: If the fight were three seconds longer I would have been correct about Silva stopping Bisping in the third round. Instead, I'll settle for being right about Silva winning and not being done.
Antonio Minotauro Nogueira is an 11-year veteran of the MMA game with 38 fights under his belt. While his best may be in the past, he is still one of the strongest heavyweight contenders in the UFC.
Nogueria is an excellent boxer and has fantastic jiu-jitsu skills. At 33, he is entering the twilight of his career, and would want nothing more than one more shot at the belt and Brock Lesnar.
On Saturday night, he will try to prove that he's still the present, not the past.
27-year old Cain Velasquez believes he is the future in the heavyweight class in the UFC.
He is undefeated in the MMA game at 7-0, and is an extremely well-rounded fighter. His vicious ground-and-pound is amongst the best in the UFC.
He dismantled Ben Rothwell in his last fight and welcomes the step up in competition that Nogueira represents. On Saturday night, he will try to prove that the future is now.
While neither fighter is likely to head directly to a title fight with Lesnar with a win, the victor will put themselves in the position of being amongst the top contenders in the heavyweight class. It's a huge fight for both men.
Prediction: Velasquez is just too much for Nogueira. He wins by decision in an epic brawl and skyrockets into the conversation of heavyweight title contenders.
Result: The future is now. Velasquez looked awesome in his first round knockout of Big Nog. I got the predicition right, but I don't think anyway could have predicted it going down like it did. Give Velasquez a title shot. Can anyone argue that there is another heavyweight out there at the moment who has a better shot against Brock Lesner than Cain does???