UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy and Mir vs. Carwin Are a Start To Something Big

Leon HorneAnalyst IMarch 23, 2010

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 21:  UFC fighter Stephan Bonnar battles UFC fighter  Krzysztof Soszynski  during their Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight fight at Acer Arena on February 21, 2010 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)
Mark Nolan/Getty Images

March 27 UFC 111 is going to be one of the bigger cards of 2010 and late 2009. Mixed martial arts fans haven’t seen a title fight in four UFC events.

The last title defence in the UFC involved BJ Penn putting the beat down on Diego Sanchez at UFC 107 back in December.

In fact, since UFC 100 13 events will have passed with only two title fights occurring, in UFC 104 and UFC 107.

Not that there haven’t been any good fights in the UFC for fight fans of late, but the energy generated by a title defence is second to none and that kind of hype has been lacking since UFC 100 in July.

To put things in perspective, in the 13 cards that built up to UFC 100 including ultimate fight nights there were a total of six title fights, seven if you include the interim title fight between Frank Mir and Antonio Nogueira.

What’s even more interesting is the time separating UFC 90 and UFC 100 is the exact same time separating UFC 100 and UFC 111, 260 days.

So in 13 events spread over the same period of time, events prior to UFC 100 had three times the number of title fights compared to the 13 events post UFC 100.

Of course it isn’t completely the UFC’s fault for what happened; the injury bug hit the UFC hard after UFC 100.

Three of the UFC’s five champions were on the shelf due to injury between UFC 100 and UFC 111.

As if the injuries weren’t enough to deal with, the UFC has had to battle against a sincere effort by fellow MMA promotion Strikeforce.

During the UFC’s lull in title fights, Strikeforce managed to sign the heavily coveted Fedor Emelianenko, Dana White’s “White Whale.”

Strikeforce also succeeded in putting on its first event on network television.

The event on CBS featured a fight between Fedor Emelianenko and heavy handed behemoth Brett Rogers.

Strikeforce had a successful outing with Emelianenko vs Rogers and followed up with some other successful events, one which included the mixed martial arts debut of Heisman trophy winner Herschel Walker.

Of course Joe Silva still managed to put together some good cards with what he had available to him and for the most part the UFC was able to weather the storm.

In fact the injuries may have ended up being a blessing in disguise.

With all the injuries and fighters falling out of the picture, a lot of time has passed since the fans have seen their champions in action.

This has allowed the UFC and the media to build up a lot of hype around the return of their fallen champions and fan interest in the UFC is probably going to be peaking because of this.

Strikeforce is going to try and continue to build on their momentum and with a healthy UFC roster it’s definitely going to make things harder for them.

Now with UFC 111 around the corner, things seem to be getting back on track for fight fans everywhere and Joe Silva’s job has been made a little easier.

It seems like UFC 111 is the kickoff of what seems to be a great summer for the UFC.

Fans will see all of the UFC’s champions in action by early July of this year and that is great for the world of mixed martial arts.

Mix that in with a few events from other promotions including an appearance by number one heavy weight Fedor Emelianenko and these are exciting times for fight fans everywhere.