UFC 116: What's the Deal and Why Care?

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UFC 116: What's the Deal and Why Care?

The hot What's the Deal ? series returns this week to take a look at the biggest fight in UFC history, which takes place this Saturday at UFC 116 in Las Vegas.

UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar will make his long awaited return to the octagon after being out for nearly a year due to illness.

He takes on Interim-Champion Shane Carwin in the biggest main event ever, both physically and figuratively.

The two Heavyweight behemoths will be ably supported by a solid main card and preliminary fights on the UFC 116 line up.

So without further ado, let's get down to it.

 

Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin

What's the Deal?

Two of the biggest and most powerful Heavyweights in UFC history will clash to determine who the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion is. This one is going to be explosive.

Why Care?

Shane Carwin is 12-0, has big KO power in his hands, and has never left the first round of a fight. Brock Lesnar is returning after a lengthy layoff due to illness and will be looking to confirm his status as the top dog and champion. Why care? Because this is the biggest UFC fight ever!

Verdict:

Putting the hoopla and hype to one side, predicting how this fight will go is very difficult.

The key for Carwin is to pressure and connect shots with Lesnar early in the fight and show Lesnar's ring rust. Lesnar will want this fight to go past the first round, so look for him to shoot for a takedown in round one and begin to grind on Carwin and take him into new territory ie past the first round.

Having looked at a recent history of the Heavyweight Division , it's clear that there have been no dominant champions in the 265lbs division.

However, Lesnar has the ability to buck the trend and remain a dominant champion for some time. Look for Brock to grind Carwin down for two rounds and then get the TKO stoppage late in the third.

 

Yoshihiro Akiyama vs Chris Leben

What's the Deal?

Chris Leben comes in as a late replacement for the injured Wanderlei Silva to take on Akiyama who has not competed since UFC 100.

Why Care?

The Middleweight Division is constantly calling out for new challengers and with Akiyama boasting an impressive record and winning his UFC debut, "Sexyama" could be that man.

Across the cage will be a rejuvenated Leben, who won recently on the Ultimate Fighter Finale show and looked impressive in beating Aaron Simpson.

Verdict:

Ring rust is real and Leben was impressive in how he controlled and out worked Simpson a few weeks ago. Look for Leben to pull the upset and get the win.

 

Matt Brown vs Chris Lytle

What's the Deal?

Perennial "Fight of the Night" contender Chris Lytle comes into this fight on the back of two wins and will take on Matt Brown, who is coming off a loss to Almeida at UFC 111.

Why Care?

Nothing really on the line in this one except the chance to get a win and move up the rankings. So expect these two fighters to go out and put on a show for the Vegas crowd. Rarely is either fighter in a boring fight.

Verdict:

Despite his recent loss, Brown has been steadily improving and has looked good in past performances. If he engages Lytle in a stand up war he will lose, but should he stick a smarter game plane, then look for Brown to get back on track and win.

 

Stephan Bonnar vs Krzysztof Soszynski

What's the Deal?

These two TUF alumni will be squaring off again after their first fight at UFC 110 ended in a controversial TKO stoppage due to a cut on Bonnar's head caused by an accidental head butt during the fight.

Why Care?

Before the first fight was stopped it was a very even contest. At 4-1 in the UFC, another win for Soszynski could really elevate him into the upper end of the division. For Bonnar, this is a must win fight as he has lost his last three.

Verdict:

"The Polish Experiement" is the more rounded fighter and should come through with then win again in the rematch. Bonnar has just not evolved as a fighter and has struggled against weak opponents.

 

George Sotiropoulos vs Kurt Pellegrino

What's the Deal?

Two of the top talents in the Lightweight Division will square off on the main card in a fight that could very well steal the show. 

Why Care?

Sotiropoulos and Pellegrino are arguably top 10 in the division and both are riding lengthy win streaks in the UFC. 

Sotiropoulos is on a six-fight win streak and is coming off the biggest win of his career over Joe Stevenson at UFC 110. Pellegrino is on a four fight win streak and will be looking to cement his claim to a title shot.

Verdict:

This is a very even fight on paper and will likely come down to Pellegrino's striking against Sotiropoulos's ground game. Look for the Aussie to get this one down to the mat at some point during three rounds and get the win over "Batman."

 

Spike TV Prelims

What's the Deal?

Promising young Heavyweight prospect Brendan Schaub takes on Brock Lesnar's training partner Chris Tuchscherer and Seth "Kimbo Killer" Petruzell makes his return to the UFC against Ricardo Romero, who enters the UFC on a five fight win streak.

Why Care?

Romero is a solid prospect entering the UFC. He is 10-1 in his career and was a former Ring of Combat Champion at 205lbs. Petruzelli will be most recently remembered for ending the Kimbo and Elite XC experiment, but he has since won two fights in a row and will be returning to UFC after three years away.

Schaub looked great against Gormley in his last outing and looks to be rapidly improving his all round mma game. Tuchscherer is 1-1 in the UFC but has looked decidedly average and really needs to show something in this fight. 

Verdict:

Despite Petruzelli's experience and that he is now fighting at his natural weight of 205lbs, look for Romero to make a good debut in the UFC and get the "W."

As stated earlier Tuchscherer has not been that impressive so far in the UFC. Schaub is a growing talent in the Heavyweight Division and look for him to take this one.

 

Unaired Prelim Fights

What's the Deal?

Two Middleweight bouts will feature alongside the second fight in the UFC for Daniel Roberts and the debut of the highly regarded Karlos Vemola against TUF alum Jon Madsen.

Why Care?

Vemola is a hot prospect at 7-0 and will be looking to make an impression in his UFC debut.

Goran Reljic will be looking to punish Kendall Grove for getting there fight removed from Spike TV after his comments.

Verdict:

Harris, Roberts, Vemola and Reljic.

 

So there you have it folks, everything you needed to know and why you must make sure that you are tuned in to UFC 116 on Saturday night.

Enjoy this little build up video to get you even more pumped then you probably already are.

What are your thoughts on UFC 116? Love to hear them!

 

 

Greg Parfitt is a Featured MMA writer on Bleacher Report. 

Follow him on Facebook  and Twitter

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