UFC 126: The Top 5 Reasons To Watch the Silva vs. Belfort Card

Sean KidderContributor IJanuary 28, 2011

UFC 126: The Top 5 Reasons To Watch the Silva vs. Belfort Card

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    With a card stacked from top to bottom there are many reasons to watch one of the most anticipated UFC events ever. With the middleweight title on the line, the number one pound for pound fighter in the world and three of the top seven LHW's in the world fighting there will be plenty of action to go around and you will not want to blink once the opening bell sounds. Here are just five of the reasons to watch UFC 126 on February 5th in Las Vegas.


    #5 Chad Mendes vs Michihiro Omigawa, 145 pound Featherweight bout. One of the best things about the UFC in 2011 is the fact that they now have an expanded roster due to the addition of two extra weight classes, Bantamweight and Featherweight. At UFC 126 we will get a chance to see a fantastic battle between two highly touted Featherweights in Mendes and Omigawa. Mendes, who trains along side Uriah Faber at Team Alpha Male is currently undefeated in MMA with a record of 9-0. His opponent will be Michihiro Omigawa who is currently riding a 5 fight win streak and has won 8 of his last 9 fights. Omigawa has spent most of his time competing for Sengoku and the Dream organizations where he holds notable victories over the likes of Nam Phan, Marlon Sandro and LC Davis. This fight should be a high-energy paced strategic battle and will be a great way to get UFC 126 rolling.

Norifumi Yamamoto vs Demetrious Johnson, 135 pound Bantamweight bout.

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    #4 Norifumi Yamamoto vs Demetrious Johnson, 135 pound Bantamweight bout. Make sure that you don’t blink during this Bantamweight bout as this could be a quick one. Japanese sensation “Kid” Yamamoto makes his UFC debut against WEC vet Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson who is fresh off a submission win at WEC 52. There is a chance that this fight may not be televised but the odds of this bout being anything but exciting are very slim. Yamamoto comes into the UFC having only fought 3 times in the last 3 years but will also be bringing some of the heaviest hands in the Bantamweight division. The MMA underground has been waiting patiently for Yamamoto to make his debut and fighting in his natural weight class he has the potential to quickly become a fan favorite.

Forrest Griffin vs Rich Franklin, 205 pound Light Heavyweight bout.

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    #3 Forrest Griffin vs Rich Franklin, 205 pound Light Heavyweight bout. UFC legend and Ultimate Fighter winner Forrest Griffin enters this bout as the #5 LHW in the world however Griffin has not fought in over a year. His last fight a split decision win over Tito Ortiz in 2009. Rich Franklin on the other hand is coming off his most notable victory in the 205 pound division as he knocked out Chuck Liddell last June. This will be one of the most entertaining fights of the evening as both fighters have a history of keeping an exciting pace during fights. Griffin and Franklin hold victories over some of the biggest names in MMA history including; Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio Rua and Rampage Jackson. Each fighter is a former UFC champion and in order to climb their way back up the championship ladder they will need a victory at UFC 126. Look for Griffin to outpoint Franklin with a steady onslaught of kicks, punches and a solid ground game. Franklin will use his solid stand up game in order to pick apart Griffin and set him up for strong finish. No matter the outcome this fight will be a great strategic battle and will be entertaining from start to finish.

Ryan Bader vs Jon Jones, 205 pound Light Heavyweight bout.

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    #2 Ryan Bader vs Jon Jones, 205 pound Light Heavyweight bout. This bout will match the number 6 and 7 Light Heavyweights in the world against each other and may secure a number one contender spot for the winner. Ryan “Darth” Bader comes into this bout with a perfect 12-0 record, which is extremely rare particularly in the LHW division. Bader, a former Ultimate Fighter winner will try and use his dominant wrestling to setup his big right hand and to control the dangerous and elusive Jon Jones. Jon “Bones” Jones comes into this fight with all the hype that a future champion could ever hope to garner. His explosive style has led him to an 11-1 record with his only loss coming by way of an unfortunate DQ against Matt Hamill. Jones will try to use his bone-crushing elbows and Greco Roman background in order to keep Bader at bay. This fight will be an intense battle from the moment the bell rings and will showcase two of the most highly touted LHW’s in the world.

Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfort, 185 pound Middleweight bout.

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    #1 Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfort, 185 pound Middleweight bout. This is a no-brainer for the main event of the evening and could turn out to be one of the best title fights of the year. Originally scheduled to take place last year, the fight was postponed due to an injury suffered by Belfort which allowed Chael Sonnen to fill the void leading to one of the greatest title fights in UFC history. Belfort, who comes into this fight having knocked out his last three opponents will look to use his lightning quick strikes and unmatched level of experience having made his first appearance in the UFC in 1997. Belfort's biggest challenge will be getting over the mental hump that seems to have plagued him in past fights, though a healthy and focused Vitor is one of the most exciting fighters in the world. He will need all of the stars to align for this bout as he takes on arguably, the best pound for pound fighter in the world in Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Silva who currently is undefeated in the UFC at 12-0 and holds the record for the most consecutive title defenses in UFC history with 7. Silva will use his unpredictable and vast repertoire of strikes in order to control Belfort and set him up for the knockout. Either way this fight will not be short on excitement as Belfort looks to regain past glory and Silva hopes to cement his claim as the best P4P fighter ever.