UFC 130 will take place this evening, Saturday, May 28th, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Highlighting tonight's fights will be a heavyweight duel between Frank Mir and Roy "Big Country" Nelson as well as the main event of the evening in the light heavyweight division between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Matt "The Hammer" Hamill.
With weeks of expert analysis, dissection of the matchups and predictions as to whom the victors will be, a thorough breakdown exists for UFC 130.
What is absent are the remaining questions that will be discussed regardless of tonight's outcomes.
These questions represent the five paradigms present, independent of the victors from tonight's fights.
Enjoy the fights this evening.
I welcome your comments.
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In today's economy, value is paramount.
With millions of Americans out of work, millions scraping by from paycheck to paycheck and millions more hanging on to the hope that our government will provide the institutional change needed to pull our economy out of this recession, there is little discretionary income available.
Neither matchup is expected to draw an overwhelming pay-per-view buy rating. Furthermore, both Jackson and Mir have been quoted as saying that they are not especially interested in their competition at UFC 130.
Due to the lackluster attitudes by both veterans, how are the fans expected to embrace these main events?
In my opinion, the fans will not truly support UFC 130, and the pay-per-view buy numbers will surely corroborate that position when the numbers are released.
The value needed to drive support for this fight card is not there. The UFC has failed to equate these two subpar main events with the $49.95 asking price for the pay-per-view.
With discretionary income for most Americans at a premium, what could the UFC have done to elevate the value of this fight card?
One solution would have been to integrate the Strikeforce roster into the UFC pay-per-views.
By slowly matching up perennial fighters signed to Strikeforce with worthy competition within the UFC, interest amongst the fans would heighten.
I realize this solution has been besieged by UFC president, Dana White. However, it may be time for White to set aside his ego and provide the fans with a fight card equal to the value of their hard earned dollar.
Tonight's co-main event features UFC veteran Frank Mir versus The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights winner, Roy "Big Country" Nelson.
Mir is 5-2 in his last seven fights with significant victories over Brock Lesnar, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko Cro Cop.
Unfortunately, Mir has also suffered crushing defeats to the heavy-handed Shane Carwin and the destructive force, known as Brock Lesnar.
Due to the fact that Roy Nelson is not considered a top-five heavyweight amongst pundits, what is the benefit of a victory over "Big Country?"
On one hand, Mir is supposed to beat a mid-level fighter like Nelson. Therefore, if Mir is victorious, he will not climb any higher within the UFC heavyweight division.
In retrospect, a victory by Nelson, significant as it is, will also not catapult "Big Country" into the upper echelon of the heavyweight division either.
With a defeat at the hands of Junior dos Santos, Nelson would need to avenge that loss prior to becoming considered a heavyweight contender. The reality of that happening is slim to none.
Therefore, outside of a win on their record and a larger payout, what relevancy is there for a victory by either Frank Mir or Roy Nelson with respect to the UFC heavyweight division landscape?
Brian "The All-American" Stann is riding the momentum of undoubtedly his biggest career victory with a knockout defeat of Chris "The Crippler" Leben on New Year's Day.
Prior to the annihilation of "The Crippler," Stann's previous five fights have resulted in three wins, with two losses.
Dropping from light heavyweight to the middleweight division and now training with the Jackson Submission Fighting camp out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Stann seems to be a resurrected fighter.
Always dangerous on his feet with sharp, crisp strikes, the former Marine has shown a weakness in both his ground game and his wrestling defense.
Exposed by Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 97 in 2009 for his limited jiu-jitsu abilities, Stann suffered a submission loss as a result of a kimura.
Additionally, Phil Davis utilized his wrestling pedigree to grind out a decision victory against Stann at UFC 109 in 2010.
The UFC middleweight division is loaded with tremendous talent. Being primarily a one-dimensional fighter, as Brian Stann has shown, does not equal championship success.
For "The All-American" to challenge the likes of Anderson Silva, holes in his ground game and take-down defense need to be minimized.
Otherwise, Stann will be known for only his striking abilities and exposed for his one-dimensional fight game.
Thiago "The Pitbull" Alves is currently the No. 3 ranked welterweight in the world by many experts.
With an impressive 18-7 overall MMA record, Alves has utilized his dominant Muay-Thai talents to earn 11 knockout victories.
Defeating all that he has faced except for Jon Fitch and the current UFC welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, Alves has shown that he can contend but not defeat the absolute best within this very talented division.
Enter B.J. Penn within the welterweight division.
Making the move to the heavier weight class from lightweight, Penn is automatically within the contender talk for the championship.
Securing a victory over Rick Story this evening, Thiago Alves presumably would once again be in the discussion to face Georges St-Pierre for a second time in the future.
However, pragmatic logic may not win out on this thought process.
Alves may need to defeat both BJ Penn and Jon Fitch for a title shot against St-Pierre.
Is it possible for "The Pitbull" to defeat both the highly talented Penn and avenge two losses to Fitch prior to once again challenging for the championship?
I do not know the answer to that question. And I do not want to discredit Alves's tremendous talent within the Octagon, because he is a phenomenal fighter.
However, earning victories over both Penn and Fitch is an arduous task for anyone. And the likelihood of success when facing those challenges is not very good.
Much discussion has taken place regarding the main events for UFC 130.
Neither matchup is creating much buzz amongst experts and fight fans.
Couple this lack of publicity with the fact that both Frank Mir and Quinton Jackson have publicly stated that they are not especially interested in their competition for the evening, and the resulting lack of interest by the public for tonight's promotion may be witnessed.
Saving tonight's card with potential fireworks and either Knockout of the Night or Fight of the Night honors are the showdowns between Brian Stann versus Jorge Santiago and Thiago Alves versus Rick Story.
All four fighters are willing to stand and trade in the center of the Octagon.
Additionally, both matchups comprise excellent strikers and very diverse fighters.
Because of these significant facts, either fight or both could easily overshadow the night's main events.