UFC 132: 5 Reasons to Watch
UFC 132 is this year's Independence Day card, and it has the possibility of being one of the best cards of the year. The card doesn't have huge names, but it sure does have some exciting match-ups. From top to bottom, Las Vegas could be seeing the best fights of the year.
Urijah Faber vs. Dominick Cruz is set to be the first ever Bantamweight title fight in UFC history, and if Urijah Faber can do what he did in the WEC, we might witness a new champion crowned. This is a rematch of a 2007 battle at WEC 26, but both fighters are much different these days.
Wanderlei Silva also makes his triumphed return when he steps into the cage with the gritty Chris Leben. Leben and Silva have both been known for stepping into the cage and letting their hands do the talking, and I don’t know why this would be any different.
Tito Ortiz looks to get his first win in nearly five years when he steps up against Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader. Dana White has confused countless amounts of fans by keeping Ortiz around, and now it’s put up or shut up time for the Huntington Beach Bad Boy.
Carlos Condit is showcased in the welterweight division when he faces Asian prospect Dong Hyun Kim. Condit is only a few steps, if not one step, away from challenging for the welterweight strap, but he faces no easy task in Kim.
UFC 132 was tentatively supposed to feature a rematch between B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch serving as the main event, but the fight was scrapped due to a Penn injury. The Penn injury may have been a blessing in disguise, as the first fight between the two was average at best.
UFC 132 is a showcase of the new Bantamweight division, and here are some reasons why you need to watch.
5. Melvin Guillard Deserves Respect
Melvin Guillard is riding a four fight winning streak and has had his hand raised in seven of his last eight fights. Melvin Guillard is pound for pound one of the best strikers in all of mixed-martial arts, and if you don't believe me ask Dennis Siver (who is somehow on the main card over Guillard).
Guillard has reinvented his career since joining Greg Jackson and not only wants gold on his head, but around his waist. Guillard is the Dominique Wilkins of the UFC because he is a highlight waiting to happen. Melvin knocked out the highly touted prospect Evan Dunham in the first round in January and looks to keep the hot streak alive when he faces WEC import Shane Roller.
The Oklahoma native Roller has only went to the decision on one occasion, so all that means is that he is an easy knockout target for the Young Assassin. Roller will look to take this fight to the ground, as that is his specialty and Melvin's weakness. However, Guillard's great takedown defense should make this a brawl on the feet.
Don't blink in this one as Roller doesn't have half the hand speed as Guillard has. Expect quick work on Spike TV and a jaw dropping KO.
4. Carlos Condit Isn't in Boring Fights
Carlos Condit is the kind of fighter who lays it on the line every time the octagon door closes. He isn’t afraid of a standup slugfest or a ground war. Since entering the UFC, he is nearly flawless, with his one loss coming in a controversial split decision to Martin Kampmann.
Condit got many talking after he knocked out Brittish powerhouse Dan Hardy in his last bout. He is primed for a title shot in the near future if he can get this W.
Dong Hyun Kim is no slouch, however. He is undefeated in his UFC career and is coming off his most impressive win of his life over Nate Diaz.
Kim isn’t known for excitement, but if anyone can make him exciting, it is Condit. Whether he is taking a beating or dishing it out, I can promise the “Natural Born Killer” will have the crowd on their feet.
3. Tito Ortiz May Not Have a Career Anymore
Tito Ortiz has been around the block, beating a pretty remarkable list of veterans such as Forrest Griffin, Evan Tanner, Vitor Belfort, and Wanderlei Silva. Those were a while ago, and when I say a while ago, I mean over five years ago.
Tito has been hanging around without a victory for way too long. Ken Shamrock was the last to fall to the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy,” and that isn’t that impressive these days. Hopefully Ortiz isn't hanging on as long as Shamrock is.
Ortiz has recently been more known for having altercations with Jenna Jameson than his fighting, and everyone is getting tired of the bleach blond California kid. Ryan Bader has a chance to make history and send a one-time great into retirement.
Bader will be hungry to get back in the win column after he was beaten by the current champ Jon Jones in his last fight. A hungry Bader + a washed up Ortiz = retirement.
Sometimes you just have to let go. Tito's near future could hold a spot on Pros vs. Joes (if that show even exists anymore).
2. Urijah Faber Isn't Done Yet
Urijah Faber has seen it all in the world of MMA including Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz. The two first fought at WEC 26 in March of 2007, and Faber dispatched Cruz in under two minutes with an impressive guillotine choke.
Faber has only lost to Tyson Griffin, former featherweight champion Mike Brown, and current featherweight champion Jose Aldo. All three of those men were much bigger than him, and he was fighting out of his natural weight class. With the addition of the 135 lb. division, Faber has been reborn and is eying more gold. Faber will push the pace undoubtedly as he does in all of his bouts and make this a thriller.
Cruz, however, feels that he is the best in world at 135 and will do anything to hold onto the belt. Dominick Cruz would love to avenge his only loss this Saturday night and prove to the world that he can beat anyone at 135. The 26 year old San Diego native can be in the discussion of best fighter pound for pound if he grabs a victory of the California kid.
Faber is going to show fans on Saturday whether he is the face of the Bantamweight division or just another one of Cruz’s victims.
1. C'mon...Who Would Miss Leben/Silva?
Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben is an MMA fan's dream. The two have been rumored to fight for a long time, and now the waiting stops. Neither are afraid to step into the cage and throw hands until someone hits the floor, and that is what all the fans are expecting to see this Saturday.
Leben is coming off a KO loss to Middleweight standout Brian Stann, but don’t expect that to faze the “Crippler.” Chris Leben may not have the most technical standup skill, but he sure knows how to put on a show for the fans. Leben was once known for his crazy antics on the first season of the Ultimate Fighter, but now wants to be known as an elite UFC middleweight. A win over Silva makes him just that.
Wanderlei Silva hasn’t set foot on a UFC canvas since February 2010 when he took Michael Bisping to the judges, so let’s hope ring rust won’t be a problem. Although Silva has not knocked anyone out in over three years, expect him to come out swinging because he knows that Leben will trade with him. Silva was the king of Pride, and if we can just see one last glimpse of that greatness, then it will be lights out for Mr. Leben.
Not sure who it will be hitting the floor face first, but expect it to happen. Medics stand by. Let's just say Joe Rogan will be screaming at the end of this one.