UFC 136 is one of the most anticipated cards of the year and for good reason. To put it simply, it is flat out loaded with good fights. It is one of those rare events where two title fights will be on the line and it doesn’t stop there.
Aside from the two title fights of Edgar-Maynard and Aldo-Florian, there are appearances on the card by former WEC champs in Anthony Pettis and Brian Stann, whom are still chasing UFC gold.
The gangster from Oregon Chael Sonnen is also making his highly-anticipated return to the cage on this card, as he squares off against Brian Stann in what is likely a No. 1 contender bout.
It doesn’t stop there. Fast-rising lightweight Melvin Guillard is taking on Joe Lauzon. Keep your eyeballs on this one, because if Guillard wins he could very well get a crack at the Edgar-Maynard winner.
Like I said before, there are good fights all-around, but what has people looking forward to this card are not just the fights, but there are some intriguing story lines and implications to these fights as well.
What follows is a list of the top five reasons fight fans are looking forward to this card. Whether it is the actual fight or the story lines surrounding the fight, this event has people buzzing.
This third fight in their trilogy has been a long time in the making. They last fought on the New Year’s card and put on one hell of a show.
Heading into the fight many fans were down on having these two headline such a big event, but they shut everyone up by putting on one of the better fights of the year.
Just about the only thing that wasn’t awesome about their fight was that it ended in a draw.
A rematch was scheduled, but then injuries postponed it till now. The lightweight division has been at a standstill at-the-top for most of this year and it will be nice to hopefully not only see another great fight, but give the weight class some clarity.
When the UFC merged the WEC into the promotion and added two more weight-classes, the most talked about acquisition was the UFC bringing Jose Aldo to the big show. Avid fight fans knew all about him and were excited for everyone to see what this guy was all about.
But his first fight in the promotion against Mike Hominick was a less than spectacular showing. He did come away with the win, and since then there have been reasons given for his lackluster performance, but many are hoping this will be the fight we see vintage Aldo back in the cage.
On the other side, Kenny Florian is making just his second fight at Featherweight. In his last fight, he looked very impressive in picking apart Diego Nunes and was rewarded with this fight.
It will interesting to see how Florian handles a freakish striker like Aldo. Florian has had two title shots in his career (albeit different weight-classes) and has lost both. Many have stated he just simply is not good enough to be champ and wont ever be able to get over that final hump.
Is that true? I don’t know. But if Florian does not pull the upset in this fight, he may not get another shot at a belt.
According to Vegas and just about anyone you ask, Guillard is a big favorite in his fight with Joe Lauzon. That is not surprise considering the run he has been on of late.
What is intriguing to this fight is that if Guillard comes out and looks good and leaves with a win, he may be the next challenger for the belt.
The lack of action at the top of the division has not meant the rest division has been just as skittish. In fact, it has been the opposite.
The light-weight division has been a crazy-revolving door of fighters, who we think are going to challenge for the belt through the first three-quarters of this year. First it was Anthony Pettis, then he lost. Then it was Jim Miller, then he got crushed. Now with a win, Guillard can put his name at the top of the list. Even Dana White has said that Guillard is the one to watch n the division heading into 2012.
But don’t look away, the way this division has worked so far this year, we may be looking at an upset here.
Everyone should be pumped for this. Whether you love him or hate him, you want to see him fight. Chael Sonnen may be the most talked about fighter with only a .500 record in UFC history.
But no one cares about that because he has street cred, he not only talks like he is a WWE star but he also took Anderson Silva to the brink of defeat.
This fight with Stann is so interesting because he has not fought since that Silva fight, which was in August of 2010. That is a long time ago. Ring rust is something that could be a definite possibility for him in this bout.
To many fans, Sonnen-Stann may be the most anticipated fight on the card simply because Sonnen is back.
So now we aren’t just talking about Sonnen simply being back in the cage, we are talking about the implications of his fight with Brian Stann.
This fight is huge.
It will most likely determine who gets a shot at Middleweight kingpen Anderson Silva. I don’t think I am wrong in saying that the public will be on Sonnen’s side because a rematch with Silva is what makes MMA fans feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
But as I mentioned earlier, issues such as ring rust and having not fought in so long have the potential to effect this fight when matched against a striker like Stann.
For a non-title fight involving two fighters who have never rocked the UFC belt before, this is about as good as a fight as you can ask for.