UFC 141 Fight Card: 10 Reasons You Can't Miss This Event
This Friday, the UFC will bring a stacked event to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas as a heavyweight blockbuster battle will take place, pitting former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem against former UFC champion Brock Lesnar in the main event of the evening.
Though both men are likely garnering the most attention come fight time, there are a number of notable fighters and battles that will take place in just a few days time.
UFC 141 is the organization's year-end event, and here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't miss it.
Manny Gamburyan vs. Diego Nunes
It's not one of those orchestrated rivalries; it's the real thing.
While it's stereotypical to suggest that all Armenians are ill-tempered, Manny Gamburyan certainly doesn't do anything to not support the stereotype otherwise.
This budding rivalry dates back to their days in the WEC, where Nunes signed a poster over Gamburyan's face, something that hasn't sit well with the powerhouse Judoka specialist for some time.
Now the former top contenders find themselves in a pivotal 145-pound battle that has now added some motivation for "The Anvil."
Ross Pearson's Featherweight Debut
After engaging budding contender Edson Barboza in a 15-minute battle that earned both men "Fight of the Night" honors this August, former contender Ross Pearson opted to move to the featherweight division.
In his first outing at 145 pounds, Pearson will take on Junior Assuncao this Friday. The Brazilian recently re-entered the UFC with a successful, albeit lackluster decision victory over the touted Eddie Yagin, who once reigned as the Tachi Palace champion and owned a first-round submission victory over notable Joe Soto.
Will Escudero Sink or Swim?
After being ousted from the UFC with a 3-2 record, Escudero will now return to the Octagon this Friday on the heels of a two-fight win streak, which includes a stint under the Bellator banner.
Escudero has always been regarded as a tremendous talent, though his dedication has been questioned in the past when he came in considerably overweight for a lightweight affair opposite of Cole Miller by coming in four pounds over the weight limit.
Now, the MMA Lab star will hope to right some wrongs when he takes on fellow wrestling standout Jacob Volkmann, who is undefeated in the lightweight class.
Anthony Njokuani vs. Danny Castillo
Las Vegas Sun
In a lightweight battle, Anthony Njokuani and Danny Castillo will meet one another this Friday during or the Spike TV preliminary portion of the event.
Though both Castillo and Njokuani come from opposing backgrounds in martial arts, what both men have in common is their innate ability to finish the fight at any given moment, thanks to the technical kickboxing skills of the Nigerian and the heavy, heavy hands of the Team Alpha Male star.
Nam Phan vs. Jimy Hettes
If you were wondering why a featherweight fight pitting Nam Phan against Jimy Hettes is gracing the pay-per-view, then you haven't seen either man fight.
Phan is known for his technical boxing prowess, which has earned him "Fight of the Night" twice in his battles with former title challenger Leonard Garcia, while Hettes has proven to be a formidable submission specialist, which was proven in his rear-naked choke finish of Alex Caceres.
Both men are unrelenting, high-energy fighters and are easy candidates for another bonus this Friday.
Can Alexander Gustafsson Emerge as the Next Contender?
After Jon Jones' banner 2011 year, the champion has made it clear that their remain very few worthy challengers to his mantle.
Ryan Bader, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Lyoto Machida have all become victim to Jones' rise this year, leaving notable battles with Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans likely waiting on the wings.
However, what will be left after those two battles have been completed?
This Friday, Sweden's own Alexander Gustafsson will look to move one step closer toward 205-pound ascension when he takes on former title challenger Vladimir Matyushenko.
Can the young up-and-comer go 4-0 in his last four outings when he takes on the Belorussian, or will "The Janitor" mop up another star on the rise?
Will Jon Fitch Earn a Title Shot, Again?
It's no secret that Jon Fitch is among the best in the welterweight division and is widely regarded as the second-best man in the division, just behind champion Georges St-Pierre.
Since their battle in August of 2009, Fitch has remained undefeated in his last six outings and has earned victories over Paulo Thiago, Ben Saunders and Thiago Alves.
The only thing that has halted Fitch's rightful title shot has been some of his less-than-spectacular performances in the Octagon, which have always made him the butt of ridicule in the mixed martial arts world, thanks to his wrestling-centric, grinding style of fighting.
Nate Diaz vs. Donald Cerrone
Dana White, make your "Fight of the Night" check out to lightweights Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone.
In the co-main event of the evening, these notable fighters will engaged in what has all the makings to be one of the best fights of the year as Season 5 winner of The Ultimate Fighter takes on a budding contender in Cerrone.
Both men are touted strikers with an impressive array of submission skills, though it's their pace and all-out brawling style of fighting that has earned them their reputations in the MMA community.
The UFC Debut of Alistair Overeem
Alistair Overeem is one of the very few fighters whom have been able to gather a cult following while competing outside of the UFC.
Some of his recent exploits include earning three world titles, both the Strikeforce and Dream heavyweight titles and even the prestigious K-1 World Grand Prix title, making him the only man to hold belts in both mixed martial arts and kickboxing simultaneously.
"The Demolition Man" is undefeated in his last 11 outings and is well regarded as one of the very best fighters in the division. He will have the chance to reassert those claims when he takes on former UFC champion Brock Lesnar.
Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem Earns Title Shot
These two juggernauts will not only be taking part in one of the most memorable and anticipated heavyweight fights in mixed martial arts history, but the winner will have earned a title shot against champion Junior dos Santos.
Will the wrestling style and ground-and-pound blows of Lesnar prevail, or will the experience and powerful striking skills of Overeem prevail in the end?
This Friday, all these questions will be answered.