Preview: UFC on Fox 10
Saturday’s UFC on Fox card will give us a much better idea of who is ready to break into the public eye of the world of MMA – and who is going to fall back into the pretender category.
Let’s take a look at the interesting fight card and the fighters that need to put on a great performance:
The Former Champ
Ben Henderson defended the UFC Lightweight title three times before losing to Anthony Pettis. There were times in his reign where it looked like he would be the “next guy” to hold on to the title for a long time, ala, Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre. Unfortunately for him, there were also times where he looked vulnerable and even in victory, controversy surrounded his wins. Arguments can be made that not only did Frankie Edgar defend his title, but also won the rematch against Henderson. Moreover, Henderson’s victory over Gilbert Melendez, was shrouded with controversy, as a very strong argument can be made that “El Nino” won that decision. If Henderson wants to spring himself back into the title picture a decision victory won’t cut it. He needs a finish, and a spectacular one at that.
The Number 1 Contender
Josh Thomson was planning to be a part of the main event – just not against Ben Henderson. He was supposed to be Anthony Pettis’ first challenger, and instead, due to injury, is fighting for his spot at the top of the contender list. Dana White spoke this week, saying a victory for Thomson will solidify his place as the number one contender in the division. This is always a touchy subject, because a poor performance, even with a win, might not be good enough – no matter what the president says. Thomson, like Henderson, needs a statement win.
Prediction: Henderson via decision – giving Gilbert Melendez the chance to steal the number one contender spot.
The Next Big Thing
Fans of the sport are as rabid as any in the business – Brazilian fans have the reputation of being as supportive as any. Images of Brazilian fans celebrating with Jose Aldo in the stands, is one of the most iconic pictures in the history of the UFC. However, there may be a new fan base that is on the verge of taking over the sport, and their new hero Stipe Miocic could sky rocket himself, and the his Croatian fans to another stratosphere. Coming off a decisive victory over Roy Nelson, Miocic has everyone talking about his potential. It’s easy to compare him to the legend that is Mirko Cro Cop, but Miocic is his own fighter. With a Golden Gloves and NCAA wrestling background, the heavyweight is poised to breakthrough with an all-around game that in time may surpass the legend. Defeating someone as dangerous as Gabriel Gonzaga will not be an easy task; the veteran is on a role and has title aspirations of his own. Is there some revenge on the mind of Miocic, for Gonzaga’s vicious knockout of Cro Cop? Probably not – but in the eyes of the Croatian fan base there definitely is.
Prediction: Miocic via 2nd round knockout.