The heavily talked about UFC 173 card is in the news again, with the UFC announcing the co main event for the May event. After it was announced that Vitor Belfort would be pulled from the main event of the card and replaced by former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida to fight champion Chris Weidman, the UFC have added another intriguing battle to the stacked event.
Former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos will look to rebound from an unsuccessful attempt at regaining his belt in a losing effort against Cain Velasquez. The Brazilian will meet tough Croatian Stipe Miocic, who rebounded from a loss to Stefan Struve with consecutive decision wins over Roy Nelson and Gabriel Gonzaga. Now ranked #6 in the division, a win could catapult Miocic into a title shot due to the impressiveness of Dos Santos’s wins inside the Octagon, but it would take a career-best performance to get past the man ranked #1 at heavyweight.
Dos Santos has one of the most impressive resumés in the division, accumulating a 10-2 record under the UFC banner. 16-3 as a professional, ‘Cigano’ has racked up wins over respected fighters in the champion Cain Velasquez, as well as former contenders Frank Mir, Gabriel Gonzaga and Shane Carwin. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, he also holds wins over the likes of Mark Hunt, Fabricio Werdum and Stefan Struve, which has cemented his place as one of the greatest heavyweights in MMA history.
Stipe Miocic will face a tough test in his road to the title and a win over Junior Dos Santos will certainly do big things for his title hopes, but his wins over Roy Nelson and Gabriel Gonzaga showed the Croatian’s progress in all facets of the sport. His well-roundedness could be the key to victory for this fight, with Dos Santos being a well established boxer who can knock any fighter out with one punch.
UFC 173 will be held on 24 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.