2011 is in its last frame and many things are coming to a close that will truly shape 2012 into the biggest possibility for MMA to explode and debut superstars for many years to come. Three title fights are left before we will sing in the New Year and while some seem locked in, there is always a possibility to upset the current weight classes affected by them.
Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit (UFC 137)
The most dominant and technical welterweight champion of all time stepping in against an opponent who is a former, successful champion and finished all but one of his twenty-seven victorious bouts. Holding the mental edge and finishing capabilities that St. Pierre does not or is not utilizing, “The Natural Born Killer” will need to walk into Las Vegas, NV with determination on his mind to upset the Canadian champion and gain his ultimate goal.
In the event that Condit is victorious, it can benefit the division with new title fights; at the same time, a losing Georges could re-vitalize the dangerous striker and submission specialist who used his dangerous game to get him to the place he is today. St. Pierre winning will not be anything new but the fashion of his win will tell the whole story of what his legacy is to become. Finishing an opponent will let us all know what he can do and to respect him, where riding another decision victory solidifies the criticism that he is fighting for points and not to dominate like he once did.
Cain Velasquez v. Junior Dos Santos (UFC on Fox)
The heavyweight scene is once again alive with big boys throwing leather and ending the fights quickly. In fights that do go the distance, men are left battered and bloody while most of the fans are treated to live rock em sock em robots.
Meeting in Anaheim in November on UFC’s inaugural FOX broadcast, they will be fighting for the heavyweight strap and bragging rights. When JDS came on the scene a few years back, it always was brought up “when does he get a title shot?” Having defeated Carwin, Cro Cop, Nelson and others in his way, he will be tested with the fast, strong and wrestling stud in Velasquez.
This fight will be determined in the end by who is the more technical fighter and time their shots. They equalize each other in speed and heart, Velasquez has an under-rated ground game and the hands to stop anyone. At the end of this fight, either man could end up with the belt and depending on who they fight next could lose it just as easy. This division is once again entertaining and exciting given the opportunity for upsets and hungry fighters on the rise.
Jon Jones v. Lyoto Machida (UFC 140)
It’s age against experience, talent against dedication and arrogance against humility. The billing for this bout needs to be Yin & Yang when these two men square off. Having been finished once and robbed of a decision as well, “The Dragon” is breathing fire and not just hot air going into his championship bout against Jones. Machida always remains calm and collected in criticism, able to let his training do the talking for him.
Jon Jones is the humble guy with a hunk of gold he has earned…that’s what he wants you to believe. Watch him in a press conference or post fight confrontations with rivals and watch the immaturity flood. He cannot share the spotlight and wants you to know he is better than you, he won’t even look opponents in the eye at a stare down – he will say “it’s not my thing” that is an excuse for his self-worth inflating that he is better than everyone else.
As talented and un-predictable as the young champion is, Machida has trained his entire life to counter strike and use an opponent’s strengths against him; this will be the determining factor on fight night. Disclaimer: if you are not a fan of feeling out processes, do not watch this fight; expect Machida to time and watch Jones for a while before becoming aggressive and moving in for the shot.
We will all watch who comes out on top and see who is next in line for the future bouts, all we can do is hope it all comes out good and most of all, patience grasshopper.
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