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MMA Analysis: Fighters that Must Win at UFC 137

Time has befallen us again for another UFC Chopping Block. UFC 137 rolls into Sin City this weekend and aside from the welterweight title being scrapped from the card, this event is packed full of opportunities for fans to bet on favorites (or underdogs) and fighters themselves the chance to cash in and rob the house blind with career defining performances. There are a few though that needs to walk into the Octagon “all in” and will either take the winnings or bust out and walk away with nothing

ROY NELSON (15-6, 2-2 UFC)

“Big Country” is a great guy and underrated heavyweight, his jiu jitsu skills are highly regarded and nothing to play with, we have seen him separate people from their own consciousness on more than one occasion and his outlook on the fight game is humbling and realistic. His biggest enemy is himself and his diet; the belly may be a trademark but it comes with a cost – lack of conditioning to have power needed in the later rounds of a fight. Being on the losing end of decision in recent bouts to Dos Santos and Mir, he needs to finish Mirko Cro Cop this weekend to keep a job and relevancy in the heavyweight scene


At one time, the only man to defeat Urijah Faber was a somewhat known contender at 155 lbs, a few losses occurred and he dropped back down to featherweight once the lighter weights moved into the UFC. In his return to 145 lbs. he won a majority decision against Manvel Gamburyan in June, his first victory since Sep of 2009. Facing off against WEC vet and dangerous Bart Palaszewski is the last line for sure if the Xtreme Couture wrestler wishes to continue his fighting career under the Zuffa banner.

BRANDON VERA (11-5, 1nc, 7-5, 1nc UFC)

He was let go after a loss that was later ruled a No Contest to Thiago Silva in January of 2011 but the UFC let him have one more rodeo before finalizing their decision to let the Muay Thai fighter go for good. Entering his UFC career as a terror for the heavyweight division, Vera boldly proclaimed to become the first fighter to hold a heavyweight title and Light Heavyweight belt simultaneously; sadly, he hasn’t even been in a contendership scenario. The closest he has come to a UFC championship was when Jon Jones had him mounted and blasted his orbital into the netherworld.

CHEICK KONGO (16-6-2, 9-4-1 UFC)

Big, mean and able to finish the fight wherever it was, Kongo was another big name in the heavyweight division years ago. His weaknesses in the ground game were exploited, handing him losses but also letting him work on his faults. This past summer, he danced with Pat Barry and looked to be done almost twice until switching on “zombie mode” and finishing Barry for one of the best and violent comeback knockouts in UFC history. A win over Matt Mitrione would be the best thing for Kongo, where a loss is either a ticket home or a permanent seat on the bench for up and coming guys.

NOTE: Win, lose or draw – this needs to be the last fight for Mirko Cro Cop. As much as we love and respect him for what he has done in a great career, there is no need to continue to subject him to fights if his heart is not in it like before and he is seriously hurt. We love you and thank you Mirko – goodbye and good night

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