Without a doubt, UFC 126 is one of the most anticipated fight cards in the history of the UFC. While it falls considerably short of the emotion surrounding UFC 100, one cannot deny that nearly every passionate MMA fan is on pins and needles in anticipation for tomorrow night’s fight card.
Granted, there has been some blow back regarding Vitor Belfort taking on Anderson Silva in the night’s main event. Some are pointing to the fact that Belfort has only fought twice at middleweight and that his last fight was a catch weight bout with Rich Franklin north of the middleweight limit. In fact, this question and many more were tackled in a collaborative article that is up and running on friend of our site MMA Manifesto. Check it out; I’m sure you will love it.
As I stated in my answer to the question about UFC 126 potentially being the best card since UFC 100, the fact that on paper every fight on UFC 126 has explosion written all over it should give fight fans more than their money’s worth in terms of entertainment. Granted, I may come off sounding like a bit of a UFC homer in this post but you have to admit that the fight card lined up for UFC 126 is one that should result in a plethora of exciting matchups. In fact, the UFC should rename this promotion the “We Apologize for UFC 119 Card.” Each fight on the UFC 126 card seems like a guaranteed action-packed bout.
The night’s main event will pit Anderson Silva, the long-reigning UFC middleweight champion in a defense of his belt against the dangerous Vitor Belfort. The questions surrounding this battle are numerous. How will Silva bounce back from his near-defeat at the hands of Chael Sonnen? Is Silva’s rib injury fully healed? Can Belfort’s explosive striking skills and speed overcome Silva’s muay thai? It’s hard to see Silva losing a fight to a fighter without the wrestling pedigree that Sonnen used to great success in their bout. Sure, Belfort is a beast in the cage, but has relative inactivity slowed down the man once touted as “The Phenom?”
Also featured at UFC 126 is an intriguing light heavyweight match up between Jon Jones and Ryan Bader. Both fighters have created a huge amount of buzz with eye-opening win after win inside the Octagon. While many have anointed Jones as the heir apparent to the 205 crown, Bader has made a strong claim that his wrestling and brain scrambling punching power. While Jones may be the most dynamic mixed martial artists in the game today, UFC 126 will show us how well he can perform against a relentless fighter who can match his wrestling skills.
Other intriguing bouts include the fight for relevancy between Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin. Kid Yamamoto will make his UFC debut at UFC 126. And, former WEC stars Donald Cerrone and Chad Mendes will enter the Octagon for the first time in their respective careers. UFC 126 seems to be catered to the fight fan thirsty for excitement. Saturday night we will see if this is true.