Very few fights get me excited anymore. I remember freaking out over Anderson Silva-Forrest Griffin. I remember being pumped up for Dan Henderson-Michael Bisping, Rashad Evans-Rampage Jackson, the first time Brock & Frank Mir fought (the first UFC PPV I ever bought). But very few fights get me excited BEFORE THE FIGHT. This is one of those that actually has me excited. I always enjoy the Ultimate Fighter coaches going at it, but this is special.
Welterweight Championship bout: Georges St-Pierre (20-2) (c) vs. Josh Koscheck (15-4)
MMA’s biggest hero going against MMA’s biggest villain. How do you not love GSP? He’s quiet, yet powerful. He exemplifies everything good in the sport. He doesn’t run his mouth and speaks only in the Octagon. And how do you not love to hate Josh Koscheck? Is there anybody on the planet who is better at getting into a fighter’s head? I loved him showing up in boxer briefs, pulling the cars next to GSP so he could barely get in his car and the fight with the “male nurse.” Personality-wise, are there any fighters more opposite? Here’s what I see. GSP hasn’t lost since ’07 and is quite possibly the greatest fighter of our generation (the Spider excluded). Is Koscheck good? Absolutely. Do I think he is good enough to be GSP?I don’t think so.
Heavyweight bout: Stefan Struve (20-4) vs. Sean McCorkle (10-0)
Struve is known as “Skyscraper” because he is 6’11”. The Dutch native has fought some really big fights, but always seems to lose when he faces somebody of a higher caliber (like Roy Nelson or Junior Dos Santos). McCorkle has been to a decision once and made it to the 2nd round two additional times. McCorkle is working on his rise to the top, and I see the Dutch Skyscraper as being a stop on his rise.
Lightweight bout: Jim Miller (18-2) vs. Charles Oliveira (14-0)
Oliveira looked awesome last fight. He submitted Efrain Escudero and ended up winning “Submission of the Night.” Oliveira is coming off two consecutive “Sub of the Night” performances. This is his to walk away with.
Lightweight bout: Joe Stevenson (31-11) vs. Mac Danzig (19-8-1)
Both of these fighters have been inconsistent recently. Stevenson has won 2 out of his last 5, while Danzig has won 1 of his last 5. Both are winners of The Ultimate Fighter. While this fight is not inspiring me, I do think the fighters here are evenly matched. Not really sure why, but I want to say Danzig.
Welterweight bout: Thiago Alves (17-7) vs. John Howard (14-5)
Huh? This is a serious fight? I wouldn’t want to watch this fight with somebody else’s eyes. Alves is on a 2-fight losing streak (and is still somehow #4 on Sherdog.com’s Welterweight list). Howard has just lost once, but neither of these really inspire me to watch this fight. Alves is good, but I don’t know what the appeal is to fighting John Howard. Something tells me that Alves is too good of a fighter to lose two in a row.