In the upcoming weeks we are going to see three fights that I personally have been waiting a long time to see. The most important of these is the middleweight championship between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort.
This fight is definitely an anything can happen situation. Anderson hasn’t faced a striker in the UFC that has the skill level that Vitor does. Think back to when Vitor defeated Wandy in the Octagon. Those strikes were incredible.
This fight is going to be very technical. Both fighters know the other one will be waiting for that opening to swoop in and KO his opponent. If the Spider was smart, he would take Vitor to ground and work a submission.
Although Vitor has a black belt under the Gracie family, he isn’t going into the Octagon looking for a submission. This fight has been dragged out for a while now because of injuries. Vitor is going to walk in there and throw bombs all night.
Could this fight be the demise of the Spider? Anything can happen. The Spider pulled a triangle choke out of his ass in the Sonnen fight. Every other guy he has fought minus Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson have been lack luster opponents.
When the cage door closes, expect the unexpected to go down between these two middleweights.
The next fight on the list is between Jon Jones and Ryan Bader. This is the fight that will catapult the winner into the mix of opponents like Rampage Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, and Shogun Rua.
Both fighters are young and show promising futures in the sport. Jones, the more dominant of the two, will reign supreme in this fight. Jones is very unorthodox and Bader has never faced anyone with Jones level of skill. Bader has the ability to KO someone with one punch. If Jones wants to avoid that power he will have to keep moving.
I give the edge in this fight to Jones. I believe this is his year and he will become champion. Ryan Bader doesn’t obtain the charisma that I believe a champion needs to have. Bader seems like a good guy but he isn’t champion material.
The last fight on this list of mine is definitely my favorite. Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin will face off. This fight will be fight of the night. Both of these guys are true warriors of the sport and never hold anything back; unless you count both of their fights against the Spider.
Expect both guys to come into this fight swinging. Rich Franklin has vicious strikes and his cardio never lets up. Forrest Griffin has a display of kicks like no other. The way he chopped Rampage down with leg kicks was intense. Also, Griffin’s ground game is great. Rich Franklin also has a brown belt in BJJ so Griffin won’t be able to get too comfortable on the ground. Expect a lot of blood in this fight.
I assume this to be Fight of the Night honors for UFC 126. Jones vs. Bader or Silva vs. Belfort will be KO of the night. Submission of the night will probably go to someone on the undercard. UFC 126 is a stacked card and the chances of being disappointed while watching are very slim. Make sure you are tuning in on PPV on Feb, 2nd to see the best PPV of 2011.