It’s MMA time again! I absolutely love it and wish it was like this all the time.
We just finished up with UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia, and now turn our attention to the upcoming UFC Live 3 event that will take place in Louisville, Kentucky.
The card has plenty of known names, with a few on the under-card as well. So I just want to highlight some of the story-lines to be on the lookout for as we head into this event.
Let’s get it.
-The main event between Sanchez and Kampmann is a pretty big fight within the UFC welterweight division. Sanchez is coming off a huge win against top ten welterweight Paulo Thiago. Kampmann is coming off a razor thin split decision loss to #1 contender Jake Shields, a fight in which many thought he won including me.
Kampmann was coming off a big win against Thiago prior to the Shields fight as well. A win against Shields would have vaulted Kampmann into a potential title shot so he’s near the upper echelon of UFC welterweights. Sanchez experienced a re-birth of sorts in his last fight as he went back to the patented fast paced, quick transition, overwhelm you style he became known for early in his career.
A win against Kampmann would be huge, and would certainly put him in favorable territory to face another top welterweight. A win for Kampmann would simply right the ship, and keep him where he currently is in the division. The BJ Penn/Jon Fitch majority outcome certainly makes things at the top of the division a bit murky. However, if Penn chooses to retire, the winner of this fight could potentially face Fitch in a number one contender’s match of sorts.
-The co-main event of CB Dollaway vs. Mark Munoz doesn’t have any title implications, but is a big fight for both fighters. In particularly Dollaway, he has quietly won his last three fights and a win over Munoz would put him in the next tier of middleweights. Munoz is coming off a win over Aaron Simpson after losing a split decision to the phantom #1 contender in Yushin Okami. A win for Munoz would keep him in that upper tier of middleweights, but a loss to Dollaway would certainly be a huge disappointment.
-Brian Bowles and Damacio Page will both be making their UFC debuts at this event. Bowles, the former WEC bantamweight champion will be looking to start his journey back to reclaim his title. He hasn’t fought since losing the title to the current champion Dominick Cruz. This will be the first televised fight and should start the show off with a bang.
-How will former TUF winner and former #1 contender Joe Stevenson perform on the undercard? He has lost two in a row, getting knocked out by another TUF winner in Mac Danzig in his last outing. A loss here could be the end of Stevenson in the UFC, unless he were to drop down to the featherweight division. He’ll be taking on former WEC lightweight Danny Castillo who’s making his UFC debut and won his last two fights.
-Look out for Rousimar Palhares on the undercard. He’s been out of action since getting knocked out by Nate Marquardt back in September. He’ll be taking on Dave Branch in what will be a match-up between to Brazilian jiu-jitsu aces. A win for Palhares would be big as he was on the cusp on entering the upper tier of middleweights in a shallow division before the loss to Marquardt. Branch has won two in a row since losing his UFC debut against Gerald Harris.
It should be a solid night of fights. The other interesting thing will be that this is the first time that the UFC has held an event in Kentucky. Will the crowd be awesome or wack? Will the judges from the athletic commission be competent? I guess we’ll see on Thursday night. If you can’t watch the event, be sure to follow our live play by play that night.