It’s another weekend approaching with more MMA on the horizon. I’ve read that some people may be burned out with so much MMA lately, but I can assure you I do not fit into that category. That’s actually pretty ridiculous that you could get burned out on a sport in which there have been fights for like four consecutive weeks with most of it being FREE. Anyways, UFC 132 is upon us and although this card may not do huge numbers PPV wise, it certainly has some interesting storylines and we look to talk about those a little today. So let’s get into the five biggest questions heading into UFC 132:
- Is this Urijah Faber’s last shot at capturing a major title in MMA?
Former long time WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber will be shooting for the UFC bantamweight title when he rematches the current champion Dominick Cruz at UFC 132. The two actually fought a few years ago as featherweights with Faber submitting Cruz rather quickly via guillotine choke in the very first round. Faber relinquished his featherweight title against Mike Brown but then earned another shot at it against Jose Aldo who had defeated Brown. Aldo pretty much dominated Faber to win a unanimous decision, forcing him to drop a weight class. Faber is now 32 years of age with Cruz checking in at 25 years old(he’ll be 26 in September), so time is certainly not on Faber’s side giving the rate at which fighters are evolving their skillsets nowadays. I suppose Faber could lose and then force a rubber match if this fight turns out to be a action packed. If not though, could this be Urijah Faber’s last shot at capturing a major title in MMA?
- Will Tito Ortiz retire from the sport if he loses to Ryan Bader at UFC 132?
It has been a long road for the former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, who has gone without a win since 2006. Which was a very close split decision win against a very young Forrest Griffin at UFC 59. Yes, he hasn’t won since UFC 59 and this event is UFC 132. If you’ve followed my work over the years you’ll know that I’m not the biggest Tito Ortiz fan and you know why so I won’t delve into that. To his credit, Ortiz has fought some of the best fighters in the world since 2006 while undergoing major surgeries on his neck and back. However, he’s still pretty much the same fighter he was 5 years ago skill wise, but without the cardio or the explosiveness he possessed in his prime. He’ll be going against another guy in Ryan Bader who is similar to Hamill in that he is a good wrestler with power in his hands. It’s been documented that Zuffa wanted Ortiz to retire after his last loss to Matt Hamill. A loss to Bader would be his fifth loss in a row(not including the draw with Rashad Evans), and he would more than likely be released from the UFC. Would Strikeforce add him to their division or would Ortiz see the writing on the wall and call it a career?
- Will Wanderlei Silva return to form against Chris Leben?
It seems like forever since Silva has been in the cage. He last fought at UFC 110, winning a decision over Michael Bisping in his middleweight debut but has been sidelined with injuries since. The window for Wanderlei Silva is quickly closing as well with all of the damage he has accumulated over the years. However, he is marketable and has a very loyal fans so a exciting win over Chris Leben would be great for his career. Leben is tailor made for him, but Leben has enough power to put Silva to sleep if he catches him with a good punch. This fight could end quickly, or go to the third round with both guys huffing and puffing while swinging for the fences.
- Will Condit or Kim emerge as a contender in the UFC welterweight division?
Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim is a great welterweight fight that could determine a possibly #1 contender for the welterweight title. Something tells me that Kim will not be granted with that status with a win even though he would still be undefeated. Condit is the more exciting fighter and has more name recognition than Kim and this would be his fourth win in a row with a win, so I could see the UFC moving him into the #1 contender slot to face the winner os St-Pierre/Diaz. However, Kim is a very tough stylistic matchup for Condit so we’ll have to wait to see how that all unfolds.
- Does Melvin Guillard become a legitimate lightweight contender with a victory over Shane Roller?
Melvin Guillard has always had the tools to be an elite fighter, but mental lapses in and outside of the cage have always held him back. He’s been a different fighter since joining Greg Jackson’s camp, reeling off four consecutive wins. He had a very enlightening interview in which he spoke on this fight with Shane Roller and I pretty much agree with everything he said in the piece. Basically, a win against Shane Roller does nothing for him in the grand scheme of things. He is expected to win this fight and should be fighting a higher ranked fighter. However, if Guillard wins this fight impressively it’ll force Zuffa to give him a top tier opponent the next time out.