The “UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir” event will be upon us this Saturday night with an all heavyweight lineup on the main card for the first time in UFC history. It hasn’t been easy to keep that piece of history in place due to the many injuries that plagued fighters on this card. However, this is a very solid card with some very interesting story lines and surely we are going to see some folk going to sleep with all the heavy leather that’ll be thrown that night. Let’s get to the interesting parts of the card.
Is Saturday night against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva a must win fight for Cain Velasquez?
Velasquez suffered the first defeat of his young career in his last outing against Junior dos Santos, losing via devastating fashion in less than a minute and a half. I’m not talking must win in regards to staying in the promotion, but more so about a must win fight for his own self confidence and his ability to be promoted as a top heavyweight. Antonio Silva is real threat to anyone in the heavyweight division as he possesses good size, good power, and is excellent on the ground for a big man. A win probably puts Velasquez back in the title picture to face off against the winner of Mir/dos Santos unless it’s a very unimpressive win. A loss would be a huge blow to his stock.
Which prospect will emerge victorious in the Del Rosario/Miocic matchup?
The UFC heavyweight division is probably the best it has ever been and most of the fighters are still relatively young. However, the division is still very much in need of emerging contenders to keep things fresh at the top to avoid the merry go round of rematches and boring story lines. In this matchup we have two undefeated, yet very green, heavyweights in Shane Del Rosorio and Stipe Miocic. Both come from decorated backgrounds and both have good size for heavyweights, but still lack the experience to put it all together at this point. Miocic will have the wrestling advantage on paper while Del Rosario could have the striking advantage on the feet with his kickboxing background.
Which fighter has a better chance of avoiding a release from the promotion in Dan Hardy or Jason Miller?
Dan Hardy has lost four UFC fights in a row and 99% of the fighters with four consecutive losses would not be in the UFC anymore. For some odd reason Hardy was retained and gets one more shot at getting a win when he takes on Duane Ludwig. Miller is coming off the the horrible performance against Michael Bisping in his UFC debut after coaching on The Ultimate Fighter. He was almost cut after the loss to Bisping, but was retained and will take on TUF alum C. B. Dollaway. Ludwig could possibly get the better of Hardy on the feet and Dollaway could possibly take Miller down and grind out a decision. Who has the best chance of winning their respective fights?
Does Jamie Varner spoil the undefeated streak of Edson Barboza?
A great deal of people dislike Jamie Varner for one reason or another but the guy is actually a pretty decent fighter when his head in screwed on correctly. He has agreed to take this short notice fight against muay thai specialist Edson Barboza. Varner has pretty good boxing and has decent wrestling as well so it’ll be interesting to see what his gameplan will be. There’s no question that Barboza wants to keep it standing the entire time. Could the former WEC lightweight champion spoil the rise of Barboza as a legitimate contender in the lightweight division?
Does this event surpass 500,000 PPV buys?
This event was originally supposed to featured Alistair Overeem taking on Junior dos Santos in the main event which probably would have done huge numbers PPV wise. The card all together is actually a pretty deep card with some interesting storylines. You have some guys making their UFC debut(Antonio Silva, Glover Teixeira, and TUF winner Diego Brandao in his first fight since the finale). We have Velasquez in the co-main event as a former champion with Junior dos Santos headlining after being watched by almost nine million people on the UFC’s FOX debut in November. It’ll be interesting to see if any of that translates into PPV buys on Saturday night. The highest PPV buyrate that Dos Santos has received as a headliner is 325,000 buys at UFC 131 when he took on Shane Carwin in the main event. What’s your guesstimate?