The UFC train keeps on rolling with UFC on FUEL TV 8: Silva vs. Stann taking place on Saturday in Japan. The main card will air on FUEL TV with preliminary action streaming on Facebook. The main event will consist of a light heavyweight bout between MMA legend Wandelei Silva and Brian Stann. It’s an intriguing FREE event, so let’s take a look at the top five questions heading into the event.
Will this be the last time we see “The Axe Murderer” in action?
Wanderlei Silva is an all time great in the sport of MMA, enjoying one of the most impressive careers in history often competing against opponents much larger than him. He has endured a tremendous amount of punishment, and has been knocked out badly on a couple of times in his career. So much so that UFC President has been vocal in the past about the possibility of Silva retiring if he suffers another brutal knockout. Brian Stann is certainly capable of knocking Silva out, not to mention this fight is taking place at light heavyweight where Stann will have a size advantage. He hits like a mack truck and will probably be willing to stand and trade with the aging veteran. The event taking place in Japan probably holds a lot of sentimental value for Silva since the majority of his glory days took place on Japanese soil and they love him there. It would be cool for him to end his career in Japan as the frequency of his fights have dropped tremendously over the past couple of years. Maybe he’ll turn back the clock and swarm Stann like the old PRIDE days? It’s MMA, anything is possible!
Does the winner of Mark Hunt/Stefan Struve put himself ‘in the mix’ regarding a heavyweight title shot?
I think that statement is fair. However, those suggesting Mark Hunt should get a title shot with a win over Struve need to go have a drink somewhere or something. It’s true that fighters have received title shots undeservedly, but to suggest that Hunt is worthy of a title shot is ludicrous as he hasn’t beaten ANYBODY of note. Struve’s resume isn’t that much better, but he has won four consecutive fights while finishing all four of those opponents. Also, he’s an interesting matchup due to his size and his ability to fight standing or on the ground. I’d say the winner of this fight should fight someone in the top 10. If they won that one, then it would make sense to mention them regarding a shot at the title.
Can Diego Sanchez have another successful run as a lightweight?
Diego Sanchez will be returning to the lightweight division to face Takanori Gomi on Saturday. If you remember, Sanchez had a decent little run as a lightweight in 2009 and earned a title shot against BJ Penn at UFC 107 in a losing effort. He went back to welterweight after that loss and enjoyed marginal success (2-2) in that time frame. He’s only 31 years old and has a style that he can probably use to win fights as a lightweight. I think he should definitely be able to get past Gomi provided the long layoff isn’t a factor and he’s not suffering from any injuries. Sanchez will be a fighter to keep an eye on in the division if he can string together a couple of wins.
Will Hector Lombard put himself ‘in the mix’ for a title shot with a win over Yushin Okami on Saturday?
Lombard was on the short road to a title shot before he lost his UFC debut against Tim Boetsch. However, Lombard rebounded to knockout submission ace Rousimar Palhares in his last bout. It looks like Anderson Silva will take on Chris Weidman this summer, but an impressive win over a former title contender in Okami will definitely have him back on track towards a title shot. He would likely have to fight the winner of the Rockhold/Belfort fight, but he can certainly help separate himself from the pack with a win over Okami.
Can Siyar Bahadurzada have another statement win against good competition?
Bahadurzada burst on the scene with a huge KO win over Paulo Thiago in his UFC debut in April 2012. However, he’s been on the shelf since that fight and will finally be back in action on Saturday. He’ll be taking on Dong Hyun Kim who’s a tough welterweight for anybody, and a win against Kim would certainly serve notice that Bahadurzada is to be taken serious. He hasn’t suffered a loss since being submitted by UFC veteran Jorge Santiago in 2008, and has rattled off seven consecutive wins with only one of those fights going to a judges decision.
Stay tuned to ProMMAnow.com for more UFC on FUEL TV 8 news and coverage.