Taking a look at UFC 132, we're expecting good things. I will be begging my wife to let me go out to a bar to watch this one. I really tried to get her to order but something about "my daughter's belated birthday party with family" was too much for her to host a party for UFC 132. (I'm going to be in so much trouble for this blog when I get home.)
Forgive my pro wrestling reference, but in the days of WCW, you had the big names like Hulk Hogan, Macho Man (RIP), Sting, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Ric Flair. And then you had the guys who fought at the beginning of the cards and had the really exciting Cruiserweight matches: Eddie Guerrero (RIP), Chris Jericho, Dean Malenko, Rey Misterio Jr., Billy Kidman, Ultimo Dragon. For a while in the MMA world, UFC was the big names. WEC was where you went to see the good fights. Finally, the two companies have merged (and by merged, I mean they have been absorbed into the Borg collective, also known as Zuffa). Now we get to watch the exciting fighters in the main event. Well-done, Zuffa.
Bantamweight Championship bout: Dominick Cruz (c) (17-1) vs. Urijah Faber (25-4)
Cruz has lost only once in his career. Guess who that loss was to. If you guessed Urijah Faber, you win. Cruz IS currently the champion. And you know that one loss to Faber has got to be eating at him. Cruz' numbers look great until you look at one tiny thing. Over HALF of his victories have come by decision. He's had 6 TKOS and 1 submission. If Faber takes him to the floor (25 minutes is a lot of time to strike), over half of Faber's victories have come by submission. And Faber's KO percentage is very close to Cruz'. I hope Cruz likes shopping for lights. Because he's going to get a chance to sample plenty of them after his knockout from Faber.
Middleweight bout: Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1, 1 NC) vs. Chris Leben (25-7)
So we have the legendary Axe Murderer (Silva) taking on a man I like to call "Mr. DUI"(Leben). One of MMA's biggest heroes taking on one of MMA's biggest villains. Silva hasn't fought in 16 months. The word "ring-rust" really isn't appropriate there, but it's something you have to look at. Leben, regardless of how I feel about him, has been in there regularly fighting. Leben wants to face his hero. What kid watching Manny Pacquiao right now wouldn't love to box with him someday (if they want to become a boxer)? Who wouldn't want to catch a pass from Peyton Manning? Who wouldn't want to face Roy Halladay at the plate? My inner MMA fan is going for Silva, but my objective self says (and this disgusts me to type) that Leben will win by TKO.
Light Heavyweight bout: Tito Ortiz (15-8-1) vs. Ryan Bader(12-1)
Ryan Bader is about to learn a very important lesson. It's not about losing. It's about what you do after that loss. He suffered his first loss. It's no shame. It's at the hands of Jon "Bones" Jones. Now he gets to face the legendary Tito Ortiz in the cage. This is BY FAR the biggest fight in his career. And Tito is ripe for the picking. While I respect what Tito has done for the sport (I mean, my daughter had a Team Punishment onesie.), he hasn't won a fight since '06. And that was against Ken Shamrock. Thanks for what you've done, Tito. Now go get a made-up job like Chuck Liddell and start being a face of the sport's history.
Welterweight bout: Carlos Condit (26-5) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (14-0-1, 1 NC)
Wow, ok, this is a huge fight. Both have 4 wins out of their last 5. Both have major skins on the wall. Condit has beaten Dan Hardy, Frank Trigg & was perfect in WEC. Kim has victories over Amir Sadollah, Nate Diaz and Matt Brown. What stands out for me here is that Condit is nearly split between Submissions and TKO's. Kim has a LOT more decisions than Condit. The below picture says it all.
Lightweight bout: Dennis Siver (18-7) vs. Matt Wiman (13-5)
I'm not exactly sure why this is on the main card. I'd much rather see Simpson-Tavares, but then again, the pay-per-views don't put money on MY table. I don't have to make that decision. Siver seems to have the momentum advantage with 4 of his last 5, as compared to Wiman's 3 of his last 5. This should be a good fight though. Wiman has 3 Fight of the Night honors, as Siver has one, two knockouts of the night and one submission of the night. I hope they have their highlight reel cameras going. Now even I'm a little excited about this one. I'm going with Siver. He looks to me like the guy you wouldn't mess with.