UFC Fight Pass is presenting another exclusive offering with UFC Fight Night: Aub Dhabi featuring a five round heavyweight main event between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Roy “Big Country” Nelson. From top to bottom, this is the most stacked offering from the digital streaming service, and it’s fitting that “Minotauro” receives top billing. Currently ranked 11th in the division, he is one of the few that remain from the pre boom period where fighters were larger than life.
Super Bowl weekend traditionally plays host to one of the biggest UFC events of the year, and this card is no exception. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for UFC 156. Every fight on the main card could be a main event and is reminiscent of the early Zuffa cards before the sport’s ascension. All of the bouts have important divisional ramifications and it is all topped off by what could end up being the greatest fight in the history of mixed martial arts.
-Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall
It’s takes a clever fighter with the ludicrous speed to dethrone the likes of Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall. That fighter’s name is Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Joseph Benavidez was the odds on favorite to win the Flyweight tournament and was kept guessing and off balance for the entire five round affair. Ian McCall had more hype than anyone, going into the tournament and fought Johnson fought twice due to a judging error in the first bout that was scored a draw and some felt McCall won.
Benavidez brings to the table his explosive wrestling ability along with his power and athleticism. McCall is the more technical fighter who is very crafty and could catch Benavidez going in wild for a takedown or a submission. Both have tremendous cardio and are hungry to get back in the mix as they are the number 2 & 3 contenders in the world. McCall is preoccupied with personal issues outside of the cage in the form of childcare issues and separation from his wife which he feels will lead to a divorce.
McCall is a charismatic individual who could go a long way in the UFC, but he needs to find a way to put his personal issues aside to handle the razor sharp Benavidez. While McCall is dangerous on the ground, Demetrious Johnson was able to take him down pretty easily in their second fight. There will be some close calls in this bout, but Benavidez will have an easier controlling where the bout takes place.
The Pick: Joseph Benavidez by decision
On April 7, 2007 Matt Serra scored the biggest upset in Mixed Martial Arts history when he beat Georges St. Pierre to become the UFC Welterweight champion. No one thought Serra could win and people laughed at the idea of him being in a title fight. I know because I was one of those people. In all my years of watching MMA, I had never dismissed a fighter’s chance of victory until that night. 5 years, 6 months and 7 days later, Stefan Bonnar will assume the role of a hopeless underdog when he fights Anderson Silva in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.