UFC 126 pre-5
With free prelims on Facebook, free prelims on Spike and the bouts on pay-per-view for UFC 126 this Saturday, how do you choose where to focus your time (assuming you can't watch them all)?
Time for the UFC 126 pre-5, where I offer my top five fights to watch, for whatever reason.
5) Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa
I'm fairly certain someone, somewhere will write some type of "OMG - Omigawa" headline or lead this weekend, and hopefully, it will be clever enough to laugh at. But as for the actual fight, Mendes is an up-and-coming featherweight with Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male who could conceivably get a title shot against Jose Aldo in late 2011.
4) Forrest Griffin vs. Rich Franklin
A pair of former champions, who despite their choice of facial hair, look very similar in the cage. Franklin is coming off a broken arm he got at UFC 115 against Chuck Liddell and Griffin hasn't fought since beating Tito Ortiz in November 2009. Long layoffs for both, but they should produce an exciting fight.
3) Donald Cerrone vs. Paul Kelly
"The Cowboy" is a talented fighter and someone who is not afraid to speak his mind. A fight with Kelly should be a strong stand-up battle, but if it gets to the ground, Cerrone has the jiu-jitsu skills to handle himself in the UFC.
2) Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort
Anytime the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world steps into the octagon, I want to watch it. Doesn't matter who he's fighting. Belfort has big knockout power, but he's been inactive for a while because of injuries. Silva is at his most vulnerable now, based on perception, after nearly losing to Chael Sonnen last August. With the middleweight title on the line, it's hard to go against the champion who hasn't lost a fight since before Facebook and Twitter became so popular.
1) Jon "Bones" Jones vs. Ryan Bader
If they gave out championship belts for the "rising star" division, Jones would be wearing it. There's so much hype behind this guy from upstate New York, and he's earned every bit of it. Jones, 22, has a wealth of talent and a filthy-rich amount of potential. Same for Bader, although he appears to be somewhat less flashy and charismatic than Jones. But Bader is still undefeated, and this light heavyweight bout seems to be like a super fight of future stars.
See the entire fight card and watch a video preview for UFC 126 here.