Today’s a UFC day. And though there may not be too many big names on the main card, this sixth UFC broadcast on Fox channel boasts a card guaranteed to heat up chilly Chicago this Saturday, Jan. 26. Here’s GRACIEMAG.com’s list of the five fights likely to bring the most excitement.
5. Ryan Bader vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
A big battle in the light heavyweight division. Ryan (14 w, 3l), who signed with the UFC after winning the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, where he took out Jiu-Jitsu star Vinny Magalhães, needs to show he’s still the same hard nut to crack that outdid the likes of Keith Jardine, Rogério Minotouro and Rampage Jackson. Bader is coming off a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC on Fox 4. Across the cage from him will be Matyushenko (26w, 6l), who has been fighting since 1997. The Belorussian won back-to-back fights before getting TKO’d by Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 141. “The one with the bigger balls will win,” Matyushenko has said.
4. Erik Koch vs. Ricardo Lamas
The featherweight tilt between Koch and Lamas is not likely to be left to the judges. Erik has a lone blemish in his 14-fight career and wants to reaffirm his place as a possible challenger to José Aldo’s throne since a clash between the two was canceled due to injury. Now, his opponent, Ricardo Lamas (12w, 2l), is undefeated in the UFC with three wins. The Jiu-Jitsu-savvy Lamas’s last outing saw him outpoint highly touted Hatsu Hioki at UFC on FX 4.
3. Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson
Flyweight titleholder Johnson (16w, 2l) previously fought up a weight class, where he even challenged bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz for his title at UFC on Versus 6. Now the kingpin in the division of the most diminutive, Demetrious won both his fights in the fledgling flyweight category to take his place as the man to beat. And now, in defending his crown for the first time, he will have his work cut out for him. John Dodson (14w, 5l), who himself has fought at bantamweight, won season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show upon knocking out TJ Dillashaw. Dodson comes into the fight following a knockout win over Jussier Formiga in the second round of their encounter at UFC on FX 5.
2. Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone
Pettis and Cerrone lock horns in hopes of setting themselves up for a shot at the lightweight title. Pettis (15w, 2l) starred in what was elected the finest fight of 2010, landing a flying kick off the cage and knocking down current UFC champ Ben Henderson in the now-defunct WEC. Pettis is riding back-to-back wins, the latest at UFC 144 by way of knockout over the rugged Joe Lauzon. Now, Donald Cerrone (19w, 4l) has racked up four wins in the UFC since dropping a decision to Nate Diaz at UFC 141. A solid finisher and first-rate knockout artist, he has a first-round knockout over Melvin Guillard that garnered him both “Fight of the Night” and “Knockout of the Night” honors in one fell swoop.
1. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira
Will it be Rampage’s farewell or Glover Teixeira’s welcome to the UFC’s elite? However you look at it, you’re going to like what you see. In the co-main event of the evening, Brazil’s Glover will likely stick to his all-out offensive style. Quinton (32w, 10l), a former UFC champion and major star ever since the days of Pride FC, has fought a Who’s Who of world MMA: he has defeated Murilo Bustamante, Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson and Wanderlei Silva, not to mention challenging Jon Jones for the title in 2011 at UFC 135, losing via rear-naked choke. Could the ground be Glover’s best bet? Savvy with takedowns and concussive with his fists, the Brazilian black belt has only two career losses and has won 12 of his 21 fights via knockout. Glover hasn’t lost since 2005, and he carries a 17-fight win streak with him into the cage tonight. Does this one promise fireworks, or what?
So what do you say, gentle reader, agree with our list? Think some other battle on tonight’s card deserves special mention? Let us know in the comments field below.
UFC on Fox 6
United Center, Chicago, USA
January 26, 2013
Demetrious Johnson vs John Dodson
Quinton Jackson vs Glover Teixeira
Donald Cerrone vs Anthony Pettis
Erik Koch vs Ricardo Lamas
TJ Grant vs Matt Wiman
Clay Guida vs Hatsu Hioki
Ryan Bader vs Vladimir Matyushenko
Simeon Thoresen vs David Mitchell
Mike Russow vs Shawn Jordan
Mike Stumpf vs Pascal Krauss
Rafael Sapo vs Sean Spencer
Simeon Thoresen vs David Mitchell