When the UFC puts tpgether a card on Fox, one thing that viewers need to be aware of is that a lot of the time, the fight cards can easily be swapped for a Pay-Per-View. In other words, the UFC on Fox card could have easily been dubbed “UFC 159,” had a $54.99 price tag slapped on it and all would have worked out fine.
If you have access to local television stations, you’re getting the card for free. Can’t beat that. But beyond the quality-fights-for-no-cost reasoning, here are five other reasons why you should tune in to UFC on Fox 7 on Saturday, April 20.
1) Gilbert Melendez is the best lightweight that’s never been in the UFC
Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez shares his nickname with something very appropriate: A hurricane. Melendez has blown through a lot of the 155-pound fighters outside of the Octagon, but don’t let that make you think he can’t compete with the top lightweights in the world. He holds notable wins over the UFC’s Clay Guida, Josh Thomson and current One FC champ Shinya Aoki. Combine all those with the fact that Melendez was the last Strikeforce lightweight champion, and it gets hard to argue against him getting a UFC title shot in his debut. Benson Henderson told GRACIEMAG.com that he isn’t taking it easy in preparing for the Cesar Gracie fighter. Niether should the rest of the lightweight roster.
2) Daniel Cormier, like Melendez, is a fighter casual fans can really get into
From rags to riches (kind of), Daniel Cormier is a name that came out of nowhere a few years ago and won’t be going away for a long time. A training partner at American Kickboxing Academy to UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Cormier has all the tools to be a power in the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. He replaced Alistair Overeem in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, only to decimate current No. 1 UFC heavyweight contender Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and former UFC heavyweight champ Josh Barnett on the way to winning the tournament. Cormier has fast hands for a heavyweight and his wrestling is some of the best in MMA, giving him a strong advantage in nearly every match-up he has. Given the fact that his teammate, Velasquez, holds the heavyweight belt, it’s likely that if Cormier can get passed Frank Mir on Saturday he’ll drop to 205 pounds to challenge Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title. Fun fight.
3) Forgot about Strikeforce already? This card reminds you how good it was
The aforementioned fighters are the best this card has to offer in terms of the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion, but there are others that made it a quality roster that now invades the UFC. Josh Thomson fought Gilbert Melendez in a trilogy, winning the first meeting between the two. The loss was only Melendez’s second of his career, and any guy who can cause a black mark on Melendez’s record isn’t bad. Oh, and by the way, he fought in the UFC in 2003 and 2004. Lorenz Larkin, Jorge Masvidal and Roger Bowling are some other names to look out for, especially Larkin, who, if it had not been for an injury to then-champ Luke Rockhold, would have fought for the Strikeforce middleweight title. Watch out for these guys.
4) Reminder: IT’S FREE!
Seriously, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that watching free MMA is a good thing if you’re a fan. The main event has two of the best lightweights in the world duking it out for the premier MMA organization’s 155-pound belt. The co-main event has a former UFC heavyweight champ fighting the best heavyweight that hasn’t been in the UFC. The rest of the card is stacked with guys that have winning records, highlight reel knockouts and slick submissions on their tallies. And in terms of drama and entertainment value, there’s a Diaz brother on the card. Nate Diaz will take on Thomson on the main card, which will likely make for some friction (like every Diaz bout) come fight night.
5) GRACIEMAG will be on location
Our MMA reporter and assistant editor, Erik Fontanez, will be in San Jose, Calif. for the fight week press functions, as well as cageside for the fights themselves. Give him a follow for all things leading up to, during and after the fights to get coverage on UFC on Fox 7. There will be videos, exclusive quotes, and up-to-the-minute happenings about the fighters and card on Fox. Need any other reasons to watch?
BONUS VIDEO: Road to the Octagon
We thought you might want one more reason. Watch “UFC on Fox 7 Road to the Octagon” below: