Wow! I'm still trying to recover from UFC 84, and yet still have a weekend full of MMA to look forward to. However, lost amidst all the chaos of EliteXC's debut on CBS and WEC 34...we have UFC 85 a week later. This card has gone thru more changes than my pregnant wife trying to get dressed for work in the mornings. All of these fights have an impact on their respective weight classes. This card has been criticized by many for a myriad of reasons, but let's take a closer look to see what questions will be answered.
Thiago Alves vs. Matt Hughes-Is Hughes done as an elite WW? Can Alves stop Hughes takedown? Is Hughes standup adequate enough to stand with Alves explosive Muay Thai? If Alves get's past Hughes does he face the winner of GSP/Fitch? If Hughes loses does he retire, or does he keep his word and fight Matt Serra for a last shot at glory? Hopefully this fight will answer all of those questions...and more.
Michael Bisping vs. Jason Day -This fight is great on two fronts...if Bisbing wins in exciting fashion...it puts the MW division on notice that Bisbing is legit and is probably 1-2 wins away from a title shot against Anderson Silva. However, if Day wins a star is born in the MW division. Day's dismantling of a very game Alan Belcher serves notice that he is a threat to Bisbing. Great Job Joe Silva.
Marcus Davis vs. Mike Swick -This is the fight I'm most looking forward to...both guy's are good strikers. Davis is on an impressive winning streak and is further looking to let folk know he's like the boy's on the sidelines...cause he ain't playing. A win for Davis immediately catapults him up to face the likes of someone like Diego Sanchez or Josh Koshchek. A win for Swick further validates that the move down to 170 was the right one. He would probably face someone like Karo. This should be a barn burner.
Thales Leites vs. Nate Marquardt -The fight that's supposed to have happened numerous times will finally come to fruition. Because of that I expect it to be more competitive than when it was originally announced way back when. Both guys are good on the ground. The winner of this fight could fight the winner of Day/Bisbing.
Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum -This matchup is interesting and the winner will probably the winner of Nog/Mir. Werdum has the edge on the ground...while Vera has the advantage standing. Both fighter's are on the cusp of being in the HW top ten worldwide. How can you not get excited about that?
Considering the setback's that Zuffa has faced due to the injury bug...the matchup's in which the UFC has put together is nothing short of underrated and impressive. All of these fights are impactful upon each division and should be competitive fights. This card could be just as good as UFC 84...the only thing missing is star name power and the drama between Dana White and Tito Ortiz.