It is no secret that the UFC's roster is deep. Even with an awareness of this depth the strength of the UFC 126 card is rare. While there is no denying that UFC 125 was fun (and the main event will be near impossible to top in 2011) it was nowhere near as strong as a show like we are getting this weekend. Here are a few stats worth thinking about:
- 5 current or former Zuffa champions are on the event (Vitor Belfort, Anderson Silva, Forrest Griffin, Rich Franklin and Miguel Torres)
- 12 fighters on the card are currently ranked in the USA TODAY / SB Nation Consensus Rankings
- 6 fighters on the card have or had a legitimate claim to being #1 in their weight class (Belfort, Silva, Griffin, Franklin, Torres and Norifumi Yamamoto)
An event like we will see on Saturday is more than simply a good card. It is a reminder of the strength and depth of the UFC roster and the promotion's ability to put on incredibly good cards, no only from an entertainment perspective but from the perspective of being relevant to the sport.
In addition to Silva vs. Belfort for the UFC middleweight title we're also going to see past champions clash when Franklin and Griffin clash and we're getting a glimpse into the future of the UFC light heavyweight title picture when Ryan Bader and Jon Jones fight in an effort for one man to move into the upper echelon of 205 pounds. I have no doubts that some will feel that I'm drifting into fanboy territory here, but this is as excited for a UFC event from top to bottom as I can ever remember.
So what of it Bloody Elbow community? Where does UFC 126 rank in card strength before the opening bell?