Yea, we're about 30 hours away from what is easily one of the two biggest fights of the year so far (the other being Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans). I'm giddy. Putting aside the talk and the hype and the venom, what we're left with is one of the three greatest MMA practitioners in the brief history of the sport (possibly the greatest, with only Georges St. Pierre and Fedor Emelianenko even in the conversation) going up against the clear #1 contender in his weight class who has a style that proved to be incredibly effective against him in the first round. Meanwhile, said contender has an enormous hole in his game that proved his undoing last time.
So we're faced with a series of chess match questions. Can - and let's just call him this for simplicity's sake - the greatest Mixed Martial Artist of the era either figure out the style that so vexed him in the first engagement or exploit the hole again? Can the contender fix that hole that has let him down an incredible eight times so far in his career? If the champ manages to alter his style up so that the contenders' isn't quite as effective as it was before, will he be able to adjust or will he be like the dozen other men in a row and fall yet again to the Spider?
Speaking on a personal level, very few things in MMA excite me as much as a UFC championship fight. I'm one of those MMA fans that doesn't really have too much of a rooting interest in most fighters, I just like the sport as a general whole. Yea, I tend to cheer more for fighters that I have a specific geographical location to (NY/NJ), but outside of that, my general list of favorite fighters are those who are at or near championship level and constantly do amazing things. A few examples would be Dan Henderson, Chan Sung Jung(fairly recent convert) and one of the men fighting tomorrow, Anderson Silva.
When one of those guys fights, you get to ask yourself a question that is so rare these days, "Will he do something I've never seen before?" The Korean Zombie unleashed some 50-piece combo on Poirier that started with a spinning backfist and took us through a whirlwind journey of flying knees, clinch uppercuts, Muay Thai knees and culminated with him rolling through a power double straight into mount where he chained submission attempts like a boss. I smile just thinking about it. Hendo unleashed the world's most ridiculous overhand right on Michael Bisping, followed it up with Fistos, and has continued on in his career doing amazing things like TKO'ing Fedor and waging an unbelievable battle with Mauricio Rua that so moved me, I went out and bought his "HEart & miND Overcome all" shirt - the only piece of MMA gear I've ever bought to this day.
Looka tha classy gent. Pic courtesy of 5thround.com
If you folks would be so kind, the very last few paragraphs of this post is over at Gals Guide.
PS: All you Chael Sonnen fans would like the place a lot. Pretty much everyone there is a fan of the guy.