UFC 164 promises to be a fantastic night of fights, and the highly anticipated rematch between lightweight champion Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis will mark the final major MMA fight of August. Henderson lost his WEC belt to Pettis in 2010, but it's Henderson who has had the superior UFC career since that unforgettable night in Arizona.
Before the main event (and a very good main card), we still have seven preliminary card fights to look forward to. The Facebook broadcast starts at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT, and upon completion of the broadcast you can head on over to Fox Sports 1 for the remaining prelims at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT. You could argue that two of these three fights are "loser leaves town", so let's have a look at them:
Ryan Couture got a brutal draw for his first UFC fight in Ross Pearson. The son of Randy Couture took the co-main event slot against the TUF 9 winner in Sweden, and while he stifled Pearson's offense in round 1, he hardly mustered any of his own and was TKO'd in the 2nd by the Brit. In the eyes of most fans, he's on a two fight losing streak after his contestable decision win over K.J. Noons in Strikeforce. Whether or not the UFC's standing with Randy Couture is relevant to Ryan, he badly needs a win to keep his job.
Iaquinta was the favorite to win TUF 15, but as it turned out Michael Chiesa spoiled the party and took a convincing submission victory as well as the TUF title. He was scheduled to fight Joe Proctor earlier this year but both he and Proctor pulled out with injuries. In the meantime, Iaquinta, who has aspirations of becoming an MMA judge, is trying to snap his two fight losing streak and get a much-needed win after over a year outside of the cage.
Palelei makes his UFC return after just one appearance in 2007, a KO loss to Eddie Sanchez at UFC 79. The Australian known as "The Hulk" has since won 10 of his last 11 fights, with that lone blemish against current contender Daniel Cormier. He's won 8 straight by KO or TKO, including against former UFC fighter Sean McCorkle and the hapless Bob Sapp. Palelei's bout against Sanchez was anything but entertaining, and he returns aiming for a much improved "second debut".
Krylov, in addition to having the tremendous "The Al Capone" nickname, is one of Europe's best heavyweight prospects. He's finished all 15 of his victories, and none of his fights (including his two losses against Vladimir Mishchenko) have gone past the 4:57 mark of round 1. Granted, the 21-year-old Ukrainian has fought exclusively on the European circuit, but in a division starved for young promising talent, it's worth taking a look at what Krylov is all about.
Hamman is best known for his ability to absorb and inhuman amount of punishment, as well as his love of slugfests. It's cost him a bit in his last two fights, as Costa Philippou and Michael Kuiper both finished him with relative ease. His signature win remains a comeback TKO over C.B. Dollaway, and he's recorded 2 FOTN performances. Needless to say, an entertaining style still needs an end product, and 3 losses in a row could be the end of his UFC tenure.
After an 0-2 start to his professional career, Sweden's Magnus Cedenblad won 10 of his next 11 fights to earn a UFC call-up. Even better, he would make his debut in front of his home fans in Stockholm against Francis Carmont. Alas, hopes of a dream debut were squashed as Carmont submitted him in the 2nd round. He hasn't fought since then, and had a fight against Rafael Natal squashed due to an injury.