UFC 164 Preview

ufc_164The Lightweight division in the UFC has consistently been one of the most talented divisions in the UFC. As a result the lightweight title has been one of the most contested in the UFC with plenty of challengers lining up to take their shot. At UFC 164 the title will once again be on the line as Benson Henderson defends his title against the latest challenger. Originally this challenger was supposed to be Canadian TJ Grant who made his way up the rankings and earned a great KO against Gray Maynard to earn his title shot. Then an injury would sideline him giving the opportunity to a man who has been waiting for his shot since entering the UFC in 2011. Anthony Pettis would end his WEC career in 2010 as the WEC Lightweight champion and would enter the UFC. Injuries and bad timing would keep Pettis from a title shot while Frankie Edgar fought rematch after rematch leaving Pettis to earn his spot in the UFC fighting main card bouts. As Pettis would see title shot after title shot slip by he continued to win and continued to wait for his number to be called. All the while he would see the man that he beat to earn the WEC title climb up past him and win the title. Benson Henderson would rise through the ranks after his last fight in the WEC would see him lose his WEC Lightweight title to Anthon Pettis. Henderson would win the belt and begin on a path of title defences that has become rare in the lightweight division. Henderson has defended his title three times and has shown that he can be one of the most dominant champions in the UFC but there will always be doubt as long as that last WEC loss is over his head. He now gets a chance to get that loss back when he takes on Anthony Pettis in the rematch. The last fight between these two was a launching pad for Anthony Pettis as he would truly earn his “Showtime” nickname. Pettis was winning the fight but in the final round would look to add a little extra to his lead. He would use what he had at his disposal as he planted a foot on the cage and launched off throwing a kick at Henderson. The kick did not land solidly but it was enough to earn Anthony Pettis a highlight for life and a new technique known as the Showtime Kick. The fight will be a good one too as Pettis will look to show that creativity that created that highlight reel kick while Henderson tries to end the fight definitively. Henderson will try to do this and show that he is the true champion by erasing the loss in the WEC. He will look to take the fight to the ground and use his superior wrestling and ground and pound to finish the fight. Pettis will be looking to do the exact opposite as he tries to keep the fight standing and use his creativity in his striking game. As both fighters will try to take the fight in opposite directions they will still not be scared of going the other way. Henderson is a big lightweight fighter and has power in his hands and in his fight in the stand-up game while Pettis has three submission victories in his career showing he is not an easy out on the ground. Both fighters are well-rounded and will be looking to end the fight which can only mean a good one for all the fans as the lightweight title once again goes up for grabs. The fight will be close and at times will be hard to see who is winning. In the end Pettis will come up just short of the win as he will take on a much better Benson Henderson than he remembers and will lose in a Split Decision.

Before the lightweights take centre stage though, the heavyweights will be on display as Frank Mir continues to play the role of the gatekeeper. Mir has been in the UFC for years and is one of the true veterans of the heavyweight division. He is constantly among the title contenders but as he goes into these title shots he continues to lose. With age beginning to take its toll and another title shot less likely through each year Mir has taken a new role in the heavyweight division. He is essentially a gatekeeper now as he takes on newcomers in the division to help show if they are ready for the elite of the division. Mir may not see a title shot any time soon but he is still one of the best fighters in the division and young talent has to go through him to get to the top. This is what will happen at UFC 164 when but with a twist as Josh Barnett makes his UFC re-debut against Mir and looks to begin his climb up the rankings. Barnett will return to the UFC after 10 years away from the promotion as he returns to where he first made his name. Barnett made his mark in the UFC winning the UFC Heavyweight belt beating Randy Couture at UFC 36. Now he returns to the UFC and will be tested immediately to prove he belongs back in the biggest promotion in MMA. Coming in as the #10 heavyweight fighter and will look to earn the win against Mir to try to move his way to the top of the rankings. Mir will be looking to beat Barnett and show that after 10 years outside of the best promotion it is not that easy to come back. The fight will be a rare one for the heavyweight division as both fighters are known more for their ground game than their stand up. The fight may end up being on the ground more than the feet as two heavyweights face off with both trying to show who belongs among the elite in the heavyweight division.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Benson “Smooth” Henderson vs. Anthony “Showtime” Pettis [Lightweight Title] (PPV)

Main Card:
Frank Mir vs. Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett (PPV)

Chad “Money” Mendes vs. Clay “The Carpenter” Guida (PPV)

Ben Rothwell vs. Brandon “The Truth” Vera (PPV)

Erik “New Breed” Koch vs. Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (PPV)

Undercard:
Jamie Varner vs. Gleison Tibau (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Louis “Goodnight” Gaudinot vs. Tim Elliott (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Pascal “Panzer” Krauss vs. Hyun Gyu “The Ace” Lim (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Chico “The King” Camus vs. Kyung Ho “Typhoon” Kang (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Soa “The Hulk” Palelei vs. Nikita “Al Capone” Krylov (Facebook)

Ryan Couture vs. Al Iaquinta (Facebook)

Jared “The Messenger” Hamman vs. Magnus “Jycken” Cedenblad (Facebook)

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