UFC 166 Preview

Official_UFC_166_poster.jpgRivalries are the lifeblood of sports and in the UFC the rivalries can take on a whole new meaning. In team sports the rivalries form between two teams and players come and go that pick up this rivalry despite not being around for the catalyst that created the rivalry. In the UFC rivalries are different as they are much more personal. Rivalries in the UFC are about two fighters who have given everything they have in the octagon against each other. The best rivalries are the ones that come out of massive fights and a hate that develops both inside and outside the octagon. Rivalries like the Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz rivalry were more than just the fights as both fighters would talk plenty of trash throughout their time together in the same division. They would put on great fights that left no real answer to who was the best fighter of the era. Rivalries add a special aspect to the UFC as fights become more important even if they are not for a title. The UFC has been lacking in the rivalry department though as there have been few fighters that have put together a great series of fights and have created great rivalries. There have been fighters who have talked trash and created buzz around a fight but rarely have two fighters been able to sustain it over a period of time. There is one rivalry that seems to be at the very start of what could be a great one. It is not a rivalry that has both men talking trash but there is plenty at stake when both fighters face off. Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos have something brewing as both fighters are sitting at the top of the Heavyweight Division and have yet to truly determine who the better fighter is. Right now the better fighter is Cain Velasquez who holds the championship right now but Junior Dos Santos is more than willing to challenge him. Both fighters would begin their rivalry in 2011 when then champion Velasquez would lose to Dos Santos in a first round KO. The rivalry would continue when Velasquez would win the title back at UFC 155 in a unanimous decision that saw Dos Santos look completely unprepared for the fight. It would turn out that Dos Santos had overtrained himself into a state that made it seem like he had no stamina. Velasquez would retain the belt though and now the Heavyweight rivalry will enter the trilogy that should prove once and for all who is the better fighter. That is not necessarily a good thing though as this fight series between these heavyweights has been great and looks to continue to be great at UFC 166. The trilogy of this matchup will be another matchup of a wrestler against a boxer with only one coming out on top. The first matchup would see that Junior Dos Santos was the better boxer especially in terms of power. Dos Santos would earn the KO in round one in the first fight while the second fight would see Velasquez throw everything he had and not get the KO. The series so far would prove that Dos Santos has KO power while Velasquez might not be able to earn the KO against Dos Santos’ tough chin. Instead taking the fight to the ground might be the better option for Velasquez and he can dominate in that position with Dos Santos not having as much experience on his back. With Dos Santos back and healthier than he was in their second fight Velasquez will not be able to be as dominant in the fight as he was in the second fight. The fight will be another good one and another close one but in the end it will be Dos Santos who comes out on top. The power on the feet is too much and with a healthier regime Dos Santos will be a force in this fight and will end it with a 3rd round KO unseating the champion and taking back his belt in another chapter to what could turn out to be a great heavyweight rivalry.

Before the title fight in the heavyweight division two of the division’s best will face off in what will likely be a #1 contender match. Cormier and Nelson have been waiting for their chance to fight for the title on two different paths. Cormier was one of the best fighters coming out of Strikeforce and was expected to quickly make his way to the title. A win against Frank Mir would help him towards that goal as he has seen his way to a potential title fight. After winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight championship Cormier is looking to add another title to his collection and he will be looking to get there with a win against Roy Nelson. Nelson has spent the better part of five years trying to work his way from The Ultimate Fighter to a title shot. Nelson has put together some big wins and big win streaks on his way to a title fight but a loss to Stipe Miocic would end the rapid rise although would keep him in the top 10. Now Nelson has a chance to beat the next #1 contender and put himself into the conversation again. On top of the importance of this fight the rivalry would begin to sprout after Daniel Cormier complained to the fighting commission about Nelson’s beard. Cormier would claim that the beard gave Nelson an unfair advantage in the fight. The commission would not accept the claim but the damage had been done as Cormier seemed to be trying to get an advantage by complaining. As Cormier now prepares for the bearded Nelson he will need to realize that Nelson has one of the best right hands in the UFC. If Nelson can land the right hand there are few people who can simply walk through it. Meanwhile Cormier will be looking to take the fight to the ground with a wrestling background as he hopes to stay on top. It will be another good heavyweight fight on the night that could determine the next contender for whoever wins the main event.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Cain Velasquez vs. Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos [Heavyweight Title] (PPV)

Main Card:
Daniel “DC” Cormier vs. Roy “Big Country” Nelson (PPV)

Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez vs. Diego “The Dream” Sanchez (PPV)

Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga vs. Shawn “The Savage” Jordan (PPV)

John “The Magician” Dodson vs. Darrell “Mongoose” Montague (PPV)

Undercard:
Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch vs. CB “The Doberman” Dolloway (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Nate “The Great” Marquardt vs. Hector “Lightning” Lombard (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Sarah Kaufman vs. Jessica “Evil” Eye (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

George Sotiropoulos vs. KJ Noons (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

TJ Waldburger vs. Adlan “Borz” Amagov (Facebook)

Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson vs. Mike “The Wolverine” Rio (Facebook)

Jeremy Larsen vs. Andre Fili (Facebook)

Dustin “The Disciple” Pague vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (Facebook)

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