UFC on FOX 13 Preview

ufc_on_foc13The UFC returns to FOX for another big fight card that will only continue a huge few months for the UFC. A week after a double-header that saw one title change hands and a day after a new Ultimate Fighter and champion is crowned will be a matchup of two heavyweight contenders. It may not be the title fights that will mark the next few months in the UFC but it is a very important fight. One fighter who has continued to move up in the rankings only to see title shots slip away for any number of reasons. The other fighter is a former champion with an eye on returning to the top of the heavyweight division. Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos will face-off in Arizona both looking to get in line as the heavyweight division await a title fight. Cain Velasquez remains the champion but spent all of 2014 on the sidelines with multiple injuries. As the top heavyweight division has been inactive this year and not many of the top contenders have really been able to get anywhere. With Fabricio Werdum, the interim champion, waiting for the return of Velasquez the rest of the division is left in a bit of a limbo trying to figure out who could be the next contender. That may just be solved in front of a national TV audience as the #2 fighter in the division takes on the #4 fighter in the division in hopes that the winner will be the next in line for a title shot. For Dos Santos it would be his fifth title fight after becoming the champion in 2011. That fight was the first time that Dos Santos got to fight Cain Velasquez and he came out successful taking home the title. The next time they faced off would be in 2012 where Velasquez took the fight and the title. After another loss to Velasquez, Dos Santos is looking to get one more shot at the title and as one of the top fighters in the heavyweight division he could be on his way to doing just that but will need to get by a very tough opponent first. Miocic was a fast rising heavyweight early on as he looked to be a title contender almost immediately after entering the UFC. He won his first three fights in the UFC and took a massive step up in competition as he looked to continue his run. That is when his great rise ended as Miocic dropped his first fight in the UFC to Stefan Struve. Since that first loss Miocic has strung together another three wins and is on his way back up the rankings. As he tries to move into title conversation he once again steps up in competition taking on a former champion. If he can beat Dos Santos he can put his name in the hat of true contenders and will prove that he can compete with the best of the best. The fight pits two very good fighter against each other and both are only steps away from a title shot. There is plenty of motivation for both fighters and they will look to win much the same way. Dos Santos is trained in BJJ first but has developed into one of the most feared strikers in the division. He has the power to knock anyone out and prefers to stand and trade with his opponent even if he is comfortable on the mat as well. Miocic is much of the same although his background is wrestling first. He doesn’t use his wrestling pedigree too much though as his striking is among the best in the division. He not only has the KO power, he did knockout Roy Nelson, but he has the technical boxing ability to compete with anyone standing up. That is likely what this fight will come down to as the two fighters will stay standing and look to earn the knockout. With a slugfest in store the two fighters should see plenty of chances to earn the KO but with two tough fighters it might not happen. Expect a unanimous decision win for Miocic as Dos Santos falls short of another rematch with Velasquez and Miocic moves closer to a title shot.

Before the heavyweights face-off the Arizona crowd will get to see the return of one-half of the most polarizing families in MMA. The Diaz brothers are a pair of fighters that people either love or hate, there is no in between. The biggest reason is their attitude both in and outside of the octagon. Outside the octagon they are cocky and brash and love to talk trash to get their opponents fired up. When they lose they tend to make a lot of noise about the loss, specifically if it is a decision loss. Inside the octagon not much changes as they trash talk throughout the fight attempting to get their opponents off of their game. They talk a lot but they also back everything up in the octagon. They are both very exciting fighters that put on some of the best shows in the octagon. Yet despite that ability to put on great fights the out of the octagon antics wore thin on the UFC and the brothers. They both chose to step away from the UFC and the promotion did not make much noise to get them back. Now they both return to the octagon with Nick fighting in the new year and Nate going to Arizona for UFC on FOX 13. It has been almost an entire year since Nate stepped into the octagon after years of working his way up the lightweight ladder. The less explosive, at least out of the octagon, brother was looking like a sure bet to win a lightweight title in 2012 after three straight impressive wins. Then two losses derailed his chances. With a year off Nate will enter the octagon in a much different division than when he left. He will need to be that impressive fighter that made him a fan favourite and a potential title contender. He will try to do it against one of the top fighters in the division in Rafael Dos Anjos. After winning seven of his last eight fights, Dos Anjos has risen to the #3 spot in the lightweight division. With Pettis winning the title once again last weekend Dos Anjos is looking to continue his rise towards a title fight while fending off a fighter just getting started again. Both fighters are very well-rounded although Diaz prefers to fight on the mat and consistently attack submissions. He has a striking game as well that can hurt people but more often than not he is a submission fighter. Dos anjos on the other hand is a BJJ black belt with KO power in his hands. Two straight KO wins have helped him rise to number three and he hopes to use his BJJ to fend off the ground attack of Diaz while trying to knock him out. The return of the Diaz’s is here and whether you are cheering for or against Nate if history has taught us anything it is that the fight will at least be a fight of the night contender.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic (Sportsnet 360/FOX)

Main Card:
Nate Diaz vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (Sportsnet 360/FOX)

Alistair “The Reem” Overeem vs. Stefan “The Skyscraper” Struve (Sportsnet 360/FOX)

Matt “Meathead” Mitrione vs. Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (Sportsnet 360/FOX)

Undercard:
John Moraga vs. Willie Gates (Sportsnet 360/FOX Sports 1)

Cláudia “Claudinha” Gadelha vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (Sportsnet 360/FOX Sports 1)

Ben “Killa B” Saunders vs. Joe “Diesel” Riggs (Sportsnet 360/FOX Sports 1)

Jamie “C-4” Varner vs. Drew Dober (Sportsnet 360/FOX Sports 1)

Derek Brunson vs. Ed “Short Fuse” Herman (Sportsnet 360/FOX Sports 1)

Joe “Excalibur” Ellenberger vs. Bryan Barberena (Sportsnet 360/FOX Sports 1)

David “Bulldawg” Michaud vs. Garrett “Goodnight” Whiteley (UFC Fight Pass)

Henry Cejudo vs. Dustin “The Diamond” Kimura (UFC Fight Pass)

Ian “The Whirlwind” Entwistle vs. Anthony Birchak (UFC Fight Pass)

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