UFC Fight Night 62 Preview

ufc_fn62A week after two of the most intriguing divisions took focus at UFC 185 another division that has been in the news as of late will take centre stage at UFC Fight Night 62.

As the UFC travels to Brazil they will feature two fights in the welterweight division, which at one time was the least exciting division in the UFC.

When Georges St. Pierre ruled the division there was not a lot of excitement as the fight in the division was to get to the #1 contender. After that the title fight was almost a done deal as St. Pierre had cleaned out the division.

Since his semi-retirement though the division has gained a lot more excitement at the top with a number of fighters all trying to get the belt that seemed out of reach for so long, especially when the prospect of St. Pierre returning still hangs in the air.

The vacant title was originally gained by Johny Hendricks who beat Robbie Lawler in the first title fight since St. Pierre left the UFC. Then the rematch came and Lawler took the win as the belt changed hands for a second time.

That is where everything got a little more interesting as Rory MacDonald had been waiting for a title shot for the past few years as he continued to run through most of the division and was promised a title shot after the Hendricks-Lawler II fight. Then when Lawler won the title a trilogy seemed to be the way to go.

Initially after the fight UFC President Dana White announced that Hendricks would get a shot to earn the title back and that left MacDonald without a shot.

Eventually MacDonald got his shot as he will face Lawler at UFC 189 but the top of the division will continue as Hendricks remains in the hunt along with a number of fighters trying to find their way to the top.

The new dynamic at the top of the division is something that every welterweight is happy to see as they all look to take advantage of a more open race.

It will still take a lot to get to the top though and at UFC Fight Night 62, four fighters will get the chance to make an impression as the main and co-main events.

First will be two fighters who have fallen out of the top 15 recently and are now looking to take advantage of the co-main event spotlight to earn a spot in that group.

Josh Koscheck was once at the top of the division as he took on St. Pierre in his prime but since that fight he has struggled to keep himself going. The loss to St. Pierre was followed by two wins which fell through to a four-fight losing streak.

This fight is of vital importance for the former Ultimate Fighter contestant as five straight losses is a good enough reason for many fighters to lose their spot in the UFC.

His opponent came into the UFC with plenty of hype but has struggled to find his way through the rankings of the welterweights.

After spending his time in the UFC going up and down in the win column he is trying to get a second straight in his home country.

After beating Mike Rhodes in the first round of his last fight Silva is looking to keep that momentum going and find his way to the rankings.

The two strikers are sure to keep things standing for the majority of the fight although both have a good ground game with Koscheck’s wrestling background and Silva’s BJJ background.

As these two fighters look to get into the welterweight rankings two more will be trying to move up those rankings and put themselves into that coveted title conversation.

Demian Maia has long been trying to get there with only one title fight in his long career while his opponent, Ryan LaFlare is a relative newcomer to the process.

Maia began in the UFC in 2007 as a Middleweight and worked his way to the title where he lost at UFC 119 to Anderson Silva.mma-sidebar.fw

In 2012 he switched to the welterweight division where he looked to make a run at a different title and while in his lighter weight class he has had plenty of success and some issues.

He started out with three wins in the division but dropped his next two until he picked up a win in his latest fight against Alexander Yakovlev.

Now as the #7 fighter in the division he is hoping to string together a few more wins to put his name in the title conversation.

In the way of getting his second straight and building momentum is LaFlare who is trying to ride his streak into the top 10 of the welterweight rankings.

He has yet to lose in his career and when he entered the UFC in 2013 he continued his long streak and moved into the top 15.

Now sitting at #14 he is trying to make it 12 wins in a row against a legend like Maia, which is sure to make him a fighter to watch in the division.

If he can beat Maia that will be a big boost in his attempt to make a move in the division but more importantly get his name out there after spending most of his time away from the spotlight.

The fight itself will be an interesting one as Maia represents one of the best BJJ practitioners in the UFC while LaFlare is a well-rounded fighter with a penchant for finishing, he has only gone to decision four times an all have been in the UFC.

Maia brings knowledge of BJJ that has not been matched by many in the octagon and although LaFlare is a good BJJ practitioner there is no doubt that he wants this fight on the ground.

If LaFlare is smart he will try to keep the fight standing and use his kickboxing to overwhelm Maia.

Obviously it will be tough to do that as Maia has been through as much as any UFC fighter and won’t go down easily.

As much as LaFlare will like to get back to his finishing ways this fight doesn’t seem like it will end early. Both fighters will be in it for the long haul but it is time for LaFlare to step into the limelight as he will take the win and officially announce that he is ready to make a real run at the welterweight title.

The welterweight division takes focus this weekend as Brazil gets to see four fighters all looking to make an impact in what has become a much more interesting division.


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