UFC 195 Preview

ufc-195It is time to ring in a new year in the UFC, one of the few sports whose season corresponds with the year, as 2016 will start off with a big fight.

The new year has plenty to watch for as the UFC continues to come under fire for their pay scale, which may or may not change, and might have to deal with a host of new issues.

The promotion is now at the leading edge of MMA sitting closer to mainstream than they have ever been before.

With the new focus on the sport there are more people with more opinions on more issues than ever before.

2016 will be a time where the UFC will need to address weight cutting more than they already have while new pressure to change the scoring system may see a big change.

The new year will also feature what promises to be the biggest event in UFC history with UFC 200 scheduled for July 9th.

It is also the year that legends will return with Anderson Silva and Jon Jones both scheduled to fight early in 2016.

A return by Georges St. Pierre is not out of the question but is not likely while the debut of CM Punk has yet to be scheduled but has been promised for 2016.

As the new year begins it is also time to look back at the year that was and in the UFC 2015 was a wild one.

Only three weight classes will leave 2015 with the same champion as they entered the year in with upsets dominating the storylines.

Some of the biggest fighters that the UFC has ever seen fell in unexpected losses while dominant champions were unseated in almost every weight class.

One of the few weight classes that kept the champion intact was the welterweight division although it was largely due to the inactivity of the champion.

Robbie Lawler took the welterweight championship in December 2014 when he closed out his second chance at winning the title.

His first chance came against Johny Hendricks when both fighters competed for the vacant belt let by Georges St. Pierre in his semi-retirement.

After losing that title fight Lawler went back to fighting the best in the division and got another shot as the year ended.

He took that win and took the belt form Hendricks but stayed mostly inactive in 2015 only defending his belt one against Rory MacDonald.

Another fight was cancelled when Lawler hurt his thumb forcing him out of his UFC 193 fight against Carlos Condit.

He will kick-off the new year with the first fight of the year at UFC 195 where he hopes to set a tone for every champion in the UFC.mma-sidebar.fw

He wants nothing more than to stop the trend of title changing hands as he hopes to hang on to the welterweight title.

Much like in most divisions that task is easier said than done as the welterweight division has been unstable since GSP left the sport.

It started with the battle between Hendricks and Lawler to take the vacated title and their subsequent rematch to determine the true champion.

That match-up is not necessarily over as both fighters have one win but it now moves on to the log jam at the top of the division.

After GSP left everyone that lost to him suddenly gained new life in the division and all have been scrambling to get their shot.

That includes Condit who lost to St. Pierre and began to struggle among the top fighters in the division.

He followed up the title loss with a loss to Hendricks but has now won two of his last three fights to rise back to the top.

He will get his second shot at winning a title and after an impressive knockout against Thiago Alves earlier in 2015 he looks to be back to form.

Both fighters are not very fond of the ground game, although they can hold their own on the mat, making this fight a stand-up battle.

It is not that neither fighter will attempt or land a takedown but both believe they are the better striker and have ended more than enough fights standing up.

It should be a good match-up to kick-off 2016 as Lawler looks to buck the trend while Condit attempts to keep the changes going.


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