UFC 199 Preview

ufc-199Much like many of the other cards in recently, UFC 199 saw some major changes only weeks ahead of the fight.

Many times it can ruin the excitement of the card like it did for UFC 198 when Daniel Cormier dropped out and Jones had to fight for an interim title instead of the real title against his biggest rival.

UFC 199 was set up to feature two rivalries as well although one that was slightly fiercer than the other.

There was the old rivalry between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber that had been going on since Cruz lost his WEC debut against Faber.

Since then both have thrown insults back and forth while they continued their careers.

Faber continued to be the face of the WEC until moving to the UFC where he continued a career that has seen him fight every big name in the lighter weight divisions.

Cruz went on to become one of the best fighters in the world and winning the UFC bantamweight title putting only wins between now and the loss to Faber.

Of course, with their success they were bound to meet a second time, which they did in 2011 when Cruz beat Faber in a title defence.

That fight was considered one of the greatest bantamweight fights ever and earned Fight of the Night honours on the night.

The last few years have not been as great for either fighter as Faber has been unable to find consistency while Cruz fought one fight in the span of four years due to injuries.

A few months ago Cruz took his belt back when he beat T.J. Dillashaw to earn the Bantamweight title, a title he never lost.

The trash talk started immediately and the UFC gave fans a trilogy that should be great and will at least solve the debate about who is better, whether either fighter admits it or not.

Faber gets yet another shot in his legendary career to earn a UFC title while Cruz tries to show that his time off hasn’t slowed him down and that he is still one of the best fighters in the world.

There is no shortage of hate between the two as was seen throughout the promotion for the fight.

It was a long time coming for Faber and Cruz but a newer rivalry was set to take the focus on the night when Chris Weidman got his rematch against Luke Rockhold.

Before their first fight, Rockhold continued to pick at the champion and stated that he was the best in the middleweight division.

He proved that to be right when he beat Weidman with a big fourth round knockout that gave Rockhold the title and left Weidman looking for another chance.

It was all set up and the talk kept flying between the two ahead of UFC 199 until Weidman went down with an injury two weeks before the fight.mma-sidebar.fw

For most fights it would have been terrible as a big name was off of the card and there was little in the way of a true challenger to fight Rockhold.

Luckily for the UFC the card received a bonus with a fighter that hated Rockhold far more than Weidman could ever.

Michael Bisping stepped in on short notice for his shot at the middleweight title against a fighter that he had exchanged words with long before.

Most of that came before their first fight where Rockhold picked apart Bisping for second round submission.

At first look, the match-up is great for the fact that they can promote it well but might not be good in the octagon after the first fight.

The problem with that thinking is that Bisping is an entirely different fighter since that loss and has put together three straight wins, including a somewhat controversial win against Anderson Silva.

The rivalry is real and Bisping is looking to prove just how far he has come in his development as a veteran fighter while looking to finally achieve a goal he has had since he was on season three of the Ultimate fighter.

Rockhold is just trying to show that the hype that surrounded him when he entered the UFC as the Strikeforce champion was warranted and that he belongs on the top of the heap in the middleweight division.

UFC 199 may have seen changes but unlike many cards before the big change might actually make this card more interesting.

Two rivalries will take centre stage in the octagon and despite changes, both fights will leave at least one person eating their words at the end of the night while the other leaves with a belt around his waist.

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