UFC on FOX 26 Preview

ufc-fox26Getting to the top of the UFC and winning a championship is one of the toughest things to do in MMA but staying there is even tougher.

That climb to the top can be a tough one as fighters from around the world all aim to become UFC fighters and only the best can make it to the promotion.

Then it becomes a fight among the best fighters in the world to try to beat everyone while also making enough noise to be noticed.

Some very good fighters have made that climb and never quite made it despite their amazing accomplishments outside of the promotion.

Only the top fighters in the world can make their way through the stacked divisions and find their way to the title.

Then things get tougher though as the best fighters in the world hold their titles and have to defend themselves against an ever-evolving group of challengers.

There is always new talent coming and title holders, at least most of them, have to fight off these younger stronger fighters to keep their runs going.

As the sport evolves it only gets tougher with better fighters becoming great at everything and continuing to evolve it becomes tougher to defend the belt.

This is something that Rafael Dos Anjos and Robbie Lawler know all too well as both fighters rose to the top of their respective divisions and seemed like they would reign for a long time.

Dos Anjos looked like another dominant Brazilian when he took the lightweight title in 2015 against Anthony Pettis.

He was fighting at a different level and it looked like he was getting ready to clear out one of the most talented divisions in the UFC.

That didn’t quite happen as RDA ran into Eddie Alvarez and lost his title as another great fighter came into the UFC and ended a reign before it began.

Lawler looked like much the same as not many thought that his brutal style could be beaten when he took the welterweight title in 2014 against Johny Hendricks.

He continued to move through the biggest challengers until he met Tyron Woodley who was able to manage the brutal style and knock Lawler out.

Both Dos Anjos and Lawler found their way to the top of the heap as two of the best fighters in the world but they couldn’t stay there long.

That is the nature of the sport and the promotion as there is talent everywhere and as tough as getting to the top is staying there is tougher.

Getting back to the top might be the toughest thing of all though as fighters spend the best years of their careers making progress towards the title and getting back can be tougher for older fighters.

To try to keep up with the evolution of the sport is a very tough thing especially for older fighters who have been so successful doing it their own way.

Some fighters can certainly evolve far into their careers but most are passed over by new waves of fighters.mma-sidebar.fw

They then have to fall to the middle of the heap right in with all of the other great fighters all looking to move up the rankings towards the title.

As tough as it is to move their way up the rankings, to begin with, having to do it all over again becomes tougher when better fighters are all beginning to rise.

Lawler and Dos Anjos face that reality now as both are now introduced as former champions and both are trying to get back to that level once again.

For Lawler, it is an attempt to get back to Woodley and fight for the title that Woodley took from him.

For Dos Anjos, it is a chance at a title in another division as he moved up to the welterweight division in hopes of finding another way to another title.

So far his quest has gone well winning his first two fights in the new division and now he gets to test his chances against a former champion.

A win for either will put them in the mix as Woodley has not fought since July and doesn’t seem to have a fight scheduled for next year as of yet.

He continued to look for big matchups against big names but none seem to be formed and that leaves the competition pretty open.

With Stephen Thompson already losing twice to Woodley, this fight could determine the next challenger in the division.

It will be a chance for two former champions to regain a little of that glory and achieve something that has always been tough.


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