UFC 141 is coming up fast, and will close out the 2011 year for MMA and the UFC. 2010 left off the year with Welterweight title fight; Georges St. Pierre vs Josh Koscheck at UFC 124, to be followed by the Lightweight Championship match of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard on New Year’s Day. Now we have come to the end of this year, and are ready to finish it strong.
The reason for mentioning the 2010 closeout is that 2011 is a special circumstance in UFC’s history. Every year the UFC has been in existence, the last show they put on each year has either a title, or an interim title on the line.
Most of the events showcase some Championship bout to close out the year. This included the tournament styles of early UFC’s as well, but it is very interesting that each and every year a belt is on the line to end the year.
2011, however, will be the first event in UFC history to not end with a title match.
UFC 141 brings to the fans two humongous heavyweights that are very well-known and popular in their own worlds. Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem will go toe-to-toe in the Octagon this Friday. They are two of the biggest and strongest fighters in the UFC, and in the MMA world. They will fight to determine the next challenger for the UFC Heavyweight title against current champ, Junior Dos Santos.
The card itself is a new change as a whole as well. The main fight is not a championship bout, and the time of the event has been moved back to the original 10 PM EST from its current 9 PM EST. To top it off, where PPV events are always on Saturday nights, UFC 141 will be happening on this Friday night.
While hosting the first non-title end-of-year fight card, UFC 141 does bring the next best thing. The event’s main card boasts three different fights that will help determine the number one contenders in their respective weight classes.
To start, you have the aforementioned Lesnar vs. Overeem, a heavyweight matchup that will determine the next man to take on JDS. Brock will be looking to get back into the division strong after his sickness layoff, and Overeem will be trying to prove himself amongst the ranks of UFC HW’s. This fight has literally and figuratively huge implications.
Second is the co-main event, Nate Diaz vs. Donald Cerrone. Cerrone has been on a tear through the lightweight division since he came over from the WEC and is proving he is at the top of the heap. While champ Frankie Edgar is defending his belt against Benson Henderson, Donald will look to make a statement for being next in line. If he can beat Diaz, he will move on to six wins in a row, and if he finishes him dominantly, he could be given the next shot.
Lastly, there is a welterweight matchup between Jon Fitch, and Johny Hendricks. Hendricks is running on two wins in a row, whereas Fitch has five, not including his recent Draw. Currently 23-3, he will be looking to prove that his name belongs in the deserving title shot talks. Constantly underwritten due to his seemingly boring style, a definitive win over Hendricks would do wonders for his career right now.
All in all, UFC 141 is stacked to be a good night of fights, headlined by the big showdown of the titan heavyweights. No belts are on the line, but all are in situations as if they were, and should fight accordingly. Come 2012, title contentions should start to thin out, but with this sport, you never know what will happen.
(photo from mmaconvert.com)
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