Live from Las Vegas this evening, the UFC has a great card in store for fight fans to end 2007. This has been another great year for mixed martial arts and tonight is sure to be the exclamation point. The Mandalay Bay will host a superb card for UFC 79, featuring two phenomenal fights that are being billed as co-main events. Both are must see and I can't wait for either one of them.
Matt Hughes, the greatest champ in the history of the organization, was set to take on current title holder Matt Serra, but Serra had to pull out due to an injury a month earlier. Who could the UFC possibly find to fill in on a month's notice?
Insert Georges St. Pierre. One of the best fighters pound for pound in the world and the former champ. He also happens to be the last person to defeat Matt Hughes.
This will be the rubber match between the two superstars. Hughes won the first meeting at UFC 54 in 2004 via submission with one second left in the first round. St.Pierre avenged the loss and took Hughes' title at UFC 65 in 2006 in what was a dominating performance. He ended the fight via 2nd round TKO.
The third fight is for the interim title and will be a five rounder. The winner will be face Serra ... possibly in April. Two of the best fighters in the world going at it for third time, it doesn't get any better than this.
I am one of many fight observers that feels Georges St. Pierre is the most talented guy in the business. I look for him beat Hughes in very similar fashion as the last meeting. He worked his standup and was able to stuff Hughes' takedowns. If those takedowns are successful, then Matt's power and ground and pound might get his hand raised in victory. This will be a true chess match and the fighter who slips up first will be in trouble. I can't see GSP losing as he seems more focus than ever after losing his title to Matt Serra back in April.
The other headliner is a battle that should have happened already. Two of the most dangerous men on the planet will go toe to toe. Chuck Liddell takes on Wanderlei Silva in what should be a fireworks explosion.
Liddell and Silva are two of the biggest names the sport has ever seen. "The Iceman" has been the poster boy for both the UFC and the sport of mma. Silva made his name in the Pride organization and hasn't fought in the UFC since 2000.
Both fighters are coming off of back to back losses for the first time ever in their careers. They both need a win to be in title contention as to be considered a threat.
Many fans and even insiders have said that Chuck Liddell doesn't seem hungry anymore and that maybe the fame has gotten to him. I think we are going to see a focused and determined Iceman in this bout.
Silva is always dangerous and he knows he needs a win badly. It would be a great way to reenter the octagon with a win over Liddell. He has the all around game to dominate anyone in the sport. If the hunger is there, he is going to be tough to beat.
I have been going back and forth on who I think will win, they are that talented and evenly matched. There is going to be fireworks and I wouldn't think of missing it.
Full fight card:
Matt Hughes vs. Georges St. Pierre (for interim welterweight title)
Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva
Lyoto Machida vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
Rich Clementi vs. Melvin Guillard
Soa Palalei vs. Eddie Sanchez
Luis Cane vs. James Irvin
Manny Gamburyan vs. Nate Mohr
Dean Lister vs. Jordan Radev
Roan Carneiro vs. Tony DeSouza
Mark Bocek vs. Doug Evans
All in all it is going to be a terrific night of fights. Two main events featuring four of the sport's best. What more can you ask for to put the finishing touches on 2007?