Chuck Liddell was injured and was forced to pull out of his main event fight with Rashad Evans. After that, James Irvin was named as the replacement for Chuck and that would have made for a pretty solid fight between two title contenders in the light heavyweight division. Just a few days later, Irvin was forced out with a broken foot. Rashad Evans now is not even on the fight card.
The original co-feature was also changed. Chris Leban got busted for a DUI and had to do some jail time and that made it hard for him to stay in his fight with Michael Bisping. That would have been a very crowd pleasing matchup. Bisping is still on the card however.
Talk about bedlam, what a fitting name for this event. More craziness occurred at the weigh in leading up to the event.
Matt Hughes and Thiago Alves are now the main event. The old versus the new. The all time great welterweight king taking on a true up and coming star. Everything is good right? Not exactly. Alves failed to make the 170 pound weight limit. The fight is still on however and both sides agreed to it and it will take place at a catch weight of 174 pounds. Total bedlam.
In what is easily the biggest opportunity of his young career, Alves screwed up bad. 7-2 in the UFC and on a five fight win streak looked pretty impressive. Not making weight is a slap in the face in this sport. If he can pull of the win, it won't look nearly as good for him now.
Matt Hughes has lost two out of his last three fights and has seen better days. I feel the same about him as I do Tito Ortiz, he is a one dimensional fighter and the game has probably passed him by. He is easily the best welterweight the sport has ever seen but he is in for a battle tonight.
The more I look at the other fights on this card, I see some pretty solid matchups that have me excited to tune in.
Michael Bisping is a very solid fighter and he's entertaining. He will step in with Jason Day who is 1-0 in the UFC. Both fighters are very well respected and this might be a standup battle. I expect Bisping to win a crowd pleaser.
Mike Swick and Marcus Davis are two fantastic strikers who will go at each other with everything they have. Davis is on a roll, winning in his last six visits into the octagon. Mike Swick on the other hand had looked awful in his last two fights. He defeated Josh Burkman in January in one of the worst fights I have seen in awhile. He needs to get back on track but I think he'll get derailed tonight. Davis by KO.
One of my favorite fighters, Nate Marquardt looks to get back in the title picture when he steps in with Thales Leites. Both fighters have slick ground games and the guy who can get the upper hand on the feet should pull this off. Marquardt is more determined than ever and I think he'll get his hand raised once again.
There is a solid heavyweight matchup I can't wait to see. Brandon Vera looks to rebound off of his first loss in the UFC. He was defeated by Tim Sylvia back in October. Standing in his way will be Fabricio Werdum. This has the potential to be the fight of the day. Both fighters really like to mix it up and have a lot to prove. I expect an all out war with Vera coming out on top. I wouldn't be surprised one way or another as these two guys are very evenly matched.
Full fight card:
Thiago Alves vs. Matt Hughes
Michael Bisping vs. Jason Day
Marcus Davis vs. Mike Swick
Thales Leites vs. Nate Marquardt
Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum
Martin Kampmann vs. Jorge Rivera
Thiago Tavares vs. Matt Wiman
Luiz Cane vs. Jason Lambert
Kevin Burns vs. Roan Carneiro
Jess Liaudin vs. Paul Taylor
Eddie Sanchez vs. Antoni Hardonk
Top to bottom this looks to be a very exciting fight card. To the casual fight fan, there aren't a lot of big names or headliners. To the hardcore however, it has some great potential for fireworks. A lot of young contenders looking to cement themselves in the UFC and prove they belong. The great thing about UFC events is the fact you get to see so many fights. If one of the matches doesn't live up to the hype, you have at least four or five other fights to make up for it.