UFC 147: Five reasons to watch
With a double header weekend looming for UFC fans, many will be faced with the dilemma of choosing which card to watch – unless of course you are lucky enough to be able to watch both.
The event was destined to be one of the biggest cards in UFC history, with the headline destined to be Anderson Silva taking on arch nemesis Chael Sonnen for the Middleweight belt, a double booking with a UN event caused headaches for the company. The fight was moved to the more favourable July fourth weekend in Las Vegas.
This left the TUF Brazil coaches fight, between Brazilians Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort left to carry the weight of the card on their own. This would be a rematch of Silva’s first UFC fight in 1998 in which Belfort won convincingly via TKO punches early in the first round. The chance to see two MMA greats battle it out in their homeland whet the fan’s appetites and created anticipation for the card.
That is until Vitor fell to the injury curse that has plagued the promotion, and with a broken hand had to bow out of the bout.
So we move ahead to a card that has seemed to be forgotten, sandwiched in between a couple of FX cards and the bigger, badder UFC 148. If you have any doubt about this card, here are five reasons why you must watch:
1) Wanderlei “Axe Murderer” Silva versus Rich Franklin
With the Axe Murderer’s career experiencing rollercoaster highs and lows since moving over to the UFC, this is an interesting match-up at a catch weight of 190 lbs however this is one that we have seen before. Both fighters have met in the cage, under a similar catch weight scenario, back in 2009 at UFC 99, which saw Franklin win via unanimous decision.
With Silva nearing the upper echelon of his career, it is a must for any MMA fan to catch one of his fights when they can – he is always in it for the fans, and won’t hesitate in swinging for the fences, even if it allows him to be caught himself.
Expect the emotions to run high in this fight, Wanderlei being in his home country will want to impress, and it’s tough to count him out, remember the emotional win Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira had over Brendan Schuab at UFC 134 in Rio.
2) Fabricio Werdum versus Mike Russow
With the UFC 146 card a heavyweight extravaganza, the one constant that remained was Werdum versus Russow on this exact card. A win over John Olav-Einemo to increase Russow’s undeafeated UFC streak to four, and a win over the heavy favourite Brazilian will propel him into the congested mix towards the top of the UFC Heavyweight roster.
Best known for being the first person to hand Fedor Emelianenko a loss in 10 years at a Strikeforce event in 2010, Werdum has struggled to maintain the consistency that is expected of a top level fighter.
With an improvement in his performance, and striking ability, against fan-favourite Roy Nelson, Werdum showed that he is a contender in the mix for the division and this fight against Russow should be a good watch.
3) (Almost) an all Brazilian affair
The eleven fight card features twenty Brazilian fighters, that’s right – twenty. Leaving two lonely Americans to make the trip down south and slug it out in an environment that will certainly not be cheering their way. While the atmosphere is always electric in the past two UFC events that have been held in Brazil, think of the craziness that will entail given the card is stacked with local talent.
4) TUF Brazil: These guys mean business
Throughout the history of The Ultimate Fighter, the finale was held typically as a “fight night” and the coaches fought on an upcoming PPV show. In this scenario we see not only the finale fights on the card, but there is opportunity to see fellow Team Wanderlei and Team Belfort members fight in a PPV environment – not only a great experience for these guys, but also for the fans to see a glimpse of the talent quality that has been pooled from the show. These guys are intense and certainly mean business!
The final four to battle it out for the UFC contact are:
(Featherweight) Godofredo Pepey versus Rony Mariano Bezerra
(Middleweight) Cezar Ferreira versus Sergio Moraes*
*Moraes replaced an injured Daniel Sarafian.
5) Never doubt a card
By now you should know never to doubt a UFC by the looks of it on paper. It happens time and time again while we continue to be entertained by fights that seem surprisingly well put together. Joe Silva and Sean Shelby know to a tee what they are doing when they put these cards together; the rest is up to the fighters themselves and given what’s on the line for many of these guys, expect them to leave it all in the Octagon.
Follow Erin on Twitter: @ErinTtweeting
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