Thomas Almeida vs Brad Pickett
Thomas Almeida will square off against Cody Garbrandt Sunday night in what is considered by many a number one contender bout. Almeida has been a whirlwind of destruction since his UFC debut in 2014. Last July Almeida was matched up against perennial top 10 Brit, Brad “One Punch” Pickett, a true test for the 23 year old Chute Boxe standout.
(watch till the end spectacular finish!)
Russian vs. Russian
The recent influx of Russian fighters into the UFC including Rustam Khabilov, Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov is sure to spread the popularity of MMA across the former Soviet bloc.
With fighters like this badass comrade, the future of our sport might look more Ivan Drago than Chris Weidman.
Alistair Overeem vs Mike Bencic
Before Alistair Overeem was “Ubereem” he was “The Demolition Man”, complete with a giant sledgehammer for maximum demolition. In 2003 24 year old Overeem entered the PRIDE ring for the second time, matched up against Cro Cop’s jiu-jitsu coach Mike “Batman” Bencic (Spoiler: Bencic would soon be replaced by current UFC Heavyweight Champ Fabricio Werdum). The winner would be awarded a spot in PRIDE’s legendary 2003 Middleweight tournament and join a star studded field that included Rampage Jackson, Chuck Liddel, Wanderlei Silva, Kazuhi Sakuraba and Judo Olympic Gold medalist Hidehko Yoshida.
Edson Barboza vs Lucas Martins
Edson Barboza will look to take advantage of a huge opportunity this Saturday at UFC 197 when he does battle with former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis. Barboza brings a level of Muay Thai striking to the cage that is unmatched in the sport.That striking was prominently displayed in this 2013 bout against debuting Chute Boxe prospect Lucas Martins.
Fabricio Werdum vs Junior Dos Santos
Junior Dos Santos’s 2008 UFC debut was about as tough as they come. “Cigano” was matched up against current Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum and closed as a +500 underdog. Former PRIDE star Fabricio Werdum had just come off a win over top prospect Brandon Vera and appeared to be heading for a title shot with champ Brock Lesnar.
Mark Hunt vs Melvin Manhoef
When it was announced that Melvin Manhoeff would take on Mark Hunt on the 2008 Dynamite card, many in the MMA world scoffed at yet again another Japanese freak show matchup. Not only did Hunt outweigh Manhoeff by 80 pounds, Manhoeff’s puncher’s chance seemed to go out the window on account of Hunt’s head being full of cement and stuff.
Nick Diaz vs Paul Daley
After this past weekends huge submission win over Connor McGregor, Nate has been the Diaz brother in the spotlight. But for the past fifteen years or so it’s been Nick who has kept us entertained with epic wars in the ring and masterful cursing outside of the ring.
On April 9th 2011 Nick Diaz was on top of his game with a nine fight win streak and two successful defenses of his Srikeforce Welterweight title. British knock out artist Paul Daley had looked impressive following his lifetime ban from the UFC for taking a shot at Josh Koscheck after the final bell of their fight. Three impressive knockouts had earned Daley a title shot and a match up that would be unforgettable.