UFC 136 may have had the hype as being a great card top to bottom, but Saturday night we’ll see the UFC put on a show that has plenty of potential for great action as well. Some of the solid match-ups on the card have been overlooked as talk of UFC 137 has been so centrally focused on Georges St. Pierre’s injury and Nick Diaz’s media obligations.
Let’s take a quick look at the three fights I think have the best chance of being the best fight of the night:
- Dennis Siver vs. Donald Cerrone – Siver has picked up four UFC award bonuses and his style presents just the right kind of vulnerabilities that present opportunities for his opponents, often resulting in compelling and exciting stand-up battles. In Cerrone he faces a man who picked up five “Fight of the Night” bonuses during his time in the WEC, picked up a FotN in his first UFC bout against Paul Kelly and scored a Knockout of the Night against Charles Oliveira. Siver and Cerrone are simply a great mix for an action fight.
- Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione – Kongo hasn’t always been involved in thrilling fights, but certain kinds of fighters tend to bring out the best in him. His last fight, a 2:39 knockout win over Pat Barry, was a classic. In Mitrione, Cheick faces a heavyweight who will not hesitate to bring the fight to him. There’s a fair chance that the fight breaks down into Kongo trying to hold Mitrione against the cage but there’s also a good chance that Mitrione’s pressure forces Kongo to really let his strikes go and we get a fun heavyweight scrap.
- B.J. Penn vs. Nick Diaz – It’s always great when a major card has a main event that has a great shot at being the best fight of the night. Both fighters in the bout are dynamic, well-rounded and can finish the fight on the feet or the floor. While Penn vs. Carlos Condit was an appealing fight on the initial card, the shuffle to make Penn vs. Diaz after Nick’s press conference no-shows lost him his title shot gave us what could be an even better fight and has the potential to be one of the best fights of 2011.
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