Fights that will Determine Divisions/Promotions

Posted: October 20, 2010 in Marketing, PR, Strikeforce, UFC

Last week I saw many outlets call for Jose Aldo to move up from the 145 lb division of the WEC to the 155 lb division of the UFC to challenge champion Frankie Edgar.  If that were to happen, it would certainly “shake up” both divisions and promotions.  That made me wonder, what match ups are on the horizon that may well hold the future of their respected divisions/promotions.  Let’s take a look, because there are many.

  • Lesnar/Valesquez: This weekend’s UFC 121 will pit UFC champion Brock Lesnar against up-and-coming star Cain Valesquez.  This bout will answer many questions: Is Brock the baddest man on the planet? Is Cain ready for this level of competition?  Where is the heavyweight division going? Personally, my fear is that this is too soon for Cain and a loss will hurt what was a skyrocketing growth of skill and confidence.
  • Shields/Kampmann: This UFC 121 fight will determine the future of the UFC welterweight division.  The former STRIKEFORCE champion, Jake Shields has already been heralded as the next contender for the title should he beat “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann.  GSP vs Shields would be a great match undoubtedly a huge PPV draw. (Yes, I’m just going out there and saying GSP will be Koscheck.)  The problem is you CANNOT underestimate Kampmann.  The man is a great fighter and already ruined one ‘welcome’ party when he defeated Carlos Condit.  Should he win, I doubt he’ll be given the same #1 contendership that Shields will.
  • Marquardt/Okami: This fight taking place at UFC 122 in Germany will determine the #1 contender for the winner of Silva/Belfort. (Yes, I’m aware that is missing from this list but that’s because I’ll believe it when I see it take place.)  The fight will answer many questions whether Yushin Okami can move beyond mid-card and whether Nate Marquardt can live up to his potential. Both have suffered losses in “the big show” before when headlining.
  • Hendo/ Babalu: As I’ve said before, this will be a great battle of two great fighters.  Good ground skills, strong striking and both have a lot of experience.  The winner of this, will get the mantle of being “the face” of STRIKEFORCE in this division.  My guess is based on the money spent, STRIKEFORCE execs are praying for Hendo here…
  • Lawler/Lindland: Another fight that will give fans a good mix of skills. But this fight will only answer two questions: Can “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler win the big fights anymore and is Matt Lindland too old to compete? (Again, we can’t all be Randy Couture…)
  • Diaz/Miller: Nick Diaz and Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Two fighters with history of great skills, great performances and great fight promoters (smack talkers…).  This fight is only in the rumor department now, but would certainly be a game-changer for STRIKEFORCE.  These are two of their top contenders and does not include anyone that recently jumped ship from the UFC.  My guess – this will never actually take place.
  • Carwin/Nelson: The UFC heavyweight division continues to grow and provide depths for Joe Silva and Fans alike.  This fight pits two giants against each other.  This fight will show us how both fighters bounce back from tough losses and whether they can get back on track for future title runs.  It is tough to say which would be better for the UFC.  Shane Carwin’s KO power and respectable nature makes him a draw but “Big Country” Roy Nelson also has a following based on his personality and “Unique” physical appearance.
  • Jones/Bader: Jon “Bones” Jones and Ryan “Darth” Bader. A fight that may never happen now, but a fight that could shape the future of the UFC.  Two up and coming stars that aren’t even in their prime yet.  The winner would of course be touted as a top contender, but neither should be placed in that position yet.  Although fans want to see both in contention, think of baseball and young pitchers – do you want them throwing complete games and being burned out by their second season? No.

These are just my humble opinions and I’m open for discussion: do you think I missed any key match ups or am off the mark on the above list? Let me know.

  1. […] “Thunder” Okami for the #1-contendership for the middleweight title.  As you may remember from previous posts, I had my sights on Marquardt as the next contender for the crown.  Once again, I must admit when […]

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