The UFC is closing out the year – STRONG. With 2012 just around the corner and a new television partner in Fox, the UFC is making a strong close for 2011. Where some organizations may want to rest, take a breather and analyze the year – the UFC is helping fans to not 1, not 2 but 3 events in the course of the month.
- TUF 14 Finale Mayhem V. Bisping “The Rivalry” – The final season of The Ultimate Fighter for SPIKE TV was certainly a memorable one. This was the first season in a quite a while that had me tuning in week after week. The reason being Jason “Mayhem” Miller. With 6 years between his Octagon battles, I was curious what his international (Strikeforce, PRIDE, DREAM, etc) experience would bring to the fighters. Not surprisingly, the answer was “a lot” as Mayhem’s team tore through Team Bisping for most of the season. Although I was disappointed in the outcome of the coaches battle I am happy to have Miller back in the UFC. Few stars walk into the Octagon with a win after having success in another organization. This will be a learning experience for the Bully Beatdown star and I look forward to him bringing some excitement back to the rather stagnant middle weight division.
- UFC 140: Jones V Machida “The Era Wars” – From a marketing perspective this fight holds a lot of cards for the UFC. The light heavyweight division tends to get a lot of attention and its top dog has rotated consistently over the last 5 years. Chuck Liddell was its last dominant champion. With Jon Jones proving he may be more reality than hype at this point, the UFC is hoping to see him become the next defending Liddell of the division. However, Machida may hold the key to confusing Jones. Few have been able to lock down the elusive former champion. A win from Machida would open the door for Joe Rogan to declare it is another era, and leave the UFC without another marketing/PR figure head.
- UFC 141: Lesnar V Overeem “Return of the Giants” – Another marketing juggernaut comes in the form of two Krakkens ready for release. At the end of the month Alistair Overeem makes his long-awaited debut in the UFC and Brock Lesnar will make his even longer awaited return after a second battle with diverticulitis. There is no doubt this is one of the (physically) largest main events in UFC history. The winner undoubtedly becoming the new #1 contender for the new champion Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos. In a classic styles make fights approach, this is the striker vs wrestler battle. Whoever is the faster monster will take it all…don’t blink.
Which card were you most excited for heading into the month? Do you still feel that way?