Georges St-Pierre is set to defend his title against Carlos Condit on November 17 at UFC 154 in Montreal, but this post has nothing to do with that. I just wanted GSP in the article so people will actually read this.
The UFC is on its way to Macau this weekend. Yes, the UFC is taking the show to China.
The card has a strange main event in 38-year-old Rich Franklin taking on 40-year-old Cung Le. Not sure if these two are exactly show stoppers, but it will be a good fight. It's something I have noticed the UFC can't seem to get away from, headlining fights that don't have any bearing on what's going on in a weight division.
It is very strange to me that the UFC's first show in China doesn't have a super-stacked card. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The UFC is showing them a Fight Night, not a pay-per-view. No one is really talking about this card, and that's the shame of it, since it appears the UFC is spreading itself too thin. Many are looking past this card, and as I said before, are focused on UFC 154: St-Pierre vs. Condit the following Saturday.
With all the potential out there, as demonstrated by Aggression MMA's onslaught on Western Canada over the last three weeks, why are we forced to watch two fighters who are far past their primes? No disrespect to either athlete, but they are past the point in their careers where I expect anything new from them. It will be a good fight, probably not a great fight. Neither fighter really has a shot at the title, so the storyline has them not needing to "put it all on the line". I see this fight going to a decision and Franklin taking it. However, not to worry folks, there are other fights with more than enough flash for us all.
The fight leading to the main event has Thiago Silva taking on an undefeated Stanislav Nedkov. Nedkov has only fought once before in the UFC and the competition was stiff in Luiz Cane, but it is only one fight. Most fans won't recognize him. That's a tough sell when trying to break into a market.
Silva is always dangerous and a very talented fighter. That means Nedkov will need to have the fight of his career to ensure he stays undefeated and moves up the rankings in the 205-pound division. Silva has made a name for himself with some highlight knockouts and the "thumb across the throat" celebration. Nedkov claims a solid ground game, but with six knockout wins and four submission wins, it would seem he is pretty well rounded.
This fight has my interest as Silva is on a losing streak and is fighting for his UFC career, while Nedkov is fighting to make his mark. It's an important fight, on an important night. There is a story line and talent in the cage, that means the fans could get a surprise out of this fight. There is potential for excitement on an otherwise "ho hum" kind of evening. Watch for Nedkov to score a submission win, with high potential for a rear naked choke in the first round.
Dong Hyun Kim versus Paulo Thiago has a lot of potential and promise, but no guarantee for excitement. Combined, these two have gone to 13 decisions in their past 18 fights. Kim doesn't get nearly enough press for how long he has been in the game at the highest level and Thiago is a great opponent for him.
Thiago is known for his willingness to engage fighters, and Kim will push the pace. Even in their decision wins, both fighters had good exchanges. This fight really has no meaning in the welterweight division, as neither fighter is in contention at the moment, but it still has potential for a good fight. Kim always surprises with his ability to throw opponents with his Judo. Those takedowns score points and open up the chance for a solid strike. Kicks and takedowns when used properly always improve the odds of a scoring punch or knockout.
Given that these two fighters are perfectly matched speed and caliber-wise, this should end with a lot of great back and forth exchanges. I wouldn't be surprised if this goes to a decision with both competitors getting the best of a few exchanges. I am giving the nod to Kim, as his takedowns will score those extra few points.
Now for a match that I really think could be a fight of the night. Takanori Gomi against Mac Danzig. Danzig is 5-5 in his last 10, as is Gomi. Don't let their records fool you, these are highly talented fighters who leave it all in the cage every fight. This is also a lightweight fight, and that means a ton of action. The lightweights are fast becoming the show stealing fighters, and this fight will be no exception.
Gomi is known for his unique and unorthodox striking. He finds angles during fights that most athletes wouldn't ever consider. That means Danzig will need to be perfect and use his submission and ground game to slow the The Fireball Kid down. This is definitely the fight to watch on the night, and I am surprised it doesn't have a higher billing on the card.
I exptect Danzig to catch Gomi in a submission in the final round. There will be a lot of close calls for Gomi, and Mac will eventually make something stick before the final bell.
Saturday night's event in Macau is a big deal for the UFC and they are right in the heart of what most consider the birth place of Martial Arts. Expansion like this will truly make the UFC a worldwide phenomena. However, it begs the question of how they will continue the growth if they cannot find more superstars and keep them healthy.
UFC Macau represents the biggest step out for the organization, and at the same time perhaps one of their weakest cards for name recognition.
The new goal and vision for the UFC has to be the creation of more superstars. That means more time needs to be spent helping the grassroots organizations. The MFC had a fantastic card a few weekends ago. MFC fight cards like that will require the support of the bigger organizations and media outlets to ensure the growth of the sport.
Canadian Ryan Jimmo got his start with MFC, and now is tied for the record for the fastest knockout in UFC history. The UFC will have to go looking for more talent soon in order to put together a bigger stable of fighters and ensure that as they expand around the world, they have the talent to draw in viewers. They can't all be St-Pierre vs. Condit.
Jordan Cieciwa can be heard on TSN Radio 1290 every Saturday at 11:30am ct with his show The Weigh-In. You can also follow Jordan at www.twitter.com/FitCityJordan and get all your fitness tips at www.onefitcity.com.