By: Eric Ellison
Need a little MMA in that coffee this morning? First Stop is back with MMAzing Monday; a weekly morning segment to get those wheels turning and your eyes already on the clock til another great MMA event arrives. So kick back (when the boss isn’t around) and sip on this latest edition, looking at five awesome matches that we could not be more excited for.
What fights are you looking forward to the most? See…we have you thinking already. Not enough for you, click here to check out last weeks installment covering UFC Record Holders!
#5 Cub Swanson Vs Jose Aldo
Zuffa announced after UFC 179 that if Cub Swanson can get passed Frankie Edgar in their upcoming bout that he would get the next shot at Jose Aldo. While Aldo does tend to take long breaks between fights, we can’t help but be excited for the idea of this match up. Two interesting factors jump out immediately to me, first of course being the 8 second KO loss he took at the hands of Aldo a few years back in the WEC. Hardcore fans have surely forgot this finish, which really the whole fight consisted of Aldo throwing a single flying knee to end the whole ordeal.
The other factor is if Frankie Edgar also has the chance to get another shot at Aldo if he wins. Edgar gave the champ one of his toughest fights to date, and I think MMA fans would certainly love to see this one again as well. For now, Cub has been on an absolute tear through the division this year, and if anything else, the last loss at the hands of Aldo will surely set a fire in Swanson that will deliver a top notch fight.
I mean, we just saw that at UFC 179 in Chad Mendes.
#4 Jon Jones Vs Daniel Cormier
This fight just keeps getting pushed back and back. Originally a good portion of MMA fans were saddened that this match was happening instead of Alexander Gustafsson. Then they got invested in the fight, and suddenly it wasn’t happening. We all then wondered why not just go ahead and match back up Jones and Gus. However, too many are invested in this match, and the numerous ordeals these two have engaged in have made this one feel like a Diaz fight you just cant chance missing.
DC remains undefeated, and continues to look impressive with each outing. His evolution will have to be on full blast when he does finally square off with Jones at UFC 182 in January. His distinct size disadvantage is going to be incredibly interesting in this match.Not only is he compact, but Jones is the longest fighter in the UFC. This one is all about Daniels grappling pedigree versus Jon’s enigmatic fight style. I have met a lot of people that say DC has no chance, many that feel Jones will be bested, but I haven’t met a soul that doesnt want to see this one.
#3 Conor McGregor Vs Dennis Siver
Man. Conor McGregor has turned into a superstar overnight, hasn’t he. It’s like we woke up one morning and McGregor was here telling us how ridiculous we all were for not realizing he is the greatest fighter ever. He has been collecting heads upon arrival, most recently that of Dustin “Diamond” Poirier. That one was particularly strong because McGregor had a bit of a Babe Ruth moment in that he called his own fight.He lived up to the fight, and rendered “Diamond” unable to do anything but see Conor rise up even higher.
This upcoming fight with Siver feels like the big breakthrough fight. if Conor can slay Siver like he has everyone else, the UFC will feel completely comfortable letting their new face play with the big boys. I do think this fight in itself will be exciting, but what it could unlock has these fans absolutely hungry for more. If Conor rolls over Siver, I promise you that the big fights will come.The call outs will come. Suddenly fighting McGregor will become as important to a lot of these featherweights as fighting Jose Aldo.
On the flipside, Dennis Siver could totally relaunch his whole career with a win.
#2 Anderson Silva vs Nick Diaz
Nick Diaz returned to the UFC and beat the living daylights out of BJ Penn. Then he had an alright battle with Carlos Condit and got smothered by GSP. Since then Diaz has been shelved, mostly from his own actions. Anderson Silva has also been shelved, but for completely different reasons. Having finally healed from his devastating leg injury suffered in his second title fight loss to champ Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva will be making his long awaited UFC return at 183 in January.
For Anderson, his return feels much more like a man just interested in fighting than someone hungry to go get his title back.I think Silva loves this sport, wants exciting fights, and this pattern of fighting guys like Diaz will probably continue until he retires. With Diaz we have a guy who seems to want to solidify himself, and a win over Anderson would certainly do exactly that. It’s been a while since Silva or Diaz have fought someone who was mostly a striker, and the idea of their unique fight styles clashing is precisely why fans are clamoring to see this fight as soon as possible.
#1 Johnny Hendricks Vs Robbie Lawler
Who could forget these two guys absolute war for the Welterweight title vacated by GSP earlier this year. A fight that fans saw in favor of both guys, this fight is one of those immediate rematches that we can’t help but be happy about. What makes this rematch so enthralling is that unlike most rematches, especially at the title level, this fight has all the makings of playing out a lot like the first fight. Hendricks and Lawler both have the kind of styles that aren’t going to change, and stiff wrestling coupled with power bombs will be the theme of this fight once more.
The big difference in this second fight is that it has that feel that one of these guys is going to get finished this time. The one thing that can influence this one is whatever they learned about one another from their last clash. Whoever can take those little pieces of data and transmit them into a game plan will probably walk out of the arena with the title while the other lays unconscious on the Octagon canvas.