By: Tim Mutohfan
Junior Dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic targeted for this event.
Can third time be the charm for this fight? These two were originally meant to face off back in May at UFC 173, and then was moved back to the finale of TUF: Brazil 3, then Dos Santos gets an injury to his hand. So in step Fabio Maldonado, he also stepped into some of Miocic’s punches and was put away rather quickly.
Will this fight happen ever, let alone on this event? One can hope, these two have been flirting with each other for a while and could have a fine tussle with each other.
Of course the winner may be one step closer to fighting Cain Velasquez. Some prize, I know.
Alistair Overeem vs. Stefan Struve has been added to this event.
As I say with every Overeem fight, I don’t see this one making the full 3 rounds. He either gets dusted or does the dusting. Such a powerful and talented fighter, with one glaring weakness, that chin.
Fresh off of a KO loss to Ben Rothwell (that I called) he’s climbing in there again. This time with the 7’ Stefan Struve, who himself hasn’t shown a world class beard.
Few fighters have come into the UFC with as much fanfare as Overeem and managed to NOT live up to any of it. The once heir apparent to the UFC heavyweight title is arguably fighting for his job. His 2-3 record with the company is one thing, but the man’s striking pedigree is undeniable, but he’s getting KO’d in strike heavy fights. Losing fights where your strength lies isn’t good.
So in Stefan Struve walks into Alistair Overeems life, a good kickboxer in his own right. Struve hasn’t fought since his KO loss to Mark Hunt in March of 2013. Sidelined with an enlarged heart and a leaking aortic valve, Struve needed to step away from the cage. All seemed good with Struve and with a clean bill of health he was ready to get back to his fighting career. Unfortunately his scheduled fight with Matt Mitrione at UFC 175 was called off after it he fainted in the dressing room; he was also discovered his heart rate was elevated. A precautionary trip to the hospital followed.
Is Struve 100% fit and ready to fight? Time will tell on that one.
A middleweight battle has also been announced for this December event, Ed Herman will face Derek Brunson.
TUF 3: Ortiz vs. Shamrock finalist Ed Herman returns to the Octagon after his last trip was a successful one over Rafael Natal in May at UFC on Fox: Brown vs. Silva.
Strikeforce and UFC vet Derek Brunson is scheduled to make his 3rd appearance inside the Octagon in 2014 at UFC on Fox 13. Currently 12-3 (3-1 in the UFC), Brunson is looking to build off of his win over Lorenz Larkin in August at UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Soto.
The UFC has announced its first fight for the event to air on Fox from US Airways in Phoenix, Arizona. Lightweights Jamie Varner and Drew Dober will square off at the December 23rd fight card.
Former WEC Lightweight Champion and UFC Lightweight contender Jamie Varner will be fighting in his home state for the first time since his loss to Shane Roller while fighting for the WEC in December of 2010. Varner who suffered badly broken ankle in his May 24th meeting with James Krause, is not only hoping to come back strong from that injury, but end a 3 fight losing streak. The always gritty Varner tried his darndest to continue the fight, but to no avail. Not many people on the planet would continue to fight while dealing with the pain of a broken ankle, an ankle so badly broken standing was a Herculean Task. If Jamie loses to Dober in December would his job with the UFC be in jeopardy, 4 straight losses are hard to look at. Then again, dude tried to fight with a broken ankle. Not that such things are on his mind, I would assume. He strikes me as a fight to win guy and not a fight to not lose guy.
Drew Dober is another guy trying to turn around a losing streak. His only 2 appearances with the UFC were losses, both by decision to Sean Spencer and Nick Hein. Of the two who need to quell a losing streak more, my money is on Dober. 14-6 is Dober’s overall MMA record 0-2 with the UFC.
UFC on Fox 13 fights announced:
Heavyweight: Alistair Overeem vs. Stefan Struve
Lightweight: Jamie Varner vs. Drew Dober
Middleweight: Ed Herman vs. Derek Brunson