A little after lunch-time in Sydney the main-card will begin with a four-bout offering on FX which has a high probability of delivering with excitement with knockout artists, jiu-jitsu specialists and six top-ten ranked fighters in their respective weight-classes. Without further a due lets get into the thick of things with the first of two Zuffa cards of the weekend.
Court McGee vs. Constantinos Philippou
Court McGee has had a troubled past with his demons being well documented but has turned his life around winning the eleventh season of The Ultimate Fighter and now haing three-straight octagon victories to his credit. McGee is an accomplished wrestler with savvy submission chops, who will be looking to really pressure his opponent from the get-go and make him uncomfortable on his back. Philippou has learned the tricks of the trade from former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra in New York, in his last outing he got to show off how good his hands are making Jared Hamman look defenseless taking a string of punches that put him asleep. Philippou will rush the highly-touted prospect and look to put him away without breaking a sweat but if he gets too reckless McGee could counter-strike and use that to set up his takedowns which could make it a long night for the Long Island native.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall
Its been a long-time coming but the UFC has a flyweight division and the four best 125-pounders are going to fight to earn the honor of being the first flyweight kingpin. The first semi-final match pairs former title-challenger Demetrious Johnson facing off against Tachi Palace flyweight champ Ian McCall who hasn’t fought under the Zuffa umbrella since 2009 when he fought in the WEC bantamweight division. Johnson joins the flyweight division coming off his unsuccessful bid to take Dominick Cruz’ title and has all the motivation in the world to win a title at his natural weight, “Mighty Mouse” brings speed that baffled the average individual and a well-rounded game. “Uncle Creepy” might have to invest in a mouse trap tomorrow, might make it an easier day at the office. But on a serious note, McCall is fresh off a superb 2011 where he beat three top-ranked flyweights and is miles better than the fighter that people saw in the blue cage years ago. One thing that most haven’t taken into consideration is McCall has spent the past two-years as a flyweight whereas Johnson has never fought at that weight.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani
The other side of the flyweight brackets sit the former bantamweight title-challenger Joseph Benavidez facing Japanese sensation Yasuhiro Urushitani who vacated his Shooto title to join the virgining UFC division. Benavidez has been left in no mans land for a while waiting for the flyweight division after losing to bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz on two occasions he sat atop the division with no real interest of him fighting for the title but that has all changed. Urushitani came through the Shooto system beginning as an amateur D-Class Shooter and morphing into one of the best fighters on the planet holding the Shooto bantamweight (123lbs) title on two occasions. The Japanese stand-out has shown great improvement in recent times working on his striking which makes him a real threat to Benavidez or anyone at 125-pounds. While most bookies are pinning Urushitani as a clear underdog to the Team Alpha Male stand-out don’t be surprised if he have an upset on our hands.
Martin Kampmann vs. Thiago Alves
Receiving top billing in Australia is a welterweight fight between Alves and Kampmann which on paper has potential for fight of the year with two accomplished strikers who aren’t afraid to stand and bang with one another. Stylistically its a similar pairing to Alves and Chris Lytle and when they were matched up they had a brilliant fight until a cut to the eye of the fireman turned aspiring politician forced the doctor to stop the action. Alves has recently paired up with ex-fighter turned nutritionist Mike Dolce to get his weight taken care of and looked better than ever putting away up-and-coming prospect Papi Abedi which will be a huge factor if this fight goes into deep waters. Kampmann finds himself in a rough situation, if judges could do their jobs correctly he would be on a five-fight win streak and be at the top of the contenders list but a victory over a former title-challenger will help to make up for lost time. Expect fireworks for this one folks, whether it lasts fifteen minutes or fifteen seconds it’s going to be an exciting one.
MMASucka’s @justinfauxmma will be in attendance, follow him for his updates all day.