In the next two months, the UFC will put on three major, pay-per-view events that will feature three championship fights and some of the best-known and liked fighters in the sport. The end of the year blowout, UFC 92, will decide two belts: heavyweight between Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and light heavyweight between Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans. The fight on Super Bowl weekend, UFC 94, is a grudge rematch between B.J. Penn and Georges St. Pierre. Yet, I'm the most excited about UFC 93 on January 17 in Dublin.
The official card for UFC 93 was released this week, and the card is filled with fighters who are fun to watch. The main event, Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson, will show just how deep the UFC is at light heavyweight. Both are former champions, and have done a great deal to build up the sport. More importantly, they're exciting fighters. Both can end a fight with their hands, but are also extremely capable on the ground.
Beyond Ace and Hendo, UFC 93 will also have the return of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, the jiu-jitsu phenom who hasn't quite lived up to the expectations of his PRIDE career, but is still amazing to watch on the ground. My favorite fight on the card is actually the one between Marcus Davis and Chris Lytle. Davis is a fan favorite across the pond and always performs well there. His last five fights were in either England or Northern Ireland, and he went 4-1. Denis Kang, the latest UFC import from PRIDE, will also make his debut on this card.
The shame is that of the next three pay-per-view events, this will probably perform most poorly in terms of buys. Since it is in Ireland, it will air in the afternoon. With the tough economic times, two pay-per-views in one month will add up quickly on a cable bill. When choosing between the two events in January, most fans will probably choose UFC 94. It's a shame that the UFC scheduled these events so close to one another because most fans will end up missing one great card.