On November 20, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will move into the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, Michigan. The main event of the evening features two former UFC Light Heavyweight champions trying to start a comeback surge towards the title. Lyoto Machida will face off against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. With both fighters coming off of losses, this fight is important for both as neither man wants to end their year with another loss. Along with this main event, a number of other interesting points are waiting to develop during this Pay per View card.
1. A Fight of Styles
Many times the UFC has touted the slogan “Styles Make Fights” and that is very true for the fight between “The Dragon” and “Rampage” Machida is known as a patient counter puncher who may not always create the most exciting fights, but lands effective blows that can render his opponent’s attacks pointless. On the other hand, Jackson made his legacy off of the violent knockouts created by his vicious striking. This fight may prove to be very dangerous for that style because Rampage often uses counter punches to drop opponents like he did Wanderlei Silva and Chuck Liddell, but Machida’s Karate skills are just as potent, if not more so. We say this when he picked apart Rashad Evans to win the title in 2009. Rampage has promised to press the action and force Machida to fight his style of fight, but that can quickly prove to be Jackson’s undoing.
2. Is the Heat back on?
Karo “The Heat” Parisyan was once a high ranking competitor within the UFC’s Welterweight division. He put on one of the most exciting fights within the Octagon when he battled Diego Sanchez in 2006. Since that point he has only lost once to former title contender Thiago Alves. A failed drug test caused his victory against Dong Hyun Kim to be overturned and “the Heat” was extinguished in the UFC. Parisyan’s mental state was then questioned when his planned co main event at the Impact FC: 1 was moved to the opening bout due to Parisyan suffering from anxiety issues. Now he’s getting another shot on MMA’s biggest stage in his undercard bout against tough Dennis Hallman. With a growing resource pool of fighters, it’s easy to see that many will not get a second chance once they are sent away. “The Heat” must make the most of this opportunity, because if he doesn’t, it’s a good bet to say this may be his last in the UFC.
3. The Emergence of the Next Contender
Two fights on the UFC 123 card present an opportunity to create new contenders in 2011. Gerald Harris, George Sotiropoulos, and Joe Lauzon have all looked very promising in their recent bouts. Harris has finished his last three fights with stunning knockouts, earning his place on the main card of this Pay per View. Sotriopoulos carries a seven fight win streak that has stopped lightweight contenders Kurt Pellegrino and Joe Stevenson. He will fight Lauzon who made a great return to the UFC by putting on a clinic against Gabe Ruediger at UFC 118. With a Sotriopoulos victory, he can set the stage for title contention in 2011. MMA fans may be watching the creation of future stars within the UFC.
While UFC 123 does not hold any title bouts, the match ups and names on this card have the potential to steal the show. Fans should watch closely as to what unfolds during this Saturday’s event.
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