UFC 125 – January 1 – Las Vegas, NV
Main Event: Gray Maynard vs. Frank Edgar
Event Breakdown: This fight card took a huge hit with the withdrawal of newly crowned featherweight champion Jose Aldo. However, there are several exciting fights booked for this card. Fans can expect wars from Chris Leben and Brian Stann, Dong Hyun Kim and Nate Diaz as well as Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi. None of those guys ever fail to bring it. It will be interesting to see how this card does with fans. My prediction is that it won’t do well. It will be hard competing with New Year’s festivities as well as College Football Bowl games taking place that day. Fans may be sportsed out by 10:00 EST. I also do not see how Edgar or Maynard can carry a card. I like this card due to the solid match making, but even the exciting fights have little impact on their respective divisions outside the main event.
UFC 126 – February 5 – Las Vegas, NV
Main Event: Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort
Co-Main Event: Rich Franklin vs. Forrest Griffin
Co-Main Event: Ryan Bader vs. Jon Jones
Event Breakdown: This Super Bowl card will be HUGE if injuries stay clear. The Silva vs. Belfort fight is a great one. Fans love both Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin. Jon Jones and Ryan Bader may be the future of the division. This does not even consider the Miguel Torres UFC debut vs. Antonio Banuelos. Another fight that I love is the Carlos Eduardo Rocha vs. Jake Ellenberger fight. I really think from top to bottom this card will be close to card of the year.
UFC 127 – February 27 – Sydney, Australia
Main Event: B.J. Penn vs. Jon Fitch
Event Breakdown: I am excited for this main event should it come to fruition. Penn and Fitch will battle for contender status in the UFC welterweight division. A month ago this fight had no appeal, but following Penn’s KO over Hughes this fight becomes interesting. This card is not a one trick pony either. We will get to see George Sotriopolous and Dennis Siver battle in what could determine a title contender. Also, we will see Michael Bisping face Jorge Rivera (some have thought Demian Maia) in what will be a fan draw. Also, a early fight of the year candidate emerges in the Carlos Condit vs. Chris Lytyle fight in which the winner will also be near the top of the divsion’s rankings.
UFC 128 – March 19 – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Main Event: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Rashad Evans
Co-Main Event: Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueria
Event Breakdown: Neither of these fights are official and are just rumored at this point, but if this is the card then it will be a success. It is unclear if Shogun will be ready for this fight following another knee injury, but this is a possible return event. I feel that the UFC owes the Abu Dhabi crowd a great card in wake of last year’s disaster with Anderson Silva. Also, we could see Tito’s last stand in the UFC against a tough Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. I’d also expect one more prominent fight here.
UFC 129 – Late March 2011 – Dublin, Ireland
Event Breakdown: This event is just an assumption. I had seen UFC’s April 30th event listed as “UFC 131” so I have to assume that there are two events between UFC 128 in Abu Dhabi and UFC 131 in Toronto. The UFC has promised a first quarter event in Dublin. This makes sense. If it does go down I expect to see your usual UK participants besides Bisping. It is likely that guys like Dan Hardy, John Hathaway, Paul Sass, Rob Broughton, Tom Blackledge, Terry Etim and Mark Scanlon. I also would expect to see some Euro fighters on the card such as Cheick Kongo, Mirko Cro Cop, Karlos Vemola, Stanislav Nedkov and Pascal Krauss. Expect this event to air live on SPIKE. I don’t know if any of those guys can headline the card, but perhaps Cro Cop could. Expect something soon.
UFC 130 – Early April 2011 – USA
If the proposed schedule above is correct then it would seem there would be a hole in early April. I woudl expect a Fight Night on SPIKE to kickoff TUF 13, but I also expect another PPV event. If they do it will need to be decent to draw fans to buy two cards in April. We could see the return of Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir or another big name. We could see Jose Aldo defend his title in the UFC. We could even see the Maynard/Edgar winner vs. the Pettis/Henderson winner here. Maybe even Dos Santos vs. Velasquez. I expect a mix of the above scattered over two April cards.
UFC 131 – April 30 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Main Event: Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields
Okay, I know that St. Pierre is fighting this weekend so perhaps this is a bit premature. However, should St. Pierre gets past Koscheck at UFC 124 this is a no-brainer. I look for a huge card here in the UFC debut in Ontario. I also would not be shocked to see Dos Santos vs. Velasquez here.