Five Fights to Watch: MayAuthor : Joshua Taylor
Johny Hendricks vs Josh Koscheck (UFC on Fox 3: 5/5) - This choice may seem a bit odd to some but I am very intrigued to see how this fight plays out. I used to dislike Koscheck a good amount but over the years he has actually grown on me. While he is predictable in his striking, he has tons of power and isnt afraid to throw at any point. Hendricks is coming off an unexpected and devastating KO of Jon Fitch and is looking to stake his claim for a title shot. With both men having very good wrestling I think we will see quite a bit of striking and as they both have serious KO power I will be on the edge of my seat to see who gets caught and goes down for the count.
Dustin Poirier vs Chan Sung Jung (UFC on Fuel TV 3: May 15) - Lots of shuffling in the FW division recently. With Hioki asking for another fight before a title shot, many assumed it would be the winner of this fight taking on Aldo next. However, Aldo's title defense being moved up a month forced the UFC to go another route and place Koch into that fight. Therefore these guys will not only need to win, but will need to make a statement in order to get the winner of Aldo/Koch ahead of Hioki. Poirier seems to be the more well-rounded fighter but Sung Jung has shown he can put you out with both strikes and submissions. Definitely a great fight and I hope they both leave it all in the cage trying to make a statement for a title shot.
Josh Barnett vs Daniel Cormier (Strikeforce HWGP Finale: 5/19) - After a very, very long time we finally will crown a winner of the Strikeforce HWGP which caused such a stir when announced over a year ago. This fight's ramifications are interesting in that I see both men ending up in the UFC with Strikeforce closing its HW division but the winner will have to remain for one additional fight in Strikeforce while the loser will likely be brought over to the UFC immediately; it's almost like a penalty for the winner. Regardless, this is a very interesting match-up as Barnett has been a top HW for years and has a smothering top game while Cormier made waves by dessimating Bigfoot Silva with his quick hands and big power. Is Cormier ready for someone with the experience and skills of Barnett? Should be a great end to the tournament.
Junior dos Santos vs Frank Mir (UFC 146: 5/26) - After all the shuffling I think the UFC made the right decision to place Mir into the title fight and there is some back-story with Mir destroying JDS' mentor's arm in his last fight. There are not many people giving Mir a chance here and while I agree that JDS should be the favorite, we havent really seen dos Santos tested on the ground. We have heard commentary on his elite ground game but we have yet to really see it displayed. If Mir fights smart and immediately works to get this fight to the ground then this could become very interesting very quickly. As good as JDS/OVereem? Not hardly but still a great fight.
Edson Barboza vs Jamie Varner (UFC 146: 5/26) - Is it bad that I am more interested in this fight than in the Strikeforce LW Title fight? I really like Melendez but I am just not that interested in watching him fight Thomson for a third time. This fight on the other hand has the potential to be awesome. Varner seems to like his boxing so expect some fun striking and even if Jamie takes Edson down, he has a history of gassing so I can see him tiring late and possibly getting KO'd. After Barboza scoring his last win via spinning wheel kick KO I cant help but be excited for his next bout.