UFC 128 Preview

(photo courtesy of njherald.com) Rua versus Evans should provide excitement during the next PPV UFC 128.

(photo courtesy of njherald.com) Rua versus Evans should provide excitement during the next PPV UFC 128.

(photo courtesy of njherald.com) Rua versus Evans should provide excitement during the next PPV UFC 128.

Imagine a man over six feet tall with lightning-fast kicks and punches and vicious wrestling combined with incredible jiu-jitsu. Scared, right?  Now imagine him getting knocked unconscious by the soon-to-be crowned light heavyweight champion of the world. That’s what will happen this Saturday when champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua faces off against challenger Jon “Bones” Jones.

Not saying that Rua does not have the capacity to defend himself against Jones at UFC 128. “Shogun” has defeated the best in the business. Rua also hasn’t fought in over a year due to injury. Jones, meanwhile, over the past year tore through the light heavyweight division and destroyed everyone. “Bones” defeats opponents in superman-like fashion: beating wrestlers with wrestling and knocking out strikers. Even though victory seems obvious, do not expect Rua to put up a fight.  Rua has lost legitimately just three times and won by decision only twice. Put plainly, the man knocks people out.

Along with this amazing headline, its co-main event looks to impress as well. The most promotable fighter in MMA, Urijiah Faber, makes his UFC debut. Faber, once touted as the greatest bantamweight fighter, looks to have his hands full with fellow former WEC Bantamweight Champion Eddie Wineland.  Both men have amazing hands and tenacious grappling skills.  This fight does not look to go the distance.

A personal favorite, Kamal Shalorus, will also be making his UFC debut against up-and-comer Jim Miller. Miller is coming off a big upset against Charles Oliviera and looks to continue his upsetting ways against undefeated Shalorus.  Look for this fight to go the distance and test both men’s superior wrestling abilities.

Nate “the Great [Disappointment]” Marquardt will try to get back on the winning ways as he faces Jim Miller’s older brother, Dan Miller. Both Miller and Marquardt have had a wishy-washy two years and both men will go into this fight knowing this could be their final fights in the UFC.  Both men have shown promise in the past, but the UFC does not tolerate losers.

The fight that will start off the night will be MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” versus Brendan Schaub. Not that every fight isn’t important to a fighter, but some are more crucial than others. “Cro Cop” hasn’t won against a legitimate opponent since 2006.  His disappointing fight against Frank Mir turned many fans against him and now the only thing that may redeem him lies in the win column.

If anyone gains anything for the disposal of Filipovic, it definitely is Schaub. The former TUF competitor will have a serious victory over a big name in his young career. This will put him in the deep end of the very stacked heavyweight division.

No matter how any of these fights turn out, this card carries some serious must-see power. The UFC will follow its very successful UFC on Versus event with yet another big pay-per-view. This card will prove that the smartest decision of 2010 was to merge WEC with the UFC and add a bantamweight to the ranks.

UFC 128 Predictions:

Mauricio Rua v Jon Jones        R2 KO

U. Faber v Eddie Wineland
R3 Submission

J. Miller v Kamal Shalorus    R3 Decision

N. Marquardt v Dan Miller    R3 Decision

M. Filipovic v B. Schaub                  R3 Decision