The 100th UFC is, appropriately, a megacard. The sport's two biggest stars are on display, and the card also features a suddenly interesting fight between two TUF coaches. As mainstream media coverage picks up, it is worth noting that it is the blogs that are providing the most interesting pre-fight analysis.
Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves
While GSP is rightly recognized as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Leland Rolling at bloodyelbow.com explains why Alves is a game underdog.
What does Alves offer that past challengers didn't? The one weak spot in Georges St. Pierre's game has always been his chin. After the enormous upset win by Matt Serra over St. Pierre, it sometimes seems that St. Pierre is reluctant to engage in standing exchanges. His game plan has often revolved around putting the best wrestlers in the division on their backs. Against Jon Fitch, an opponent with excellent wrestling, St. Pierre resorted to using quick footwork and peppering shots to punish him before going for the shoot. The thing about his recent string of opponents is that none are really known as threats to get the KO standing.
Some would say B.J. Penn had the best overall chance of putting St. Pierre down with a quick overhand, but St. Pierre perfectly executed a clever game plan by wearing him down with take down attempts before exchanging with a tired Penn. Then GSP put Penn on his back and pounded on him till he broke. Alves is an entirely different beast. Alves truly has a chance to bring the knockout at any given moment in this fight, and his explosiveness coupled with his Muay Thai skills can be a dangerous combination for St. Pierre.
Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir
This is the money match, the one that will decide whether or not this show breaks the all-time pay-per-view buy record set by Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell at UFC 66. Strategically, not much has changed from their first fight. Lesnar will still have a significant athletic edge and should be able to dictate where the fight happens. Zach Krantz at watchingkalibrun.com thinks Lesnar won't make the same mistake twice and will be likely to keep to his feet.
Lesnar has more power, is quicker, and a longer reach. Mir is at least prepared for the reach of Lesnar as he had to bring in special training partners to accommodate. I doubt that those partners had the quickness coupled with the reach. Lesnar's power and reach is how he beat Couture. Randy literally had avoided the punch, but it kept coming and coming and eventually clipped him. Standing with Lesnar would be suicide.
Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping
Henderson was, by a large margin, the least interesting TUF coach ever. It was like he sleep walked through the entire season. But in the final episode, there shined a bright light: he called Bisping a douchebag.
The voluble Brit was like a dog with a bone. Finally, Henderson had given him something to work with. And then the vitriole spewed. Of course leave it to Henderson to try to diffuse the one good thing he's done to promote this fight:
"I don’t know. He likes to talk a lot. He is an alright guy a very good fighter and a tough person. I think it was a result of some of the things that happened on the show or just being together that long. I don’t dislike him at all. Calling him a douche bag doesn’t mean I hate him or anything approaching that."
No matter who wins, the prize is likely a shot at Anderson Silva's middleweight title.