- Andrew Plante, ESPNDallas.com
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Just one week before one of biggest heavyweight title fights of the year to take place between champ Brock Lesnar and contender Cain Velasquez, UFC 120 which is being held in London this Saturday, isn’t really garnering a whole lot of attention from the MMA community. When this month was unofficially renamed to “Brocktober” by eager fans awaiting another title defense at UFC 121 by one of the most successful heavyweights in the history of the UFC, are you really surprised about any coverage lacking for the event’s predecessor?
Lesnar is a pay-per-view monster, having brought in millions of PPV buys in his five-fight UFC career. And the minute he choked out Shane Carwin at UFC 116, the promotion’s marketing group was no doubt anticipating his next showdown. Unfortunately for the fans, the UFC and much of the media have all but forgotten about this weekend’s show in jolly ole England.
Despite the hype surrounding UFC 121 taking place on October 23, there are more than a few reasons to tune in to UFC 120 this weekend.
First and foremost, the event is free on Spike TV. No need to shell out $50 for a pay-per-view this time.
On the surface, Saturday’s free show headlined by Michael Bisping and Yoshihiro Akiyama doesn’t have a lot going for it. A win for either opponent, doesn’t really bump them up significantly when it comes to title contention. The same holds true for the rest of the fighters at the event as well.
The reason to be interested in this weekend’s fight card is not about hype, titles, grudge matches, or contenderships. Instead, Saturday night’s event will center around five quality mixed martial arts bouts thoughtfully engineered by UFC matcher maker Joe Silva. The clash between Bisping and Akiyama will likely be a tactical chess match between two fighters with opposing techniques. The Hardy-Condit scrum should be a barn burner which could win fight of the night honors. The biggest knockout on the main card could be issued by either Browne or Kongo in their soon-to-be slugfest. And don’t forget about what could be an entertaining grappling display between Patrick and Wilks. So tune in on Saturday to get a dose of some free MMA. Here’s what you should expect.
A lot of pressure has been placed upon two of UK’s best UFC fighters, Michael Bisping and Dan Hardy. A loss by either will really put a damper on the UFC’s expansion in that part of the world. Win or lose, expect both fighters to be very aggressive in their respective bouts.
Watch for Claude Patrick to work for the guillotine choke several times in his fight against James Wilks. The submission-centric Patrick loves this move.
Expect Cheick Kongo to look very comfortable in his bout against Travis Browne. The French kickboxer, has done very well in his UFC career against opponents that are willing to stand and trade, which Browne will likely do.
Dan Hardy vs. Carlos Condit is easily the front runner for Fight of the Night honors. Expect a very fast bout that will surely transition from the feet to the ground and back again, multiple times over.
In the main event between Michael Bisping and Yoshihiro Akiyama, unfortunately I do not see either fighter winning decisively, but I do expect their match-up to be a three-round war of attrition. The fighter with the more superior conditioning will certainly have the edge in this fight.
Despite a potential close decision bout in the main event, I don’t envision the balance of the main card to be left in the hands of the judges. With UFC 119’s lackluster fight card still fresh on the minds of many fans, the KO’s and submissions I’m projecting to take place at O2 Arena will absolutely be a refreshing change.
Without a doubt, look for UFC 120 to be a 3-hour long commercial for the promotion’s next event, UFC 121. What did you expect in a free show?
UFC 120 will take place on Oct 16 at the 02 Arena in London England and will broadcast via tape-delay on Spike TV.
Main card (on Spike TV)
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Michael Bisping
Carlos Condit vs. Dan Hardy
John Hathaway vs. Mike Pyle
Travis Browne vs. Cheick Kongo
Claude Patrick vs. James Wilks