1. Can boxing veteran James Toney, who refuses to utilize all aspects of MMA, beat Randy Couture, a seasoned champion mixed martial artist?
The odds are obviously stacked against the one-dimensional Toney, but he’s always got a puncher’s chance, right? Defeating an Olympic-quality wrestler who also has 13 years of MMA experience is easier said than done. Deciding to employ only one of a multitude of available combative disciplines against the experienced foe is suicide.
Sherk used his wrestling prowess against Florian to grind out a five-round decision victory that earned him the lightweight title. Florian indicated in this week’s UFC pre-fight press conference that that Maynard is a “bigger and better version of Sean Sherk.” So, shouldn’t we expect the same results?
3. Will Frankie Edgar get his props?
Despite beating, BJ Penn, the best lightweight mixed martial artist on the planet, at UFC 112, Edgar is an underdog in their rematch. Will another close decision win be enough for Edgar to grab the attention of the MMA community, or will he have to do something more drastic? I have a feeling Edgar is looking for the finish this time around.
4. Does another BJ Penn loss tarnish the fighter’s highly regarded position as the best lightweight fighter of all time?
Win, lose, or draw, Penn has already made his mark in the 155-pound division and is surely a lock to receive UFC Hall of Fame honors at the end of his career. Outside of his defeat to Edgar at UFC 112, the last time that Penn lost a fight at 155 was against Jens Pulver in 2002.
5. Should Mario Miranda throw his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt skills aside and keep his fight against fellow BJJ black belt Demian Maia standing?
Despite being a highly regarded jiu-jitsu technician, Miranda is a very accomplished striker. In his 13-fight career, six of his wins have come by way of knockout. With all things being equal from a BJJ standpoint, Miranda and Maia may just cancel each other out from a ground-attack perspective. Miranda’s reach advantage and more polished striking skills may be just the slight edge he needs to upset the long-time UFC vet.