On November 17th, Georges St. Pierre will make his long awaited return to the Octagon to determine if he’s still the number one welterweight in the world against interim champion Carlos Condit. It should do big numbers on Payperview, not only because of current "Champion vs. Champion" status, but also because Carlos Condit will be only the 4th former WEC Champion to challenge for the "legitimate" championship of his division (the others being Benson Henderson, Urijah Faber, and the incarcerated Hermes Franca).
With that said, it should be a financial success, and is surrounded by a solid, if underrated, main card for $45. However, for the lucky folks who have access to the FuelTV broadcast of Franklin vs. Le just a week earlier, a better deal is available for free. Allow me to elaborate.
In the main event you have former champions and renowned strikers in Rich Franklin and Cung Le. Both fighters are coming in off of hard fought decisions and are looking to build one last streak towards divisional relevance. Sure, this might not make sense in terms of ranking, but both fighters are in similar stages of their careers, and not every fight Dana White makes has to make sense (Jones vs. Sonnen anyone?). Put aside the lack of long term implications, you’ve still got what, on paper, will be an absolute barn burner of a fight. Franklin and Le both enjoy standing and trading, both have knockout power, and both have a resilience and will to fight until they are unconscious or the bell rings.
And let’s not forget the undercard, which is sure to have just as many fireworks. Thiago Silva and Stanislav Nedkov? Two proven knockout artists, one who looks to be on his way out being fed to one on his way up? That should result in the knockout the blood hungry fans want.
Before that, Korean grappler Dong Hyun Kim takes on Brazilian Spec Ops member Paulo Thiago. Both men are coming in off of losses, both brutal, but in different manners. Kim suffered a rib injury that stopped him less than a minute into his fight with Demian Maia. Thiago suffered a one punch knockout loss to surging journeyman Siyar Bahadurzada. Both men have very underrated striking and are looking to avoid a two fight losing streak, so this fight will most likely end up with both fighters playing it safe. Although, both fighters are capable of the knockout or submission finish, so keep an eye out.
Following that bout, there’s a clash between Ultimate Fighter winner Mac Danzig and former Pride champion Takanori Gomi. This has Fight of the Night written all over it. Gomi has knockout power and resilience, even if his chin is growing suspect, and Danzig has fantastic dirty boxing and a well-rounded submission game. While both men are probably past their fighting prime, this fight has a certain appeal that can’t be ignored.
Add in an already solid undercard and the fans have no reason to be complaining about the matchups given. This is a solid night of fun fights, for free, with little to no controversial pre-fight storylines. Can’t that be all that is required of a night of fights?
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