Heavyweight Sluggers Make UFC 161 Worth Watching

By Kevin Jaress
Roy Nelson UFC
Ron Chenoy-USA Today Sports

After the cancellation of several high-profile fights, many MMA fans had given up on UFC 161. Two heavyweight slugfests, however, have the potential to provide real excitement to this otherwise crippled card.

Early this week, the UFC announced it would not finding a replacement for injured Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, leaving Mauricio Rua without an opponent at UFC 161. As a result, the  pay-per-view’s co-main event was pulled and Rua moved to a later card.

This was the second major fight of this event to be canceled due to injury, as bantamweight champion Renan Barao pulled out of the main event in May.

Dan Henderson vs. Rashad Evans now headlines the event. Neither fighter has historically been a strong draw, and both have put on boring performances of late. That fight alone will not be worth the cost of purchasing the PPV for the average fan.

Besides the Henderson-Evans bout, two heavyweight fights are featured on the main card. These fights feature Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic and Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan. Both fights feature dynamic heavyweights who possess serious knockout power.

The Nelson-Miocic fight, which now serves as the card’s co-main event, should be particularly exciting. In his last nine victories, Nelson has knocked out every opponent. His vicious right hand has put away his last three opponents in under a round.

Miocic also possesses huge striking power and has stopped all but two of his opponents in under two rounds. Both Nelson and Miocic are certain to exchange huge punches in crowd-pleasing fashion.

The Barry-Jordan fight, which is likely the first featured fight of the pay-per-view, should also feature a high level of excitement. Both fighters are known for there devastating power, which often leads to quick finishes. The two fighters have had knockout or submission stoppages in 28 of their 32 combined fights.

While injuries have decimated UFC 161, there is still value in purchasing the PPV. Seeing four of the most powerful heavyweights in the world, along with two light heavyweight contenders capping the night, make next Saturday’s event worth watching.

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