5 Storylines To Watch For At UFC On Fox 8
Storylines To Watch For At UFC On Fox 8
Demetrious Johnson is called "Mighty Mouse", but only because of his size. The UFC flyweight champion should be called "Superman", because so far he seems impervious to all pain. Taking the "you can't hurt me if you can't catch me" approach to fighting, Johnson is not quick; he's sudden. He headlines tonight's UFC on Fox 8 show, but the truth is he is in the main event, only because he is the champ.
He will battle John Moraga for the title, but this show is really about the undercard. The UFC on Fox 8 show features some of the best undercard fighters in the the UFC, a list of future world champions, who if they are lucky enough to get a title shot, could rise to the occasion. Who knows, they might someday be able to steal a title from a champion who puts his hands down and dares you to punch him. How cool would that be?
Forget the ratings for the Fox show. This show won't do well in the ratings. Johnson is not a draw. Fans like to see knockouts and submissions and Johnson is the kind of fighter who will whip his opponents, but do it over five rounds. The little guys are great athletes, but they don't usually draw the big ratings. The ratings, however, don't matter for this show. UFC on Fox shows always do better during the NFL season when football fans can be subjected to endless ads for UFC programming. This show is about seeing some explosive action on free television. It's a good, free summer show that you don't want to miss.
Joshua Molina is a mixed martial arts and pro wrestling writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JECMolina and add him to your network on Google.
5: Rory MacDonald
Rory MacDonald could be the future of the UFC and his road to stardom continues tonight. The Canadian welterweight has not fought since December of 2012 and expect him to come with guns blazing tonight against Jake Ellenberger. MacDonald, whose goofy hipster-preppy outfits, along with his goofy Coke-bottle glasses, is a bit on the freaky side outside of the cage, but he at least has figured out how to stand out in a world of UFC bodies. He's not the most charismatic on the microphone, but he is wicked inside the cage. He is buddies with Georges St-Pierre, so he may never fight for the UFC welterweight championship, but somehow, someway, this guy seems destined to hold UFC gold.
4: Liz Carmouche
Liz Carmouche nearly upset UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey in February on Pay-Per-View and now she makes her return to the cage against Jessice Andrade. Carmouche, of course, is the first out-lesbian fighter in the UFC. She's not the greatest female fighter in the world, but she keeps getting better and she knows how to market herself and her sexuality. She calls herself "The Girl-Rilla", and has a team of followers who call themselves "Team Lizbo." Carmouche has emerged as somewhat of a rock star in lesbian fighting circles and she may get another shot at Rousey or whomever is the bantamweight champion next year. Carmouche needs to win big to stay in title contention because the UFC bantamweight division may be the most competitive in the sport.
3: Robbie Lawler
Robbie Lawler is on a comeback of all comebacks. He crushed Josh Koscheck in his return to the UFC, after losing four out of his last six fights in Strikeforce. Lawler, quite simply, looked done. He was slow, terrible on the ground and looked like he didn't want to fight anymore. And then the UFC killed Strikeforce and signed Lawler. Most people believed that Koscheck would outwrestle Lawler and beat him in a three-round decision. Lawler instead unleashed hell on Koscheck and knocked him out, the first time the cocky Koscheck ever had his lights go out on him. Lawler fights a dangerous Bobby Voelker. If he hits Voelker, game over. If Voelker can frustrate Lawler with a good mat fight, Voelker will win a decision. Lawler is an exciting fighter to watch, so if he scores another big knockout, look for him to put himself in welterweight title contention.
2: Jake Ellenberger
Jake Ellenberger has won eight out of his last nine fights and is one of those underrated fighters who everybody doubts, but who keeps winning. He holds victories over guys like Nate Marquardt, Jay Hieron, Diego Sanchez, Mike Pyle and Jake Shields. His KO of Shields was especially impressive, considering that Shields survived against Dan Henderson and George St-Pierre. The train probably stops here for Ellenberger against Rory MacDonald, who is bigger, faster and a better overall fighter. But if Ellenberger can upset the rising star, it would be hard to deny that he is among the sport's elite. He would certainly put himself in line for a title shot against Georges St-Pierre or whomever is the champ. Tonight might be the night Ellenberger makes people take notice.
1: Dana White
Face it. UFC shows are about one person, and one person only, Dana "F'N" White. He's a bigger star and name than anyone on the UFC roster. Years from now, it will be his name that people remember, not Demetrious Johnson or anyone else fighting tonight. White is the man behind the curtain. He's the guy who even has fighters convinced they don't deserve more money unless they fight harder. He's the guy who appears on various "most powerful" lists all over the media. He's the guy who built the UFC into what it is today and who will be responsible for carrying it to the next level, if he can do it. White is always the star of the UFC and tonight should be no different. Without him, you'd have to watch MMA on You Tube tonight, not broadcast television.