5 New UFC Champions In 5 Months?
5 New Champions in 5 months?
There are five upcoming title fights that could see new champions be crowned in the UFC. It's not just fights where people say "anything is possible", but these fights are ones where the contenders have legit chances to win and ones where the contender is the favorite. Here's a look at these fights and who has the best shot to become a new champ in the UFC. Part of the reason these fights are so close is that four out of the five are rematches, which were close. Anthony Pettis actually beat Benson Henderson in their first fight. Anderson Silva was looking like he was picking up steam and playing his striking game before Chris Weidman made him pay for his showboating mind games. Johny Hendricks is one punch away from defeating anyone at 170, including champion Georges St-Pierre. Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate had a close battle in Strikforce and Tate knows what Rousey brings to the table now. Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez have traded victories with one another, so their rubber match is as close as it gets.
So in all these fights, every contender has a legit shot to dethrone the champion. Oddsmakers are placing Anderson Silva as a slight favorite against Chris Weidman, so there is a fairly split vote on who will take that high-profile rematch in December. Many of these fights you can make a strong argument for both sides and nobody can be extremely comfortable and comfortable putting money on any 10 of these fighters. Every one of them has a legit shot to win.
Let's take a look at each of these fights.
5) Miesha Tate vs Ronda Rousey
Because Miesha Tate already fought Ronda Rousey, she knows her game intimately and has had the chance to work on and improve things that went wrong in the first fight; that makes her the best candidate to beat Rousey at the moment. She did well in the first fight and if she can find a way to stop the armbar in the second fight, then her chances to win grow exponentially.
Odds: 3-to-1 underdog vs Ronda Rousey
4) Anthony Pettis vs Benson Henderson
Pettis won the first fight in 2010 in the WEC, and now this rematch takes place in the UFC. Pettis won the WEC title from Bendo, and now he looks to get the UFC gold from the same foe. This will be a "striker vs grappler" type of matchup because if the fight is on the feet, Pettis is winning. If the fight is on the ground, Henderson is winning. Great fight and one that is basically a coin-flip. 50-50 chance for either fighter.
Odds: Even money
3) Junior Dos Santos vs Cain Velasquez
JDS has a KO win over Velasquez already, so he has the knowledge that he can beat Cain. Velasquez was a monster in the second fight, but what was real surprising was Junior's gas tank. He gassed out about a half round into the fight. However, equally surprising on the positive end of that, he fought actually well for four and half rounds for a fighter who was gassed out. He was fighting gassed out against a heavyweight terminator like Cain and he stopped some takedowns and came back and landed some good strikes. So with a full gas tank, JDS vs Cain 2 is almost a coin-flip type of fight.
Odds: Even money
2) Johny Hendricks vs Georges St-Pierre
Hendricks is the greatest threat GSP has ever faced. A solid wrestler with one-punch KO power is the archetype to dethrone Pierre. Hendricks will need to land his big left to win the fight, and GSP has to do what him and his team do best: come up with great game plans and execute them to perfection. Tough fight for both these 170 pound monsters.
Odds: 2-to-1 underdog vs GSP
1) Anderson Silva vs Chris Weidman
This is the rematch of UFC 162 where Weidman shocked the world with a KO over the greatest fighter of all time. Silva is seeking revenge and is actually a fighter many think can recover from the loss and win in the rematch. Despite the KO, I think the plan for Weidman is the same as fight No. 1: take it to the floor and get a submission. Mentally, he will be very confident though knowing he could KO Silva. I will be very interesting in seeing how Silva approaches the fight in terms of antics and showboating. He uses this tactics so well to disrupt his opponent's thought patterns, but it backfired in fight one versus Weidman. I still think Silva will win the rematch, possibly via second round TKO. But then again, I thought that in fight No. 1, and it went the exact opposite way. Nonetheless, Silva is a slight favorite.
Odds: 2-to-1 favorite