Though their personalities are certainly different, Donald Cerrone and Evan Dunham have a lot in common. Both are scrappy scrappers who aren’t afraid of taking a punch to dish one out of their own, both tend to finish foes when it comes to victory, and both looked like title-contenders a few years back only to suffer a string of inconsistency in the cage as of late. With each owning losses in two of their last three tilts, Cerrone and Dunham should turn in a highly entertaining effort at UFC 167 based on the need to win coupled with the technical prowess each possesses.
Welterweights Josh Koscheck and Tyron Woodley may have a foundation built inside a wrestling room but each owns knockout power as well. Koscheck is a seasoned veteran, having fought on the sport’s biggest stage for years, but his career appears to be winding down based on recent losses. To prove he’s still got it, Koscheck will have to take out a Woodley who has looked better than ever since joining the UFC and no doubt understands the boost to his stock a win over “Kos” would produce.
Fans have wanted to see Rory MacDonald’s jaw tested for awhile and chances are they’ll see their collective dream come true on November 16. The uber-aggressive Robbie Lawler has been putting opponents to sleep since MacDonald was a teenager and hasn’t lost any of his power as he’s gotten older. He’s 2-0 since re-joining the UFC with strike-based stoppages of Josh Koscheck and Bobby Voelker. However, “Ruthless” Robbie will also have to be wary of MacDonald’s attack given the Canadian youngster’s takedowns, top control, submissions, and still-improving stand-up.
This bout not only marks a meeting of two of the biggest heavyweight stars in the sport but one possibly serving as an “end of the road” for the loser. Alistair Overeem has looked like a shell of himself since beating Brock Lesnar and subsequently getting popped for testosterone use, while Frank Mir is on a three-fight slide including knockouts in two of the three stumbles. Neither is getting any younger either. If Overeem loses he is likely to be released, while Mir may seriously consider retirement the next time his chin is tested and fails. Throw in the ability each man still possesses when it comes to striking and submissions, and you’ve got a recipe for a very memorable match-up.
Chael Sonnen wanted on the UFC’s 20th anniversary show and got his wish, drawing fellow part-time broadcaster Rashad Evans in the evening’s co-headliner. Both fighters are grapplers by trade, though Evans’ stand-up is definitely superior while Sonnen could have a slight edge on the submission front. They’re also two of MMA’s best trash-talkers means fans are in for some fun when it comes to the build behind the bout. Their meeting may not have the same intrigue as one featuring Sonnen’s original target, Wanderlei Silva, but it should still prove to be a fun one starting immediately as the war of words begins.
The knock on welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has always been his relatively safe approach to success in the Octagon since being upset by Matt Serra. However, his takedowns may not prove to be as effective against a decorated wrestler like Johny Hendricks, creating an interesting scenario where GSP may have to deal with some of the bearded brawler’s trademark power-shots to eventually obtain victory. Hendricks is also one of the sport’s legitimate “good guys” who brings his lunch pail with him to work every day and fights for his family rather than fame. It’s one of those rare bouts where it’s hard to pick a side based both on skill-set or personality, and that in itself makes the UFC 167 main event a “must see” affair.
UFC is still in the early stages of scheduling but the card already looks like a killer on paper. Clearly out to meet the standard set by the show coming on essentially the 20th anniversary of the first UFC event, a headlining bout between welterweight champion UFC 167 and heavy-handed wrestler Georges St-Pierre Johny Hendricks has already receive five other fights with most featuring former title-contenders or divisional kings. Check out six superb showdowns set for November 16 in Las Vegas… (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)