At the time, Hettes was unbeaten and appeared to be a future star in the making after dismantling Alex Caceres and Nam Phan in his first two UFC tilts, while Brimage had barely gotten by Maximo Blanco in a previous bout and had garnered more attention for his colorful personality than in-ring ability. In the end, Brimage entered the bout as an underdog and exited as winner thanks to an aggressive approach aimed at taking Hettes out of his comfort zone by blasting him with power punches and stifling his ground-based attack with takedown defense/escapes. Clearly Mir is no pushover based on his run as heavyweight champ and success against some of the division’s top talent. Though his bout with Nogueira was evenly matched, the fight was a jaw-dropper based on how things went down. Mir was rocked early and seemed to be on his way out when Nogueira decided to go for a submission. Mir countered, maneuvering into position for a Kimura he quickly locked onto and ultimately used to break the Brazilian’s arm after “Minotauro” refused to tap out. Lombard was a UFC title-contender before ever stepping foot in the Octagon, winning middleweight gold in Bellator and boasting an impressive winning streak featuring finishes of some respected veterans. Many fans viewed his bout with Boetsch as a means for showcasing his skills en route to a crack at then-champ Anderson Silva, but “The Barbarian” would go on to prove their predictions premature. Boetsch used his size advantage to control Lombard against the cage, mixing in some dirty boxing techniques, and managed to avoid being blasted too often. The performance wasn’t pretty but ultimately effective based on Boetsch getting the decision nod. Though many fans considered Jung the favorite, “The Korean Zombie” was entering hostile territory when he took on the typically tough Hominick. Adding to the challenge, Hominick was coming off a hard-fought loss to champion Jose Aldo and had won five straight prior to the stumble. To the shock of all tuning in outside of Jung’s fans, he landed a punch right off the bat rocking Hominick and finished things off less than ten seconds into the scrap. The knockout loss was Hominick’s first and only of his career stemming from strikes (his two other TKOs are the results of a slam and an injury). Franklin is an icon of the Octagon and his contributions at 185 pounds won’t be forgotten for a long time. However, his success at 205 pounds is a little sketchier, and he was coming off a first-frame knockout loss to Vitor Belfort going into his unexpected meeting with Liddell. While Liddell was far from his prime in the pairing, he remained a dangerous striker and seemed sure to test Franklin’s chin early and often. Such would never come to pass though, as it was the “Iceman” who ended up out cold by bout’s end. Even more impressive, Franklin finished Liddell off with five seconds remaining in the first frame AND while dealing with an arm his adversary had broken earlier with a stiff kick.
There may be two title-fights on tap in Toronto this Saturday night at
but the mainstream consensus seems to be both match-ups already have foregone conclusions with champions UFC 165 Jon Jones and Renan Barao each retaining his divisional belt. However, the way pairings break down on paper doesn’t necessarily dictate the way action unfolds in the Octagon, and any fan with an ounce of experience watching MMA understands there are no guarantees when it comes to victory. As such, it’s very possible contenders Alexander Gustafsson and Eddie Wineland could shock the world and end up with a hand raised at the event. If so, they certainly wouldn’t be the first UFC fighters to pull off an upset in Canada. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)