“Semtex” hasn’t changed much in the four years since this scrap. A heavy-handed slugger with questionably ground-skills, Daley made his Octagon against the always-tough Kampmann whose grappling could have easily spelled doom for the aggressive Brit. However, Daley ended up making debut in style by sending Kampmann into the void at the midway point of their tilt’s opening round of action. The UFC has been trying to find a challenge for featherweight champ Aldo since the brilliant Brazilian first laid claim to the gold back in his WEC days. Florian was thought to have the potential to pose a real test for Aldo as a former lightweight with a polished arsenal of abilities and past success against some of MMA’s biggest stars. However, Aldo showed similar class in the cage against “Ken Flo” as he has on numerous occasions, outpointing Florian with relative ease in what would also go on to be the veteran’s final appearance in the Octagon. They say you can always come home and for Belfort such was the case back in 2009 when he made a long-anticipated return to the UFC after almost five years away from the company he first made his name in. Belfort was on a four-fight winning streak at the time but none of the victories featured opponents with Franklin’s resume. Of course, numbers ultimately mean very little, and three minutes into the match-up Belfort blasted Franklin into orbit. The successful showing also netted him his infamous title-shot against Anderson Silva where it was Belfort who ended up on the wrong side of a highlight reel. 2011 was the year of Edgar-Maynard. After the talented duo duked it out to a Draw on New Year’s Day in as exciting an effort as could be asked for, they were re-booked for a battle with Edgar’s lightweight belt once again on the line. The showdown started out similarly with Maynard rocking Edgar, but this time around “The Answer” did more than battle back from adversity to make it out of the match-up – he went for the kill. Edgar was able to wear Maynard down then land some crisp shots en route to a TKO victory, delivering the first defeat of the TUF alumnus’ career. When the bout was booked the odds of finding fans favoring Serra were on par with those attached to the Chicago Cubs winning next year’s World Series. He was undersized, inferior in overall ability, and only earned the shot by winning TUF. Still, nobody told Serra he was supposed to lose, and the colorful New Yorker went on to shock the world by stopping St-Pierre with strikes. Serra never successfully defended the belt, handing it back to GSP after losing the rematch, but the moment remains one of the most important (and referred to) in UFC history. It should also be said the stumble was the last of St-Pierre’s career, lighting a fire under him still burning to this day eleven fights later.
A week from tonight 26 athletes will take to the Octagon at
in hopes of exiting the event with a victory. The Houston-bound card’s thirteen-fight lineup is one of the most impressive in recent history, showing things truly are bigger in Texas. The State has hosted plenty of memorable pairings in the past including perhaps the most shocking upset ever to go down under the organization’s banner. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC 166