Hello again you wonderful people! UFC 177 is upon us, and that means we finally have a UFC title belt on the line again! Before I go into my breakdown of the card, please do take a look at the official Staff Predictions, because a lot of thought and effort gets put into those to make them the world’s best, funniest, and most accurate collected fight picks on the planet. The fun kicks off at 7:30 PM ET with a single early prelim bout on Fight Pass. I don’t know anything about Chris Wade or Cain Carrizosa, but sometimes two unknowns can put on really fun and exciting bouts. Hopefully these two live up to the fake hype I’ve just injected into their contest.
The prelims roll along nicely, jumping over to Fox Sports 1 at 8:00PM ET. There is a solid mix of interesting fights here. We’ve got the debut of Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo, as he takes on Scott Jorgensen in a flyweight fight. I’m really looking forward to that, because it’s always interesting to see how well a highly-touted prospect, especially one with a very impressive background like Cejudo, transitions from dominating on the regional circuit to the jump to the big leagues. Speaking of big, the prelims also have a heavyweight clash between Ruan Potts and Anthony Hamilton. Big dudes tend to have entertaining fights in some fashion or another, so hopefully these two don’t disappoint. The prelim/people’s main event is a middleweight contest between Lorenz Larkin and Derek Brunson, two StrikeForce veterans.
The main card is live at 10:00PM ET on pay-per-view (DO NOT TELL PEOPLE HOW TO STEAL THIS IN THE COMMENTS! KNOCK THAT SH*T OFF, YO). The top three fights look really interesting to me. Bethe Correia looks to knock off another member of the Four Horsewomen as she takes on Shayna Baszler. The co-main event features a pair of lightweight wrestle-boxers as Tony Ferguson and Danny Castillo throw down.
The main event is a rematch from UFC 173, as the new bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw of Team Alpha Male defends his belt for the first time against… not Renan Barao. While the first fight was pretty great, with TJ putting on one of the best performances ever, the rematch had the potential to be equally amazing. However, Barao reportedly fainted while trying to cut weight and his team immediately pulled him from the main event. UFC President Dana White called it the right thing to do, but he has also already determined that Barao will not get a title shot immediately upon his return. Instead, Joe Soto will get the title shot tonight, and Dillashaw is PISSED about it.
“He hasn’t missed weight at any of his fights,” Dillashaw told reporters backstage after the weigh-ins. “It’s more like I mentally broke him and he doesn’t want to fight me. I think the coaches wanted the fight more than he did. He should have done this a couple weeks ago, not today.” (Via MMA Fighting)
Dillashaw, who has trained with Soto, didn’t complain about Barao’s replacement, though, because he says that he wants to show all of us that he’s a “fighting champion.” Hopefully, the rest of the fighters on this questionable card are also vowing to step up and make it a little more exciting.
Sadly, I’m going to be unavailable for the fun and festivities, so the wonderful Burnsy will be leading the discussion (And hopefully keeping track of the prediction results), so do as he says or you’ll all be in trouble when I get back.