Dublin: 19°C Monday 26 July 2021

Un-caged: Shogun looks to break Bones

Brian Kirk looks forward to an action-packed night in the UFC.

Image: Neil Davidson/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

THE PRUDENTIAL CENTRE in Newark, New Jersey hosts this week’s UFC event in which fans get the chance to see if an unconventional up-and-comer can grab the newly crowned Light Heavyweight Champion’s belt on his first defence.

As if an exciting title bout wasn’t enough to look forward to, there’s also a UFC debut for two WEC starlets, a heavyweight legend in action against a strong contender and two middleweights with a lot to prove in an action-packed event.

Perhaps the most eagerly-anticipated bout of the night is the debut of two WEC fighters as the former WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber takes on the former WEC Bantamweight champ Eddie Wineland in a fight that UFC fans have been waiting a long time to see. Many believe that if Faber wins this fight he will get a shot at Dominick Cruz, who is the current Bantamweight Champ, but he has to negotiate the tough Texan who provides a much tougher task than most people give him credit for.

Faber will no doubt want to push the pace as he always does as he bids to make an impression in his long awaited UFC bow, and there is more riding on this fight for Faber than there is for Wineland. The fact that he is being announced on a whole new stage should be enough to spur Urijah to victory, if he is quick enough to avoid Wineland’s power and obvious strength advantage.

Can Jones overcome Shogun?

In the main event of the evening Jon “Bones” Jones will become one of the youngest UFC champs ever if he can overcome former Pride superstar and current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.  After number one contender Rashad Evans was forced to pull out of a potential title matchup through injury, the opportunity to fight Shogun fell to his friend and teammate Jones.

It was only six weeks ago Bones brushed past Ryan Bader in impressive style and in line with his meteoric rise to the top of the Light Heavyweight pile, Jones is faced with a quick turnaround as he attempts to wrestle the title off a determined Shogun Rua. Jones is often labelled as “The Next Big Thing” and although there is no doubting his enormous natural ability and massive skill set, the only question hanging over him in this fight is has it come too early in his career?
The UFC has a knack of pitching fights that not only match up stylistically, but which also have a story behind them, and this one falls straight in the “Young up-and-comer versus the Veteran” category.

The bookies have Jones as favourite for the fight and the general consensus among fans is that Jones has what it takes to beat Shogun, however while the media spotlight falls on Jon, I think Rua will relish the opportunity to just concentrate on training and after working so hard to get the belt he longed for, I fancy Shogun to have enough big fight experience to fight the way he wants to and win a decision over Jones.

Elsewhere on the card another seasoned veteran Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic takes on TUF season ten runner-up Brandan Schaub in a battle of the Heavyweights.  While Cro Cop is in the latter stages of his MMA career, Schaub is very much on the rise and looking more confident with every fight.

A self-confessed Cro Cop fan, Schaub knows all about the Croation’s lethal left high kick and as he looks to avoid that he could take the fight to the ground.  Either way I think Schaub could have too much for Flilpovic and this could be the last time we see Cro Cop in action in the Octagon.
Nate Marquart will try and get over his loss to Yushin Okami last time out as he fights the always tough and durable Dan Miller. Marquart will look to re-establish himself as a top middleweight and should be capable of bouncing back with a win here.

Once again Facebook will air two live fights live and in some welcome news to British and Irish UFC fans, the main event starts an hour earlier than usual at 2am.

About the author:

Brian Kirk

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel