They aren’t the main event, but Silva-Kim will surely turn in a more tantalizing tilt than headliners Jake Shields-Demian Maia. Both welterweights are talented grapplers but also excel when it comes to stand-up, making for a match-up where action could unfold anywhere with neither having a clear-cut advantage on paper. The 15-3 Silva is looking to build off a first-frame finish of Jason High in his last fight, while Kim (17-2-1) is riding the momentum of back-to-back wins. Expect lots of fun in this coin-flip of a clash! Sanchez made a successful return to lightweight in March, albeit barely by improving to 24-5 with a narrow outpointing of Takanori Gomi. Still, he’s ferocious and should look sharper with more time to re-familiarize himself with cutting weight not to mention an opponent like Melendez in front of him. The 21-3 “El Nino” is a former Strikeforce champ who almost won UFC gold in his Octagon debut. He won’t be intimidated by Sanchez’s aggression and should fight back just as viciously. If ever there was a bout with “Fight of the Night” potential, this is it. Though Cormier (12-0) and Nelson (19-8) may not look like your average heavyweight, they have certainly showed themselves to be as apt as any adversary currently calling the division home. Nelson packs power and a BJJ base, plus he’s not likely to get finished given his reputation for toughness. Meanwhile, Cormier’s unbeaten mark is extremely impressive considering some of the opponents the former Olympian has had to take out thus far in his career such as Antonio Silva, Josh Barnett, and Frank Mir. Both can slug it out or grapple, serving as the perfect recipe for a raucous rumble. Trilogies are typically a blast and the same should prove to be true in terms of the third go between Velasquez/Dos Santos. JDS took out Velasquez quickly in their initial encounter, knocking him out to win UFC gold, but was badly beaten in their rematch last December. Easily the #1 and #2 heavyweights in the division, expect blood to spill and consciousness to be tested when the 12-1 Velasquez and 16-2 Dos Santos tussle in Texas. There’s no confusion surrounding the 31-12-2 Guillard’s standard gameplan entering the Octagon. He goes for the knockout early and often, compiling twenty TKO wins in his career with more than a few highlight reel finishes in the bunch. Pearson (15-6) is also a solid striker with some notable victories of his own including recent knockouts of George Sotiropoulos and Ryan Couture. It may not last long, but Pearson-Guillard should feature some truly beautiful brutality. The trash-talk in this tilt has already started with Munoz (13-3) accusing Bisping (24-5) of having “pillow fists” and the Brit firing back with cracks about his foe’s bout of depression. When the cage door closes in Manchester there won’t be any respectful nods or attempts to bump gloves. Rather, both men are going to come out swinging and one is going to sleep by scrap’s end.
With only one more
UFC event in September, it’s time to start looking a little further down the road at what sort of offerings the Octagon has in store for fans in October. The month is scheduled to host plenty of treats other than those provided at Halloween including three shows, one of which will deliver a title-fight to the delight of countless MMA enthusiasts. In truth, October has a slew of showdowns sure to leave folks sitting on the edge of their seats penciled in for the period. Here are some of the tantalizing tilts on tap at , and UFC Fight Night 29, UFC 166 … (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC Fight Night 30