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Weekend Watching: UFC 100 (Of Course)
100. It's amazing; over the years there have been several points at which the UFC might have either been forced to close shop, or go under due to financial issues. Even Dana White recently admitted that Zuffa themselves almost pulled the plug shortly before the premiere of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.
But with today marking the 100th iteration of the world's premiere combat sports event, the organization that sent shockwaves across the Martial Arts world will see the conclusive fight between a former Wrestler and the man that may be the top jiujitsu specialist. And while this may not exactly hearken back to the days of Royce Gracie taking on Gerard Gordeau, is there still a bit of symmetry with the inaugural event in that tonight's main event? Is this still essentially still a "style vs. style" fight, with Lesnar reprising Dan Severn's role as "the wrestler", and Mir playing out Gracie's part as the smaller Jiujitsu master?
Undoubtedly Lesnar is a supreme physical specimen at Heavyweight. Mir, on the other hand, has had his conditioning tested and found dubious at several points. Frank Mir is by no means a small man, but next to Lesnar he appears to be fighting up a weight class if not two. In his win over an injured Minotauro Nogueira, Mir looked spectacular. But will his dramatically improved striking and conditioning be enough to provide him the basis for implementing a successful game plan against a man who's able to hit people hard enough to send them tumbling backwards?
With Lesnar's recent wins over Randy Couture and Heath Herring, the question of his place in the Octagon is no longer relevant. He has established himself as a credible athlete, potential champion, and genuine Mixed Martial Artist.
So while this may not exactly be a "wrestler vs jiujitsu" fight, this will undoubtedly boil down to the essence of another kind of match up:
Exceptional athletic ability vs. finely-tuned skills.
The line-up for tonight's fights:
Brock Lesnar Vs. Frank Mir - Heavyweight Title Fight
Georges St-Pierre Vs. Thiago Alves - Welterweight Title Fight
Jon Fitch Vs. Paulo Thiago
Dan Henderson Vs. Michael Bisping
Yoshihiro Akiyama Vs. Alan Belcher
Mark Coleman Vs. Stephan Bonnar
Mac Danzig Vs. Jim Miller
Jon Jones Vs. Jake O'Brien
CB Dollaway Vs. Tom Lawlor
Matt Grice Vs. Shannon Gugerty