By Benjamin Bieker
Pablo “The Scarecrow” Garza (12-3-0) vs. Manny Gamburyan (12-7-0)
Garza may have picked up the biggest win of his career in former title contender Mark Hominick, but Hominick was on a three fight losing streak while Garza is coming off two straight losses of his own. Do not expect him to be fighting anyone in the top ten anytime soon, but he can face another former title contender who just picked up a win. Gamburyan would be another tough test for the improving Garza. A win over two former title contenders in a row would say a lot about how far he has come.
Rafael dos Anjos (18-6-0) vs. Jacob Volkmann (15-3-0)
Anjos is proving himself to be a fighter with great hands, and an even better ground game considering his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has typically had problems with fighters who can control him on the ground and who work at a relentless place. Volkmann is someone who can do that, and who has only faltered once in seven fights at 155. Both are looking to stake their claim at lightweight, but only one will make it there. This match will tell us who that one fighter is.
Francis “Limitless” Carmont (20-7-0) vs. Chris “The Crippler” Leben (22-8-0)
Carmont may have won four straight fights, but the problem is that he has continued to fail at impressing the bosses and the fans. While Leben is set to fight Karlos Vemola, a fighter Carmont has already beaten, in December everyone expects him to beat him. Carmont needs a fighter that will test him, and someone that will not be afraid to throw strikes with bad intentions and reckless abandon. Leben fits the bill, and it should be a good match up that will show us what Carmont is truly made of.
Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann (20-6-0) vs. Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit (28-6-0)
Kampmann has always been a great fighter, but he seems to fail when it means the most. Whether it is the match with Nate Marquardt, Jake Shields, and now Johny Hendricks he seems to have failed where many always think he will pass. He did take out Carlos Condit in his octagon debut, and that is a fight that Condit has wanted to redeem himself in since he lost it. With both fighters coming off their biggest fights to date and failing it would make sense to rematch them. Condit doing as well as he did in the fight against GSP would make him able to headline an FX card easily.
Georges “Rush” St. Pierre (23-2-0) vs. Johny Hendricks (14-1-0)
I do not agree with the GSP and Anderson Silva fight at all. Honestly, Jon Jones makes a lot more sense for Silva since he has actually taken out three light-heavyweights in his UFC career so far, and GSP has a reluctance to move up in weight since it would hamper his weight cut to 170. This fight may have made sense a couple years ago when Silva and GSP were fighting Patrick Cote and Dan Hardy respectively. Now, both have true number one contenders in Johny Hendricks, and in the winner of Tim Boestch versus Chris Weidman. Those fighters deserve their title shots before a super fight is even spoken of since they have respectively cleared out the middleweight and welterweight divisions as well as the champions have. The UFC has already disrespected the idea of a true number one contender when they let Chael Sonnen compete for the 205 belt, and they would make it even worse if they forced Hendricks or the winner of Boestch/Weidman to wait any longer.
What are your thoughts?