Jon Jones (c) v. Daniel Cormier
Stop me if you have heard a challenger being described as the toughest test of (insert champion here)'s career. In actuality for Jones, right now that man is Alexander Gustaffsson. On paper, it should be the man that he will face on Saturday in Cormier. This is just my long-winded way of saying that when it comes to this fight, believe the hype. Jones' biggest challenge so far has come due to someone matching his reach. While DC may not shine in that department, he brings a skill set and pace that will perhaps make him the first man to dethrone the king. Of course, the man at the top of the hill is not there without good reason himself. Jones has always had the unique physical tool set, innovative skill set, and the drive and heart to fight through adversity and rise to the occasion. These two forces collide to leave a resultant thought that there are any number of outcomes to how this fight could go. Quick finish? I can see that. Hard fought war? I'd believe it. One-sided domination? I wouldn't rule it out. For this fact alone, I'm on a Mark Hunt-ian fighting for the title level of excited. My pick? Daniel Cormier by decision.
#AndStill: Dr Law, Lavender Gooms, DJ Mark
#AndNew: Kid P
Cowboy Cerrone v. Myles "Fury" Jury
Cerrone: Gooms, DJ Mark, Dr. Law
Jury: Kid P
This fight should basically tell us everything we need to know about what is left of Marquardt's career. The King of Pancrase has fought everywhere and at very high levels, but the fight mileage has really added up in recent times. Tavares is an always game and tough opponent, but with no clear discernible skill set besides his toughness and heart, Tavares is the kind of fringe top 15 guy that doesn't tell you a whole lot when you beat him, but it does when you lose to him. Tavares by decision.
Nate: DJ Mark, Dr Law
The Minority Report: Gooms, Kid P
Kyoji Horiguchi v. Louis Gaudinot
Louis' run in the UFC has been mostly unspectacular going 1-2 with a NC for a failed drug test. His once top 10 standing was largely based on being a familiar name in a brand new division in my opinion which is why I think this should be another showcase display for Horiguchi. Japan has long been on hard times in the MMA landscape, but don't blame Horiguchi who is leading the movement for the future of JMMA right now. Kyoji by TKO.
Horiguchi: Kid P, Dr Law, DJ Mark
Hector Lombard v. Josh Burkman
Burkman makes his much deserved UFC return after going on a great run of against known vets outside of the organization. The run was slightly marred however by a submission loss to Steve Carl along the way. More unfortunately though, is that his welcome wagon is the buzzsaw and sometimes snoozefest that is Hector "no you can't change your nickname like that" Lombard. Burkman's skills truly expanded in his time away, but Hector is on a different level than any of Josh's wins. Could he be upset? Of course, he's a guy I love that came from Bellator. That has disappointment written all over it. Oh well. Hector by KO.
Josh: A for effort