Saturday, September 22, 2012

Five questions that will be answered by UFC 152

Finally, we have a fight week after way too long of a break. Jon Jones is putting his belt on the line against Vitor Belfort, a middleweight. It's not the fight we want, but it's the fight we get. Here are a few questions that will be answered by Saturday night's fights in Toronto.

What does changing an opponent on short(ish) notice do to Jon Jones? If there has been one hallmark of Jon Jones' career, it's been good preparation. In every title defense, he has shown a complete knowledge of his opponents strengths and weakness. He then exploited those weakness for a win. This is why he wouldn't take Chael Sonnen on short notice. With Belfort, he had about a month to study up which is a shorter time than usual. If he's not prepared, the champ could end up beating himself.

Will Michael Bisping or Brian Stann be the (maybe possibly could be) next middleweight contender? UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva's next fight will be against Stephan Bonnar, but beyond UFC 153, he needs a new opponent. This could be decided with the Bisping/Stann match-up ... perhaps. If Silva decides he wants to fight only Georges St-Pierre or light heavyweights with middle names that start with a Q or take six months off, the Stann/Bisping winner could be left in the cold.

Can the flyweights steal the show? Joe Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson's bout to decide the inaugural flyweight champion was the headliner before the cancellation of UFC 151. Though they're not the main event of the night anymore, but that doesn't mean the 125-lbers won't be the stars of the show. The little guys tend to bring exciting fights. That should be no different on Saturday.

Does Matt Hamill still have it? It's been more than a year since Hamill ended his career -- for the first time -- with a loss to Alexander Gustafsson. He's back after a brief retirement, but will he still have the fire to get it done in the Octagon? He'll have a chance to show it against Roger Hollett.

Will fans tune in? UFC 152 was solid before the Jones/Belfort bout was cut together and pasted onto the poster. But people's response to the cancellation of UFC 151 was angry. It's possible the anger will carry over and keep fans from spending $54.95 on Saturday night.

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