Despite being light on paper, UFC 177 performed ably and to an extent, exceeded our expectations. Heading in to UFC Fight Night 50, we have a different scenario on our hands, with this card carrying far more buzz than the PPV event we just sat through.
Having benefitted from the cancellation of UFC 176, UFC Fight Night 50 is packed full of bouts that could cause fireworks.
Here are just a few reasons as to why this is such an anticipated event.
Jacaré vs Mousasi: The Rematch
As the header above suggests, this is the second time that Ronaldo ‘Jacaré’ Souza and Gegard Mousasi have locked horns. The pair first met in 2008, back at the DREAM 2008 Middleweight Grand Prix Final, where Mousasi would emerge victorious and claim the DREAM Middleweight Championship having knocked Jacaré out cold with a perfectly legal upkick.
Both men have progressed significantly in their careers and skillset, so much so that in reality, their previous meeting bears no real significance as a valuable indicator to how this contest will play out second time around. Jacaré has evolved from being just a BJJ player to a BJJ player with the increasingly easy ability to starch a man, while Mousasi is as cerebral and threatening as ever, just more polished.
With middleweight seemingly the only division that is falling foul of the new random drug testing procedure and with Weidman already slated to face off with the clear number one contender, Vitor Belfort, both Jacaré and Mousasi have the opportunity to thrust themselves to the top of the heap and in to title contention with a win here that would make a real statement in the muddied middleweight division.
Outside of Cain Velasquez and at a push Junior dos Santos, no other UFC heavyweight generates as much chatter as Alistair Overeem and he’s back. Whether he’s making headlines for performances in the Octagon, or being thrown from one camp to the other or injuring teammates (intentionally or unintentionally depending on who you ask), it’s not often calm in the world of ‘The Reem’.
Overeem can get back to doing what he does best this weekend when he squares off with Ben Rothwell. Now, Overeem has struggled in the UFC with fighters who can take the punishment he dishes out in the early stages and has been caught on more than one occasion when these chaps still have enough to come back at him when he’s spent. Fortunately for Overeem, the heavyweight pool is not exactly deep and in Rothwell, he’ll be coming up against his easiest opponent for quite some time. Here’s thinking that Overeem takes this and in headline making fashion.
Can Justin Scoggins bounce back?
Prior to his split decision loss to Dustin Ortiz last time out, Justin Scoggins had begun to build quite a head of steam for himself. At just 22 years old, Scoggins had competed in the Octagon twice, claiming victory in each of those appearances, with wins coming over Richie Vaculik and Will Campuzano. Scoggins’ performances belied his formative age, with the prospect displaying a tenacity that looked likely to carry him to the heights of the division maybe a little earlier than planned.
The close loss to Ortiz will have hurt Scoggins, but the dropped decision may prove to have been for the best; as had Scoggins claimed victory, it is likely he would have been pushed towards contendership in the UFC’s shallowest division prematurely. However, that’s not saying he’s got it any easier in his rebound fight, as John Moraga, a former UFC flyweight title challenger, will test Scoggins all over. Win and he’s back on the gravy train, lose and it’s back to basics and to the back of the line for Scoggins.