You can see the full videos below and I’ll add my comments underneath.
I think this show is less about hype or pomp and circumstance and all about watching certain fighters either on the rise, in their prime, or simply a fan-favorite and familiar face. I don’t think this show will do great business, but it’s a bit of a hardcore MMA fan’s underdog kind of card.
On paper, it looks fine. But if you did deeper into the match-ups, I like what I see. Taking only the top three fights into account which is what this countdown special was about, you have one of the top two or three fighters going in Renan Barao, one of the all-time great fighters in MMA history in Dan Henderson, a fighter who is on the rise and looks to be ready for Jon Jones in Daniel Cormier, and someone who has been around since the earlier days of the UFC and is that familiar face that reminds you how far this sport has come in Robbie Lawler.
Renan Barao is a must-see fighter in the UFC. He may not be all that charismatic yet, but in his time, I think he can be like Anderson Silva in that you start watching him not because you necessarily like him, but because you don’t want to miss his greatness. I don’t imagine that his opponent, TJ Dillashaw has much of a chance, but the story is well done. Barao beat Urijah Faber and now Faber’s young lion is next. I just wish that story happened a few years later when Dillashaw was better than he currently is.
Cormier vs. Henderson can be considered a bit of a passing of the torch if all goes well for Cormier. If Henderson upsets him, he has a couple of bigger fights against guys higher on the ladder than he currently is at 205. And for Robbie Lawler, life as a welterweight continues for him. Jake Ellenberger is as tough a fight there is, especially after seemingly just fighting two months ago in a brutal five rounder. Ellenberger himself is coming off of a hamstring injury.
All in all, this should be a good show for hardcore fans. As for casual fans? I don’t think they’ll buy unless they see Henderson vs. Cormier as a big fight.