01-28-2015, by JP Scarano, Exclusively for TheFightWorld.Com
With all the coverage about two former champions coming back this weekend there are fights that have been overshadowed by it. The UFC 183 main event fight has been overly hyped-up. I get all that, but I think we should take the time to talk about 4 other men who are fighting,as well, because they have a lot to prove. Don’t get me wrong, the main event has me excited about seeing it, it for sure.
Lets talk about the fight in the Lightweight division. Here we have Joe Lauzon vs. Al Iaquinta. In my opinion, this fight has submission written all over it. Both of these men are ground specialists and are very heavy-handed, so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone gets knocked out.
Iaquinta is a TUF finalist who keeps improving and has a record of 10-3-1. He trains with current UFC World Middleweight Champion, Chris Weidman and his jiu-jitsu coach is former TUF winner and UFC World Welterweight Champion, Matt Serra. Iaquinta is looking to build and keep moving up the Lightweight division ladder to get his chance at the title. Iaquinta is a tough fighter with a lot of potential. He sees Lauzon as his toughest test to date. He definitely should be thinking that way .
Lauzon is a UFC vet with 17 fights in the cage alone which is a lot of fights for a man who has been in the UFC since 2006. Lauzon has an impressive record of 24-9-0 with 6 submissions of the night, 6 fights of the night and 1 knockout of the night bonuses which is simply amazing. This is a record that he still holds. We have seen Lauzon bounce back and forth with wins and losses. His never-say-die attitude, along with his awesome submissions, keeps Lauzon in the UFC and makes him a fan favorite because fans have seen him do this over and over again. If Lauzon can get a really big win here we could see him fight a higher-ranked fighter and work his way to a title shot, Lauzon has to get past Iaquinta to get there and that isn’t going to be easy.
In the co-main event in the Welterweight division we have #3-ranked Tyron Woodley vs #7-ranked Kelvin Gastelum. These men have not talked any trash about each other at all. Woodley is saying that this will be a tough fight and that he will keep moving up the ranks to get a shot at the title. Woodley isn’t looking past Gastelum at all. That’s good on his part because Gastelum has been out to prove everyone wrong about his ability. He realizes that being the underdog isn’t always a good place to be. Lets take a closer look at these 2 men.
Gastelum has been a dark horse since coming into TUF 17 and winning the whole thing. Since winning TUF, Gastelum has been on a 4-fight winning streak in the Welterweight division. He has been undefeated with 10-0-0 and he keeps getting better and better. Everyone doubts Gastelum because he is only 23 years old. That’s one of the worst reasons to doubt someone. For example, take a look at what Jon Jones has done at Gastelum’s age. Every time I see Gastelum fight he keeps reminding me that we should never judge someone by their age but by their heart and desire to fight. With Gastelum’s fight vs Woodley we will see if Gastelum is the real deal and if he can keep moving up the ranks.
Woodley isn’t a push over with a record of 14-3-0 and is a really good wrestler. Woodley has been showing off his striking skills by gaining most of his wins by Knockout and TKO. This demonstrates that Woodley is really putting everything together to extend his MMA career. He works very hard to overcome his weaknesses, as well. Woodley fought for a title back in 2012 with Strikeforce but came up short after being KOed by Nate Marquardt. Since Woodley’s first loss he has become more focused on becoming a champion in MMA and in the UFC. If Woodley can beat Gastelum I think we will see Woodley take on another top contender and then get a shot at the title. If Woodley is looking past Gastelum and focusing solely on a title shot I can see him getting hurt in this fight.
These four men have what it takes in my eyes. What do you fans think?
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