UFC 178 has not gotten a ton of hype in anticipation of the fights this weekend. That is mostly because the original main event was Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier, and that fight had the most hype since the days of Brock Lesnar. Also, the replacement main event is about as sure of a thing as you are going to find in the UFC which lessens the excitement. But even though the main event sucks. This card is absolutely stacked. As I went through the fights, my jaw dropped further and further as I was amazed at the talent of this card. Here is a rundown of what to look forward to this weekend.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso
Cariaso is the biggest underdog in a title fight in UFC history, and he should be. Mighty Mouse is unbelievably quick, and he has consistently added power to his strikes. That is a terrifying combination. The guy is so smooth that I would feel pretty comfortable parlaying this fight with any other one on the card that you felt like betting on.
Donald Cerrone vs. Eddie Alvarez
So I knew this fight was signed, but now that it's here, it found a way to totally sneak up on me. I am so excited for this fight. Neither guy knows how to have a boring fight, and although each guy is tough, they also have enough holes that they could be exploited by their opponent at any time. One of the underrated things about Cerrone is how far his wrestling has come. In a strict wrestling sense, he'll never be very good, but he might be in the top 25% of fighters in his ability to mix strikes with his wrestling in order to be an effective MMA wrestler. Who am I picking in this fight? I'm not, because I honestly have no clue what is going to happen. But since this means nothing, I'll go with Alvarez while noting that anytime I underestimate Cerrone, he makes me look like an idiot.
Dustin Poirier vs. Dustin McGregor
Am I on the McGregor bandwagon? Hell no. He's a talented striker, but I think he will get eaten alive by a wrestler. Luckily, the UFC has protected him from those matchups, and that continues with Poirier. Still, Poirier is the most talented guy that he has fought. Still, I'm picking Poirier, partly because I'm down on McGregor, but mostly that his nickname is Diamond. Dustin "Diamond." You know you're tough when you willingly walk around with a nickname that likens you to Screech. Bravo sir. Bravo.
Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero
I love wrestlers, so Yoel Romero is my guy since he was good enough to win a Silver Medal. He has often used his wrestling for defense so he can throw bombs at people, which is a pretty scary combination. Still, I gotta go with Kennedy on this one, because the guy always finds a way to win. In the last seven years, his only losses are close decisions to Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo Souza. Romero is good, but I don't think he's quite on that level, so I'm going Kennedy.
Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Dominick Cruz is back? Finally. Cruz hasn't fought for three years due to repeated knee injuries, but he's finally back. If he's the same fighter he was before, all he has to do is win this one for a shot at TJ Dillashaw to reclaim the title he was forced to vacate. Mizugaki is no easy out, but if Cruz is anywhere near his old talent level, he should have no problems winning the fight.
Those are the fights I'm most excited about, but also on the card is former #1 women's contender, Cat Zingano, Jorge Masvidal, Stephen Thompson, and a bunch of other fighters that have historically had entertaining fights.
I know this card doesn't have the flashy main event, but it more than makes up for it with the other fights on this card. Get excited; this is going to be a fun night of fights.