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UFC 115: 5 Things To Be On The Lookout For

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On paper UFC 115 isn't anything to write home about when compared to the last few UFC events.  The main event consists of two guys that haven't fought in months while both are coming off knockout losses.  There is no title on the line obviously and the co-main event consists of two guys waaaaaay out of title contention in Mirko Cro Cop and Pat Barry.  However, there are a few things to be on the lookout for as the event draws near...some story-lines if you will.  Check it:

-Which aging veteran attempts one more shot at glory in the Liddell/Franklin matchup?

Both fighters have surpassed their championship glory years and will not be making a run at the LHW strap barring a couple of miracles.  However, somebody has to win this fight and the winner will certainly move on to bigger and better things.  In fact, Dana White voiced that the winner may face Forrest Griffin in their next matchup provided Griffin returns from shoulder surgery this year.  The loser is all but done IMO.  Dana White has confirmed that Liddell will fight no more if he loses to Franklin.  What if he loses a close decision though?  Anyways, I'm sure we'll here the 'he's back' mantra regardless of who wins.

-Can Mirko Cro Cop dial back the clock or will Pat Barry extinguish that pilot light keeping Mirko's career burning?

This is essentially a pass the torch fight if Barry can pull it off.  However, his lack of heigh and reach concerns me a bit in this one, even though he overcame those problems against the taller Hardonk.  Barry also has ZERO ground game, so if Cro Cop wanted to take it there it would all be over pretty much considering he does have better ground skills than Barry.  The only problem is if Cro Cop took Barry down, most people would knock him for doing the sure-fire method of winning opposed to doing what we want him to do. 

-Can Martin Kampmann take the risky fight and reap the big reward?

Kampmann was originally supposed to face Ben Saunders, but now had a top 5 welterweight in front of him.  A win here would re-establish Kampmann as a top ten guy, but a loss would certainly be hurtful.  A win for Thiago Paulo would just continue his march towards an eventual title shot. 

-Can Carlos Condit take out the rising phenom in Rory MacDonald?

I wrote about this earlier this week, but I expect this fight to be a barnburner and the likely hood of it being boring is minuscule.  It's funny that we look at this fight as a pass the torch type of fight as well, but Condit is only 26 years old while MacDonald is just over 20.  A loss for Condit  would be pretty bad as he would fall to 1-2 inside the octagon since leaving his dominant ways over in the WEC.  A loss for MacDonald should be a good gauge as to where he is as a fighter because Condit will be his toughest test to date BY FAR. 

-Can Tyson Griffin Finish 2 opponents in a row?

I used to give Tyson Griffin a hard time, even calling him Tyson "The Decision" Griffin.  However, he finally broke through and finished the now retired Hermes Franca back at UFC 103.  Griffin's a very good fighter but he has a lot of 'close fights' which doesn't do him any good in a stacked lightweight division.  Evan Dunham should put up a good fight coming off the upset win over TUF winner Efrain Escudero.  A win for Griffin keeps him within reach of an eventual title shot.  A win for Dunham solidifies him as a contender at this point.

What are you most looking forward to from UFC 115?

SBN coverage of UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin