UFC 119: Something to Sleep On

2 years ago blogadmin 0

With little more than 24 hours left before UFC 119 kicks off at 9:00 p.m. on Spike TV, the air is thick with bone-crushing anticipation for a top billed contest that should pit together more than a few interesting bouts.  Here are our picks for fights of night, coming from the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions respectively…

Frank Mir vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic

The card’s most intriguing matchup might belong to Mir and Cro Cop, though it may not be the most highly anticipated as Mir is merely a fill in opponent for Rodrigo Nigueira who injured his hip pre-fight and was forced to withdraw.  Still, Mir is a legend in the octagon and a very dangerous striker and grappler.  Mir is at his best when on the ground though can sometimes be pushed around by much larger opponents, which could come into play tomorrow night.  Cro Cop, a former special ops policeman and Croatian politician, hence the name, has made a nice run in recent months and looks to continue a winning streak, though perhaps Mir may be too much to handle if he falls to the mat.  This is by far the biggest fight of Filipovic’s career, so don’t expect an easy victory for either side.

Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira  vs. Ryan Bader

Bader will finally get a chance to prove he belongs in the upper echelon of the professional level.  As season 8’s champion of The Ultimate Fighter, Bader has shown he can fight his way through talent-laden entry level competition, but it remains to be seen if he can hold his own against a seasoned vet like Minotoro.  Though Minotoro is a relative new comer to the UFC circuit, making the switch after Affliction went belly up in 2009, he possesses a wealth of MMA savvy and experience and has already demonstrated a pattern of success in his first year with UFC.