The middleweight title fight at UFC 117 between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen will be accentuated by one of the most stacked cards in UFC history. The main card features the long-awaited rematch between welterweight contenders Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves, as well as such notable fighters such as recent UFC Hall of Fame inductee Matt Hughes, the electrifying Clay Guida, and a heavyweight matchup between two fast rising stars in the division Roy Nelson and Junior Dos Santos. With all of the intriguing fights lined up on the fight card, the championship ramifications in the main event will add the icing to the cake.
The context of the first welterweight matchup on the main card extends beyond a typical fight, as honor and history are on the line. Recent UFC Hall of Fame inductee Matt Hughes (fighting out of Hillsboro, Ill./45-7) is a legend of the UFC, with 22 fights and a UFC record 17 victories. The two-time UFC welterweight champion has defeated future champions in Georges St-Pierre and BJ Penn, but in the context of this fight, Hughes has defeated Royce Gracie, Matt Serra and Renzo Gracie. Both Serra and Ricardo “Big Dog” Almeidaare coached by the legendary Renzo Gracie, which sets up the opportunity for Almeida to defend the honor of the Gracie clan. Almeida is on a three fight win streak and a winner of five of his last seven. The four-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu National Champion not only has his own reputation to defend, but the reputation of an entire legendary MMA family.
The Ultimate Fighter® Heavyweights Finale winner Roy Nelson has only two UFC fights under his belt, but has scored a first-round knockout in both of them. A grappler with world-class experience and a black belt under Renzo Gracie, he has quickly elevated himself as a worthy heavyweight contender. His matchup with Junior Dos Santos provides a glimpse into the exciting future of the heavyweight division. Dos Santos has been victorious in his five fights within the organization by way of four knockouts, and a submission victory over Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 103. The Brazilian native’s boxing and jiu-jitsu background have helped establish Dos Santos as a legitimate contender for the heavyweight title.
You can catch an extended ten-minute preview of the event below: