With UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem and DREAM’s Genki Desu Ka!! closing out MMA for 2011, let’s take a brief look ahead at what’s on the docket to kick off 2012.
–Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine, January 7: The first event of the New Year, this Strikeforce show features newly-crowned champ Luke Rockhold’s first title defense, against veteran Keith Jardine. Intriguing bouts between light heavyweights Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and Lorenz Larkin, as well as Tyron Woodley and Jordan Mein make this an event worth watching.
–UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes, January 14: The UFC’s first offering of the year is a solid one, with the promotion taking their show back to Brazil at the HSBC Arena. At the top of the card, featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo will look to keep his thirteen-fight streak alive against undefeated Team Alpha Male prospect Chad Mendes. In the co-main event, still-rising powerhouse Anthony Johnson will make his middleweight debut against veteran contender Vitor Belfort and the rest of the card is bolstered by typical Brazil vs. The World match ups that will get the already wild crowd even more amped up.
–UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller, January 20: The UFC will put on its first live event on FX this month, bringing a cable-worthy card to the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The lineup lacks star power, but promises entertainment, as several noted battlers – Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller, Duane Ludwig and Josh Neer, Ken Stone and Mike Easton, to name a few – will square off.
–UFC on FOX: Evans vs. Davis, January 28: And for their second appearance, first full-length, on FOX, the promotion is offering their most star-studded card of the month, with light heavyweight contenders Rashad Evans and Phil Davis doing battle in the main event of a fight card featuring middleweight contenders Chael Sonnen and Mark Muñoz, as well as Michael Bisping and Demian Maia.