In the main event, Benson Henderson defends his UFC lightweight title against Anthony Pettis, while former UFC heavyweight champions Frank Mir and Josh Barnett collide in the co-main event.
Benson Henderson (c) vs. Anthony Pettis for the UFC lightweight title
Dana Becker: Personally, as a huge fan of the lightweight division, this is a rematch I have been waiting for. I am a bit biased, being a Benson Henderson fan for a while now, but Anthony Pettis is the real deal. Henderson’s matched up well with Frankie Edgar, Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez, but “Showtime” offers a different animal. Pettis is hungry and wants to prove his first win over “Smooth” was real. Henderson, meanwhile, wants to wipe that loss off his resume. Not only does this have a chance to be “Fight of the Night,” it might just steal “Fight of the Year” honors at the same time. Benson Henderson via unanimous decision
Joseph Lisnow: Benson Henderson’s personality is like his nickname, “Smooth.” When he proposed to his future wife following his last fight on live TV it was amazing he could put that to the side and concentrate on a fight. People are wondering if the “Showtime kick” from WEC days will break him mentally. Anthony Pettis’ fighting is its own entity and difficult to figure out. His kicks look like breakdancing turned into vicious shots. If Pettis is fully healthy, he gets the win but Henderson will make him work for every second of it. This should easily be Fight of the Night. Anthony Pettis via third round TKO
Frank Mir vs. Josh Barnett
Dana: Some have stated this match needed to happen years ago to be excited. I don’t agree. Here we have two of the best mat fighters in the division, and in the sport for that matter. Frank Mir needs to show he still has what it takes to compete with the big boys, while Josh Barnett has been waiting years to get back to the UFC. Regardless of what you think about him, “The Warmaster” is still a contender. The winner should make a strong case for a Top-5 opponent next, while the loser could be lined up as a “gatekeeper” with a loss. Josh Barnett via second round submission
Joseph: As the heavyweight division changes, Josh Barnett and Frank Mir could be a dying breed. If Mir takes his third straight defeat, he may have a future with the promotion but he’s risking it. Barnett is no youngster and has been in high profile fights his entire life. After 11 years, Barnett has a chance to erase the past steroid memories and maybe even get one more title push. Mir hasn’t done well when standing in his last two fights, so he should be looking for a limb. Barnett’s great on his feet and can work off the canvas if needed. Josh Barnett via second round KO
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