Mixed Martial Arts has a very interesting issue that most sports don’t have. For example, LeBron James can get injured and the Heat will still make a killing at the arena. Zdeno Chára could injure his arm during training and the Boston Bruins could sell out the TD Garden. That said, the slightest change to a UFC card can make a show go from a million buys to 400 thousand buys. This has happened at plenty of UFC shows. Sometimes it works for the better like at UFC 128. But more times then not it hurts the card (see UFC 119, UFC 115, 108 and many more). On Saturday, UFC 130 faces this particular problem. A proposed rematch between Gray Maynard and champion Frankie Edgar was set to be the main event when tragedy struck. With both men injured the title fight was not only postponed but the show was left without a main event. But with every loss, there is always a gain. In this case, it’s Thiago “The Pitbull” Alves vs Rick “The Horror” Story being added to the fight card.
Now is the fight as sexy as a UFC Lightweight title fight? Well no. With that said though, we do get a great new fight. In one corner we have Thiago Alves. Making his UFC debut in 2007, he has cut through the welterweight division with a series of knockouts and TKOs. With superior Muay Thai skills Alves has TKO victories over Chris Lytle, Karo Parisyan and UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes. The only times he’s been stopped is a loss against champion Georges St. Pierre and the equally tough John Fitch. Despite these setbacks, he has always come back bigger and badder then ever. Always in title contention, Thiago Alves is a challenge for any fighter. That said it won’t be an easy night for “The Pitbull”.
Across the cage will be Rick “The Horror” Story. Ignoring the puntastic cage name he is definitely a solid fighter. With a background in collegiate wrestling he made his UFC debut in 2009. Despite a loss in his debut bout he quickly proved himself with a quick submission over Brian Foster. With his college background and brawling style he has racked up victories over Nick Osipczak and jiu jitsu expert Dustin Hazlett. Most impressively though, he beat 2-time All-American wrestler Jonny Hendricks last December. With his combination of striking and superior wrestling, he decisively won the fight against the promising up-and-comer.
When I first heard that Maynard vs Edgar was off I was terribly disappointed. But as the days go by I miss it less and less. In fact, I’ve become a bit more excited. The show was already stacked with bruisers like Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Stefan Struve. Not only that but we also had submission masters like Frank Mir and Roy Nelson. But with Alves vs Story now on the show, we’re all but guaranteed some hard-hitting throughout the show. And really what more could you possibly want?