Saturday night’s UFC on FOX event in Winnipeg, Manitoba is the one event many of us have been waiting for the most. The results from the main event and co-main event will likely reshuffled the welterweight title mix, perhaps elevating some new names into the challenger talk or at the very least, hype up what could go down in 2018.
The main event will see former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler take on former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos.
Lawler will be play the wall and destroyer to RDA’s goal of challenging champion Tyron Woodley. A victory for Dos Anjos and he is all but guaranteed a title shot vs. ‘The Chosen One’. Of course, that is if you believe what Dana White stated months ago, when he confirmed the winner of this bout will get the next crack at UFC gold.
While we should sometimes take what White says with a grain of salt, there is no doubt in my mind that if Rafael wins, he will fight Tyron. Now if Lawler wins, I’m not so sure the UFC matchmaking team will be so keen to grant Robbie another shot. Mind you, I’d be more than happy to watch that rematch.
In the co-main event, ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry will take on Santiago Ponzinibbio, the latter recently being balked at by MMA fans, as the choice to take on Perry on Saturday night. After ‘Platinum’ caused a disturbance in the force during Darren Till’s post-fight interview last month (when he defeated Donald Cerrone), everyone was clamouring for Till and Perry to be matched up. But it was too late.
Santiago comes into this fight with far less hype around him than any of the welterweight noise makers to date. Perry is brash and a thunderous striking machine. Till is officially legit in everyone’s eyes after disposing of ‘Cowboy’ in less than a round. There’s also the ever controversial Colby Covington, who is constantly making headlines as well as “The Problem” at 170 lbs, Kamaru Usman.
But should Ponzinibbio silence his critics on Saturday night, he will also likely make them shout out his name, as another viable name that should be included in the title mix. Taking out Perry will be no easy task, but will anyone be surprised if Santiago lulls Mike into thinking he is in a dog-fight, before eventually taking him down to the ground and taking Perry away from using is most dangerous weapons?
Clearly, the biggest winner on Saturday night could be Dos Anjos, for he will be the one to reach the apex of the welterweight mountain next. But second to that, could be Ponzzinbbio, who could also make some serious headlines after his bout. Heck, if RDA loses and Santiago wins, Sunday MMA talk is going to be fantastic.
Of course, if Robbie wins and Perry emerges victorious, then what? I’ve already discussed the what could happen with “Ruthless”, but it’s ‘Platinum’ that may have to first dance with the likes of Till, Covington or Usman (should he defeat Emil Meek next month).
Is it Saturday night yet? I can’t wait for this event to go down. Lots of questions and lots of answers are on the welterweight horizon.