Before every major card, FIGHT! will pick one non-title bout we feel represents the greatest potential risk and reward for the participants. Whether a win means a title shot or loss means a one-way ticket home, we’ve deemed this match the FIGHT! of the Night.
Since we know some of you maniacs are going to keep drinking through the end of UFC 104, change the channel to HDNet and start watching Dream.12 at 2 a..m. EST, we’re going to push both editions of FIGHT! of the Night together starting with UFC 104 Machida vs. Shogun.
Cain Velasquez has proven himself in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Ben Rothwell has proven himself everywhere but. On Oct. 24, Cain Velasquez’s and Ben Rothwell’s upward trajectories collide and the winner likely gets the next crack at the UFC heavyweight strap. Velasquez’s striking game is improving but his punches are most potent on the ground. Rothwell’s ground game is serviceable but his kickboxing skills are intriguing in a division that is fast becoming defined by puncher-wrestlers.
Both fighters are aggressive, both are in shape, and both bring serious skills to the Octagon. And both realize that this is the biggest moment to date in their respective careers. For Velasquez, it’s a chance to show that he is a legit contender. For Rothwell, it’s a chance to show that he belongs in the UFC. That’s why Cain Velasquez vs. Ben Rothwell is our pick for UFC 104’s FIGHT! of the Night.
Dream.12 got less interesting to me when Filho shit the bed. Dream.12 was a chance to prove he was finally back from whatever personal problems he’s been struggling with and he squandered it. Very talented guy and we here at FIGHT! hope he gets things sorted out soon.
In lieu of a Filho scrap, Dream.12’s obvious FIGHT! of the Night is between two World Extreme Cagefighting veterans, Yoshiro Maeda and Chase Beebe. Beebe was on a 12-1 tear when he lost his WEC featherweight title to Miguel Torres. Since then he’s lost three more fights (the third was changed to a No Contest because of poor officiating). Maeda’s extensive experience in Pancrase and DEEP made him an attractive title challenger but Torres beat him like a drum. After a loss to Rani Yahya, it was back to Japan for Maeda, where he’s racked up two wins against one loss in Dream. Maeda’s had a long career; this fight could determine how much longer it lasts. Beebe is hurting for a win; another loss could keep him off of major cards in both the U.S. and Japan.