UFC 121 promises the fans a night of stellar performances from the best fighters MMA has to offer. Opening bouts featuring “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (11-5), “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (5-1), “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (15-7-1), “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (8-2), “Nightmare” Diego Sanchez (21-4), and Paulo Thiago (9-2) will provide an entertaining prelude to the card’s two headline fights, a welterweight match between “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-3) and Jake Shields (25-4-1) and the main event showdown between UFC Heavyweight Champion of the World Brock Lesnar (5-1) and undefeated superstar wrestling ace Cain Velasquez (8-0). The MMA world is in an uproar of excitement over the title affair with as many fans and pundits favoring the Mexican hype machine to win as the former WWE superstar. Velasquez is a man who many felt should have faced Brock Lesnar before “The Engineer” Shane Carwin (11-1), who fell to the champ in the second round of their July 3 bout. The undefeated young heavyweight is a world class wrestler with punching power beyond that of nearly any pro-boxer and the cardio to throw and throw hard from bell to bell every round. The champion, Brock Lesnar, was a two-time NCAA All-American Wrestler, a two-time Big Ten Conference Champion and an NCAA Div. I National Champion wrestler with an overall record of 106-5. His double leg takedown has proven to be completely unstoppable so far in the Octagon and his punches have the power to stop anyone in any weight class. This title fight is the kind of match-up that clearly displays why the UFC Heavyweight World Championship is the single most prestigious title in all of combat sports.
For UFC 121, Dana White and the Zuffa team return to the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with a sold-out card driven by the hype engine of a heavyweight super fight between incumbent champ Brock Lesnar (5-1) and the undefeated Mexican buzz saw Cain Velasquez (8-0). In addition to match-ups between “The Nightmare” Diego Sanchez (21-4) and Paulo Thiago (9-2), “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga and “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (5-1), and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (15-7-1) and “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (8-2), Joe Silva has given the fans an exceptional welterweight offering between the former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields (25-4-1) and kickboxing expert “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-3). Shields and Kampmann are as close to polar opposites stylistically as two men can be. Shields is a fighter who built his name with a 14-fight win streak started in 2005 that was fueled by a fist-full of first round finishes in the Elite XC organization. After the Strikeforce buy-out, Shields found himself faced with a choice between moving up a weight class or being forced to face friend and training partner “Diablo” Nick Diaz (22-8) en route to the welterweight belt. He chose the former and promptly developed a reputation as a boring lay-n-pray wrestler when forced to face larger opponents. “The Hitman” has spent the majority of his career in the UFC where he has only lost twice and only seen the judges three times in 10 fights. He has built a name as a devastating kickboxer despite having won the majority of his UFC bouts via submission. Both men are knocking on the door of a title shot and each stands in the other’s way in a fight that will be a true test of a Strikeforce champion against an upper tier UFC fighter.