Tonight the UFC is back in action at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with a star-studded card that features one of the most highly anticipated rematches in MMA history. As made even more evident by the reported 10,000+ in attendance for Friday night’s UFC 148 weigh-ins, Zuffa can certainly look forward to having some of their highest Pay-Per-View numbers to date with a card headlined by current UFC Middleweight Champion and arguably one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the Octagon, “The Spider” Anderson Silva (31-4), and polarizing figure Chael Sonnen (27-11), who is looking to score revenge for the loss he suffered the last time he and the champ met nearly two years ago. But that’s not the only great rematch on the PPV portion of UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II, as fans will also get to see the long awaited rubber match between former light heavyweight champions Forrest Griffin (18-7) and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-10). Win, lose, or draw, Ortiz plans on hanging up his gloves and flamed shorts and walking off into the sunset. Shoring up the main card are the likes of former Strikeforce champ Cung Le (7-2), returning UFC veteran “The Predator” Patrick Cote (17-7), JMMA star “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (15-1-1) and BJJ expert Demian Maia (15-4), WEC veteran “Money” Chad Mendes (11-1) and TUF alum “AK Kid” Cody McKenzie (13-2), and Tristar Gym fighter “Pride of El Salvador” Ivan Menjivar (24-8) and “The Hulk” Mike Easton (12-1) in the opening slot. The UFC is also supplying tremendous action in the undercard match-ups, with perhaps the most promising contender for becoming a main card mainstay being “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov (17-0).
Khabib Nurmagomedov is a talented young Russian fighter who has gone undefeated since he turned pro in 2008. At just 23-years-old, “The Eagle” has some impressive accolades besides a zero in the loss column and now fighting for the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. He is a Combat Sambo Russian National Champion as well as a Combat Sambo World Champion, and even among the UFC’s elite, his master grappling skills will go largely unrivaled. Nurmagomedov additionally won a NAGA World Championship in 2012, a tourney where some of the top grapplers in the world are known to compete. A winner of the European Army Hand-to-Hand Fight Championship as well, it seems evident that his stand-up game won’t be lacking, either. His record of fights, and the number he has finished, is a testament to the versatility of “The Eagle’s” game. Nurmagomedov has six knockouts and seven submission victories and has finished his last nine fights, including that of his January 2012 UFC debut where he sank in a third-round Rear Naked Choke to dispose of “Prince of Persia” Kamal Shalorus(7-3).
This Saturday “The Eagle” will have to soar to new heights as he faces his toughest challenge to date in the form of American Top Team’s Gleison Tibau (25-7). The Brazilian is a tough competitor himself and with wins over the likes of “Lil Heathen” Jeremy Stephens (20-8), Caol Uno (25-13), and most recently Rafael Dos Anjos (16-6) at UFC 139, it isn’t likely that Nurmagomedov will have a pushover in Tibau. This fight could be an all-out war or a quick finish as both combatants have the skillset to make the other’s night end abruptly. Watch for Nurmagomedov to try and pick up a victory in impressive fashion over the tough Tibau in order to solidify the notion that he belongs in the UFC competing with the top fighters in the world. Tune into FX at 8pm ET tonight so as to not miss this stellar match-up or any of the other excitement that this undercard will surely offer.