The UFC returns to Indiana on Saturday, September 25 to deliver the fans a dynamite line up from the middle ranks of their ever deepening roster. UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop features stellar match-ups from every UFC division except the middleweights, including a rematch between “The Terror” Matt Serra (10-6) and “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (29-17-5) and a light-heavyweight showdown between “Darth” Ryan Bader (11-0) and “Little Nog” Antonio Rogerio Nogeuira (18-3). But the headliner honors go to former two-time UFC heavyweight world champion Frank Mir (13-5) and the 2006 PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix winner “Cro Cop” Mirko Filipovic (27-8-2). It’s a do or die situation for both men. A loss for Mir means he will likely never taste UFC gold again; a loss for Filipovic means almost certain retirement. Will Cro Cop’s left leg take Mir’s head or will Mir take Cro Cop’s left leg?
The UFC returns to Indianapolis, Indiana on September 25 for UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop. Along with head liners “Cro Cop” Mirko Filipovic (27-8-2) and Frank Mir (13-5), Dana White and Joe Silva have provided us with stellar card filled with old dogs and new blood. Early in the night, undefeated Evan Dunham (10-0) will face grizzled vet “The Muscle Shark” Sean Sherk (33-4-1). In the co-main event, Arizona wrestler and TUF season eight winner “Darth” Ryan Bader (11-0) will face his first elite opponent when he steps into the Octagon against “Little Nog” Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-3). Nogueira and Bader are both coming off lackluster victories over “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (14-9-1) and “The Hitman” Jason Brilz (18-3-1) respectively and need strong showings to restore the faith the fans had in them. This fight is an interesting meeting between two men who both have serious questions to answer before they see the sunny side of possible title contention. For Bader, it’s “Is Ryan the real deal or just a replacement gatekeeper for Jardine?” For Rogerio it’s “Was he just a flash in the pan riding his brother’s coattails?”
On September 25, UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop brings the thousands of Indianapolis, Indiana fans a card filled with talent from top to bottom. Headlined by the polarizing two-time former heavyweight champion Frank Mir (13-5) and Croatian kickboxing superstar “Cro Cop” Mirko Filipovic (27-8-2), the UFC has filled out the under card with several interesting bouts between the new breed and the old guard. One such example is a rematch between New York born Cinderella story “The Terror” Matt Serra (10-6) and “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (29-17-5), the Indiana firefighter who has held a near monopoly on UFC bonus checks. The two men first faced each other in the TUF 5 finale where they fought for the chance to face “Rush” George St. Pierre (20-2), a match which marked a turning point in both men’s careers. Serra, the winner of the razor thin and very controversial decision, went on to upset GSP and take the UFC welterweight title, Lytle went on to completely reinvent himself, blaming his conservative approach to fighting for the loss. Only one thing is clear in this rematch: those who are expecting it to be a repeat of the first fight obviously haven’t followed either man’s career at all.
On September 25, the UFC again proves the depth of its roster. UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop brings the thousands of Indianapolis, Indiana fans a card packed with interesting match-ups between elite competitors with no title or number one contendership bouts on the card, proving that the UFC has more than just the top three or four fighters in every division. In addition to the marquee fight between former heavyweight kingpin Frank Mir (13-5) and 2006 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix champion “Cro Cop” Mirko Filipovic (27-8-2), UFC 119 brings us intriguing match-ups between “Little Nog” Antonio Rogerio Nogueria (18-3) and “Darth” Ryan Bader (11-0), “The Terror” Matt Serra (10-6) and “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (29-17-5), and a lightweight tilt between undefeated Evan Dunham (10-0) and the former lightweight champ “The Muscle Shark” Sean Sherk (33-4-1). Sherk brings a wealth of experience and powerful wrestling into the cage after a sixteen month lay-off following his defeat at the hands of current champion “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1). Dunham continues his escalation in competition by pitting the submission skills and crisp striking against Sherk’s experienced top control. While this bout has no title, or even contention implications, it is as solid a match up as anyone could ask for as Sherk struggles regain relevance in the UFC and Dunham looks to prove that he deserves his spot as a top ten ranked lightweight.
On July 3, 2010, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the multitudes of UFC fans worldwide will witness the greatest heavyweight fight since “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-2) faced Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovik (28-7-2) in 2005 when UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar (4-1) squares off with Interim Champion Shane Carwin (11-0) not only for the UFC crown, but also for the title of number one heavyweight fighter in the world. Never has there been a bout in the UFC heavyweight division between two such incredibly dominate fighters, not in terms of record per say, but in terms of results. Brock Lesnar is a giant of a man who is far more athletic than the majority of fighters from 185lbs up and he has utterly dominated everyone he has faced since his loss to Frank Mir (13-5). Shane Carwin is just as big, if not bigger, and has never taken more than four minutes to finish an opponent. This fight was already set to be one of the most anticipated bouts in UFC history, but with the fall of Fedor last Saturday, it has become positively epic. The only thing I worry about is how Brock and Shane plan to live up to all the hype in the 2 minutes 55 seconds their fights last on average.