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Tag: hidden storylines

Four Hidden Storylines For ‘UFC Fight Night 30: Machida vs. Munoz’

By Adam Martin

UFC Fight Night 30: Machida vs. Munoz is really flying under the radar as an overall card (thanks in no small part to the truly epic evening that was UFC 166), but if you take a closer look at it, there are actually quite a few intriguing matchups with important questions to answer.

I’ve combed the card up and down and I’ve come up with four hidden storylines that viewers should be aware of going into UFC Fight Night 30. Let me know what you think in the comments section, and be sure to come back to CagePotato on Saturday for our liveblog of the broadcast.

1) Can Lyoto Machida Make a Run at the Middleweight Title?

The most important question that UFC Fight Night 30 will answer, in my opinion, is whether or not Lyoto Machida is going to make a run for the UFC middleweight title. The former light heavyweight champion dropped down to 185 pounds after a controversial decision loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163 and now faces Mark Munoz in Saturday’s main event.

With a win over Munoz, one of the top 10 fighters in the division, Machida will instantly prove that he has what it takes to make a run for the belt at 185 pounds and become just the third fighter in UFC history to win titles in two separate weight classes (the other two fighters who have accomplished this feat being Randy Couture and BJ Penn).

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Four Hidden Storylines For ‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3′


(Cain Velasquez shoots in on teammate Daniel Cormier at yesterday’s open workouts in Houston. / Photo via MMAFighting)

By Adam Martin

With UFC 166 being a 13-fight card, it wouldn’t be hard for some of this weekend’s storylines to fly under the radar. In fact, this card is so deep that I honestly think I could find 20 hidden storylines in it if I really wanted to. But instead I’ll just run down what I think are the top four hidden storylines to be aware of while watching the fights. Let me know what you think in the comments section, and be sure to come back to CagePotato on Saturday night for our liveblog of the pay-per-view broadcast.

1) Will Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos Fight More Than Just a Trilogy?

There has never been a four- or five-fight series in UFC history, but it’s entirely possible that Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos will meet once or twice more after this weekend’s rubber-match at UFC 166, particularly if dos Santos wins the title back.

Let’s face it, the heavyweight talent pool in MMA is very shallow, and Velasquez and dos Santos are the cream of the crop. They are truly the only two heavyweights in the UFC without any discernable weaknesses, and with their ability to consistently produce exciting matches (particularly against one another), the UFC would have no problem having these guys fight again in the future. The fact that both fighters have broad appeal in two huge markets (Velasquez in Mexico, dos Santos in Brazil) certainly helps as well. A four-fight series would make history, and you’d better believe the UFC would hammer home that point in promoting it.

But it really comes down to how the third fight goes. If it’s a blowout for either guy, a fourth fight won’t be as intriguing, and would be unlikely to happen. But if it’s a competitive war that makes the fans go nuts, we can all look forward to Velasquez vs. Dos Santos IV. And soon.

2) Did Daniel Cormier Make a Mistake by Prematurely Announcing a Drop to 205?

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Four Hidden Storylines For ‘UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson’


(Seriously, Jon? You can’t take a break from Candy Crush Saga for five seconds? / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

UFC 165 takes place on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and while most of the media’s focus has been on headliner UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, there are 25 other fighters on the card fighting this weekend that need their stories to be told, too. I can’t write about them all, but I’ve picked four fighters this weekend that you should keep an eye out for in the UFC 165 edition of Hidden Storylines.

Hypothetically, What Happens If Alexander Gustafsson Beats Jon Jones?

It seems like everyone in the world that doesn’t live in Sweden is picking Jon Jones to retain his UFC light heavyweight championship against Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 165, but no one is asking what will happen if “The Mauler” pulls off the upset victory. Sure, it’s unlikely, but so was this, and it’s always foolish to count a challenger out completely.

If Gustafsson wins, it seems likely that the UFC will do an immediate rematch with Jones, even if UFC president Dana White won’t admit it. Sure, it would be nice for the UFC to have a European champion, but the truth is that Gustafsson will never be a star on Jones’s level, and it’s in the UFC’s best interest to do the rematch right away if he somehow loses.

In that sense, Gustafsson is in a bit of a no-win situation. Yes, he will be on top of the world for a few months, just like Chris Weidman is right now, but if he loses the rematch then everyone is going to think the first fight was a fluke and they wont give him the credit he deserves.

We’ll see what happens on Saturday night, but don’t expect a sudden changing of the guard at 205 if Gustafsson wins, and instead expect for the UFC to announce the rematch at the event’s post-fight press conference. As Gustafsson said himself, “I think every champion deserves a rematch.”

Does Renan Barao Become A Star With A Dominant Win?

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Five Hidden Storylines For UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie

By Adam Martin

There doesn’t seem to be much buzz about UFC 163, but when you look at it deeper, it’s actually a fairly intriguing card with a number of hidden storylines buried amidst all the injuries and lineup-changes. Here are five reasons why what happens at UFC 163 actually matters.

Aldo vs. Jung: A Fight That May Change The Face Of Not One, But Two Divisions

Not many people are talking about this, but UFC 163’s main event featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and challenger Chan Sung Jung is one of the rare fights that could have an immediate impact on multiple weight classes.

If Aldo wins, he’ll be on a 16-fight win streak, and it’s quite possible that he’ll make the decision to move up to 155 pounds, something that he has hinted at doing for a long time. Now 26 years old, Aldo is finding it harder to make the weight cut down to 145 pounds, and if he can beat Jung in spectacular fashion this weekend, he might tell the UFC he wants to make a run at lightweight.

If he does go to 155, expect Aldo to receive an immediate title shot, which would mean TJ Grant would be out on the sidelines yet again as Aldo would most certainly face the winner of the UFC 164 main event between Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis later this month.

Of course, it’s possible that Aldo stays at 145 and keeps defending his belt against new challengers such as Ricardo Lamas, but I honestly think a move to 155 isn’t as far away as some think it is.

And if Jung shocks the world this weekend and becomes the man to end Aldo’s streak? Well, Aldo could still move up to 155, or he could stay at 145 and possibly get an immediate rematch since he’s been such a dominant champ at the weight. It’s really his call.

At the end of the day Aldo is going to have some big decisions to make after UFC 163, and they’re decisions that the whole MMA world is going to be interested in. Now, let’s wait and see what happens.

Does The Machida vs. Davis Winner Earn A Title Shot?

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Four Hidden Storylines For ‘UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga’

By Adam Martin

There’s often so much going on during UFC on FOX events that some of the more intriguing storylines get lost amongst all the glamour and glitz of network television. Here are four important themes surrounding UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga that have been flying under the radar heading into this weekend’s show. Let us know what you think, and be sure to come back to CagePotato.com this Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT for our liveblog of the main card.

Is UFC On FOX 8 Make Or Break For The Flyweights?

UFC on FOX 8 is headlined by the flyweight title fight between reigning champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger John Moraga, and it’s a fight that could help the flyweight division explode if it’s exciting — or hold the division back if it’s a bore.

The last time that 125-pounders headlined an event was at UFC on FOX 6, when Johnson defended his title against John Dodson. The match won “Fight of the Night,” but that might not be the first thing that fans think of when they remember the event. Instead, they think of Anthony Pettis’s body kick KO of Donald Cerrone, or (for less positive reasons) Rampage Jackson’s last Octagon fight against Glover Teixeira.

It may be because flyweight fights so often go to decision, and the fans, especially casual fans, love to see knockouts and submissions. But it’s rare to see true KO power among 125-pound fighters, and the fact that flyweights tend to be extremely quick and nimble makes it harder for submissions to get locked in.

Demetrious Johnson certainly fits this stereotype, as he’s managed to go 27 rounds in his UFC career without securing a single stoppage victory. But Moraga has been an exception to the rule. Both of his Octagon appearances have ended in pleasingly violent finishes. Unfortunately, those finishes — a knockout of Ulysses Gomez at UFC on FOX 4 and a guillotine-choke submission of Chris Cariaso at UFC 155  — were both buried on the opening preliminary bouts of the cards they were on. In other words, even if you attended those events in person, you might have missed them. Despite being a title challenger in a main event fight on FOX, Moraga is still a stranger to most fans.

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