By Nasir Jabbar
The original lineup of UFC 184 had fans and media members alike spewing the usual hype terminology (“incredible”, “awesome”, “more stacked than your mom”, and so on) until a plethora of injuries left the card in tatters. Still, UFC 184 features a pretty solid main event and a handful of at least watchable fights, so what are you complaining about, you buncha nerds? IF THE UFC THROWS YOU A BONE, THEY DON’T WANT TO KNOW IF IT TASTES GOOD OR NOT.
Sorry about that; I guess those Dana White negotiating tapes are really starting to pay off. The point is, an event this…lukewarm doesn’t really require one to write huge blocks of tedious text recapping each fighter’s recent matches and predicting how they will win this weekend. So instead, I’ve decided to try out something new and compile an A-to-Z list previewing each and every aspect of UFC 184. Join me?
A is for Anti-Doping
It isn’t all doom and gloom. Both main-eventers passed their random out-of-competition drug tests, which is a cause for celebration in an of itself these days. Hallelujah.
B is for Business
The bulk of the business will be severely hampered due to the injury-hit card, from a PPV hit to refunded tickets. Most critics are expecting UFC 184 to do in the sub-250k buys range, which leads to the next point.
C is for “Card Subject To Change”
Yeah, you can say that again.
In addition to their legal woes, the UFC has had something of a weight cutting issue this year, with TJ Waldburger being the most recent fighter to pass out just a day prior to his scheduled bout. With UFC 184 as weak as it already is, the UFC better pray that it doesn’t lose another fight in such a fashion.
D is for Declined
After the withdrawal of middleweight champion Chris Weidman from the event, UFC offered both Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi to #1 contender, Vitor Belfort, but the Brazilian declined them. The Weidman-Belfort title fight has since been rescheduled for UFC 187, which looks magnificent.
E is for Ellenberger
Once a budding prospect in the welterweight division, Jake Ellenberger is now riding a three fight losing skid into his bout with the similarly struggling veteran Josh Koscheck. The Nebraska-native has shipped up to Los Angeles to team up with Edmond Tarverdyan, though with little luck thus far. Will he finally get back on the win column on Saturday night?
F is for Ferguson
Since suffering his first UFC loss back in 2012 to Michael Johnson, TUF 14 winner Tony Ferguson has won four on the bounce heading into his bout with Gleison Tibau, who has notched three straight wins since getting torched by, you guessed it, Michael Johnson in 2013.
G is for Good Thing Rousey Was Co-Main
The promotion could of had another UFC 176 on their hands if they hadn’t had Ronda as co-feature. Good thing she was on the card, otherwise we’d have another “postponement.”
H is for Holly Holm
The “greatest female boxer in history” (– Dana White or Joe Rogan, probably) makes her hotly-anticipated octagon debut this weekend against TUF 18 competitor Raquel Pennington. “H” might as well stand for “hype” in Holm’s case, as she is already being hailed as the next/final challenger to Rousey’s throne.
I is for Injuries
The god-damn injury bug of 2012 has reared its ugly head taking out a myriad of delightful matchmaking. A brief list of fighters once attached to this event: Neil Magny, Frank Mir, Ronaldo Souza, Yoel Romero, and Yancy Medeiros. (Ed note: YAAAANCYYYYY!!!)
K is for Kazakhstan
Some of the more hyperbolic MMA media members have compared Rousey to Mike Tyson, although, if we’re going to compare her to a male boxer (!!) lets at least keep the comparisons contemporary. Rousey is the Gennady Golovkin of MMA.
L is for Ladies
Not only will the PPV main-card feature two women’s bouts, but they are the featured attractions: The main event and co-main.
M is for Mother
Cat Zingano was the first mother to compete inside the octagon, and you best believe that she runs her local PTA meetings with an iron fist.
N is for Needle-Mover
Dana White has stated on numerous occasions that Rousey is “the biggest star [the UFC] has ever had.” This weekend should truly serve as a barometer for that audacious statement, as Rousey has been tasked with carrying this lackluster card on her own. UFC 184′s buy-rate will really show how much of a ‘needle-mover’ the women’s bantamweight champion is.
O is for Outrage
James Krause expressed his outrage on Twitter about his positioning on the card. Does he have a point? (Answer: Of course he does. Some of the fights above him are garbage.)
P is for Philippines
Filipino-American Mark Munoz fights this weekend, having dropped two in a row and three of his past four overall. With the “super-fight” main event in place for the promotion’s first venture into Philippines, will “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” get a slot on the card regardless of how he performs against the returning Roan Carneiro?
Q is for Quick Turnaround
Just a little over a month out from his last win, Gleison Tibau makes a quick turnaround when he takes surging lightweight Tony Ferguson.
R is for Retirement
If defeated, is retirement looming for Josh Koscheck?
S is for Staples Centre
UFC returns to the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, CA for the first time since August 2012, after their initial return was “postponed.”
T is for Turbulent
Zingano has had a turbulent spell in her MMA career and personal life; first the knee-injury which forced her off TUF and a fight against Rousey and then the passing of her husband. Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel with this title shot.
U is for Unconscious
I’m almost certain that Derrick Lewis will leave Ruan Potts unconscious inside of 5 minutes.
V is for Vitor Belfort
Let’s all take a moment to laugh at the serious proposition Vitor Belfort made about fighting Mark Munoz for an interim title. Moving on…
W is for Who Will Test Positive?
The last three PPV shows have featured high-profile positive drug tests. With the MMA ongoing drug epidemic and CSAC sussing fighters out, it begs the question: Who’s gonna flunk their test?
X is for X-rated
It may not be as X-rated as past Rousey photoshoots, yet her recent Sports Illustrated pictorial edition was quite flattering to say the very least. In Rousey’s own words, however, “If they can’t see your cash & prizes, then I’m fine with it.”
Y is for Yamamoto
Having gone 1-5 in his last six MMA appearances, the Japanese legend finds himself in a do or die situation.