Fighter's Corner

November 12, 2009 3:25 PM

UFC 105: Couture vs. Vera preview

This weekend the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) travels across the pond to London, England for its 105th pay-per-view quality event and although it does have the number to its title, UFC 105: Couture vs. Vera will actually be televised via tape delay on Spike at 5 pm PST.

The most attractive aspect of this card besides perhaps Randy Couture, 46, returning to the light heavyweight division, is the overall depth of the card and competitiveness of the three featured bouts.

Those three fights of course are the main event between Couture (16-10) and Brandon Vera, 32, who will be looking to continue his climb up the ladder of the 205 lb division. That climb is certainly a steep one as it is the UFC's deepest division, yet with a win over the ageless wonder, Vera (11-3) will have cemented his status as a top five light heavyweight and a force to be reckoned with.

The other two fights feature a welterweight number one contender match between Mike Swick (14-2) and Dan Hardy (22-6, 1 NC) with the winner projected to fight champion Georges St.-Pierre in early 2010 and a middleweight matchup between Michael Bisping (18-2) and Denis Kang (32-11-1).

Rounding out the televised portion of the card are Matt Brown (12-7) and Aaron Riley (28-11-1)who will take on James Wilks (7-2) and Ross Pearson (11-3) respectively as they each look to continue their rise in their respective divisions (welterweight and lightweight).

Again the great thing about this card is how competitive these fights these top three fights will be. In fact, other than the London native Hardy, all are listed as favorites in the betting lines. Hardy is just a slight underdog to Swick.

The other great thing about these fights is they all have major implications not only to their respective divisions but to each fighter's title aspirations. Bisping will be looking to bounce back after his first ever KO at the hands of Dan Henderson while Kang wants to get his first UFC win. Then there's Couture and Vera, both looking to climb into the top 5 in the 205 lb division. And we already know what's at stake for Swick and Hardy -- a match with St.-Pierre only the best welterweight in the sport and arguably the best fighter overall.

If it sounds like I'm excited for Saturday to come, it's because I am. Who do I like? Well, I'm glad you asked. I'll take Vera by unanimous decision, Kang by split decision and Swick by 2nd round TKO. In the other fights I like Brown and Riley.

Hope you all enjoy the fights.

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