UFC 132: A Battle of the Veterans

UFC 132 features 5 fighters who are 30 or older out of 10 total fighters on the main card. This is poised to be one of the “oldest” cards in UFC history. The main event will feature Dominick Cruz, current bantamweight title holder, against Urijiah Faber. Originally UFC 132 was scheduled to feature BJ Penn and Jon Fitch but both fighters were forced to withdraw from competition due to injury. Could this be a night that buries some of the washed up veterans from the UFC for good or extend their legacies?
Well for one fighter, I feel it will almost certainly be the former. That is Tito Ortiz. He has not won any of his last 5 fights, dating back to UFC 66. His last win was against a washed up Ken Shamrock who was on a 3 loss streak at the time. As to why Dana White allowed Ortiz to have this fight against Ryan Bader is beyond me. He is just asking to finish his career with another loss. Ryan Bader, 28 years old, has a 12-1 record with his only loss being against Jon Jones (who went on to become the light heavyweight champion two UFC events later). I can say without a doubt this will be the end of Tito Ortiz’s career.
Another notable fight features Chris Leben against Wanderlei Silva. Both fighters feature knockout power and it is unlikely these two fighters go the distance. 70% of Silva’s wins have been via knockout and 52% of Leben’s wins have been via knockout. Although Silva has lost his last 5 of 7, his last fight was a win against UFC veteran, Michael Bisping. On the contrary, Chris Leben has won his last 3 of 4 fights, yet lost his last fight against Brian Stann. This fight could go either way, but I’ll take Wanderlei Silva via KO, due to having a 4 inch reach advantage.
Not to go unnoticed of course is the main event between Dominick Cruz and Urijiah Faber. Cruz is 17-1, but is should be noted that one loss comes from none other than Urijiah Faber back in 2007. Many felt that Faber was too old to win against Eddie Wineland. He proved critics wrong by taking a decisive victory against him. Although Faber is 32, “the California kid” still has fight left in him. Cruz is only 25 though and may overwhelm Faber through his top notch conditioning and youthful agility. 10 of his 17 wins have gone the distance, demonstrating his pristine shape. I am taking the upset, and giving the veteran the win this time. Faber will continue to be Cruz’s obstacle.
So although UFC 132 was formerly scheduled to feature Penn and Fitch, the event is still loaded with interesting fights. While none of the fights are exciting enough to be an originally scheduled main event, I see 4 of these 5 fights having co-main event interest and hype surrounding them. The fourth fight that I did not mention is Carlos Condit against Kim Dong-hyun. Kim is slowly creeping his way up in the UFC. He is undefeated at 14-0-1 and 5-0 in the UFC. Don’t be surprised to see this rising star get his title shot very soon.