Tomorrow night, Saturday, April 4th, the UFC is taking its top fighters to Fairfax, Virginia’s Patriot Center for UFC Fairfax – Mendes vs Lamas! If the ultimate “Top Reason” isn’t enough for you – 10 completely free-to-watch MMA fights – here are my best recommendations of what not to miss, tomorrow night.
The Last Ride, Potentially
There are a few fighters on this card who have already earned the respect and admiration of countless thousands. Unfortunately, mixed martial arts is not a venue for distance swimming in the current of damaging blows, as age increases the ever-present threat of injury. UFC Fairfax is home to a fair share of past-prime fighters who hope through new strategy, grit, and determination to elongate their careers at the highest level. Easier said than done.
When careers near their end, it doesn’t mean skills diminish. It’s more a physiological degradation than anything. Therefore, the fan’s fun factor doesn’t reduce by having some old dogs on the card. They’ve still got the skills to get it all done in the strongest fashion.
First, there’s Clay Guida. If you’ve heard of him, or have been a fan, you better not miss this event. With all his miles, it’s a wonder he’s still going at it. I wrote about Clay in depth on Today’s Knockout in my Betting Odds Breakdown for his fight against Robbie Peralta. So, I’ll focus more on the next guy, here. Needless to say, if you want to see him anywhere near his best, you’re running out of opportunities. Take this one!
Gray Maynard is best known for his trilogy with Frankie Edgar. Such a large and powerful lightweight, he was Frankie’s first loss. They next fought to a Draw in one of the greatest fights of all time. It was UFC 125‘s Fight of the Night and 2011’s Fight of the Year. Finally, and surprisingly, after another tremendous effort against “The Answer”, Gray Maynard was KO’d in their third match. After beating Clay Guida in a split decision, he’s gone 0-3, all losses by knockout. He faces a fighter on a losing streak in what may be his final shot at getting his act together, and your final chance to see him shine, at 35-years-old.
Liz Carmouche is best known for giving Ronda Rousey the scare of her career, but today, in this fight, it’s even stevens. She’s already lost to a laundry list of top women’s competitors, and has seen her stock plummet since the time she challenged for UFC gold. If she still belongs among the Top-5 female fighters, now is her last chance to prove it.
Pay-per-view Quality Fights
Chad Mendes vs Ricardo Lamas is a pay-per-view fight, no doubt about it. If you can’t watch the entire show (10 fights is a lot), tune in near the end of the broadcast and be sure not to miss this five round affair. Mendes is worth every moment you give the kid. He’s one half of my 2014 Fight of the Year and I get the feeling he has destiny behind him. A win here means so much. It opens up future fights with Frankie Edgar, Conor McGregor, and even a trilogy with Jose Aldo. Ricardo Lamas is essentially just as talented, and can make a fight of it with technique and evasion.
The co-main event has as much promise, though truthfully its competitors are not so highly rated as those aforementioned. Nevertheless, Jorge Masvidal vs “Raging” Al Iaquinta is a potential barn-burner. Masvidal may be a fighter with a proclivity towards decisions, but he can hang with the best of them. His fights are rarely dull at his own expense, if they are dull at all. With Iaquinta in the other corner, I can’t foresee anything less than shot trading excitement. It’s a good match.
Overall, UFC Fairfax is an event I’m excited about. Though it hasn’t been marketed so effortfully, it can carry its own. I’m betting it delivers, and hope you tune in.