Hello once more fans and friends and welcome to the latest edition of “Crash Course”. “Crash Course” is a series of articles designed to give readers a quick rundown on all the relevant information they need to know heading into an upcoming major MMA event. Everything from why you should watch, what you should expect in the co-main and main event, and even where and when you can find it on TV is all covered in detail. So let’s get right to it with today’s edition, featuring UFC 131: “Dos Santos vs. Carwin”.
The Event: UFC 131 “Dos Santos vs. Carwin”, currently scheduled for June 11, 2011 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Five free preliminary fights will be shown on both Facebook and YouTube starting at 5:50 PM ET. Two additional fights will be shown on Spike TV starting at 8:00 PM ET. The main Pay-Per-View card will air live starting at 9:00 PM ET.
Why You Should Care: Several fights on this card have serious championship implications, chief of which is the main event. It doesn’t get much bigger than Junior dos Santos taking on Shane Carwin, with the winner more than likely getting the next shot at the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Kenny Florian also fights at Featherweight for the first time and will likely earn a title shot if he’s able to beat Diego Nunes.
What to Look Forward to in the Main Event: Someone is going down… hard. This is a fight where you’d be surprised not only if it went past the first round, but if it went past the first handful of minutes. These are two knockout artists that are very, very good at what they do. Cardio problems aside, Shane Carwin left a path of destruction on his way to becoming UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion. Likewise, no one has been able to stand up against JDS’s excellent striking, superb takedown defense, and incredible hand speed. It’s going to be an all-out war with both men swinging bombs from the get-go.
What to Look Forward to in the Co-Main Event: This fight will prove once and for all whether or not Kenny Florian chokes in big fights. It doesn’t get much bigger than “win this and you get a title shot”. Part of me wonders if that’s not a sign of blatant favoritism, but a larger part of me is very interested in seeing how Kenny Florian looks and fights at Featherweight. This is a drastic move for Kenny Florian, but it’s a drastic time for him as well. Florian will either show up at his best or Diego Nunes is going to make his name off of spoiling Florian’s Featherweight debut.
Why You Should Watch This Card: The main event is definitely a must-watch, since so many questions will be answered. Is Junior really ready for a title shot? Can Carwin live up to the hype of being a new man and a better fighter? Plus, you’ve got several match-ups that sound pretty interesting on paper.
Why You Shouldn’t Watch This Card: Other than the main event, no one fight in particular screams out to be watched, at least in my opinion. Florian/Nunes does have potential, but Florian’s star status has taken several big hits recently. You’ve also got the relatively-unknown Jon Olav Einemo fighting, as well as Demian Maia, who is nowhere near the star status he once held when he was submitting guys left and right. As much as I wish it wasn’t this way, this does seem to be a one-fight show, at least on paper.
Closing Thoughts: UFC 131 isn’t the strongest event I’ve ever seen the UFC put together, but it does have potential. Perhaps it’ll be the breath of fresh air I was hoping UFC 130 would be. That was a show that I said would be good and I ended up being wrong. This could end up being one of those shows where I don’t have any real strong opinion on it except for one or two fights, and then the quality of all the fights ends up pleasantly surprising me. I’m certainly willing to give the UFC the benefit of the doubt, so I’ll be watching this one.