July 10 will go down in UFC history as being the date that the UFC had it’s superbowl. UFC 200 has surpassed UFC 100 for star power and mainstream draw, and it can very well become the biggest gate in the company’s history.
Two weeks out, the UFC has announced the full and final card for the huge event coming out of Paradise, Nevada.
The Fight Pass Preliminary Card starts with; Jim Miller V Takanori Gomi, Gegard Mousasi V Thiago Santos & Diego Sanchez V Joe Lauzon. Then the Fox Sports Preliminary Card features pay-per-view worthy bouts all the way through, with; Sage Northcutt V Enrique Marin, Former Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw V Old Rival Raphael Assunção, Johny Hendricks V Kelvin Gastelum and Cat Zingano V Juliana Peña.
Enough of a card for any fight fan to walk away happy with, it then moves into the Main Card.
It starts with former Heavyweight Champion and one of the best ever, Cain Velasquez V Travis Browne. A litmus test for both fighters, with Cain coming off the lose of his heavyweight to Fabricio Werdum a year ago, whilst Browne, coming of a win against Matt Mitrione earlier this year, has had an indifferent two years, and will be looking to change his fortunes.
Then we have the rematch between former Featherweight Champion, Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar for the interim Featherweight Title. Aldo fights for the first time since his near 10 year undefeated run came to a shattering end, in a 13 second title fight with current Featherweight Champion Connor McGregor. Edgar comes in having dismantled Chad Mendes in his previous fight. Both men are in a good position to put on a show, with the winner facing McGregor down the line, most likely at the Madison Square Garden event later in the year.
Next up, Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Meisha Tate has her first title defense against Amanda Nunes. Tate took former champion Holly Holm to the edge, before holding on for a massive, and personally drought breaking win late in the fifth round. Nunes comes into this fight a three fight win streak and is taking the division by storm.
Then we turn to perhaps the most talked about fight in history, walk-off KO specialist Mark Hunt steps into the Octagon with the returning former Heavyweight Champion and current WWE superstar, Brock Lesnar. Announced mearly six weeks ago, the fight, Lesnar’s first since December of 2011, has been shrouded in controversy as Lesnar has been granted an exemption from the UFC strict USADA testing window. A decision which has caused much debate in the MMA community. None-the-less, it will be interesting to see what five years does to Lesnar, given that when came into the UFC the first time around, he took it by storm. A fight of contrasting styles, Lesnar’s grappling and Hunt’s boxing, it promises to be either a massive showing, or a huge let-down, nothing in between.
Then, after all that, we have the main event. The fight that any fan of the UFC has been waiting for, for a very long time. The Light Heavyweight Championship bout between current Champion Daniel Cormier and former Champion and pound for pound best in the world, Jon Jones. An ocean of bad blood between these two, it promises fireworks and if Cormier wins, it will deliver a bookend to a question that has loomed for going on 18 months.
A huge card with 5-star bouts all over it, July 10 promises to be one of the biggest days in UFC history. Fight of the Night bonuses will be a very difficult decision to make, and what ever comes from the night, will shape the card for what could very well overtake 200 – The Madison Square Garden Event later this year.