PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

October 12, 2013

David Estrada column: UFC bringing heavyweights to Houston

PORT ARTHUR — The UFC returns to Houston next weekend for the first time since 2011 and this

time it's got a distinct flavor much different than the last time.

    UFC 136 held in October 2011 was smaller fighter focused, featuring both the UFC

lightweight and UFC featherweight championships. UFC 166 being held next

Saturday will showcase to Houston Toyota Center fans the other end

of the spectrum – heavyweights.

    The main events of UFC 136 and UFC 166 provide an extraordinary juxtaposition.

    The main event of UFC 136 was the third bout of a trilogy between Frankie Edgar

and Gray "The Bully" Maynard. The UFC lightweight title was on the line for

this rubber match and Edgar won it via knockout to the roar of the Toyota Center

crowd. The main event of UFC 166 will be the third bout between Cain Velasquez

and Junior dos Santos. The UFC heavyweight title will be up for grabs with

Velasquez attempting to defend it.

    The co-main event of UFC 136 pitted featherweights against each other. Jose

Aldo went head-to-head with Kenny Florian for the title in that weight class.

At 145 pounds these two were as speedy and agile as MMA fighters get.

    The co-main event of UFC 166 will feature two heavyweight bruisers, Daniel Cormier

and Roy "Big Country" Nelson. Cormier hails from across the border in

Lafayette, L., and is an undefeated UFC heavyweight with Olympic-class

wrestling skills. Big Country Nelson is the beer drinker's champion with

legions of fans. Both Cormier and Nelson pack big power and are known to take a

punch.

    Size and style contrasts aside, UFC 166 will offer fans other compelling bouts

deeper than its top-heavyness.

    One bout on the main card fans have circled is the Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego

Sanchez lightweight showdown. Melendez has long been regarded as a top three

lightweight fighter while fighting in the Strikeforce promotion. Sanchez is a

UFC lightweight stalwart and original Ultimate Fighter champion.

    Both are known    for putting on the most exciting bouts in MMA so fans are salivating for this

pairing.

    The UFC's smallest weight class, flyweight, will also be represented on the main

card. The Ultimate Fighter 14 flyweight champion, John Dodson will face Darrell

Montague. Dobson has the tools to become the outright UFC flyweight title

holder and Montague can be viewed as a test for him. This flyweight matchup

will be like fireworks compared to bombs that are the heavyweights.

    For Southeast Texas fans who could not make it over the the Toyota Center, the

UFC 166 main event will be available on pay-per-view. Additionally, the

preliminary fights will air on Fox Sports 1 (TWC 97, DISH 150, DIRECTV 219)

starting at 7 PM Central.

    David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News. He can be e-mailed at

DavidEstrada@DavidEstrada.com

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