The Port Arthur News
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
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
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