Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
UFC 204 is special night in many ways. Michael Bisping returns home to defend his title against long-time rival Dan Henderson, while the Manchester Arena will be rocking in the early hours of the British morning with the main card expecting to start at 3am local time in order to cater for the North American pay-per-view market.
Saturday will also see the first PPV to be held in the EMEA market (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) since UFC 112—the ill-fated Abu Dhabi show which saw Frankie Edgar unexpectedly, and controversially to some, dethrone BJ Penn of his lightweight title, while Anderson Silva danced around and openly mocked opponent Demian Maia during a bizarre title defense of his middleweight crown. Bisping will be hoping to emulate Silva’s success at UFC 204, though I doubt he’ll be opting to do it in the same manner of the Brazilian showboater.
The main event is what sells this particular fight card—it was a fight many fans were clamoring for despite it not making much sense from a rankings perspective. However, there are solid match-ups throughout with bouts such as Vitor Belfort vs Gegard Mousasi, Stefan Struve vs Daniel Omielanczuk and Iuri Alcantara vs Brad Pickett. Those are some good fights, but nothing sends the pulses racing quite like the light heavyweight showdown between Ovince Saint Preux, otherwise known as “OSP” and Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa.
Both men are knockout artists with plenty to prove having lost their last bouts—with OSP losing a late notice decision in an interim title fight against the disgraced Jon Jones, while Manuwa was knocked out upcoming title contender Anthony Johnson back in September 2015. Despite their failings in their last outings in the UFC’s Octagon, both OSP and Jimi Manuwa never fail to provide plenty of action.
OSP, ….View full article