As previously announced, the main card at UFC 160 will bring forth much ladder movement in the heavyweight and light divisions. In the main and co-main events, Cain Velasquez will fight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva a second time for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. The winner of this fight will face the winner of Junior Dos Santos and Mark Hunt. At lightweight, Gray Maynard will face off against T.J. Grant with the winner becoming the No. 1 contender to face champion Benson Henderson.
But there is the potential for other movement on the fight card as well. Let’s go over some of the more overlooked fights on the card:
Light Heavyweight: Glover Teixeira, James Te Huna
Teixeira was originally scheduled to face Ryan Bader, but an injury forced him out of the fight in late March. But in my opinion, this fight is a better one for Teixeira in his climb up the light heavyweight ladder. While Bader is certainly a bigger name than James Te Huna, the Australian has also been on the rise since beating Ryan Jimmo at UFC on Fuel TV 7.
Since neither has yet to fight high-level 205’er (no, “Rampage” Jackson and 2011 Alexander Gustafsson don’t count), the winner should certainly deserve a step up in opponent.
Welterweight: Mike Pyle
Mike “Quicksand” Pyle has had a Roy Nelson-esque UFC career. He’s won seven of his last nine fights, with the last three by way of first-round KO/TKO. But, like Nelson, it’s his losses that have really kept him at bay in the welterweight division — his last two have come against Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger. In spite of this, Pyle is still one of the better fighters at 170 and a finish against Rick Story could be his first step towards landing a top-ranked opponent.
Featherweight: Dennis Bermudez, Max Holloway
Both Dennis Bermudez and Max Holloway are riding three-fight win streaks into the Octagon tonight. They’re two of the better up-and-coming prospects at featherweight and will do battle in the prelims. Bermudez took a split decision over Matt Grice back in February and could certainly use an impressive win to climb his way up the ladder. The same goes for the 21-year old Holloway, who won a split decision over Leonard Garcia in December. The featherweight division is stacked at the moment, but with a win tonight, either fighter could find themselves a top-10 fighter at 145 next.