Everyone knows the big fights at UFC 134. Anderson Silva will be defending his Middleweight title against Yushin Okami, Big Nog will try to get his groove back against Brendan Schaub and Forrest Griffin and Shogun Rua are going to run it back in a rematch of their UFC 76 classic. However, there are a few other fights on the card that will definitely be entertaining. Let’s take a quick look at the fights flying under the radar at UFC 134.
Ross Pearson vs. Edson Barboza
This fight is going to be pretty fun while it lasts. Ross Pearson of course was the winner of the Winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 9, and has since run up an impressive record inside the UFC of 4-1, with his lone defeat coming at the hands of Cole Miller. At UFC 134, he’ll be in Brazil facing an undefeated Brazilian Muay Thai expert in Edson Barboza. Edson has twice entered the rare air of the UFC Octagon and both times came out on top.
What makes this fight so interesting is Barboza has amazing striking, and Pearson loves to brawl. Pearson has a background of Judo, Taekwondo and boxing and will definitely find a willing participant in Edson to stand and trade. Pearson possesses h hands and Barboza is lightning quick and can be devastating with his hands as well, knocking out six of the eight men he’s faced. If you love striking, you’ll be a fan of this match on the main card of UFC 134.
Rousimar Palhares vs. Dan Miller
This fight will definitely be fun. Dan Miller might only be 2-4 in his last six, but he brings a well-rounded style into the cage with him and is always very game. Palhares has the most fitting nickname in MMA, “Toquinho” which means tree stump, and if you look at him, you’ll understand. The Brazilian submission and grappling sensation loves the leg locks and with Miller being a wrestler, you can expect this to hit the mat at some point.
Palhares has submitted his opponents in 9 of the 12 of his victories. Of those nine, six were leg locks and once he was suspended for holding one of them too long against Tomasz Drwal. He’s a nasty little tree stump and his submissions are filthy. Expect this one to be exciting and with his home country cheering him on, look for Palharres to try and take a leg with him to the after-party.
David Mitchell vs. Paulo Thiago
David Mitchell is a talented fighter who will be coming off of the first loss of his career. He will most certainly be chomping at the bit for a shot at redemption. That shot comes in the form of improved striker and all around scary individual, Paulo Thiago. Mitchell is a submission player, winning nine of eleven fights by submission. He will be facing a striker, wrestler, Jiu Jitsu player in Thiago. Paulo is a member of BOPE (Batalhão de Operações Especiais) which is the elite special forces of Police in Brazil. You have to be a legitimate badass to be in it, and Thiago, despite looking like Sam the Eagle from the Muppets, certainly is.
Paulo burst onto the UFC scene by knocking out Josh Koscheck at UFC 95 and then after a loss to Jon Fitch won a couple more including a beautiful submission of Mike Swick. He looked like he was about to take the next step, but two consecutive losses to Martin Kampmann and Diego Sanchez brought him back to earth. He now finds himself fighting for his UFC career. You get the feeling that putting Thiago’s back against the wall is a scary proposition, tune in and find out at UFC 134.