The Co-main event between Forrest Griffin and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 114 was scrapped yesterday due to shoulder injury to Griffin. Jason Brilz on three weeks notices will be stepping in to face lil Nog but the fight will likely be moved down off the co-main event status. Another light Heavyweight fight announced was up and comming star Jon Jones versus the veteren Vladimir Matyushenko at the UFC on Versus 2. This left many fans wondering why Joe Silva would not match the two explosive strikers together (little Nogueira and Bones Jones) and the two wrestling based fighters (Brilz and Matushenko).  I am actually fond of the matchups, and believe it’s the UFC thinking with their head and building up new fighters on a tear before letting them take a swim with the top sharks of the division. 

Jason Brilz is 18-2-1, has a wrestling based fighting style and is coming off a win against a submission specialist with decent hands in Eric Schafer. While Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is 18-3, has a strong striking and submission game and is coming off a brutal Knockout of powerful striker in Luiz Cane.  This fight will show how Nogueira does against a powerful wrestler who holds good position, but I am expecting this to turn out like the recent TKO over a wrestler in Matushenko back in 2009. 

Jon Jones 10-1 MMA will get a challenge in his take down defense versus a veteran strong hearted wrestler in Vladimir Matyushenko 24-4 MMA.  It will be good to see how Jones faces someone who will most likely chase the first takedown and it will be interesting to see how he does off his back (if the fight goes there). Jon Jones is still considered fresh but did dominate a true test in Brandon Vera by breaking his face early in the first round. 

These fights promise to test attributes unseen in the octagon for the rising stars and gives some relatively unknown fighters a chance at the spotlight. All of these fights will do their job to answer questions about new and old fighter’s capabilities, and if Jones and Nogueira win their records and experience in the octagon can only benefit.

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