This Saturday, October 23, 2010, the UFC makes its return to the Honda Center, formerly known as Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. Brock Lesnar is set to defend his World Heavyweight Championship against undefeated number one contender Cain Velasquez.

Also on the card: former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields makes his UFC debut and former UFC Lightweight champion Tito Ortiz makes his return to the Octagon for the first time after he had to pull out of his TUF coaching position to have surgery. Not only is the UFC 121 PPV broadcast being shown in select Fathom movie theaters, Spike TV is also going to air two preliminary fights, maybe more if time allows.

Make sure to leave you UFC 121 pick here for a chance to win a Born Stringer shirt, now let’s take a look at all the fights on the card and see how they breakdown:

To start the night, unbeaten Heavyweight Jon Madsen (6-0) tries to keep his record clean against veteran Gilbert “The Hurricane” Yvel (36-15-2). Madsen, a former TUF 10 competitor, hasn’t shown the knockout power he possesses since making his UFC debut, picking up back-to-back-to-back decisions after starting his career with three straight finishes. Yvel, who has a history of poor sportsmanship early on in his career, has been winless inside the Octagon and desperately needs a victory in this fight to avoid the possible axe from UFC brass. Both men are going to have to use movement to avoid any big shots, stick to their own game plan and keep the pressure on the other man.

As the seats start to fill, former TUF 11 fighter Chris Camozzi (13-3) steps back into the Octagon to face the undefeated Korean Dong “The Ox” Yi Yang (9-0). Camozzi is a well-rounded fighter, with backgrounds in Muay Thai, Judo and BJJ, and is comfortable wherever the fight takes him as is evident by his nearly equal number of KO, SUB, and DEC victories. In nine fights, Yang has eight TKO victories and will be looking for a ninth. Consequently, Camozzi has never been knocked out, so this fight could be his first or it may just be Yang’s first loss.

Up next, in the only fight on the card without an American fighter, Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout (15-6-1) and “Relentless” Paul Taylor (10-5-2) look to bounce back from losses and get back on the right track. Unfortunately, only one of these men can walk away with a victory, so they are going to battle it out. With eight Fight of the Night awards between the two, expect another great fight, and possibly a ninth award. It’s no secret that these two love to stand and bang, so expect an exciting stand up war when these two are locked inside the Octagon.

The final fight before the Spike TV broadcast features Mike “The Joker” Guymon (12-3-1) and Daniel “Ninja” Roberts (10-1).  Both fighters are coming off decision victories and need to perform well if they want to move up the Welterweight ladder. Both men are also 1-1 in the UFC and could potentially be cut following a lackluster performance on this night. Although Roberts is only a Blue Belt in BJJ, he holds a grappling record of 69-14, and has won the majority of his fights via submission. It will be a good fight between these two, with the winner being the man who is quicker and can work his game plan best.

The first fight to be broadcast on Spike TV is between Patrick “The Predator” Cote (13-6) and “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (6-3-1). Both fighters are in a tough spot, having lost two fights in a row and a third loss could be the end of their UFC run. Each of their last fight was at UFC 113 in Montreal in which they both lost via submission. Now, with their careers on the line and only themselves to blame, it’s going to come down to whoever really wants it more.

The final preliminary fight, also being shown on Spike TV matches up TUF 11 winner Court “The Crusher” McGee (12-1) with Ryan Jensen (15-6). Court’s lone loss came early in his career to MMA veteran Jeremy Horn. Ever since then he’s been on tear, stopping four of six opponents, including Kris McCray to win TUF 11 and Submission of the Night. Jensen has gone 2-4 in the UFC, but also picked up a Submission of the Night in his last fight against Jesse Forbes. Both of these guys come out of highly respectable gyms (The Pit and Jackson’s Submission Fighting), so they are surrounded by talent in training camp. This is no training, though, and it’s going to be a tough fight when these two butt heads.

To open up the main card, another former TUF competitor, Brendan “The Hybrid” Shaub (6-1), takes on veteran Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (11-5). This is an interesting fight simply because all of Shaub’s victories are knockouts, and all of Gonzaga’s losses are knockouts. Gonzaga, however, is dangerous on his feet and on the ground, an aspect of Shaub’s game that we have yet to see much of. Whoever lands the big shot first, wins this fight.

Up next is the battle of “Teacher vs. Student” when “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (15-7-1) takes on former protégé Matt “The Hammer” Hamill (9-2). Although Tito hasn’t won a fight since 2006, he hasn’t let it deter him from pushing forward. After pulling out of the UFC 115 fight with nemesis Chuck Liddell, Tito had surgery to repair some old injuries. Coming into this fight, Tito is quoted as saying “Hamill has a soft head, because he’s deaf… they have no equilibrium, so they have a soft head.” This gave Hamill more fuel to the already burning fire, not because Tito insulted him, but because he insulted the Deaf Community. Hamill is almost exactly like a young Tito Ortiz, and he is out to prove that the student has surpassed the teacher.

The next fight is Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez (21-4), in his second crack at Welterweight in the UFC, as he takes on Paulo Thiago (13-2). In his last fight at Welterweight, Diego was picked apart by John Hathaway and end up losing a decision, which was his return to the division after being destroyed by BJ Penn at Lightweight. Thiago is also coming off a decision loss in his last fight, after Martin Kampmann had his way with him for three rounds back at UFC 115. Both of these men really need a win if they want to move forward in the stacked division that they are in.

The co-main event of the evening is a battle between former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields (25-4-1), making his return to Welterweight, and Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann (17-3). Jake Shields has not fought at Welterweight since last summer as he won and defended the Strikeforce Middleweight belt before making his way to the UFC. He has also not lost a fight since December of 2004. Kampmann, who is on a two-fight win streak, would love to not only be the first man to beat Shields in over five years, but also the first man to beat him in the UFC.

Coming into this fight, Shields is heavily favored after his fight with MMA Legend Dan Henderson. Dana White has made claims that if Shields wins, he is next in line for the title shot and we can only assume that the same goes for Kampmann as well, adding some extra motivation to knock off the popular Shields.

Finally, the moment you have all been waiting for: the Main Event of the evening.

 Defending his UFC Heavyweight Championship against Cain Velasquez (8-0) is current champion, “The Next Big Thing” Brock Lesnar (5-1). After his submission victory over Shane Carwin at 116(that NOBODY predicted), Lesnar was back in his lair… I mean gym… hard at work preparing for Velasquez. However, Velasquez has been preparing for this fight since February after his knockout of legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. In the Carwin fight, Lesnar’s shaky standup was exposed so he brought in fellow heavyweight, Pat Barry, to work on his striking and kicking. This fight has been highly anticipated since it was announced that the winner of Lesnar/Carwin would face Cain for the title. With the power the guys hold, and only two decisions between them (14 fights), this is more than likely not going to the judges’ score cards.

This card features seven former TUF competitors, which just goes to show the success of the reality show. It is also one of the biggest, most stacked cards so far this year, and looks to live up to the hype that has been built around it.

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