UFC 185 looms, and as pay-per-view cards have been going lately, this one promises to at least be pretty alright. But where’s the buzz? Sure, neither the beloved Ronda Rousey nor the polarizing Jon Jones are on the card, but lightweight champ Anthony Pettis is a needle-mover, right? Sadly, not so much, and his supporting cast on Saturday night includes a bunch of almost-weres and not-quite-there-yets. Which is fine, not everyone can be superstars, but to make UFC 185 great – and future cards featuring some of these cats intriguing – some things need to happen. And here they are!
- Anthony Pettis needs to win spectacularly or lose spectacularly. – Pettis has thrilled us with some gravity-defying moves and dispatched the best to become and stay champ. Why, then, isn’t he the kind of rockstar that makes for must-see TV? Well, for starters, most of us remember him getting absolutely tooled by Clay “Cut Your Hair You Damn Hippie” Guida, and though he’s put away everyone else since then, that first Octagon impression has proven to be a lasting one. Therefore, the dude needs to either come out of his corner on Saturday night levitating and shooting fireballs, or he needs to get smoked by Rafael dos Anjos hard, setting up a rematch and a possibly drama-filled rivalry. Otherwise, why tune in to watch someone if they’re not awe-inspiring or they don’t have a significant storyline attached to them?
- Carla Esparza must go. – The wrong person won TUF 20. Yes, Esparza was significantly better than Rose Namajunas that night at the TUF 20 Finale, but as we saw with the 135-pound female division when it was first starting out, you need a champ who’s exciting as hell and takes risks, and that ain’t Esparza. Hopefully, Joanna Jedrzejczyk kicks ass at UFC 185 and takes the champ’s strawweight belt. Otherwise, this new women’s division is going to be full of “meh”.
- Alistair Overeem must get crushed. – Someone please end this guy’s UFC career already. He’s great at being a big, overwhelming bully, but he absolutely withers against the tougher members of the heavyweight division. Begone, horse-meat eater!
- Henry Cejudo needs to make weight and start being a badass. – The flyweight division, and its champ, Demetrious Johnson, are in dire need of top contenders who will elevate the level of competition and excitement level, and Olympic Gold Medalist wrestler Cejudo could be that guy if he ever made weight. COME ON, FATSO. Seriously, “Mighty Mouse” is literally stagnating and dying on the vine in a division that needs a boost in a bad way. If Cejudo could just live up to one iota of the hype behind him, he could be the man who could make a pay-per-view headlined by flyweights worthwhile.
- Either Matt Brown or Johny Hendricks should go out in a blaze of glory. – This one needs no explanation. Someone must fall here in grand, exciting fashion to set up a rematch with champ Robbie Lawler – ’cause Rory MacDonald sure ain’t going to do anything with Lawler that will make for a fun welterweight championship bout.