The UFC returns to Toronto's Aire Canada Centre with a card that has one goal; make fans forget about the debacle that was the canceled UFC 151. After weeks of speculation, finger pointing, and Twitter feuds UFC 152 should do just that with two championships up for grabs and a flurry of some of the sport's biggest stars entering the cage.
The light-heavyweight number one contender spot has been a game of musical chairs and a former champion of the division division has landed in that seat as Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort will be the next challenger to try to solve the mystery of how to defeat the dominant Jon "Bones" Jones. The UFC will also crown its first ever flyweight champion when tournament finalists Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson do battle for the vacant 125 lbs belt.
Let's break down the action.
Cub Swanson vs. Charles Oliveira
After dropping his UFC debut to Ricardo Lamas last November, Swanson is surging with back to back wins and looking to get to the top of the featherweight division. Both of those recent wins have come in the form of second round knockouts over tough opponents in George Roop and Ross Pearson. When the 145 lbs title resided in the now defunct WEC, Swanson's shot at the gold was ended by a Jose Aldo flying knee just eight seconds into the contest. A win over Oliveira could slide him back in to the top ten and one step closer to another shot.
After going 2-2 (1 NC) as a UFC lightweight Oliveira is now 2-0 at 145lbs. Both wins have come by impressive submissions and his reverse calf slicer over Eric Wisely earned him a submission of the night bonus check. Although best known for his ground work, the 22-year-old Brazilian is comfortable on his feet. At 16-2 for his career, all but one of his wins have ended before regulation time- nine by submission and 6 by knockout.
Analysis and prediction: Oliveira's only losses have come from top UFC lightweights Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone. Swanson is gamer with solid jiu-jitsu himself but he's just not in the class of opponents that Oliveira has faced. Expect the Brazilian to land something hard while standing then end it with a choke in the second round.
Matt Hamill vs. Roger Hollett
Okay, so you're not exactly jazzed about a Matt Hamill fight? You don't think he's very good, right? Matt Hamill has four losses in his career- four. In fairness, he was catching a severe beating from Jon Jones before Jones was disqualified for illegal elbows, but all of Jones' opponents have caught beatings. Hammill has losses to Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin, Rampage Jackson, and Alexander Gustaffson. Those fighters carry a combined record of 97-21. "The Hammer" is as powerful as any of the top light-heavyweights in the world and has proven to have the ability to both control and finish fights in spectacular fashion. He holds notable victories over Mark Munoz, Tito Ortiz, and Tim Boetsch.
Hollett will be making his UFC debut after one fight with Bellator and 15 in various other organizations. The only Canadian on the...