When asked what they’re looking forward to in early February, many sports fans will say the Super Bowl of course, but the next thing that comes to mind is UFC 126. The UFC has put together a great card for Super Bowl weekend that should not disappoint. A total of 11 fights, including a championship bout, will take place on Saturday. The event will be televised live on PPV from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Two Brazilian fighters will step into the octagon in the main event of the evening as reigning middleweight champion, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, will take on Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort. Both have trained with each other in the past, but any friendship they have will be out of their minds on February 6th. Anderson Silva has held the middleweight belt ever since 2006 and has 7 title defenses (both are UFC records). In his previous bout against trash talker Chael Sonnen, Silva was dominated for the first 4 rounds, but was able to come back and submit Sonnen in the 5th by triangle choke. The champion has another tough challenge against long time MMA veteran Vitor Belfort. Belfort first competed in the UFC at UFC 12 in 1997. In his last fight back in September 2009, he defeated Rich Franklin by way of knockout in the 1st round. Belfort has won a majority of his fights by knockout (13 of 19), but will have problems trying to do the same to Silva, who has never been put to sleep. The key to the fight will be which Anderson Silva shows up? If he leaves his hands down and taunts his opponent the entire fight, there will be a new champ. Belfort is not going to have any of that. However, “The Spider” is still the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. His skills are off the charts whenever he chooses to use them. It’s hard to pick against the champ in this one, especially when it’s Anderson Silva.

In the co-main event, former champions square off as Forrest Griffin faces Rich “Ace” Franklin. Forrest has been on a fairly long layoff ever since his fight with Tito Ortiz back at UFC 106. Now after having shoulder surgery, he is back and looking to make another run in the 205 lbs. division. Rich Franklin currently has a ton of momentum coming off of his knockout victory over Chuck Liddell in June 2010. The win was huge for Franklin as he chooses to continue to fight in the light heavyweight division. This is a great matchup where either one could be declared the victor. In a welterweight bout, Jake Ellenberger will face Carlos Eduardo Rocha. Ellenberger is coming off two impressive wins over Mike Pyle and John Howard (finishing both). Rocha made his UFC debut in 2010 where he finished Kris McCray by 1st round submission. Wherever the fight goes will determine the winner of this contest. Ellenberger needs to keep it standing and not get caught on the ground by Rocha’s top level Jiu-Jitsu. A big fight in the light heavyweight is also featured on the card as Jon “Bones” Jones will fight undefeated Ryan “Darth” Bader. Jones has won his last two fights in the first round, both by elbow strikes. Bader, an All-American wrestler in college, is undefeated in the UFC, and will look to work his way up closer to a title shot. Also on the card is former WEC star, Miguel Angel Torres. He will take on fellow WEC alum, Antonio Banuelos. After two straight losses, Torres earned a victory over Charlie Valencia and will look to get his belt back. Banuelos is a former longtime WEC fighter and will make his debut in the UFC, along with Torres.

Predictions:

UFC Middleweight Championship: Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort- Anderson should be back to being “The Spider” the fans loved. Belfort will be a tough task though. Don’t be surprised to see a new champion…

Prediction- Anderson Silva, 2nd round KO

Forrest Griffin vs. Rich Franklin- Very good matchup of former champs. This could go either way, but after retiring Chuck Liddell, it’s hard not to pick “Ace”

Prediction- Rich Franklin, unanimous decision

Jake Ellenberger vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha- Many do not believe Ellenberger is for real, but he will prove a point against Rocha.

Prediction- Jake Ellenberger, 1st round TKO

Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader- This fight has so much riding on it. A win for either guy would put them right at the top for a title shot. Jones’s style and length is so hard to counter, and will be a problem for Bader.

Prediction- Jon Jones, unanimous decision

Miguel Torres vs. Antonio Banuelos- Torres is without a doubt the tallest fighter in the bantamweight division. His height is a huge factor for anyone he faces. Look for Torres to get hot and move back to the top of the 135 lb. division.

Prediction- Miguel Torres, 2nd round TKO

Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa- Mendes and his Team Roughhouse teammates will look to make themselves known in the UFC. First task: Mendes earning a victory over Michihiro Omigawa.

Prediction- Chad Mendes, unanimous decision

Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Demetrious Johnson- “The Kid” makes his long awaited UFC debut. Johnson makes his debut as well. Yamamoto will look to show his skills in the U.S. and will impressively.

Prediction- Norifumi Yamamoto, 2nd round KO

Paul Kelly vs. Donald Cerrone- “The Cowboy” will make his UFC debut against brawler Paul Kelly. Should be exciting, but the submission game of Cerrone will be the deciding factor.

Prediction- Donald Cerrone, 1st round submission

Paul Taylor vs. Gabe Ruediger- Taylor has lost 2 straight and is in need of a win here. Look for him to make a statement to stay in the UFC.

Prediction- Paul Taylor, 3rd round KO

Kyle Kingsbury vs. Ricardo Romero- The ground game of Romero will have to be countered for Kingsbury to win this fight.

Prediction- Ricardo Romero, 2nd round submission

Mike Pierce vs. Kenny Robertson- Robertson will be making his UFC debut. Many do not know about him, but people will.

Prediction- Kenny Robertson, unanimous decision

About The Author

Josh Davis
President and Site Director
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Josh Davis is the owner and President of The MMA Corner, LLC. He has been a fan of mixed martial arts since seeing UFC 1 in his hometown. In addition to his The MMA Corner responsibilities, Josh is the editor of Scrapp! Fight Magazine. Josh has also written for MMA Unleashed and MMA Sports magazines. Josh also manages some of Colorado's best up and coming fighters and is dedicated to the positive promotion of the sport.