UFC 185 continues the trend of strong PPV events for the promotion so far in 2015, bringing with it two title fights, a key welterweight bout, an exciting, hard-hitting heavyweight clash, and a solid undercard.

To date, 2015 has been the UFC’s strongest year out of the gate in recent memory. The promotion’s first three PPV events have all performed at or above expectations, plus it had a fantastic event in UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver.

All in all, UFC fans have had plenty to tune in to, and UFC 185 is no different.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five reasons to watch the event.

1) A Solid Undercard

Until he suffered a setback against Oleksiy Oliynyk, Jared Rosholt was looking like a fighter who could make a run at the top fifteen in the UFC’s relatively thin heavyweight division. Having won his first three fights in the promotion, including one over the then top fifteen Soa Palelei, the only thing setting Rosholt back was his style: a smothering wrestling game.

Then came the Oliynyk fight. Facing a fighter known for his submissions, “The Big Show” found himself knocked out in a surprise finish. He now looks to get back on track Saturday against one-time training partner Josh Copeland.

The prelims also feature the younger Pettis brother, Sergio, fighting at flyweight for the first time in the UFC (on the Fight Pass portion), an interesting match-up between Sam Stout and Ross Pearson, and Elias Theodorou, winner of TUF Nations: Canada vs. Australia, looking to add another victory to his undefeated record.

2) Hendricks vs. Brown

If you want a reason to watch the PPV Saturday night, you can start at former champion Johny Hendricks vs. Matt Brown. Looking to get a shot at winning the belt he lost to Robbie Lawler in December back, Hendricks is hoping for a dominant performance here, but will he have more weight cutting woes?

Brown, meanwhile, also suffered his most recent defeat at the hands of Lawler, which ended his seven fight win streak in the promotion. Can he overcome Hendrick’s wrestling and one-punch knockout power?

3) The First Strawweight Title Defense

If you’re a fan of women’s MMA, or an MMA fan in general, do you really need to be sold on this title fight?

The UFC is doing the wise thing here by putting its newest division’s first title defense in a co-headlining slot, rather than adding the pressure of having to float an entire PPV on its own. And in reality, this fight is sandwiched between some great bouts. That said, Carla Esparza’s first title defense stands on its own. How will she fare against one of the best strikers in the division?

Tune in and see.

4) Nelson vs. Overeem — A Compelling Storyline, And Someone Goes To Sleep

There’s a narrative many are forgetting in the Roy Nelson vs. Alistair Overeem bout at UFC 185, and it’s that of PEDs. Performance enhancing drugs, and the battle of clean fighters vs. dirty ones. In Roy Nelson, you have perhaps the one man in the UFC who obviously isn’t on anything, at least until athletic commissions outlaw cheeseburgers. All joking aside, however, Nelson has been an outspoken voice in the call for a clean sport, going so far as to partner up with VADA in the past.

Good on Roy for doing so.

On the flip side, you have Alistair Overeem, a man many suspected of being chemically enhanced for years after he ballooned up from a frequently knocked out light heavyweight to a hulking behemoth who became a multi-organization heavyweight champ. When he finally failed a drug test in the months following his UFC debut against Brock Lesnar, many felt their suspicions were confirmed, especially when he returned from suspension looking far less toned physically. Then he went on a horrible run in the heavyweight division, losing three of four and at one point risking a cut from the promotion.

Yet despite the obvious storyline here — the portly everyman vs. the chemically engineered giant — little has been said between or about the two in this regard. Really, the biggest bit of promotion for Nelson vs. Overeem came from former Overeem teammate Matt Mitrione, who last week came right out and said that he couldn’t stand the guy.

Despite having been knocked out by him, it appears “Meathead” is rooting for Nelson in this one.

Speaking of knockouts, the other reason to watch this fight: there’s a good chance someone goes to sleep. There’s almost no way a fight between these two men ends in anything but a knockout.

5) Anthony Pettis Is That Good

Anthony Pettis says he wants to be the biggest draw in the UFC. If he continues to compliment his winning ways with flashy, insanely creative striking, he has a very good chance of succeeding. Water cooler talk isn’t always the best indicator of a fight’s popularity, but when the comments heard are along the lines of “if Pettis is fighting, I’m sold” than it can only be seen as a good sign.

Pettis is no doubt one of the most exciting athletes in the game today. Making a quick turnaround from his December win over Gilbert Melendez, he now goes up against a very tough opponent in Rafael dos Anjos, a fighter who is skilled both on the feet and on the ground.

Will the artistry of Pettis’ striking arsenal give him the edge over dos Anjos?

We’ll find out Saturday night.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.