Even though this card has taken a couple of hits – losing Jon Jones due to legal issues and Khabib Nurmagomedov to injury – this is easily the most enticing fight card the UFC has put together in a long time.

On Saturday, May 23, 2013, the UFC heads to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, for UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier.

On Saturday, a new light heavyweight champion will be crowned, the UFC middleweight championship is up for grabs and at least a half dozen other intriguing matchups on the card. This is the kind of card fight fans expect to get when they are asked to shell out their hard earned money.

The Return of John Dodson

The UFC flyweight division is one of the least popular division’s in the company. For whatever reason, flyweights just don’t resonate with the fans. But Dodson could be the exception to that rule. An explosive athlete with vicious knockout power, Dodson is a different breed. He’s the kind of fighter fans want to watch. Hopefully he can help the division gain some traction.

Heavyweight Tilt

If there is one thing fight fans love, it’s heavyweights. There is just something special about watching two giant men go toe to toe. On Saturday, Travis Browne and Andrei Arlovski will battle it out. Considering the lack of depth in the division, the winner of this bout very well could be fighting for the title by year’s end. With 29 combined knockout wins, there is a good chance someone will be going to sleep.

The Donald Cerrone Show

When you think of exciting fighters, there are a few names that come to mind. But none truly hold a candle to Cerrone at this point in time. Every time Cerrone steps into the Octagon, a great fight takes place. In the last 3+ years, Cerrone has only lost twice; once to the former champion Anthony Pettis and once to the current champion Rafael dos Anjos. You don’t win 14 “Fight Night” bonuses between the UFC and WEC for being a lackluster fighter.

Middleweight Title Fight

This fight has been in the works for well over a year now and finally middleweight champion Chris Weidman will look to defend his title against Vitor Belfort. This should be an excellent bout between two of the best middleweights in the world. Can Weidman deal with Belfort’s power and hand speed? Can Belfort stop Weidman’s wrestling game? These are just a couple of the questions that will be answered on Saturday.

A New Light Heavyweight Champion Will Be Crowned

There are going to be many out there who call the winner of Saturday’s bout for the now vacant UFC light heavyweight weight title a “Paper Champion”. But make no mistake, both Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier deserve to be recognized as the champion until Jones gets his act together. They are two of the best in the sport today and they deserve this opportunity.

Johnson and Cormier didn’t ask for the situation to play out this way. And you can’t blame them for jumping at the opportunity. If and when Jones gets his issues squared away, the winner of Saturday’s bout will gladly be there to welcome Jones back to the UFC with an opportunity to reclaim the title.

This is a great matchup that could play out in one of two ways. First, Johnson is able to stuff Cormier’s takedowns and he batters to a pulp on the feet with his brutal power. Or Johnson can’t stop the takedowns and Cormier batters him on the ground with brutal ground and pound. Either way, it’s going to be fun to watch.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.