1. Will The Referee Have A Major Impact On The Outcome Of The Main Event?
In the past week I wrote about the possibility that that the referee may influence the outcome of the Nogueira – Velasquez fight. If he is prone to early stoppages I believe it benefits Velasquez, whereas if he gives the fighters time to work their way out of danger then that could favor Nogueira. Hopefully the fight won’t end with a controversial stoppage, but the way these two guys fight, it is a possibility.
2. What effect will Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s new training regime have on his performance?
Coming in to this fight much of the talk about Nogueira has been about his training regime which has been designed to improve his speed, explosiveness and all-round athleticism. The Brazilian has never been the most athletic fighter so at the age of 33 this seems like a good plan, but will it be enough to keep up with younger Velasquez?
3. Is Michael Bisping mentally prepared to fight a legend like Wanderlei Silva?
On the surface Bisping might appear confident and cocky, but if you look closely there are signs that nerves can get the better of him on the big stage. The knockout loss against Dan Henderson, which he has not been allowed to forget since, will surely be playing on his mind when he steps into the cage against a heavy hitter like Silva, but if he lets it effect him and is timid in the stand-up exchanges then he is at risk of taking another nap on the canvas.
4. What effect, if any, will the weight cut to 185lbs have on Wanderlei Silva?
Last year Silva had some difficulties getting down to 195lbs to fight Rich Franklin, and tonight will be the first time in his career that he has fought at 185lbs. On the evidence of last night’s weigh-ins Silva looked in good shape, but we won’t truly know what toll the cut has had on him until the fight starts. It will also be interesting to see if he has kept his famed K.O power during his transition to middleweight.
5. Can either George Sotiropolous or Anthony Perosh produce an upset?
The two Aussies on the main card come into their bouts as underdogs, with Perosh in particular being given little hope of overcoming Mirko Cro Cop after stepping in as a late replacement this week. Sotiropolous on the other hand is talented enough to give Joe Stevenson some problems, and with 16,000 of his fellow Australians cheering him on, you never know what might happen.
6. Will Mirko Cro Cop suffer From Another ‘Mental Block’ inside the octagon?
After his last defeat to Junior Dos Santos, Cro Cop admitted that he appeared to be suffering from a mental block in the UFC that had prevented him from fighting to the best of his abilities. Surely he won’t have the same problems against a fighter like Anthony Perosh though, who steps in as a late replacement on just two days notice? If he does then it will undoubtedly be time for the Croatian to hang up his gloves.
7. Is Keith Jardine’s future at risk if he loses tonight?
In the build up to UFC 110 we discussed the fact that a number of the fighters on the card are at risk of being cut due to their recent form. Since then Ben Rothwell has pulled out of his fight, and Dana White has confirmed that Wanderlei Silva and Stephan Bonnar are on a small list of people who are ‘immune’ from being cut, regardless of the losses on their records. No such guarantee has been given to Jardine however, so is he in danger of being released if he loses?
8. Can Goran Rejlic make a successful comeback Against C.B Dollaway?
In the prelims Rejlic will be undertaking his first fight for over 18 months after suffering a back injury that threatened to end his career. Now the Croatian hopes to get back to the form that saw him build up a career record of 8-0 (1-0 in the UFC). It’s always tough to fight after a long time out injured so it will be interesting to see if Rejlic has enough in his locker to deal with a solid opponent in C.B Dollaway.