Every UFC event brings with it a number of questions, talking points and storylines that will be resolved during the nights action. In this article we will look to establish the key questions that we hope will be answered during the course of tonights UFC 105 event in Manchester, England.
At 46 years old is Randy Couture still a legitimate threat, or is he closer to retirement than another title shot?
Despite a lack of enthusiasm for this match-up from fans this is a major fight for Couture.
A win over Brandon Vera would once again prove that he can defy the ageing process and could place him in line for yet another title shot.
On the other hand a loss on Saturday night would suggest that the end of his career may be near, though it is unlikley that UFC 105 will be his final swan song.
Either way the result may prove to be another significant milestone in his career.
Is UFC 105 Brandon Vera’s ‘breakout’ moment?
Brandon Vera was rated highly when he first burst onto the UFC scene in the heavyweight division with a string of impressive victories.
His form appeared to dip however just as his star was rising, and he has since struggled to live up to his full potential since.
Getting the call to fight Randy Couture at UFC 105 was somewhat unexpected but it’s a huge opportunity for Vera to make his mark against a legend in the biggest fight of his career to date.
If he doesn’t seize this moment he may never get another one like it.
Can the UK’s fighters prove themselves as a serious threat in the UFC?
Despite having produced credible fighters like Michael Bisping (7-2 in the UFC) and Dan Hardy (3-0 in the UFC), and defeating an admittedly less than stellar USA team on TUF 9, many are still skeptical about the quality of fighter that has emerged from the British Isles so far.
UFC 105 features nearly all of the UK fighters currently fighting in the UFC (with one notable exception being Paul Daley). While it makes sense to showcase the fighters on their home turf, it could also be a risky stratefy depending on the results.
It could turn out to be a night in which they either prove their collective worth, or have their reputation damaged in front of millions watching worldwide.
Can Mike Swick Win In A Fashion That Makes Him A Serious threat to GSP’s title reign?
Despite having lost only one of his ten UFC fights to date, Mike Swick has still managed to fly under many people’s radars as a serious challenge for current welterweight champion Georges St.Pierre.
Aware of this Swick has stated that he is looking not just to win, but to make a statement in this fight that will earn him the respect he believes he is due.
Not only would an impressive victory help him, it would also help the UFC to market him as a credible challenge for one of their pound for pound greats.
Will Dan Hardy be able to back up his talk when he steps into the octagon with Mike Swick?
One thing we have learned about Dan Hardy over the past year is that he knows how to talk up a fight.
Actions speak louder than words however and he knows he still has to prove that he deserves to be considered one of the welterweight divisions top contenders.
A win over Mike Swick would certainly help in that regard but it will take perhaps the best performance of his career to do so.
How will Michael Bisping respond to the first K.O loss of his career?
There’s a lot of pressure on Bisping’s shoulders coming into this fight. Earlier this year he was being touted for a title shot with Anderson Silva. Only a few months later he could be all but ruled out as a threat in the middleweight division if he loses to Denis Kang.
In the lead up to this fight he hasn’t went through an interview without being reminded of his KO loss to Dan Henderson and the criticism he has received from fans, many who have taken a disliking to him since his appearance as a coach on TUF 9.
Tomorrow night will be a stern test not only his mixed martial arts skills, but of his mental toughness. It will be intriguing to see whether he responds positively or negatively to this.
Will any of the UK’s up and coming fighters mark themselves out as the next star to emerge from the British Isles?
With both Bisping and Hardy being by no means certain to emerge victorious at UFC 105 there is a chance that the UK’s ‘star power’ could be diminished considerably dependent on the results.
What the UFC will likely be hoping for is that one of the many other UK fighters who are fighting on this card to turn in an impressive performance that will mark them out as a future star for the promotion.
There are some possibilities. Terry Etim in particular has the right mixture of eye catching stand-up and submission savvy to become a fan favorite. John Hathaway is another up and coming prospect who will be hoping to make an impact on the night in a tough fight against fellow brit Paul Taylor.
Who will take the ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors.
With so many evenly matched bouts, and the likelihood of a number of three round wars there would appear to be plenty of potential candidates for Fight Of The Night on this card.
John Hathaway Vs Paul Taylor is certainly a contender in the prelims, and Hardy Vs Swick could also produce fireworks. Also don’t overlook Michael Bisping Vs Denis Kang with both fighters having a lot to prove on the night.