Photo by Rich Lam/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
UFC 131 is this Saturday, June 11, 2011, at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. There's a decent amount of hype surrounding the show ... but nowhere near the interest there should be.
As a whole, you could say it's a weak card and I wouldn't necessarily argue with you. The main card will feature three fighters making their Octagon debuts in Jon Olav Einemo, Dave Herman and Vagner Rocha.
Not exactly a who's who of the mixed martial arts world.
But let's be real here: the undercard doesn't sell the pay-per-view; the main event does. And the headliner up in the Great White North is quite the doozy.
That's silly, too, because it's going to be a barn burner.
What's not to like about this fight? Not only does it carry serious divisional ramifications, it's also an aesthetically pleasing match-up.
In one corner you have dos Santos, a Brazilian with biceps that rival Hulk Hogan at the height of his chemically aided heyday when Hulkamania was running wild in the late '80s.
Not only does he possess 24-inch pythons like the Hulkster (probably), he puts them to maximum use every single time he enters the Octagon to get down and dirty.
Four knockouts in six UFC fights. The two he didn't finish, he blitzed and battered his foe to the point of submission (Mirko Filipovic) or a completely one sided-decision (Roy Nelson).
"Cigano" employs a unique style of overwhelming power mixed with surprising speed. His ability to shock his opponents with his power before awing them with his speed is nearly unmatched.
There are only a handful of heavyweights -- and that's being generous -- that can stand up to that. Only a few that can match his power and just as few that won't get blown away by his speed.
Shane Carwin is one of these men.
Sure, he's not exactly Speedy Gonzales but he makes up for it in other areas. Like the fact that he's a National Champion in collegiate wrestling. Ask Frank Mir how hard it is to deal with "The Engineer" once he wraps his paws around you.
That bear trap is inescapable.
What's great about the Colorado native, though, is his almost unwillingness to utilize that skill-set. Instead, he likes to impale his enemies with his two concrete fists.
This is a match made in mixed martial arts heaven.
UFC understands the main event they have vs. the main event they could have had. Brock Lesnar, before dropping out to get surgery, was initially set to take on dos Santos for the right to face Cain Velasquez later this year.
While that may have sold more pay-per-views and brought more eyeballs on sheer name value, the match-up is far less desirable. The classic striker vs. grappler bout isn't always so classic.
Anticipation for Lesnar vs. dos Santos wasn't necessarily boiling over, either, but it's mind boggling to think that more fight fans don't recognize the explosive nature of what's staring them straight in the face.
It's not for lack of trying on the part of UFC. They've released several video promos for the fight, this being the latest:
Get hyped ... seriously, let it happen.
How often is it that an audience can know exactly what they're going to get and when they're going to get it? And is that not good enough?
Dos Santos likes to bang and Carwin does too. They'll meet in the center of the cage and throw leather until one of them falls. How can you not be pumped for that?
"Cigano" may have put some doubt into a few folks heads when he came out with his prediction that he believes "The Engineer" will actually go into wrestling mode during the fight.
His reasoning is that Carwin will revert back to his grappling roots just as soon as he feels the power JDS has in his punches.
Sound logic, no doubt. But is Shane really planning on taking Junior down? He took to Twitter to tell the world that, actually, he is:
Junior is right about expecting to be getting taken down, by my left or right hand. #UFC131
That's the spirit.
The Rock he is not, but he gets his point across. Which, again, leads me to ask -- why aren't more people excited for this Saturday night?
Brock Lesnar has long been fond of saying fans are starving to see a "true" heavyweight dominant the sport. Well, folks, that's what we're going to be treated to on June 11.
Two larger than life monsters who will do everything they can to destroy one another. Aren't you excited to find out what happens when the irresistible force meets the immovable object?
I know I am.