One of the drawbacks of a deep Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster and what feels like a million events were per year is there are far too many compelling fights that fly way under the radar.
Some of those bouts are even potential title eliminators.
That's the case with the upcoming bantamweight battle pitting Eddie Wineland vs. Brad Pickett on the FX broadcasted portion of the UFC 155: "Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2" preliminary card on Sat., Dec. 29, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
While it's true both fighters are just 3-2 in their last five fights, the 135-pound weight class is short on worthy contenders past Michael McDonald, who fights Renan Barao for the Interim title next year while Dominick Cruz continues to heal from knee surgery. The winner here could very well end up fighting the winner of that match-up, especially if the victor looks super impressive.
For Wineland, winning basically means beating himself (via MMAFighting.com):
"He's a tough dude, and it'd kind of going to be like fighting the man I see in the mirror. He's not afraid to stand and trade. He's got heavy hands, good wrestling, good submissions. I think it's one of the most evenly matched up fights there is. I'm eager to test myself. It's almost like fighting myself. I'll get to feel what it's like for guys who fight me. I think I'm stronger and faster, and a more technical striker. I think he's not afraid to stand and trade and he can take a punch. I'm better in some aspects. I think our ground games are similar. I think I'm a better wrestler. I'm sure he sees places where he has advantages."
"I'm seeing a lot of people want me on the main card, but UFC may want us on the prelims because they know it's going to be an exciting fight. It can be a case like the Korean Zombie vs. Leonard Garcia, where they want an exciting fight on TV to get people to want to pay for the pay-per-view. A boring fight last on the prelims may affect pay-per-view buys. Basically, this fight now could cap off a great year for me and pave the way for my new year. If I win, next year looks completely different than if I lose. If I win, I'd like to do a fight against the winner of (Michael) McDonald vs. (Renan) Barao."
It's a good fight on a loaded card with title implications.
Good for you?