It's time for another edition of Buzzfeed!, breaking down UFC 173: "Barao vs. Dillashaw," which takes place TONIGHT (Sat., May 24, 2014) from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Here is everything you need to know about the annual Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Memorial Day weekend mixed martial arts (MMA) event that takes place later this evening.
Without further ado, let's get to it.
Who: Renan Barao vs. T.J. Dillashaw
What: UFC 173
When: May 24, 2014
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
Why It Matters: Barao has been steamrolling through his opposition, undefeated inside the Octagon with a promotional record of 7-0. In fact, the current 135-pound champion hasn't lost since 2005, racking up a whopping 32 victories, not to mention being unfazed by any sort of damage taken in his Zuffa tenure.
It's going to be interesting to see if the Team Alpha Male-trained Dillashaw can trouble him at all with his crisp stand up and strong takedowns.
What's Hot: A title fight in the main event, a potential title eliminator bout in the co-main event between two world-class Olympians, and an all-out war that pits two welterweights with bricks for hands opposite each other. It seems strange, but the main event may not be as exciting as those two other contests.
What's Not: There isn't too much to complain about -- even diehard fight fans should be happy about the pay-per-view (PPV) main card. We're going to see if "The Baron" is indeed a PPV draw, even though he's getting a little help from the co-main event and the bang fest that precedes it. Also, since when was a Brazilian -- or anyone for that matter -- undefeated in 35 fights?
New Blood: There are only three new debutants stepping inside the Octagon for the first time this weekend. Undefeated featherweight prospect Aaron Phillips takes on Sam Sicilia on the "Fight Pass" portion, while the very first fight of the night pits two newcomers together when David Michaud battles Jingliang Li in the welterweight division.
Original Card vs. Actual Card: The Memorial Day weekend event was full of big shifts to say the least.
The original main event was supposed to be Chris Weidman against Vitor Belfort for the middleweight strap, yet Nevada's testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) ban canceled those plans. "All American" was then expected to face Lyoto Machida, but the champion suffered an injury and their bout was moved to UFC 175.
The new main event was going to be Barao against Raphael Assuncao, but the latter suffered a rib injury and pulled out of the fight. Meanwhile, Dillashaw was expected to face Takeya Mizugaki before his main event inclusion. The Japanese standout now meets Francisco Rivera on the PPV main card.
Junior dos Santos was supposed to duke it out against Stipe Miocic in the co-main event, however, their scrap was moved to The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 3" Finale (now canceled with Fabio Maldonado stepping in) and Henderson vs. Cormier was slotted in their position instead.
A match up pitting bitter rivals Chael Sonnen against Wanderlei Silva was expected to take place on this card, before being moved twice.
Yves Edwards vs. Piotr Hallman was briefly linked to this card before their fight was moved to UFC Fight Night 42.
Chico Camus steps in for Kyung Ho Kang against Chris Holdsworth on the "Prelims," and Philipps will be stepping in for Doo Ho Choi against Sicilia.
Finally, Danny Mitchell was slated to face Jingliang Li before he suffered an injury and he will be replaced by Michaud.
How The "Prelims" Look: They are definitely an intriguing set of contests, but nothing really sticks out.
The lightweight feature fight on FOX Sports 1 sees Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo and the "Prelims" co-main event will also be a 155-pound bout between Tony Ferguson vs. Katsunori Kikuno.
Holdsworth vs. Camus at bantamweight rounds up the broadcast, while Al Iaquinta faces Mitch Clarke in another lightweight tussle.
The "Fight Pass" portion features Anthony Njokuani vs. Vinc Pichel at 155 pounds, too, while Sicilia faces Phillips and Michaud takes on Li.
Who Needs A Win Badly: Technically, Henderson and Cormier need to win since a victory means they'll get a shot at the winner of Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson (well, maybe not "Hendo" in the end).
Sicilia is 1-3 in his last four contests, so he desperately needs to get his hand raised. The same goes for MMA veteran Jamie Varner, who was viciously knocked out in his last bout and has a record of 2-7 in his last nine Zuffa fights.
Interest Level: 7/10
The main event should be an awesome fight, yet it's Dan Henderson vs. Daniel Cormier and Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Ellenberger stealing the thunder for this show. It's a decent PPV offering. However, some fight fans may skip this one altogether, looking for highlights on Mania after the show is done because UFC's 2014 schedule is as convoluted as Major League Baseball's (MLB) agenda.
Here is the full UFC 173: "Barao vs. Dillashaw" fight card:
135 lbs.: Bantamweight champion Renan Barao vs T.J. Dillashaw
Pay-Per-View Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
205 lbs.: Dan Henderson vs. Daniel Cormier
170 lbs.: Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Ellenberger
135 lbs.: Francisco Rivera vs. Takeya Mizugaki
155 lbs.: James Krause vs. Jamie Varner
FOX Sports 1 Prelims (8 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo
155 lbs.: Anthony Ferguson vs. Katsunori Kikuno
135 lbs.: Chris Holdsworth vs. Chico Camus
155 lbs.: Al Iaquinta vs. Mitch Clarke
Fight Pass Prelims (6:30 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Anthony Njokuani vs. Vinc Pichel
145 lbs.: Aaron Phillips vs. Sam Sicilia
170 lbs.: Jingliang Li vs. Danny Mitchell
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 173 fight card on fight night, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under card bouts at 8 p.m. ET and then main card PPV, which is slated to begin at 10 p.m. ET.
See you then!