The UFC increased the frequency in which they held fight cards in 2007 and 2008 is looking as though it will be just as active of a year, if not more so.
January will feature two cards, UFC 80 in New Castle, England on January 19 and UFC Fight Night 12 on Jan. 23. February will kick off with UFC 81 on February 2 in Vegas and will be proceeded by UFC 82 on March 1 in Columbus, Ohio.
March could be an especially big month as Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s print edition of the Wrestling Observer that the UFC office in the U.K. is working on a possible card somewhere in England on March 8.
There will also likely be two shows in April, with UFC Fight Night 13 at the Palms serving as a lead-in to the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter and then either UFC 83 or 84 (depending on if 3/8 in England becomes a reality), possibly in Montreal.
The UFC 80 and 81 cards along with UFN 12 are pretty much filled with the card for UFC 82 filling up fast. However, there are still a lot of holes for the March and April shows that must be filled. Having some time to kill, I decided to put on my fantasy matchmaker hat and come up with some matchups I’d love to see on those cards that I believe have a realistic shot at happening.
Before I reveal my fantasy matchups, I must clarify that they aren’t even based on speculation. I am putting these ideas out there for pure entertainment purposes and am clearly stating that there is no validity to them. As such, it would be inaccurate if you took these ideas and said “Sam Caplan,” and or “Five Ounces Of Pain reported…” because I am not reporting anything.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get to it!
Andrei Arlovski vs. Mirk Cro Cop at UFC 83 (potential UK show on March 8th) - There are a two big reasons why this match shouldn’t happen. First, Arlovski has just one fight remaining on his contract and the UFC would possibly be helping his market value by putting him in a position to record a respectable win in a high-profile match. And second, Cro Cop badly needs a win and a fight vs. Arlovski could make for Cro Cop’s third UFC loss in a row.
But I also believe there are plenty of reasons why this potential match should happen. With so many big cards lined up in a short period of time, the UFC is not in a position to allow politics to get in the way of potential big money matchups. And Cro Cop vs. Arlovski could be a big money matchup in Europe (I also wonder what kind of business it could do in Chicago). Based on the striking styles of both fighters, it also has a chance to be a very memorable encounter.
Not to mention, Arlovski and Cro Cop have guarantees in the six figures. They get those guarantees whether they fight in a main event-caliber match or against a nobody on the undercard. The UFC might as well try to get the most for their money.
And if Arlovski wins, the UFC can try to downplay the victory by saying it came against a Cro Cop coming off two consecutive losses. But if Cro Cop wins, then they could possibly move him back into the title picture.
It should be noted that there is some reason to believe this match may have already been proposed. According to Meltzer, Arlovski accepted a fight that fell through that would have taken place on the potential 3/8 show. Meltzer did not reveal the opponent but described him as a “big name” and said if the match happened the UFC would have put Arlovski in a position “where his contract ends with a big win.” Sounds a lot like Cro Cop to me.