After the lights dim and the main event fires up on December 11 at UFC 124, it’s likely Angelina Jolie could walk through the Bell Centre in Montreal juggling her adopted children and the crowd’s attention wouldn’t turn from the action in the cage. With a headlining bout featuring Canadian star Georges St. Pierre (5 Oz. #1 welterweight) against self-imposed rival Josh Koscheck (5 Oz. #5 welterweight), a bout made even more intense after a season of one-sided trash-talking on the part of Koscheck, the arena’s noise-level will undoubtedly register at twice the normal event based on the welterweight title-fight.
However, as entertaining as the raucous rhubarb will be, the line-up also features a number of other skilled Mixed Martial Artists ready to remind the audience there are more than two fighters competing on the card. The official bill for UFC 124 has now been announced and includes a slew of submission-specialists, two heavyweights who hate each other, a couple of former championship-contenders, and one of the sport’s hottest prospects getting another major test in the Octagon.
In a preliminary pairing, Dustin “McLovin” Hazelett will return to lightweight against Toronto native, and fellow BJJ black-belt, Mark Bocek. Both grapplers are coming off losses in their previous bouts, back-to-back in the case of Hazelett, and will almost certainly be fighting for more than a paycheck when things go down.
Also in action, rising 21-year old Brazilian Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira takes on Jim Miller (5 Oz. #12 lightweight) in hopes of maintaining his undefeated record against an 18-2 opponent whose only career losses have come to the two men fighting for the UFC lightweight title on New Year’s Day (Gray Maynard and champ Frank Edgar).
Joining their 155-pound peers on the card, Joe Stevenson is set to square off against fellow Ultimate Fighter season-winner Mac Danzig.
On the opposite end of the physical-build scale, 6’7” Sean McCorkle and 6’11” Stefan Struve will settle their differences after a war of words online. McCorkle is 10-0 in his career while Struve is 20-4 and has won four of his last five fights in the UFC.
Rounding out the PPV is what will surely be a battle between Thiago Alves (5 Oz. #8 welterweight) and John Howard. Both men are powerful strikers with solid grappling bases to work with, though given their past performances it seems more likely the two will stand and exchange shots from various positions until one of them falls.
Here is the complete line-up as currently scheduled for UFC 124:
John Makdessi vs. Pat Audinwood
Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Rafael Natal
Matt Riddle vs. Sean Pierson
Dustin Hazelett vs. Mark Bocek
Ricardo Almeida vs. T.J. Grant
Dan Miller vs. Joe Doerksen
Stefan Struve vs. Sean McCorkle
Joe Stevenson vs. Mac Danzigp
Jim Miller vs. Charles Oliveira
Thiago Alves vs. John Howard
Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck