While this is not a history lesson recapping Paul Revere’s historic warning of the British Army’s uprising, it is an alert to fight fans that three Englishmen are looking to defend their home turf Saturday October 16th, in London England. UFC 120 will take place live from the O2 Arena.
First there’s John “The Hitman” Hathaway of Brighton, Sussex, England. He steps into the Octagon with an unblemished mark of 14-0 (4-0 in UFC) against Mike “Quicksand” Pyle, who holds a record of 19-7 (2-2 in UFC). The Hitman’s strong suit is versatility, being able to do it all, while Pyle’s is striking and Jiu-Jitsu, with an emphasis on submissions. I’ll take The Hitman in this welterweight battle on the strength that he’s the better takedown artist of the two.
Next, there’s Nottingham, East Midlands, United Kingdom’s Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy. He squares up against fellow welterweight and former World Extreme Cage fighting Welterweight Champion Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit, who goes down in history as the WEC’s last champion of that class after UFC/WEC President Dana White decided to eradicate WEC of that title and division. While The Outlaw is the quicker of the two fighters, The Natural Born Killer is built to fight the long fight. Couple that with his submission skills and stellar striking, home field advantage will not work in Hardy’s favor.
Finally, there’s the main event. Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama will face off with arguably UFC’s most hated fighter, Michael “The Count” Bisping. Don’t ask me about “Sexyama” as a nickname, I only do pre and post-fight coverage. In his last showing, Akiyama looked fatigued and was outperformed by Chris Leben, a fighter some felt was on thin ice prior to that battle. The Count has an uncanny ability to adjust to the fighting style of his opponent. His moniker should be “The Chameleon”. Unless Akiyama can recover the durability he had in previous fights, UFC 120 is going to be stellar homecoming for Bisping, who is so infamous that it’s a tossup as to if his hometown will cheer or jeer him. While my hope is for Akiyama to be better conditioned for this figh than his last, I’ll take Bisping’s adaptation skills to get him the win.
For the night, I have England representatives going 2-1.
In a few nights, Merry Ol’ England will be fueled by a burning desire for hand-to-hand combat. Already, UFC 120 has made history as the most sold event held in the Home of the Redcoats. Also, this Pay Per View caliber event will cost nothing to fight fans, as it will be available on Spike TV, with a start time of 8PM. Enjoy the free fights and I’ll be back soon with my UFC 120 recap.
By Antoine Hoffman