UFC 71 week at the MMA Insider
I don't think I have to tell MMA fans out there that UFC 71 is this Saturday in Vegas. And I don't think I have to remind you that the main event fight features UFC light heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell squaring off against Quinton Jackson. There are some other very good fights on this card, but there is no doubt that Liddell-Jackson overshadows all of them.
Remember when Michael Jordan played for the Bulls and we became accustomed to calling his teammates the "supporting cast"? Well, that's what the rest of the UFC 71 card is compared to the Liddell-Jackson fight. Not because those other fights aren't very good in their own right (similarly, Jordan's supporting cast consisted of players such as Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, and Dennis Rodman -- no slouches there). It's just that Liddell-Jackson is that good. This fight has to be one of the most anticipated fights in recent UFC history.
Why? Because Jackson not only has a legitimate shot at beating Liddell, he's already done it once before. In fact, Jackson is the only fighter Liddell has faced in his career and hasn't beaten.
Most UFC fans are very familiar with Liddell's exploits. However, many may not be as familiar with Jackson, who is fighting in only his second UFC bout. Jackson made his reputation in Japan, fighting in PRIDE. His first fight in PRIDE came in 2001 when he fought MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba. While he lost his debut fight, Jackson was so impressive, he was invited back and the rest is history. Check out Jackson's first PRIDE fight below (thanks to Fight Opinion for the video find.)
Liddell and Jackson first fought in 2003 in the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Semifinal. For those of you looking to whet your appetite for this weekend's showdown, here is the video of that first fight:
So, how will MMA Insider be covering UFC 71?
For starters, look for my UFC 71 preview article later this week.
In addition, I will be traveling to Las Vegas to cover UFC 71 for Baltimoresun.com. So, look for my live blog (assuming Southwest can get me to Sin City on time) from the UFC 71 weigh-ins around 7 PM EST on Friday. On Saturday, I will be live-blogging the entire UFC 71 card starting right around 8 PM EST.
Because of my travel schedule, I won't be doing a TUF 5 recap or a MMA Weekly Digest this week. I hope this one time you can forgive me.