By Brandt DeLorenzo on Apr 18, 2008
Being the what the rest of the world would call a dumb American, I assumed that Montreal was much farther away from the United States than what Google maps just showed me. The predominently French Canadian city, on the eastern side of Canada, is less than 50 miles away from the upstate New York and Vermont borders. So while the Montreal crowd will obviously be predominantly Canadian, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a few outspoken Serra supporters mixed in the crowd and ready to support their fighter…and fight against the hometown crowd. It’s New York versus Montreal at UFC 83.
Canada is known for beer, cold weather, and hockey – and the fights that come with the sport. And for the first time, the UFC will be bringing the fighting to Canada in another sport which is quickly gaining mainstream attention by the Canadian press these days. It’s a move that many hardcore fans have been talking about ever since Georges St. Pierre made Matt Hughes verbally tap out during UFC 79. It’s also a move that will make the UFC a lot of money through the nearly-instant gate sellout along with the potential Pay-Per-View numbers which may rival some of the UFC’s other big PPV events if both Canadians and U.S. fans decide to watch the event live on television. And after Matt Serra decided to call out St. Pierre as “Frenchy” last May, you just might see the most eclectic UFC crowd on television ever.
But there’s more than hometown crowds, beer, and PPV numbers when it comes down to fighting. Let’s take a look at the televised matchups, including two of the five middleweight bouts, for UFC 83. (Note to UFC: Just hold a middleweight tournament and left the winner fight Anderson Silva.)
Mac Danzig vs. Mark Bocek
Long before The Ultimate Fighter 6 ended, many were predicting an easy victory for ex-Pride and longtime King of the Cage fighter Mac Danzig. While Danzig was able to control and defeat all of his TUF opponents, it’s been a little while since he has won a tough fight. With back to back losses at the hands of Clay French and Hayato Sakurai, Danzig is looking to come back with an impressive win over Mark Bocek. I’m assuming he’ll want to bring the fight to the ground although he has done a pretty good job of ending fights with his hands as well. As for the Jiu-Jitsu fighter from Toronto, Bocek is probably looking to go to the ground as well so we might see a technical ground battle throughout this fight. Bocek has a chance as he is coming off a win over Doug Evans in UFC 79, but Danzig has the experience. Danzig by Submission in Round 2.
Charles McCarthy Vs. Michael Bisping
It’s a war of trash talk between these two on the internet and it’s certainly nothing new for English UFC fighter, MIchael Bisping. While Bisping has dropped down to 185 after his split decision loss to Rashad Evans, McCarthy is looking to come back after losing to Pete Sell during The Ultimate Fighter 4 and beating Gideon Ray at the TUF 4 finale back in November of 2006. It’s a redemption fight for Bisping and a hopeful comeback for McCarthy as both are set to fight. I’m not really buying into the trash talking as Bisping did the same thing with Evans and then we watching another bad fight. I’m interested, however, to see if Bisping gets boo’ed because of his antics after the Matt Hamill fight last year. I see Bisping winning, but by decision.
Nate Quarry Vs. Kalib Starnes
I don’t know too much about either fighter aside from what they have recently done in the UFC. I blame this partially on the UFC for not marketing these fighters at all before a huge show like UFC 83 and partially on me. To be honest, neither of these guys have done anything to impress me in the past, but it doesn’t take away anything from them considering they are both just looking to move up and take that potential title fight against Anderson Silva. Quarry has beaten Pete Sell twice, but lost to Rich Franklin during UFC 56 back in 2005. As for Kalib Starnes, the man who had one of the nastiest cuts ever on television, he has beaten Chris Leben in the past, but like Quarry, he’s looking to slowly continue moving up the middleweight ladder to take on Silva. I’m thinking Quarry will take this fight, but I’m not leaning too heavily. Hopefully he doesn’t win by a cut against Starnes like Alan Belcher in UFC 77.
Travis Lutter Vs. Rich Franklin
Josh Stein has a nice write-up about this fight here and there’s not too much more to say. Both fighters need this win and if Travis Lutter can dominate Rich Franklin, he may get a chance at Anderson Silva since nobody else can beat him. Franklin needs a knockout win to overcome the back to back losses against Silva (with a decision against Yushin Okami thrown in the middle) or else we may see him back away from fighting. Lutter has underdog written all over him for MMA betting fans, but he may take the win over a very beaten Franklin. I’m thinking that Lutter has a chance to win this on the ground in the opening round because Franklin is just getting too soft these days.
Matt Serra Vs. Georges St-Pierre
It’s the New York Italian versus the French Canadian in what could be a great showdown in Montreal. You know that Serra is looking to upset the sold-out Bell Arena after talking trash in May, but can he overcome the huge hometown crowd? Georges St. Pierre, noted as one of the most well-rounded pound for pound fighter by many hardcore fans, is looking to continue his domination over the welterweight weight class on April 19th. Josh Stein has another nice write-up about this fight here which doesn’t leave much else to be said. Although I think Serra has a chance, I think St. Pierre will just overpower him like he did to the Midwestern farm boy, Matt Hughes earlier this year. I think Hughes had the best chance out of anyone to stop St. Pierre and he was dominated on the ground and standing. St. Pierre in Round 2 via knockout.
Interesting Facts about UFC 83:
- UFC 83 was supposed to be UFC 84, but the UFC canceled their March 8th event.
- 21,000 tickets were sold in record time – also a record number for live gate tickets.
- Patrick Cote was set to fight, but he slipped and fell, thus removing himself.
- Both Serra and St. Pierre are welterweight champions with St. Pierre holding an interim belt.
About the Author: Brandt DeLorenzo started MMA Opinion in June of 2007 and began working as a MMA photographer shortly thereafter. He enjoys being cageside at regional events or just watching the fights. His favorite fighters are Frankie Edgar and Gegard Mousasi.