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With every fight on the UFC 146 main card different than when it was first announced, what, if anything, still draws you to the event and which of the new fights are you looking forward to most?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
What draws me to UFC 146? Are you kidding? You've got JDS vs. Frank Mir, you've got Cain Velasquez vs. anyone, and a whole s*** ton of CLUBBERIN!!!!!!
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I care about Junior Dos Santos vs. Frank Mir because it's a title fight. Anytime a title is up for grabs, I want to see it. I'm interested in Antonio Silva vs. Cain Velasquez because I want to see how Velasquez responds to getting destroyed by Dos Santos in his last fight. Stefan Struve vs. Lavar Johnson will be a slugfest that Johnson ends early with a (probably) highlight knockout of Struve. The only good thing about the main card being all heavyweights is that most of the fights should end early. This isn't a very strong card, but it does have a title fight and a fight with title implications so it's passable.
ANWAR PEREZ, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
The fact that it's still a heavyweight title fight is enough for me to be interested. The card is still solid, as the UFC most times can fill any hole or problem that comes up with fighters dropping off. I'll be watching and no doubt, regardless of the changes, most fans still will.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I really like the Cain Valasquez vs. Antonio Silva matchup. I think that Silva is overrated and Valasquez is a huge test for him. I believe that Cain Valasquez will win this fight by KO. Any time
Stephan Struve fights I get excited. He is never in a boring fight. Lavar Johnson doesn’t have boring fights either. This is a fight of the night candidate for sure. Any time two heavyweights stand and trade it usually means someone is getting knocked out. I also think that Johnson can compete with any fighter in the UFC and this is a great fight to see where he stacks up against another second tier fighter.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Struve and Lavar Johnson really tickles my fancy because it should be a slugfest of epic proportions than can springboard the winner into top 10 rankings. I'm also anxious to see how Stipe Miocic does in his second outing and I'm looking forward to seeing the return of Cain Velasquez coming off of his first career loss; how he bounces back on Saturday will tell us alot about his heart as a fighter.
ALEX WILLIAMS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
The all heavyweight line-up is still intriguing. I'm not nearly as excited about Frank Mir vs. Junior dos Santos as I was Alistair Overeem vs. Dos Santos (the dream of lineal and UFC heavyweight championship unification is delayed again...), but UFC 146 is still a deep card.
DAN MOORE, MMATORCH UK CONTRIBUTOR
Alistair Overeem has a lot to answer for right now. I'm sure he's got bigger fish to fry, but my expectation levels for Saturday night have taken an almighty battering with every change to the card, all thanks to the Dutchman. Firstly the title fight is nowhere near as competitive as it was before, Overeem would have provided a far sterner test for JDS than Mir ever will. I was also really looking forward to Mir vs. Velasquez and Silva vs. Nelson but the replacement fights aren't anywhere near as stylistically appealing.
Even the undercard lost a great match up. I was looking forward to seeing Evan Dunham vs. Edson Barboza but that fight got changed due to injury. Anything that could go wrong with this card, has. I hope my negative expectations are blown out of the water this weekend, but I have a horrible feeling it could be a long night/morning here in Europe. On a brighter note, both fights involving Englishmen Dan Hardy and Paul Sass remain intact, so fingers crossed they can go 2-0 for the night to leave me smiling.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
On paper, Cain Velasquez looks to have advantages over Antonio Silva in all the right aspects of fighting, but I'm very intrigued to see how he bounces back from his loss to Junior dos Santos. The loss was not only the first of his career, but it also was a brutal 64 second knockout that cost him the UFC Heavyweight Title.
I feel like there are still questions to be answered about what kind of shots Velasquez can take, but considering Silva was the first man in a long time not to knock out Andrei Arlovski, I don't think we'll be getting those answers. It's still an interesting fight, though.
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