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Does the loss of a second title fight and several other fights from UFC 148 diminish its appeal, or was this always going to be a one fight card with Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II on top?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
As long as Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II was the main event for UFC 148, Fedor Emelianenko could've been booked to face Brock Lesnar in a co-main chainsaw match and it would still have been a one fight card. It was a stroke of good luck that they did choose to overload 148 though, because imagine how crapalicious UFC 149 in Calgary is right now, and then imagine if it din't have a stolen Faber vs. Barao fight on top, along with Tim Boetsch vs. Mike Bisping Hector Lombard. No one asked, so I'm not going to rant about what happens when a promotion has too many dates to fill and not enough fighters to fill them, but if you were to ask me, I'd tell you it would look pretty much like the first half of 2012 (the year, not the movie). As long as Silva and Sonnen hurl fists and elbows, knees and feet, sweat and maybe a little blood, UFC 148 will be perfectly memorable, even with Che Mills or Tito Ortiz or Brock Lesnar or Bruce Lee in the co-main.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think it does diminish the appeal any time you lose a second title fight, especially one on the level of Dominick Cruz vs. Uriah Faber. There's no question that Silva vs. Sonnen was always the top attraction, but the card is hurt by the revolving door of fights.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
148 started as a 3-4 fight card with Le vs. Franklin, Tito vs. Forrest, Silva vs. Sonnen, and Cruz vs. Faber; now it has become a two fight card as Cruz and Franklin are no longer on the event - nor is Faber. It's always a main focus when Anderson Silva fights so I suppose in the long run he is the big dog on any card he's involved in, overshadowing everybody else taking part - his opponent included.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I was looking forward to the Urijah Faber vs. Dominick Cruz matchup. I was disappointed about the fight not taking place, but the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen fight will still make this a great pay per view. Faber vs. Renan Barao for the Interim Bantamweight Championship did nothing for me. I think it was a made up fight for a made up title. The lead up to the Silva vs. Sonnen fight has been so monumental, losing the other fights will only slightly diminish this card for me. I think for the average fan, this card was always a one fight card any way they looked at it.
GRIFFIN MARSH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Diminish? You could replace these bouts with Art Jimmerson and Tank Abbot and it wouldn't diminish a thing. This is Silva vs. Sonnen II.
DAN MOORE, MMATORCH UK CONTRIBUTOR
While the loss of some keys fights has been a big disappointment for us all, it doesn't diminish the appeal of this card in any way, shape, or form. Yes I'd have loved to see Bisping vs. Boetsch and Cruz vs. Faber this weekend, but it just wasn't too be. Had those two fights stayed on the 148 card, on paper it would have ranked highly on the greatest UFC events of all time list. Even without those fights it's still a hugely anticipated card and I'm convinced it will provide a highlight reel moment we'll savour for years to come. Less one of the preliminary fights and Ortiz vs. Griffin, I've not been this excited for a fight weekend since I attended the Lesnar vs. Velasquez event back in 2010. We're always moaning about the quality of fight cards now, so when a good one comes along, embrace it and I hope it lives up to your high expectations.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
There is no getting around the fact that this card was significantly better when it was finalized after the addition of Silva-Sonnen II. Before they stripped this card for parts to save UFC 147 and 149, this was one of the best, if not the best card in MMA history. Now, it's just a pretty solid card with a fantastic main event.
The original lineup definitely had more pop and gave the consumer more bang for their buck. However, I don't think that anyone is going to skip this card because Urijah Faber isn't fighting Renan Barao in the co-main event. If anything, a card like this in such close proximity to hovelled cards like UFC 147 and 149 makes this event a must-buy.
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