As I write this we're slightly under one hour away from the start of the UFC 121 event with Brock Lesnar against Cain Velasquez in the main event. As with any huge event I've got endless thoughts running through my head. Let's take a peek into my brain:
- I'm still feeling pretty confident that Tito Ortiz is going to pick up his first win in what feels like forever when he faces Matt Hamill. I just don't think Hamill does well when he's not playing the role of bully and I'm almost certain that it will be Ortiz coming forward and forcing Matt to back up.
- As confident as I feel in Ortiz is how unsure I feel of Jake Shields being successful when he makes his UFC debut against Martin Kampmann. All week I've heard from good sources that Shields' back injury was much more recent than his camp let on. Shields has endless talent in the wrestling and submission grappling areas and if his back is healthy he can probably still control his way to a decision win, but Kampmann is no joke and could find a way to keep the fight standing where he can do much better work. It's a lot closer fight than it seemed when it was first announced.
- Brendan Schaub vs. Gabriel Gonzaga almost perfectly describes a crossroads fight. If Schaub can win he'll prove that he's ready to make that step up to the next level. It's a step that Shane Carwin and Junior Dos Santos both had to take. Gonzaga is a beast when he's motivated and I think he knows this is a fight he can't lose. Either way the result goes I don't imagine it gets out of round 1.
- I am as nervous as I can ever remember for Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez. These two men both have such unique skills for the heavyweight division and either one has legitimate avenues to victory. If Lesnar drops Cain with a punch I think it will be a pawing jab that "blinds" Velasquez to the straight right that will be coming hard behind it. It's a combination he has used in most of his fights and while it's simple, it works. I'm also very intrigued by the possibility of Cain throwing leg kicks, they're a great tool that he has but can he risk throwing them and having Brock catch a leg and take him down?
Make sure you keep your browser locked in to SB Nation for all the thoughts and breakdowns tonight and over the next few days.