June 3, 2016

UFC 199: The Night of the Rematch

By Adam Martin

This might come as a surprise, but with all the talk of rematches in the UFC, it’s surprising that with half the year gone already, none of the UFC’s events so far this year have been headlined by a rematch. To be fair, UFC 197 was supposed to be headlined by the Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier rematch. But that’s it. Every other headliner up until this point has been a fresh fight.

Key words: Up until this point. Because of the next five UFC cards, three will be headlined by rematches, so get ready for them.

This weekend’s UFC 199 card is the first of the bunch. The main event was originally supposed to see UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold fight former champion Chris Weidman, but an injury to Weidman meant that Michael Bisping would fill in. As you recall, these two fought in November 2014, with Rockhold submitting Bisping in what was his marquee win up to that point. Both guys have improved since then, especially Rockhold, but there’s no way of sugarcoating the fact UFC 199 is going to be headlined by a rematch.

But that’s not all. The co-main event, which sees UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz defending his belt against archrival Urijah Faber, is also a rematch. In fact, it’s a trilogy fight, as the two have fought twice previously, once in WEC nearly a decade ago when Faber defeated Cruz by submission, and the second time in the UFC five years ago at UFC 133, where Cruz won a decision over Faber. This trilogy matchup has been booked in the past, but due to injuries to Cruz it never happened. It will now, though.

So UFC 199 can be called the night of the rematch, although it’s not like the UFC is really marketing the event as such. After all, it’s not like the main event between Rockhold and Bisping was a fight fans were calling for. But with no other middleweight contenders available, and with Bisping coming off his career-best win over Anderson Silva, Bisping is finally getting his first UFC title fight after 25 previous bouts in the Octagon. Still, there’s no doubt the UFC wishes the first fight between these two never happened, although of course the past can’t be changed. As for Cruz vs. Faber, considering how many times this fight was supposed to happen in the past, fans are just happy the rematch is finally happening.

Following UFC 199, the next card in June features Stephen Thompson vs. Rory MacDonald in a fresh fight, then the next card after that is Rafael dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez. Then the rematches return with Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha 2, then again with Jones vs. Cormier 2 and Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo 2. Robbie Lawler vs. Tyron Woodley is the next main event after that, but if rumors are to be believed, the next card after that will be Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2. Basically, a lot of rematches are coming up.

Fresh fights are always better, but in many cases rematches are warranted. However, after nearly half a year with no rematches in a main event, fans better get used to seeing them, because they are coming up. In the case of UFC 199, fans are just hoping these rematches will be more competitive than the prior bouts, and if they are, the fans will be happy.

UFC 199
Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping (UFC Middleweight Championship)

Click the stars to rate your anticipation for this fight.

UFC 199
Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

Click the stars to rate your anticipation for this fight.


UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2 (formerly UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Weidman 2) takes place on June 4, 2016 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC 199 will be.

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