This evening's UFC 198 may have lost one of it's marquee fights in Anderson Silva vs. Uriah Hall, but on paper it's still one of the most loaded pay-per-view cards in memory.
Headlined by a UFC Heavyweight Championship fight between title holder Fabricio Werdum and challenger Stipe Miocic, UFC 198 hosts several huge Brazilian stars. Werdum shocked the world once again by dominating Cain Velasquez last year on his way to the championship, but faces a much different task in Miocic. At 38, one has to wonder when Werdum will hit a wall, even though the heavyweight division skews much older anyway. It's hard to believe Miocic will experience the same cardiovascular issues Velasquez did against Werdum.
One of the most highly-anticipated fights of the year is between "Jacare" Souza and Vitor Belfort. Souza lost a controversial decision to Yoel Romero, who was later popped (and then cleared) for a failed drug test. Belfort has long been a controversial fighter due to his use of TRT, and is looking for a Championship fight despite losing three of them in the last five years. Either way, this bout is an evenly matched one between two big-name veterans in the sport.
Speaking of anticipated, after a long wait, Cris "Cyborg" Justino will make her UFC debut at 140 pounds. Cyborg actually weighed in at 139 pounds, and while Leslie Smith isn't the ideal opponent for her, it's a start. The UFC has been paying her contract while Justino competed in Invicta FC for some time.
Big names are everywhere on UFC 198, including in the form of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The two will face Corey Anderson and Pat Cummins respectively, in fights that are going to be huge for the winner, no matter who emerges victorious. Both Brazilian veterans have been sliding of late, and are taking on younger light heavyweights looking to solidify their reputations.
Demian Maia vs. Matt Brown and John Lineker vs. Rob Font are also incredibly underrated bouts on this show, as Lineker could very well become a bantamweight contender down the line. Brown vs. Maia is a classic striker vs. grappler matchup, one that Brown said he knew didn't favor him.
Join us tonight for full, round-by-round coverage of the UFC 198 pay-per-view tonight at 10 PM EST, preceded by quick results of the prelims.