Wait a minute, what happened to UFC 176?

It’s that time again for another addition of Buy, Borrow, or Bust. And since the “postponement” of UFC 176 (whatever that truly means), I’m back to breakdown another PPV to help you with the hard decisions.  By this time you should know the drill of how this works but if you need a refresher, feel free to take a look at an earlier version for a breakdown. So if you’re ready then let jump in this week’s Buy, Borrow, or Bust for UFC 177.

Buy-

Note: Renan Barao has been officially ruled out of UFC 177 due to passing out while cutting weigh. Joe Soto will be replaced Barao and will also be making his UFC debut. Because of that, the buy section below is focused around the main event and therefore is now null and void. I kept the section up just in case anyone still wants to read about the fight that almost happened.

“Never trust the odds.” This is the tagline the UFC has chosen to market UFC 177, based off of Barao vs Dillashaw 1. Now the two fighters are set to meet again and each fighter has something to prove. Though the first fight had odds favoring one fighter big, the odds are so close this time around for the rematch that you can say the “Never Trust the Odds” tagline should be changed to “Too Close to Call”.

For those who may not be familiar with their first meeting, T.J Dillashaw dominated the fight despite being an eight to one underdog. Even crazier, Dillashaw’s title chance came only after a few last-minute changes opened up the opportunity for him. The first one of those factors came in the form of an injury to the middleweight champion forcing the UFC to move the UFC 173 headliner to UFC 175 and left a UFC 173 without a main event. The UFC then tapped bantaweight champion Renan Barao to step in to headline, which at the time was a fighter that won 32 straight fights, and who UFC president Dana White called the best fighter on the planet. The UFC hoped that the main even spot would highlight the dominate champ and looked at well-deserved Raphael Assunção to be his opponent. Assunção shockingly decided to decline the match though, stating the fight was on too short notice to be ready in time, and this then opened the door for Dillashaw. Dillashaw was the next best option to Assunção based on the fact that Dillashaw won five of his last six fights with a spilt decision lost to Assunção as his only recent blemish. Though Dillashaw was a top 5 opponent, many people believed that Barao’s dominance over great fighters that included Dillashaw teammate, Urijah Faber, was going to be too much for his opponent. Some went as far to say that the fight was a mis-match only made to save a card that was in need of talent. Though when fight night came, it was Dillashaw that had the last laugh.

TJ Dillashaw vs Renan Barao

Now the rematch is here. A fight that was mainly made because of the fact that many still can’t believe what Dillashaw was able to achieve. The first fight is tied with Serra dethroning GSP as the biggest upset in UFC history. And though it is the same two fighters in the main event, the story could be more different this time around. In fact, this fight is the closest odds in recent history for a title fight. While many believe Barao was just outclassed, there is just as many that believe Barao will come back even stronger and prove that he is the fighter many made him out to be.

So when faced with the question of why you may need to buy this fight, look no farther that the storyline that was just laid out in front of you.  This fight has the makings of a war and with no fight in 2014 standing out as the fight of the year so far, this could be the one to take that title. But there is only one way to find out and that is to watch.

Borrow-

If you need more than just one fight to make you tune in this Saturday then look no farther than a fight ripped straight from the pages of a WWE storyline.

Shayna Baszler has been a longtime MMA fighter. It wasn’t until she got her chance at making the UFC with the TUF 18 season that many MMA fans got their first look at the talented fighter. A heavy favorite to win the competition, Shayna disappointed losing in her quarterfinal fight against eventual winner Jillana Pena. But TUF was not with its benefits as Shayna along with fellow cast member Jessamyn Duke bonded with each other as well as bonding with their TUF couch, UFC champion Ronda Rousey. After TUF concluded, the three fighters, along with Ronda’s best friend and training partner, Marina Shafir, started training together. As the friendship of the four women grew, Shayna started to introduce the group to her love of professional wrestling. The group even went as far as to take the moniker, the Four Horsewomen, which is based of the popular pro wrestling group, the Four Horsemen. It was not soon after the name that injuries forced Baszler to sit on the sidelines as her partners in crime looked to make their own mark in the UFC.

So what does all this have to do with UFC 177?

The answer comes in a small but deliberate action performed by Shayna’s UFC 177 opponent. Bethe Correia was a little known brazilian fighter that was coming off a shaky UFC debut win which had many question if she was truly won and more importantly, if she was UFC material. Though Bethe sported an undefeated record, she entered her UFC 172 fight with Four Horsewomen member Jessamyn Duke as an underdog. It wasn’t until after Bethe was able to win the fight against Jessamyn where Correia held four fingers up, only to quickly drop leaving fans to know who she had in mind next. The action was an obvious shot at the Four Horsewomen and though Bethe didn’t speak English, the action spoke louder than words.

Bethe

Now Bethe looks to add Shayna to her list and hopes that a win will force fans to demand a match with Rousey, based on the fact that Four Horsewomen other members fight at a different weight outside the UFC. And with more and more fans demanding fights that generate true rivalries like the old days of the UFC, this storyline looks like the one to do the trick. And if this story doesn’t add more reason to watch this Saturday, I don’t know what will.

Bust-

When it comes to 2014, the UFC has delivered more than its fair share of great events. Believe it or not, this will be the 30th UFC event this year when factoring in all the PPV, televised, and fight pass events. With that many events so far, the ability to pick and choose has never been move available to the casual fan. The UFC also has 7 fights coming up in the next 6 weeks with only two of the fights being PPV. This fact could help the fan on a budget choose some non-PPV’s events to get their MMA fix without shelling out the cash.

This factor can be combined with a topic that is brought up a lot in these articles, star power. Though T.J and Renan are two of the best fighters in the world, their names lack the drawing power of a Silva or Jones. Historically, the lighter weight classes don’t draw as many fans as heavier fights do. Though this fight is close on paper, many casual fans may not feel like they have a dog in this race. The other main card fights also present the same problem as these well matched fights lack the star power needed to truly make a fight great. So if you need a MMA fix but don’t truly see any of these fights getting you excited on paper, you may feel it’s worth the risk of missing some good fights to save a few bucks in the long run. Just remember, there’s always next week, and the week after that, and even the week after that.

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