by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Manchester, England, for the first time in two-and-a-half years on Saturday night. Former multi-time UFC champion Randy Couture squares off with Brandon Vera in the main event at Manchester Evening News Arena.
Much like the stereotypical British demeanor, the weigh-in was rather understated. All the fighters easily made weight, making Saturday’s full fight card official.
Couture and Vera both stepped on the scale at 204 pounds for their light heavyweight headliner, then heartily shook hands before posing for the cameras.
Couture enters this fight with no pretensions of a title shot. He sees it as another challenge, another puzzle to solve as he continues to defy time.
For Vera, this fight is a crossroads. He has struggled during his UFC tenure, and a win over a man he so admires, would prove to the world and maybe more so to himself, that he is a player in the promotion.
There has been little chatter between Mike Swick and Dan Hardy leading up to their number one contender bout; save for the runner-up trophy that Hardy presented at the pre-fight press conference.
Swick stepped on the scale at 170 pounds on Friday, Hardy at 171. So there still isn’t much to say until after they determine who will be the next challenger to the throne current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre sits atop.
The only real tension at the weigh-in came when Manchester’s own Michael Bisping, who weighed in at 186 pounds, and Denis Kang, tipping the scale at 185, went nose-to-nose for photographers. Each raised a fist in uppercut fashion and a little chatter ensued, but no real fireworks.
UFC 105 takes place on Saturday night at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester. “The fight will be seen in over 50 countries and territories live. It will eventually be seen in 130 countries and territories and be available to 400 million homes around the world,” according to the UFC’s U.K. president Marshall Zelaznik.
The main card airs on a tape-delayed basis in the United States on Spike TV, and live on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada.
-Randy Couture (204) vs. Brandon Vera (204)
-Mike Swick (170) vs. Dan Hardy (171)
-Michael Bisping (186) vs. Denis Kang (185)
-James Wilks (169) vs. Matt Brown (170)
-Ross Pearson (156) vs. Aaron Riley (155)
-Paul Taylor (170) vs. John Hathaway (170)
-Terry Etim (155) vs. Shannon Gugerty (155)
-Matt Riddle (171) vs. Nick Osipczak (170)
-Paul Kelly (156) vs. Dennis Siver (155)
-Alexander Gustafsson (203) vs. Jared Hamman (204)
-Andre Winner (155) vs. Roli Delgado (156)