John C. Cotey can be reached at john om.
|UFC 100: Handicapping tonight's big fights|
|Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir|| Lesnar, top, is probably more known for his turn as a World Wrestling Entertainment superstar. The hulking behemoth doesn't look like a mixed martial arts star — he's 6-foot-3 and had to cut weight to get down to the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds — but he has emerged as a force and people forget he was an NCAA champion wrestler at Minnesota. He has to win over some diehards, however. He got a title shot when he was just 1-1 (he's 3-1 now), and a lot of purists see him as a marketing phenomenon more than a mixed martial artist. His win over the older but legendary
Randy Couture to capture the heavyweight title may have dispelled some of those notions, but others point to his first fight with Mir (12-3) as proof he is an overblown, one-dimensional fighter. In that fight, Lesnar used his power to dominate but rushed the finish — big no-no in MMA — and Mir, despite being on his back, was able to lock down Lesnar's leg and get a submission. Mir is the more well-rounded fighter, but he will need another misstep by Lesnar to put his jujitsu skills to good use.
|Georges St.-Pierre vs. Thiago Alves||The purists and diehards chafed by Lesnar point to this fight as the real main event, and it's pretty tough to argue. St.-Pierre, top, may be the heir apparent to Chuck Liddell as the face of the UFC. The 170-pound welterweight champ is 18-2 after a lopsided victory over B.J. Penn and has avenged both his losses. Many consider him the best pound-for-pound fighter in the game. Alves (22-4), who trains in Coconut Creek, is bigger, maybe stronger, and has won all seven of his fights — including a victory over Matt Hughes — since his last loss in 2006. St.-Pierre is favored, but this may be his most dangerous opponent to date.|
|Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping||Henderson (24-7), top, is a former heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion in Japan's PRIDE, the former MMA fighting championships that was a precursor to the UFC's success, and his resume is long and impressive. Though Bisping is 18-1 and the younger fighter, he will be the smaller fighter in this 185-pound bout and is the least likely of the main event fighters to win tonight.|