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Bet on the UFCThink of all your favorite Super Bowl traditions. Great football teams battling it out. Hour-long halftime shows and wardrobe malfunctions. Blatant consumerism and commercials. And mixed martial arts. Wait, mixed martial arts?

That's right – MMA has quickly become one of our most treasured Super Bowl traditions. The Ultimate Fighting Championship typically holds an event on the Saturday before the Super Bowl in order to cash in on the excitement and strong betting atmosphere that surrounds the big game weekend every year. Over the years, UFC 67, UFC 81, UFC 94, and UFC 109 have all been held on Super Bowl weekend.

And 2011 will not be any different, with UFC 126 being held this coming Saturday. While some of these bouts have been a little lackluster over the years, UFC 126 will finally give us the Silva-Belfort title fight, a match MMA fans have been looking forward to for way too long. Silva is coming off of an astounding win against Chael Sonnen, while Belfort has not been competing in UFC fights since UFC 109. Various injuries have kept the match from happening, but Super Bowl weekend 2011 will be when the stars align for the much-anticipated fight.

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Although Silva-Belfort will be the main event, UFC 126 will have a number of other fights worth watching. Rich Franklin will take on Forrest Griffin in a light heavyweight fight that could have an impact on future title considerations. It will be a bout worth keeping a close eye on. Griffin has not competed since November 2009, so will ring rust affect his performance?

Two up-and-comers in the world of MMA, Jon “Bones” Jones and Ryan Bader will also be competing next weekend. Jones is undefeated (discounting a disqualification) and is one of the more promising fighters to come along in some time, and it is worth watching his athletic abilities and dynamic strike style. Bader is similarly undefeated and has won bouts against better opponents than Jones has faced thus far in his career.

So when Super Bowl weekend comes along in a few days, it will be worth taking a break from all of the Packers-Steelers betting to take a look at a few established MMA fighters, as well as some rising stars in the sport. With some of the betting excitement of the Super Bowl spilling over into UFC 126 gambling, payouts should be higher than usual for some possibly overlooked matches.


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