This Saturday night the UFC returns to its home base at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada to brings its fans worldwide another impressive showing in the form of UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber. The card is headlined by a five-round rematch between reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz (16-1) and the only man to ever beat him, “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-4) – only this time, it’s UFC gold that’s on the line. The co-main event between PRIDE veteran “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-10-1) and “The Crippler” Chris Leben (21-8) promises a firefight with all the makings of “Fight of the Night”, maybe even “Knockout of the Night”. Long-time UFC veteran and former 205lbs. champ “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (15-8-1) will test his skills against a much younger top contender who many claim to be a better version of Ortiz’s former self in “Darth” Ryan Bader (12-1). Opening up the main card is German kickboxer and famed striker Dennis Siver (18-7) taking on an evolving “Handsome” Matt Wiman (13-5) and former WEC Welterweight Champion “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit (26-5) teeing off against JMMA star “The Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (17-4-3). Surprising fight outcomes often remind fans that “anything can happen in MMA” and this card is no exception. Here is MMA Gospel staff members’ predictions on how the main card will go down.
Two days before the nation’s two-hundred and fifty-third birthday, the UFC delivers yet another card of premium mixed martial arts action in its thirteenth show of the year. Highlighting the night is a bantamweight title fight between reigning champion Dominick Cruz (16-1) and the only man to hold a victory over him, “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-4). Leading up to the main event is a collection of the usual fan pleasers and division shakers as “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-10-1) and “The Crippler” Chris Leben (21-8) meet in a good ole fashioned brawler’s battle, “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (17-4-3) squares off against “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit (26-5) in a bid to see who belongs across the cage from “Rush” Georges St. Pierre (22-2), and Dennis Siver (18-7) goes to war with Matt Wiman (13-5) to see whose four-fight win streak will earn him a spot in the title discussion. Also on the card is a rebuilding fight for the TUF wrestling machine “Darth” Ryan Bader (12-1) as he looks to get back on track against the last of the Dark Age champions “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (15-8-1). Ortiz is the last of the pre-Zuffa era warriors to continue pushing for fights against the best in the division as he refuses to become another relic of the UFC’s past.
The Fourth of July weekend gets lit up early when fireworks are presented in the form of MMA action as UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber takes place in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night. German kickboxer Dennis Siver (18-7) hopes to keep his own mean streak alive when he meets fellow lightweight prospect “Handsome” Matt Wiman (13-5). “Darth” Ryan Bader (12-1) hopes to get back to his winning ways but “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (15-8-1) does not intend on being that stepping stone on his way back to the top. In what could be a true battle to remember, “The Crippler” Chris Leben (21-8) is granted his request from UFC 116 when he meets beloved fellow brawler “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-10-1). The bantamweights make themselves known when “The Dominator” Dominick Cruz (16-1) puts his belt on the line against former WEC Featherweight Champion “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-4). In the middle of all the action though, “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit (26-5) and “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim prepare to go tooth-and-nail in a welterweight battle where a heavy shift in title contention can happen for the victor. Condit has tasted the gold before in his WEC days and would like to do so again by adding Kim to his list of victims. The South Korean Kim though has torn through the welterweight ranks with his unforgiving Judo. Now standing as two valid contenders to “Rush” Georges St. Pierre’s (22-2) belt, only one of them can advance further to eventually challenge for the gold.
It’s Wednesday and that means another installment of MMA Gospel’s Technique of the Week with fourth Dan Hapkido black belt Ed Perdomo. Over the past two weeks, Ed and Johnny Rodriguez have demonstrated a sweep from guard to the back mount and then used a Roll Through Armbar to counter the defense. This week, Ed closes the current arc with a Step Over Armbar that can serve both as a counter when the opponent prevents the needed underhook from the roll through Armbar and as a maneuver that is easier to perform against larger opponents.
Nothing makes a fight better than a good old fashioned rivalry – and when a title is added in the mix, the likelihood of either a highlight reel finish or a five-round war go through the roof. This is exactly what fans have to look forward to this Saturday at UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber. Reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz (16-1) will look to defeat the only man he has fallen to when he takes on former WEC Featherweight Champion “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-4). Long time 205lbs. PRIDE champion, feared striker, and perhaps the most well known fighter in MMA “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-10) returns after a list of injuries to face brawler and always game slugger “The Crippler” Chris Leben (21-8) in a fight that fans have been screaming for for over a year with the winner moving up the middleweight ladder. “Darth” Ryan Bader (12-1) is looking to rebound off his sole loss against current 205lbs. champ “Bones” Jon Jones (13-1) and the task ahead of him is none other than former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (15-8). Ortiz hasn’t won a fight since 2006 and another loss could mean receiving his walking papers, but a win over the powerful Bader will keep him in good graces just a bit longer. Former WEC Welterweight Champion “Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit (26-5) continues his rise to welterweight gold as he looks to make “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (17-4) another victim on his list and hand the Korean Judoka his first UFC loss. German renowned kickboxer Dennis Siver (18-7) shocked the world with a one-sided beatdown over Aussie golden boy George Sotiropoulos (14-3) at UFC 127, and “Handsome” Matt Wiman (13-5) is also coming off an upset win of his own over Cole Miller (17-5). Siver and Wiman are both riding three-fight win streaks and are looking to add another consecutive victory to their growing list as well as stake their claim in the top of the lightweight division at the expense of their opponent.
Hello, Icemigos. How was your blah, blah, blah? Yeah and how’s that thing that you do going? Really? That’s interesting. You know how I feel about that. I mean it should go without saying, right?
So with the niceties out of the way let’s get right to the awards! What awards? The first ever SBoI Awards for the week of MMA fights that I saw! “The Iceys®” as they’re called – as of now.
In just one of the many recent efforts put forth by the world’s top mixed martial arts promotion, UFC on Versus 4: Kongo vs. Barry barreled through Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania leaving no fan disappointed. The main card was opened by two Goliaths of the heavyweight division clawing at each other as they advance up the mountain. A fighter whose strikes are known to end all who stand in his way would meet against a man who does not accept defeat without a fight. The co-main event was saved when a hometown hero stepped up to face one of the fastest rising stars in the welterweight division. Finally in the main event, two of the biggest and most dangerous strikers collide in a highly anticipated heavyweight match-up. In the wake of a significant win for a top contender, the question most often posed for him is “What’s next?” Here is a brief recap of the events that took place in what turned out to be arguably one of the most unforgettable cards in recent memory, and the matches those respective winners could very well themselves undertaking in the future.
—MAIN CARD (on Versus)—
Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry: Kongo via KO, Round 1, 2:39
Rick Story vs. Charlie Brenneman: Brenneman via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Matt Brown vs. John Howard: Brown via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft: Mitrione via KO (Punches), Round 2, 4:28
Hollywood, Florida played host to Bellator Fighting Championships as a stacked Bellator 46 card kicked off the Season 5 Featherweight Tournament. “Kid Ninja” Ronnie Mann (20-2) and Adam Schindler (9-2) opened the night at the Seminole Hard Rock while the rest of the featherweights followed. Jacob Devree (10-2) and returning 145lbs. competitor Nazareno Malegarie (20-1) each had a statement to make to prove they have what it takes to be in Bellator. Former Sengoku Featherweight Champion Marlon Sandro (18-2) made his Bellator debut against fellow Brazilian Genair Da Silva (9-4). The main event and closing act of the night featured former lightweight title challenger Pat Curran (14-4) and Luis Palomino (16-7). It was a night of action that the fans have come to expect from Bellator, and the new Summer Series did not disappoint.
Luis Palomino vs. Pat Curran: Curran via Submission (Peruvian Necktie), Round 1, 3:49
Genair da Silva vs. Marlon Sandro: Sandro via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29), Round 3, 5:00
Jacob Devree vs. Nazareno Malegarie: Nazareno via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 3, 1:25
Adam Schindler vs. Ronnie Mann: Mann via KO (Punch), Round 1, 4:14
Tomorrow night Zuffa reloads and fires again with another top flight card that displays just how deep their talent pool is. This time it’s UFC on Versus 4: Kongo vs. Barry and this time it’s free. As far as free on TV cards go, this line-up is definitely one of the more loaded, despite the loss of long-time middleweight title contender “The Great” Nate Marquardt (31-10-2). The main event was originally slated to be his first bout in the welterweight division, but an undisclosed issue saw Nate “The Great” fail to pass his pre-fight medical screening, resulting in his removal from both the card and the UFC roster. Never missing a step, the UFC has pushed heavyweight kickboxing juggernauts Cheick Kongo (15-6-2) and “Hype or Die” Pat Barry (5-3) up to the main event slot while Charlie Brenneman (13-2) has agreed to face blue chip nightmare “The Horror” Rick Story (11-2). Ailing welterweights “Doomsday” John Howard (14-6) and “The Immortal” Matt Brown (11-10) will also climb in the cage and opening up the night of fan favored fights are a pair of bouts that scream excitement as TUF 10 pariah turned heavyweight wrecking machine “Meathead” Matt Mitrione (4-0) goes against Christian Morecraft (7-1) and lightweight gatekeeper Tyson Griffin (14-5) cuts to 145 to face “The Anvil” Manny Gamburyan (11-6). The card is free, the match-ups are great, and the organization is proving once again that it is the best.
The Bellator and Cage Fighting Championship (CFC) middleweight champ is returning to his second home in The Land Down Under to continue on his trek to MMA glory. “Shango” Hector Lombard (27-2), the dominant champion and American Top Team standout, was recently given the green light from the Bellator brass to compete in the Australian Fighting Championships (AFC) against TUF Season 7, Strikeforce, Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC), and Battlefield veteran “JT Money” Jesse Taylor (14-5) on August 27.
Taylor has been quite busy since his numbered days in the UFC, shuffling between the welterweight, middleweight, and even light heavyweight divisions and going 10-3 since his UFC release including a notable win over Dennis Kang (35-13) via first-round submission. “JT Money’s” confidence surely is at an all-time high, and he will need all of it when he steps into the cage with perhaps his most dangerous opponent to date in Hector Lombard – and on “Shango’s” adopted home turf, nonetheless.
Just one day before his main event match-up against “The Horror” Rick Story (11-2) at UFC on Versus 4: Marquardt vs. Story, former middleweight title contender “The Great” Nate Marquardt (31-10-2) failed to pass his medical tests due to undisclosed reasons and consequently was dropped not only from tomorrow night’s card, but also from the UFC, according to company president Dana White.
(Video courtesy of TOUT.com)
Caros Fodor vs. James Terry: Fodor via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Ryan Couture vs. Matt Ricehouse: Ricehouse via Unanimous Decision (2-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Lorenz Larkin vs. Gian Villante: Larkin via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Jason High vs. Quinn Mulhern: High via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Julia Budd vs. Germaine de Randamie: Budd via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Derek Brunson vs. Jeremy Hamilton: Brunson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Eduardo Pamplona vs. Jerron Peoples: Pamplona via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 2:40
Trevor Smith vs. Keith Berry: Smith via Technical Submission, Round 2, 3:02