After gathering returning contenders and signing new talent, Bellator Fighting Championships has set the match-ups for the first round of the Season 6 Middleweight Tournament. With Bellator king “Shango” Hector Lombard (31-2) scheduled for his second title defense and rematch with “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (34-5) in the late spring or early summer, both he and his challenger have eyes on yet another title contender who will rise from the eight fighters to earn the chance for a shot at the gold around Lombard’s waist.
It started in April of 2011 at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley. “Mak” Mike Kyle (15-8) was set to face former DREAM middleweight king and former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi (32-3). However, a broken hand that Kyle suffered in his near upset loss to heavyweight “Big Foot” Antonio Silva (15-3) sidelined him from the fight. Again the two were set to face each other in September 2011 at the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals, but this time it was Mousasi who withdrew from the fight. Now, after a year of trying to come to the same crossroads, the two veterans will finally face each other in the Strikeforce cage.
MMA Gospel’s Technique of the Week returns to give fans and aspiring fighters alike deeper understanding of the grappling techniques seen in the cage as Ed Perdomo and Johnny Rodriguez go back to the basics for a four-week arc showing two basic guard passes that move directly into two Straight Armbars from side mount. For the first move in this set, Ed Perdomo will pass Johnny’s guard on the high side and end in position to transfer directly into next week’s Armbar.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship ushered in the UFC on FOX era with its first free offering of the year as UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller hit the airwaves following live prelims on FUEL TV. The card was memorable in several ways. Aside from being the inaugural event in MMA’s first long-term network TV deal, it also featured a host of entertaining and fast paced bouts with everything from title contention to jobs on the line. “HD” Pat Barry (6-5) opened the night with a career-saving KO victory over Christian Morecraft (7-3). “The Hulk” Mike Easton (9-0) continued to impress with a Majority Decision win over newcomer Jared Papazian (13-7-1). UFC mainstays “Bang” Duane Ludwig (21-12) and “The Dentist” Josh Neer (33-10-1) met in a slugfest that saw Ludwig land several solid blows only to fall victim to a Guillotine Choke. In the main event, “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (27-10-2) fell short yet again with potential title contention on the line as “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (21-3) weathered an early storm to end the bout with a Rear Naked Choke. Every fight impressed both the fans and the UFC brass, but for some fighters, the night did end as well as they would have liked and for others, it ended in utter disaster.
—MAIN CARD (on FX)—
Melvin Guillard vs. Jim Miller: Miller via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 2:04
Duane Ludwig vs. Josh Neer: Neer via Technical Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 1, 3:04
Mike Easton vs. Jared Papazian: Easton via Majority Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-29), Round 3, 5:00
Pat Barry vs. Christian Morecraft: Barry via KO (Punches), Round 1, 3:38
The UFC returns to the States after a phenomenal showing last weekend in Rio De Janiero, Brazil to present its inaugural “UFC on FX” card tonight from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The card kicks off with Mike Easton (8-0) welcoming Jared Papazian (13-6-1) to the Octagon in the bantamweight division. Hard-hitting heavyweights are set to collide when “HD” Pat Barry (5-5) meets Christian Morecraft (7-2). It is a battle of veterans in the co-main event when“Bang” Duane Ludwig (21-11) will hope to showcase his stand-up skills against the well-rounded “The Dentist” Josh Neer (32-10-1). The main event is one to remember as top lightweights “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (27-9-1) and “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (20-3) prepare to engage with one another. Guillard and Miller were once on the verge of challenging for “The Answer” Frankie Edgar’s championship belt but after facing major setbacks, they will like nothing more to get back into the runnings even at the other’s expense.
The UFC is holding the first official card of its new contract with media giant FOX this Friday with UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller in the Music City of the Volunteer State – Nashville, Tennesse, a place where the blues will meet the beatdowns with a star stacked card that also features a contendership match-up for the lightweight crown. Opening up the inaugural FX fight card is esteemed K-1 veteran ”HD” Pat Parry (5-5) facing Christian Morecraft (7-2) in a must-win fight for both heavyweights. King of the Cage Bantamweight Champion Jared Papazian (13-6) and undefeated UWC Bantamweight Champion Mike Easton (8-0) have vacated their belts to face off in a UFC slugfest that is sure to leave the better man standing. Heavy-handed veteran “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (27-9) will face the younger of the Miller brothers, “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (20-3) in the headlining event that will see one man take a step closer to a title shot in the 155lbs. division. Anchoring the main card, the owner of the fastest UFC knockout “Bang” Duane Ludwig (21-11) faces “The Dentist” Josh Neer (32-10) who is on a five-fight win and finishing streak upon his return to the UFC. In a pairing of fighters with the striking prowess of Ludwig and Neer, onlookers are assured a back-and-forth affair that at any moment could end in devastating fashion.
Way back in July of 2011, Chael Sonnen said he would do an interview with me but suggested that I might want to wait. Chael was doing a ton of media at the time so I took that rain check. Now with the exciting and unexpected news that Chael will be fighting Michael Bisping next Saturday at UFC on FOX 2, with his original opponent Mark Munoz out due to injury, I decided to cash in that rain check. I reminded Chael about it and told him that whenever he was free we’d do the interview. Later that day, Chael called me for a chat. Never let it be said that Chael isn’t a man of his word.